Pub Date: February
Length: 358 pages
FTC: Review copy courtesy of the publisher
I used to love Victoria Alexander's books, but something has changed in the last few years. She's changed publishers, for one. And many of her books have been released in hardcover first. Not something I'm a fan of. The Importance of Being Wicked is a mass market original, though. Even if the title is ripping off the classic one The Importance of Being Earnest. (Romance community, I am BEGGING you to stop borrowing titles and tweaking them for your use. I hate hate hate it.)
The last few books she's put out just haven't worked for me. Which is sad, because the The Marriage Lesson and The Wedding Bargain are two of my favorite romance books. But I couldn't even finish this book's predecessor, What Happens At Christmas, after requesting it from Netgalley. I hate abandoning books midway through, but when I do, it's because I've lost interest. I'd almost rather a truly bad book to one that leaves me indifferent.
IOBW isn't terrible. It's just not terrific. There's very little real tension or true obstacles for this couple. No deep well of emotion to draw from... Nothing. I liked the risks she takes by having a heroine with an occupation I can't recall reading before and a bit of a stodgy hero (with a wicked reputation). I also liked the dialog between the hero and heroine—something Ms. Alexander has always excelled at. I just felt like the pacing was slow and the author could have gone with a little more edge when it came to Miranda's involvement with the architectural firm. The revelation, as it were, felt anti-climactic. And the last 1/4 of the book felt quite a lot like filler...it seemed to drag on forever.
At least I finished this one.
While missing both the charm and the emotional punch of earlier works, this book is still sure to entertain the most ardent of Victoria Alexander's fans.
My Grade: C
For Winfield Elliott, Viscount Stillwell, finding a prospective bride always seemed easy. Perhaps too easy. With three broken engagements to his name, Win is the subject of endless gossip. Yet his current mission is quite noble: to hire a company to repair his family’s fire-damaged country house. Nothing disreputable in that — until the firm’s representative turns out to be a very desirable widow. Lady Miranda Garret expected a man of Win’s reputation to be flirtatious, even charming. But the awkward truth is that she finds him thoroughly irresistible. While Miranda resides at Millworth to oversee the work, Win occupies her days, her dreams…and soon, her bed. For the first time, the wicked Win has fallen in love. And what began as a scandalous proposition may yet become a very different proposal…