The first I have read in this series, Susanna Ives has created a lovely fun story with a heroine with zero common sense and a hero who has tried for ages to best her intelligence. A clever read, that brings the statement “he doth protest too much’ under the bright lights and proves that dislike frequently appears when there is attraction.
Wicked, My Love
Isabella is a bright woman: having published a book on business and smart investing, and is a proponent of woman’s rights. I liked the intelligence and determination that she showed in her intellectual efforts: in fact, Randall needs to use her acumen to sort out an issue. However: Isabella is completely and utterly confused by common social niceties, even conversational nuance is utterly missed. I understand that flirting may be out of her range, but the lack of humor that was often ‘funnied’ up by the addition of over the top slapstick-esque situations soon lost their charm, and became more of an over the top addition.
Contrasting with Isabella’s rather overly serious nature is Lord Randall. A politician strongly holding beliefs that are not in line with his aristocratic birth, he is a master charmer, with social sense and the ability to converse with anyone on nearly any issue is honed to a fine point. I loved that his political beliefs were more in line with Isabella’s than one would instantly expect, and those beliefs often led him into difficulties. His realization and admiration (if closely held) of the intelligence displayed by Isabella is both a boon and a trial for him. It confuses his ego to see her so quickly absorb and sort details, even as she can’t decipher a joke.
Attraction between the two was cleverly displayed and developed, and the changes in their relationship as the attraction grows is well paced. These two do complement one another, and fortunately, for Randall’s sake, Isabella is not afraid to speak up and correct him, a learning experience for sure.
What did drag for me is the secondary plot: Isabella’s inability to let go of old prejudices, the slapstick-feeling additions of ‘baby-waby’ and shrieking, even the somewhat muddled plotting of the book that Isabella authored and the attention from that. Those issues, combined with her stubborn blindness to the illogical clinging on to old issues often tossed up a roadblock into her relationship. While I thought they were a decent couple, and felt the story developed that aspect well, there wasn’t a way for me to wholly buy into or believe the relationship, mostly due to Isabella’s consistent refusal to let go and move on.
It was, however, a fun and quick read that kept me wondering what next, with an ending that fit the story nicely.
Title: Wicked My Love
Author: Susanna Ives
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published on: 3 March 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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A smooth-talking rogue and a dowdy financial genius...
Handsome, silver-tongued politician Lord Randall doesn't get along with his bank partner, the financially brilliant but hopelessly frumpish Isabella St. Vincent. Ever since she was his childhood nemesis, he's tried—and failed—to get the better of her.
Make a perfectly wicked combination...
When both Randall's political career and their mutual bank interests are threatened by scandal, he has to admit he needs Isabella's help. They set off on a madcap scheme to set matters right. With her wits and his charm, what could possibly go wrong? Only a volatile mutual attraction that's catching them completely off guard...
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A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.