Vanessa Kelly’s Secrets!

vanessa 3Vanessa Kelly is a fabulous author who needs no introduction! She’s practically an honorary Bandita!

Today, she’s visiting us to tell us about her wonderful new hsitorical romance SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD, book 1 in the Renegade Royals series.

Hmm, that title had me at hello.

SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD is garnering some wonderful buzz, including a starred review from Publishers Weekly which says, “Kelly combines diverting dialogue, delightful surprises, and finely tuned pacing to make this a winner.”

Here’s the blurb:

Accomplished spy Aden St. George prefers to stay away from the frivolous ton, especially after the way his mother was used by the Prince Regent. But his latest mission compels him to guard unconventional, vibrant Lady Vivien Shaw. Rescuing her from kidnappers was easy. Resisting her beauty is not. Duty demands he keep an eye on her—and naturally, his lips soon follow. For someone who views entanglements as a weakness, this is pure, delicious folly…

Vanessa 2Though grateful for Aden’s help, Vivien has secrets she must keep hidden. Yet with her abductors still at large, she needs Aden’s protection almost as much as she craves his touch…

You can find out more about Vanessa and her books on her website:

Vanessa, welcome back to the lair. Congratulations on your new release for Kensington, SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD.  Can you tell us about this story?

Hi, Anna! Thanks so much for hosting me in the lair – it’s great to be back!  SECRETS features a dark, brooding, and sexy Aden St. George, a British spy who also happens to be the illegitimate son of the Prince Regent.  Aden has just returned from a difficult mission in France, where he lost a man and holds himself responsible.  All he wants to do is hole up in a room with a good bottle of port and drown his sorrows for a week or two.  Instead, he’s called in to rescue the beautiful and vivacious Lady Vivien Shaw from a gang of kidnappers and bring her back to London before her disappearance is discovered and her reputation ruined.

Sounds great! What were the inspirations behind this book?

I’m a big fan of romantic suspense, and I’ve always liked reading a good kidnap/rescue scenario.  I especially enjoyed Lori Foster’s Edge of Honor series, with its good guy heroes and smart, courageous women.  Plus, what an interesting challenge for a writer:  how to develop a credible, lasting relationship between the hero and heroine in the context of so many heightened emotions and dangers.

Vanessa 1Can you tell us about the series, The Renegade Royals?

The Renegade Royals are the illegitimate sons of the royal princes of England.  They’re all rebels, to some extent, with one or two genuine bad boys in the mix.  Given their innate sense of rebellion, none are eager to settle down into a life of domestic bliss.  Meeting the right woman, of course, will change all that, although there might not be as much settling down as they expect!

We don’t have long to wait for the next Renegade Royal, CONFESSIONS OF A ROYAL BRIDEGROOM, which is out in April. Can you tell us about this story?

My confession is that I love this book!  Griffin Steele is the real bad boy of the group—he owns several lucrative gaming houses and a brothel, all of which he is in the process of selling at the start of the story.  Griffin has always wanted to get out of the sin business and travel to the Far East, and he’s finally got his chance.  But a mysterious baby is left on his doorstep one day, along with an anonymous note pleading with him to keep the infant safe.  Naturally, Griffin knows little about taking care of babies so he needs help.  Enter Justine Brightmore, a competent, prim, and uber-disciplined daughter of a spy.  She and Griffin couldn’t be more dissimilar, and sparks are definitely going to fly.  Think Mary Poppins meets Captain Jack Sparrow—with sex!

vanessa 4Love the high concept! What else has Vanessa Kelly been up to?

I’m working on the next novella and books three and four in The Renegade Royals.

I think most people are fascinated by writing partnerships. You and your husband write contemporary romance together as V.K. Sykes. How do you work together? And can you tell us what’s coming up for V.K. Sykes?

Yes, Randy and I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense under our V.K. Sykes pen name.  The writing started off more as a hobby for Randy, but it’s worked out very well—for both of us!  We’ve figured out a good system for working without killing each other.  We brainstorm the book idea, plot, and characters together, then hubby writes the first draft.  I do the revisions and write all the sex scenes, since Randy pretty much hates doing the mushy stuff.  Right now, we’re working on another one of our USA Today bestselling sports romances, and we’re also writing a new small town contemporary romance series for Grand Central Publishing.  It’s called LOBSTER BAY and it will be released in 2015.

Wow, you’re a busy woman! Do you have question for the Bandits and Bandita buddies to get conversation going?

BanditBootyHave you ever met someone under less than ideal circumstances, but a wonderful romance or friendship still managed to develop?  One person who comments will win an ARC of CONFESSIONS OF A ROYAL BRIDEGROOM (international).

Wow, Vanessa, great prize! Go for it, Bandita Buddies and good luck!

