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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Sunday, October 29, 2017


The Highlander's Princess Bride (The Improper Princesses #3) by Vanessa Kelly

What fun! I adored this foray into the life of another regency illegitimate Royal, this time Victoria Knight, daughter to the Prince Regent.
Working as a governess for a respectable family should allay any concerns of safety and well being--one would think!
However when the brother of your employer attempts to rape you, defending yourself is not only a marvellous idea, but absolutely necessary. The fact that said degenerate tumbled down the stairs and broke his neck doesn't mean you murdered him. Even though your employer's wife absolutely blames you. Well after all the scoundrel is Lady Welgate's brother. Such was the rude awakening from the dream of a fulfilling life, transitioning from respectable governess to setting up her own selective school that Victoria had. This scandal along with her birth would be the death knell to that dream.
Sir Dominic Hunter and Aden St. George arrange for their cousin Victoria to leave town until whilst they smooth the situation over seems the wisest move.  Victoria heads for the wilds of Scotland to teach music to the younger brother of Nicholas Kendrick, Earl of Arnprio, and it seems to help manage all the grown and half grown young men, including the Lord's irrepressible grandfather, who inhabit the rather gothic castle domineering the landscape.
I really enjoyed Victoria's self-deprecating banter, evident when she hears of her employment conditions, “Lovely—a houseful of ill-mannered Highlanders, ones I’m expected to tame by virtue of my saintly presence."
Of course there's the darkly romantic and sinfully handsome Lord Nick to contend with as well.
Watching Victoria slay these young men and accept her as their own is marvellous. But will Nick accept her?
Nick's introspections are just as delightful as Victoria's, "If teasing a wee Sassenach governess had become the highlight of his week—perhaps his year—he’d come to a sorry pass, indeed."
I love the way the family starts of calling Victoria "Sassenach" as a term of derision that tempers to a term of affection. (Have I been watching to many episodes of Outlander?)
The complicating thing is that Dominic has told Victoria not to reveal her situation, or her birth details. Ah Secrets! They have a way of looming over you just at the wrong moment, and can be  potentially very dangerous.
A fabulous read, with the right amount of tension, humor and intrigue.

A NetGalley ARC


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