How to Marry a Royal Highlander

Written by Vanessa Kelly
Review by Ray Thompson

This is the last novel in Kelly’s Renegade Royals series, which features the illegitimate sons of England’s royal princes during the Regency period. After one misadventure too many, Eden Whitney is dragged off by her mother to ‘rusticate’ at the estate of one of them: Alasdair Gilbride, heir to a Scottish earldom. Trouble, however, follows her, for Alasdair wants her help to escape from the arranged betrothal that awaits him. Add antagonism between Scots and English, repressive conventions governing social conduct (especially for women), family feuds and assassination plots, and a powerful physical attraction between Alasdair and Eden, and the situation is fraught, to say the least.

Attitudes do begin to seem rather contrived and circumstances veer uncomfortably close to melodrama at times, especially with the mad aunt; but Eden is a lively and high-spirited heroine and Alasdair a decent fellow, as well as a hunky highlander with a distinguished war record, predictably. And rich, of course. Fans of Regency romances will find much to enjoy.

It is bound with a novella, “Tall, Dark, and Royal,” in which Dominic Hunter is reunited with his childhood sweetheart, Chloe Steele. Since her seduction/rape by a royal prince, she has devoted herself to helping young women escape from abusive relationships. He comes to her aid when she runs foul of a criminal family, but retires from his own career to help with hers.

Independence reaffirmed?