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  • Betty Hamilton says:

    My cousin and I had dates with cousins. My date showed up, hers didn’t. While my date was phoning his cousin (my cousin’s date) another friend of my date pulled up in his car. We ended up including him in our group and 5 years later, I married him.

  • Jane says:

    I’m loving Vanessa’s new series. I really enjoyed Aden and Vivien’s story. I can’t say I’ve ever became good friends or date someone after an unpleasant first meeting.

  • Mary Chen says:

    Hi Anna! Hi Vanessa! Lovely interview reading about your writing partnership with your husband and your inspiration for this series. ^_^

    My best friend (whom I met in middle school) and I did not like each other at first sight. We contrasted physically, and she had a streak of humorous sadism that didn’t go well with my younger self. Still, we ended up forming a friendship that lasted for many years, and today she’s an irreplaceable friend to me.

  • Patty L. says:

    I have to start by saying I love your V.K. Sykes sports books. I have never read any of your titles by Vanessa but I love a historical romance so I am adding it to my wish list. 🙂 As far as friendships go, I met one of my closest friends over a tragic incident. I was injured and in need of constant medical attention several years ago and Amber was my nurse. She saw me at my lowest moments and made me see that I had so much to be thankful for. We have remained friends since this time. If not for my health issues I would not have met my dear friend.

    • Patty, you’ll love Vanessa’s historicals! Wow, talk about something good coming out of something bad. Sometimes those awful experiences form such a strong basis for a friendship, don’t they?

    • Patty, that is an amazing and very inspiring story. So glad that something good came out of something so awful! And thank you for reading my VK Sykes books!

  • Marcy Shuler says:

    I love Vanessa’s books and would be tickled to win an ARC.

    I’ve been trying to think of anyone I’ve met under negative circumstances that I still see…and I really can’t think of any. I used to work on a locked Psych unit and still occasionally see former patients in a store…but unless they approach me I can’t acknowledge them because of confidentiality laws. *shrug*

  • eli yanti says:

    Never have it.

    Looking forward to read this book, sounds great 🙂

  • Helen says:

    Hi Vanessa and Anna

    I do love the sound of this series Vanessa I have added it to my wish list 🙂

    Love how you and your Hubby write the books sounds like lots of fun I need to read these as well 🙂

    I don’t think I have met anyone under those circumstances not that I can remember 🙂

    Congrats on the release

    Have Fun

  • SecretNinja says:

    Does meeting people on the internet count? I’ve met quite a few people online that are now great friends of mine. Thanks to shared passions such as hockey, I’ve been able to meet people across Canada as well as a few in the States! 🙂 Can’t wait until Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom comes out, Vanessa! Definitely looking forward to it!


  • Caren Crane says:

    Vanessa, it’s so great to have you back with us! I love the sound of this new series. And what great covers! Wowza.

    I love that you and your husband write together. One of my dear friends and her husband have a writing partnership and I often wonder how in the world they make it work. My DH and I could NEVER work together! We like to admire each other’s work from a distance. 🙂

    As to less than wonderful first meetings, my husband and I actually had one of those. We had classes together in engineering school. One day we were leaving class and I happened to be behind him walking out to the parking lot. He dropped his quiz paper that had just been returned, so I kindly picked it up. He didn’t notice and kept walking.

    I tried to read his name on the paper so I could call out to him, but it was illegible. (His handwriting has always been atrocious!) He walked so fast I couldn’t possibly catch up to him, so I decided just to hand it back the next time we had class.

    When we were waiting for our lecture hall to empty next class day, I went up to him and said, “You dropped this the other day.”

    He glanced at it and said, “Oh. I didn’t need it anyway.”

    I thought he was rude and arrogant. I don’t even think he said. “Thank you”! I rolled my eyes and went to stand with friends. It took a months for me to warm to him after that, even though we ended up with many mutual friends.

    He will never be someone who warms to people very quickly, but he is now far less standoffish than he used to be. He was definitely worth all the time I invested getting to know him.

    I still roll my eyes at him, though. 😀

    • LOL! I love this story, Caren – and it sounds like you’ve done some good retraining! My husband also sometimes comes off as a little abrupt in company, but it’s mostly because he’s shy and not that comfortable meeting new people.

    • Caren, sounds like you met your diamond in the rough when there was definitely more diamond than rough!

      Aren’t Vanessa’s covers lovely? SOOOO romantic!

  • Gretchen H says:

    I don’t know about “adverse,” but my husband and I did not hit it off right away when we met. We were in college and my roommate thought his roommate was cute, so she dragged me to their room. Well, he knew we were there to see his roommate and not him, so he was getting pretty obnoxious. He also knew (but we didn’t at the time) that his roommate had a steady girlfriend back home, so he was mocking us a bit. It took another 9 months, to the end of that first school year, for me to get to know him well enough to like him, but by the end of the summer break away, I knew I was going to marry him! (It took me another 7 years to convince him, though!)

