His Wicked Wish: Cinderella Sisterhood #5 by Olivia Drake

His Wicked Wish: Cinderella Sisterhood #5 by Olivia Drake

I don’t know how I missed hearing about the Cinderella Sisterhood historic romance by Olivia Drake, but better late than never!  Please read on for my review of

His Wicked Wish

We’ve all seen this: heroes and heroines in historic romance with fairly commonplace traits: second sons, dysfunctional family relationships, inappropriate or scandalous career choices and beliefs, even a deep-rooted hesitation to commit. With all of those similar issues, there is a need for the author to make these moments fresh and new so their story stands out from the crowd.  In Olivia Drake’s His Wicked Wish, she does just that with characters that bring themselves to the table, good and bad, and show how they learn to function with, or despite, those traits that are unusual or unexpected for their sex or position in society.

Nathan is back in England after a long absence, brought home only by a letter from his Godmother, telling him of his father’s impending death.  With delays and miscommunication, and a recovery, Nathan arrives only to find his father is recovered but his brother has died.  A cruel blow, as he despises his father and now must accept his position as the heir and Viscount Rowley.  Still chafing with childhood resentments, he decides that he will marry the most inappropriate female he can find who accepts his offer, thus destroying his father’s reputation and getting some of his own back.

Madelyn Swann is an actress, supporting herself in a scandalous profession because she has no other choice. The disgrace of her birth brought her mother low, and she’s also got several chips on her shoulder, and does want her own chance at revenge.  She’s also aware of the need to find a ‘protector’ who will allow her to exist if she exits the stage, but not leave her struggling. An unusual request from Lady Milford, requesting she meet the newly title Viscount.

These two arrive with their own agendas, and Nathan, while charming initially, is quite dismissive of his prospective bride: he needs her to accomplish his plans, and she’s done nothing to deserve his short-shrift. HE offered the contract, he set the terms, and she is simply following along with both.  There is a solid attraction between the two – and while their ‘public’ faces are solid in the acting their parts, particularly with Maddy’s acting contrary to her rather refined nature as she steps into the role of crass, loud-mouthed and grasping actress, their personal alone time shows more of her true character which intrigues and amuses Nathan.

A touch of mystery, a bit of action and a revelation that tests their new bond bring these two to the point where only honesty and the connection that binds them can bring us to a conclusion, but it is touch and go as to whether that will mean a happy ever after.  Engaging and intriguing, Wilde’s writing is a pleasure as we skip through the scenarios facing the couple on their way to the end.  A wonderfully written story that brings a new twist to the usual, and shows that appearances and professions do not always ring true.

His Wicked Wish: Cinderella Sisterhood #5 by Olivia Drake

Title: His Wicked Wish
Author: Olivia Drake
Series: Cinderella Sisterhood #5
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN: 1250060303
Published on: 31 May, 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 336
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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The daughter of a disgraced woman and a common actor, Madelyn Swann has been shunned by the nobility. No proper lady would traipse about on a Covent Garden stage, let alone sell herself at auction to the highest bidder. So why in heaven’s name would Nathan Atwood, Viscount Rowley, make a generous offer for her hand?

Turns out Maddy is exactly the type of woman Nathan wants as his wife. Finally, he can embarrass his snobbish and cruel father, the Earl of Gilmore—and scandalize London society—with his beautiful, unsuitable bride. Then he’ll depart England forever and leave his wife behind. Having secret plans of her own, Maddy is happy to play the role … only to find that enjoying her husband’s seduction requires no acting whatsoever. But as she falls madly in love with Nathan, can she persuade him to stay with her for always?

See the Cinderella Sisterhood Series on GoodReads

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.

Read on for an Excerpt

Lightning flashed against the night sky. For a moment he saw the silhouetted rooftops of Mayfair, strange and yet so familiar. Somewhere out there, his siblings were likely at Gilmore House, where the family always stayed during the season. Emily must be a young lady of nineteen now. David would be thirty-three and the new Earl of Gilmore.

The prospect of seeing them again stirred a morass of emotion in Nate’s chest. David had never taken advantage of being the favorite. There had always been a sort of camaraderie between the brothers whenever their father wasn’t around. In a way, David had been as much a victim of Gilmore’s poison as Nate had.

But did David know the real reason why Nate had departed so abruptly? Had the old devil told his heir the truth? Would his brother reject him now?

As rain sluiced down the window, Nate saw Lady Milford’s seated figure reflected in the glass. It struck him that she was still awaiting his response.

Brandy in hand, he walked forward and settled himself on the chaise opposite her chair. “Of course I came here first,” he said, swirling his drink. “After all, it wasyour letter that brought me back to England. And I thought it best to do a bit of reconnaissance before going to Gilmore House. You can fill me in on all the household news.”

“Your family has been in mourning this past year, of course. Emily is finally to make her come-out in a few weeks.” Lady Milford paused, then added, “But before I say more, I must ask why you departed so abruptly—with nary a word of explanation. Your father would only say the two of you had quarreled.”

Scowling, Nate tilted his head back and drained the rest of his brandy. “It was a long time ago. It’s best forgotten.”

“Nonsense, such a powerful disagreement cannot be swept under the rug. It will have to be resolved, or it will continue to fester.”

“Fester? Why would you say that?” He sat up straight, his spine rigid. He wondered if she knew the truth. “Did the earl tell David why I left England? Did my brother say something to you?”

“No! Not a word.” Her fine eyebrows drawn in a quizzical frown, she tilted her head. “Nathan, I feel we’re speaking at cross-purposes. Did you and your father already clear the air? Did the two of you perhaps straighten things out by letter?”

“Absolutely not. I cut off all contact with my family when I left England. No one but you knew my address.”

“I see,” she said slowly. “Then you must be prepared to make amends when you visit Gilmore House. What will you say to him?”

Nate frowned at her. He must have misheard. There could be no reason for the horrifying suspicion that lurked at the verge of his mind. “What the devil

About Olivia Drake

Shortly after graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in journalism, Olivia Drake sold her first novel two weeks after sending it to a publisher. She now lives in Texas in a cozy cottage with a feisty cat, a loving husband, and two wonderful daughters who still come back whenever they want a home-cooked meal.

Many of you already know Olivia as Barbara Dawson Smith, author of 24 historical romance novels. She is a New York Times bestseller and winner of numerous honors, including the Golden Heart Award and the coveted Rita Award for excellence in the historical romance genre.