My Fair Princess is the first of Vanessa Kelly’s Improper Princess series which is a spin-off of sorts of her Renegade Royals. Even if you haven’t read that series this is a great place to start. If you have then the notorious Griffin Steele has a sister, well half-sister. I love Gillian, she is a force to be reckoned with. Now if you are expecting a prim and proper princess then the series title “Improper” Princesses should be a good hint that this is not the series you are looking for. But if you are looking for a headstrong, outspoken, nobody talks bad about my mother, I’m going to do what I think is right, hoyden of a princess then yes, this is the story you are looking for.
Lady Julia was seduced by the Duke of Cumberland even more scandalous was she kept the baby that was the result of said affair, a little baby girl. Shunned by society Lady Lucy is forced to move to Italy where she meet and fell in love with Count Paterini. Gillian loved her step-father he doted on her and never made her feel unwanted. She also blames herself for his death, murdered by bandits and no one making an effort to seek justice she takes matters into her own hands and over the years she trains and one by one kills the bandits that killed her step-father. When it was finally over Gillian’s mother and Grandmother know they must go back to England. Hopefully they can reign in her wild ways enough for her to find a husband. They seek the help of the most qualified person they know, Duke of Leverton.
Charles Valentine Penley, also known as Perfect Penley, is distantly related to Gillian and as the Duke is technically head of the family. Charles takes on the task of installing social graces and civility into Gillian. Gillian does not care, she doesn’t care what people say about her or what they think, she can manage a civil tongue when talking to people even when they insult her; it’s another matter entirely when they insult her mother. Everything is going fine until Charles’ ex-fiancé decides to cause trouble and spreads a vicious new nickname for Gillian. Everyone thinks the best thing to do is escape to the country for a while. On the way to Charles’ country estate they are robbed, and the trouble really begins. Gillian is determined to get back the jewels they stole even though Charles has repeatedly told her to let him handle it.
It really was inevitable that they fell in love, opposites attract. Charles needed someone to challenge him and knock the Perfect off of Perfect Penley. Gillian needed someone to love her even though she never thought she was good enough, or worthy of love. She never cared what people thought of her because that’s what she thought of herself, she needed someone to prove her wrong. I loved seeing Griffin and Justine again they had a nice little part. I really hope the other princess are as improper as this one. I really adored Gillian and even Charles after he stopped being so priggish. Overall, great story and a great build up to the climatic ending and just the right amount of angst to play at the heart strings a bit.
**ARC provided by Publisher**