  • may says:

    Not really. .. the closest one that I can think of is when I first met my best friend and we were both a little nervous cuz it is the first day of high school.

  • Tisha Franklin says:

    Alas I’ve never met anyone under strange circumstances, friend or love. My life is generally unremarkable which is why I love to read the adventures of the characters in Vanessa Kelly’s books. They take me away to a place of romance and mystery!

  • Anna, thank you so much for hosting me today – you know how much I love to visit with you fab ladies!

  • Linda says:

    Not that I can remember atm =)
    Happy Monday!

  • erinf1 says:

    I have to agree that “meet cutes” are much better in fiction or movies!!! LOL… it would take *a lot* for me to get over a bad first impression/meet. Unfortunately, I haven’t had that experience in real life, but it sounds like it would be fun!!! Thanks for sharing and congrats to Vanessa on the new release!

  • Cassondra says:

    Welcome Vanessa!

    I love this concept–the Renegade Royals–and I love that you’ve made them such a mixed bag of personalities, and some of them in the sin business…gives them a place to go and makes them relatable, I’m betting.

    I have no idea how you get all that writing done, and in particular, I have no idea how you’ve managed to work with your husband without killing him! That’s rather astonishing to me. How did you work your way into that?

    • Thank you, Cassondra! I actually like to call my husband my secret weapon – he’s so productive and writes SO fast that he makes it possible for us to do as much as we do. I’m a much slower writer than he is, and not nearly as focused. He’s a veritable writing machine!

    • Ha ha, Cassondra, I have a suspicion that before they started, they hid all the pointy objects in the house!

  • catslady says:

    I really enjoyed the first book in this series! Since I married my high school sweetheart, I’ve not had any other romantic or close relationships with other men lol.

  • Cindy Hutcheson says:

    A new employee at my workplace. After she started working with the same difficult attorney I had and began experiencing health problems just as I had.

  • Lori H says:

    I met my hubby at an abandoned parking lot where the local teenagers liked to hang out at. He was a real cut up and thought he was funny. He told me he was going to marry me one day and I thought he was full of it. About a year or so later we met up at a mall about 30 minutes away from our hometown and he asked me out and the rest is history. We’ve been married for 21 years 🙂

  • Diane Sallans says:

    I loved the first book in this series so look forward to reading more.

    Haven’t experienced the bad to good scenario, but unfortunately have experience the good to the bad impression experience, but that doesn’t make for a good romance.

  • Laurie G says:

    The first time I met my future husband, he came to my apartment (my Junior year of college) to pick up one of my roommates for a biking date. The second time I met him at a party when I was with a date. The third time was at an arranged get together with all of my roommates when he came in with friends. It wasn’t until the 4th time that we were both free. We each decided not to date any one else.

  • Kim says:

    Congratulations on the series. No; I can’t think of meeting someone under less than ideal circumstances that later turned into a good thing.

  • bn100 says:

    Congrats on the book! No, don’t think so

  • Hey Vanessa!

    Just wanted to swing by and wave. The series sounds absolutely wonderful. I’m a huge fan of the books and the writer 🙂 These will be flying to my Kindle.

    I suppose I met my husband under less than perfect circumstances. While living in Cincinnati, I went to visit a college roommate 250 miles away. I was hoping to hook up with my college boyfriend who lived in the same town, but he never showed. Instead, I met my later-to-be husband. I thought I’d never see him again due to the distance between us but after lots of letters, phone calls and road trips – we ended up getting married three years later.

    You just never know when romance will strike 🙂

  • Vanessa, welcome back! This new series sounds great. I read the novella over the holidays and loved it.

    I’m a very competitive person, but I hit it off with one of the other GH finalists in my category, the eventual winner. She has since become a very close friend.

  • Pam Westfall says:

    Hi Vanessa, I just finished Secrets for Seducing A Royal Bodyguard and loved it! So looking forward to the second book and the rest of the series.
    Wish I could share a story, but I really can’t think of anyone I’ve met under those particular circumstances.

  • Lesia Chambliss says:

    No. I met my husband in High School. We were in choir together, actually my best friend also liked him, but he picked me. I’m glad, because we have been married 31 yrs, and together for 35 yrs.

  • Sandy Xiong says:

    Excited! I can’t wait for this book to be release and then Dominic’s book! Am I the only one that is jumping for joy that Dominic’s book is coming closer…well still a long way but still!

