THE HIGHLANDER’S IRISH BRIDE BY VANESSA KELLY
Publication Date: July 27, 2021
Paperback & eBook; 352 pages
Series: Clan Kendrick, Book 4
Genre: Historical Romance/Scottish
The latest in bestselling author Vanessa Kelly’s intoxicating Clan Kendrick series shines a light on the most respectable member of the Kendrick clan—and the independent woman who stole his heart . . .
Miss Kathleen Calvert may be the daughter of an Irish aristocrat, but she has no intention of acting like one. All she desires is to return to her family’s estate to raise horses and manage her father’s magnificent gardens. But when a scandal threatens her reputation, her parents order her to a remote Scottish estate, hoping she will finally learn to behave like a proper lady. To make matters worse, her escort is a handsome Highlander who just happens to be the most boring man in all of Scotland . . .
After a youth of dangerous and wild escapades, Grant Kendrick surprised his family—and himself—by becoming a successful businessman and the most respectable Kendrick brother. But does that matter, when the beautiful and free-spirited Kathleen deems him a stodgy bore? Luckily, he gets the chance to prove her wrong when their carriage is ambushed by thieves. But it will take all his ingenuity to protect the beautiful lass who has stormed her way into his heart—and to convince her that a life with him will be a love-filled adventure . . .
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Grant has escorted Kathleen and her little sister, Jeannie, north to his brother Graeme’s Highland estate. The area has seen a troubling rise in vandalism and robbery, and Graeme needs Grant’s help in tracking down the mysterious culprits.
“You do know this means you’re stuck with Angus, too,” Grant said. “He loves spy business, ye ken.”
“I know, but I’m hoping he’ll be so taken up with his new grandson that he’ll be too busy to interfere.”
“Told yourself that, did you?”
As if on cue, the door flew open and Angus stomped in.
“Well, is it sorted?” He wagged a finger at Grant. “We’ll not be leavin’ yer twin in the lurch, ye ken. I willna be havin’ it.”
Grant shot his brother an incredulous look. “Did you really discuss this with Angus before you spoke with me?”
Graeme rolled his eyes. “Of course not.”
Angus dragged a padded bench over to join them. “Och, I raised ye both. I know what ye both are thinkin’ before ye do.”
That was sadly true.
“Yes, Grandda, I’m staying,” Grant said.
The old fellow rubbed his hands with anticipation. “So, what’s the plan, lads? I’m guessin’ we’ll be wantin’ to look for the gang’s bolthole. Start squeezin’ the villagers for information. There’s got to be someone around here who knows somethin’.”
“There is no plan,” Graeme tartly replied. “Especially not one that involves you barking at the locals like a mad dog. They’re already rattled enough.”
“I’ll be as gentle as a lamb, and subtle as a snake. They’ll never even know I’m squeezin’ them.”
“You’re as subtle as a rampaging bull,” Grant said. “And you’re not to go poking about the countryside looking for trouble, either.”
Their grandfather scoffed. “I never look for trouble.”
“And yet you always manage to find it.”
“But ye need my help, so ye’ll have time to be courtin’ the fair colleen. Ye have to up yer game, or else that poncy vicar will be cuttin’ ye out.”
Grant sighed. “It never stops, does it?”
Graeme adopted a mock-thoughtful expression. “Brown is just the sort of pretty fellow the ladies swoon over. Half the girls in the village are mad about him, not that our good vicar ever notices.”
Angus pulled out his pipe and tobacco pouch. “He noticed a certain lass today.”
“He did seem quite taken with Kathleen.” Graeme pointed at Grant. “As Grandda said, you’d best look lively, or our clerical friend will cut you off at the pass.”
Grant scowled at his brother. “You’re just as ridiculous as Angus.”
“I seem to remember a certain brother—my twin, in fact—who did his best to push me directly into the path of a certain Lady Sabrina.”
“You needed Sabrina. I don’t need anyone.”
Graeme and Angus exchanged a look.
“Besides,” Grant felt compelled to add, “I’m not here to run after pretty girls—”
“So you do think she’s pretty,” Graeme cut in.
“Of course I think she’s pretty. What difference does that make?”
“Ye dinna want to be courtin’ a girl ye don’t have a fancy for,” Angus patiently explained. “Much less marry her.”
“This conversation is completely deranged,” Grant said. “And I’m not marrying anyone.”
Angus heaved a sigh. “I dinna ken why yer so dead-set against marriage. Look at how much good it’s done for yon laddie.”
“True enough, Grandda,” Graeme said. “I even got a knighthood out of it.”
“No one will be handing out knighthoods to marry Kathleen Calvert,” Grant acidly replied. “Although they probably should, given the trouble she gets up to.”
Angus beamed at him. “That’s why she needs ye, lad. To keep her out of trouble.”
Grant resisted the impulse to start shouting. “Let me explain something clearly. I am staying to help my brother track down a gang of thieves. Since my time is valuable, I will do everything I can to expedite the process. Again, that means no time to court ladies.”
Angus now heaved a dramatic sigh. “To my way of thinkin’ there’s nothin’ sadder than an old bachelor, ye ken.”
“I am not old. And this is—”
“You know Sabrina thinks very highly of Kathleen,” Graeme interjected. “And from what I’ve seen, she’s a verra bonny lass.”
Grant put his glass down. “Let me make something else perfectly clear. Aside from the fact that I do not have the time for this, Kathleen Calvert has no interest in me. None.” He formed his thumb and forefinger into an oval. “Zero. There is literally no point to this discussion.”
“That’s only because ye won’t put yer back into it,” Angus countered. “Not like the old days, when ye used to have the lassies swarmin’ all around ye like flies on a side of overripe beef.”
“That is a disgusting analogy, Grandda. And I was an idiot back then, remember? So pardon me if I decline to fall back into old ways in order to charm a woman who is absolutely not interested in me.”
“Are you interested in her?” Graeme unexpectedly asked.
Grant’s brain momentarily stumbled. “Er . . . of course not.”
His brother tilted a skeptical brow at his reply.
Grant finally waved an impatient hand. “It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I help you with your problem and then return home where I belong.”
About the Author
Vanessa Kelly is a USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated in a number of contests, and she has won multiple awards, including the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her books have been published in nine languages.
Vanessa’s first Clan Kendrick book, The Highlander Who Protected Me, was a USA Today, Barnes & Noble, and BookScan bestseller. The Highlander’s Christmas Bride, her latest book, hit the top 50 on both the Barnes & Noble mass-market bestseller list and on BookScan. The Renegade Royals Series was a national bestseller, as was The Improper Princesses Series. My Fair Princess was named a Goodreads Romance of the Month and is a USA Today and BookScan bestseller.
When she’s not dreaming of plots for her next Regency novel, Vanessa is writing USA Today Bestselling books with her husband, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.
You can find Vanessa at vanessakellyauthor.com or at vksykes.com. For all of Vanessa’s latest news and contests–and to receive a free story–please sign up for her newsletter on her website.
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Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, July 27
Excerpt at Novels Alive
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Wednesday, July 28
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
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Thursday, July 29
Review at The Romance Dish
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Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read
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Review at Novels Alive
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Excerpt at What Is That Book About
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Review at The Enchanted Shelf