Monday, November 5, 2018

Blog Tour Q&A with Vanessa Kelly, Author of The Highlander Who Protected Me

Please join me in welcoming Vanessa Kelly to Let Them Read Books! Vanessa is touring the blogosphere with the first novel in her brand new Clan Kendrick series, The Highlander Who Protected Me. I recently had the chance to ask Vanessa a few questions about reading and writing romance and, of course, Highlanders! Read on and enter to win a fantastic swag pack!

Bestselling author Vanessa Kelly returns with an enthralling new series about the men of the Kendrick clan—and the women who claim their hearts…

Lady Ainsley Matthews, heiress and darling of the ton, was expected to make a magnificent match. Instead she’s hiding on a remote Scottish estate, terrified that her vicious former fiancĂ© will use her pregnancy to force her into marriage. One man can help her—Royal Kendrick, son of a distinguished Highland clan. Though a mistake drove them apart long ago, Royal is the only person Ainsley trusts to protect her baby—even if that means agreeing to never see either of them again . . .

Scarred in body and soul by war, Royal suddenly has a purpose—caring for an innocent babe and thereby helping the woman he can’t stop loving. But when Ainsley ultimately returns to Scotland, determined to be a real mother to her child in spite of the risk, there’s only one solution: marriage. And only one likely outcome: surrendering to the desire that’s simmered between them for so long, no matter how dangerous it may be…


Hi Vanessa! Thanks so much for stopping by Let Them Read Books!

What is it about Highlanders that makes them such popular subjects for romance novels?

I recently asked my readers this very question. The number one answer was this: loyalty. These romances are popular because the heroes are fiercely loyal to clan and family, and to the women they love. Highlanders fight for family and honour, often against superior forces and technology. The British eventually conquered the country and outlawed many elements of the traditional culture, but they could never conquer the true soul of Scotland. There’s an incredible degree of romance and grandeur evoked in that kind of courage and dedication, even if one is sometimes on the losing end of the equation. Add in the beauty of the Highlands and the mysticism of the Celtic culture, and you have a winning combination.

Plus, let’s face it, Highlanders are manly men. And they wear kilts. I’m a big fan of the kilts.

What was your favorite scene to write in The Highlander Who Protected Me?

Just about any scene that involved Ainsley, my heroine, and Angus, the curmudgeonly grandfather of my hero. Angus is a classic, old-fashioned Highlander, and Ainsley is a wealthy English aristocrat. They get along like chalk and cheese and have some rip-roaring and pretty hilarious arguments. It’s Scotland vs. England, country vs. town, in miniature.

Do your characters pop into your head fully formed, or do you discover them as you write?

I am definitely what you call a discovery writer. I write a LOT of words before my characters finally coalesce to my satisfaction. I also do quite a bit of pre-work, such as writing biographies, slotting my characters into personality grids, defining their primary character types…that sort of thing. Sadly, nothing pops into this head fully formed when it comes to writing my books. I will often get a snippet or piece of a scene drifting through, but that’s when the real work begins.

Do you remember the first romance novel you read?

It was either This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart or Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer. I’m not entirely sure which, but I LOVED both of them.

Which authors/books have had the most influence on you as a romance reader/writer?

Well, probably Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart, and Victoria Holt had a lot to do with my love for the genre (I’m reading My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart right now). I’m also a big fan of Eloisa James, Loretta Chase, and Lisa Kleypas—and of lots of historical mystery writers. I love historical mystery, which is probably my favourite genre. Writers like Deanna Raybourn, Anna Lee Huber, and Anne Cleeland are at the top of my list.

What's your number one tip for aspiring romance writers?

Finish the darn book. You can’t do anything until you finish the book.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on THE HIGHLANDER’S CHRISTMAS BRIDE, which is the second book in my Clan Kendrick Series. It features Royal’s brother, Logan Kendrick—and a secondary character from one of my earlier series who insisted on becoming the heroine!

About the Author:

Vanessa Kelly is the award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of The Improper Princesses series, The Renegade Royals Series and The Stanton Family series, in addition to other historical romances. Named by Booklist as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance,” she is a Maggie Medallion winner and is well known for developing vibrant Regency settings, appealing characters, and witty storylines that captivate readers.

When she’s not dreaming up plots for her next Regency historical novel, Vanessa is writing USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance with her husband under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.

You can find Vanessa at or at For all of Vanessa’s latest news and contests–and to receive a free story–please sign up for her newsletter on her website.


The Highlander Who Protected Me is on a blog tour!


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a print copy of Three Weeks with a Princess and The Highlander’s Princess Bride, plus a magnet, signed cover flats and a free digital download of the anthology The Dukes of Vauxhall! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules:

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
The Highlander Who Protected Me


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Oh do I love Vanessa's books. Since I absolutely love reading about Highlanders this series is great.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com


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