    I haven’t met someone under less than ideal circumstances….I think. I’m trying to recall but I just can’t. Although one of my friend, we sometimes don’t see eye to eye on many things. She’s more of the blunt about sexual suggestions and everything that I sometimes yell at her to take it down a notch. I honestly didn’t think we will be friends this long because she was closer to another of my friend but now they drifted apart and somehow she and I just became close. We give each other advice and I’ve grown to just get use to her sexual terms

  • Mozette says:

    Aahh yes… haven’t we all?

    I met this lovely young man when I holidayed with my folks in my 20’s. He lived at Brunswick Heads and was illiterate, had been on drugs and booze most of his life and fell in with the wrong crowd. But he was a big romantic.
    We met when he was trying to sell the excess of his day’s catch door to door around the caravan park we were staying at. Later that afternoon, he showed up at our annex door dressed in a white suit to ask my Dad’s permission to take me out for dinner. 🙂
    We had a sweet little romance, but he was really a damaged person. He could barely write down his name and address, and really struggled when it came to meeting with his parents (who were church-going folk who never warned him against the sins of drugs and alcohol. They thought God would do that for them – how niave can you get?)

    Too soon, I had to go home, back to work, my church and leave him. We promised to see each other again. But it didn’t work out. I lived 1 1/2 hours away and we broke it off because of the distance.

    Since then, he’s learned to read and write, gotten married and – from what I’ve heard – had two children with a lovely lady. He’s even managed to hold the same job for more than 5 years… good on him! I’m so proud of him for doing all of this! He even moved to Brisbane so he could accomplish all these things. 😀

  • Becke Turner says:

    Interesting that your covers pull his shirt down at the same level as her gown. Now that’s equity! This sounds like a wonderful read. Congratulations on the release.

    I met and developed a mutual attraction with a cadet at an Indiana military academy, who was happened to be one of my boyfriend’s besties. Something about us just clicked. However, we had a big obstacle: our parents would have disapproved of our relationship and for the same reasons. The interesting thing is we recognized it and talked about it. Although we didn’t hold the same bias, we weren’t interested in bucking our parents. I’ve always remembered him and that conversation. I think our frank discussion broadened my horizons and made me a better person.

    I have no idea where he is. I only remember his handle and not even his real name.

  • Barbara Elness says:

    Oh yes, I met my best friend during a very trying time, and our friendship was set from that shared misery. We both knew that it could only get better from there, and it has. 😀

  • Xia says:

    I can’t wait for the next book in the Renegade Royals series! I absolutely loved the first book, and Griffin just sounds yummy. Who doesn’t love Captain Jack Sparrow?He’s one of my favorite antiheroes.
    I’m not sure if this counts, but in my senior year in high school I ended up having a class with my best friend’s older brother. I didn’t know him that well or talked to him much. We got assigned a project together and I took it very seriously, whereas he didn’t. He annoyed me alot. He liked to mess around and slack off, but I was very studious. We were complete opposites. Later we got assigned to work in the student store together, and I thought I had the worst luck ever! I dreaded working with him again, but the more time we spent together, the more I got to know him and my opinion of him changed. I started getting hints from my friends that he liked me, but I was naive and oblivious to it, until he asked me to homecoming. He didn’t ask me until the very night before homecoming though. Lol. My cousin told me he was scared and nervous to ask me because he was afraid I would reject him. I said yes, of course, and we had a blast at homecoming. We’ve been together since.

  • Thanks so much to everyone who swung by and thanks to Vanessa for such a great visit.

    Don’t forget to check back to see who won the ARC of SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD!

  • Glenda says:

    Not necessarily unpleasant circumstances, but when I met my husband of 22 years I was in the process of planning a wedding to another guy. Plans that were quickly trashed.

    A month and a half after we met, we stopped fighting the attraction. 🙂

  • flchen1 says:

    Congrats, Vanessa! This sounds like such an exciting series–I’ve developed quite a fondness for spies as characters 😉

    As for meeting friends under less than ideal circumstances, I don’t actually recall the details of our early days, but one of my dearest friends and I met during preschool, during which we apparently spent quite a lot of time blowing raspberries at each other and throwing sand in the sandbox… We became fast friends through junior high 😉 Guess you learn a lot about someone when knocking down her sandcastle? 😀

  • Anita H. says:

    I can’t really think of any instance where I met someone in a negative light and now are friends with them. I usually try to give someone the benefit of the doubt before making judgements but I also like to think I”m fairly easy-going.

    Looking forward to the release of Confessions!!

  • Vanessa says:

    Yes, I met a lovely friend when I accidentally moved into a house with room mates that had been run by the owner in an odd way. She had told some people it was a clean and sober house, others she was defrauding / defrauding HEN, and yet others just wanted the benefits of a house with lower cost and none of the drawbacks of an apartment (me). Instead she created a disaster and was committing fraud and even rented out closets so that 2 days after I moved in the fire Marshall was there! Needless to say, I moved right back out… but gained a couple of great friends.

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