February 20, 2013
We got us a winner!
If you are a Victoria Alexander fan, you are in for a treat. At last, we have Winfield's story, and what a delight it is! The Importance of Being Wicked is one of Ms. Alexander's better books.
Present is a master manipulator heroine, Miranda, one of the Hadley-Attwater and the oh-so-charming Winfield Elliott, Viscount Stillwell. You may remember him as a secondary character from What Happens at Christmas and his own short story prequel Lord Stillwell's Excellent Engagements. By the way, for those of you who haven't read it, Lord Stillwell's Excellent Engagements is in the back of this book. Put Miranda and Winfield together along with Ms. Alexander's snappy dialogue and you have an entertaining book.
I enjoyed almost every moment of this story. I liked both Miranda and Winfield. Win was one of those heroes who is painted as being wicked, but he isn't really. He also has an inflated picture of himself as able to charm most women, but when he comes up against Miranda he turns into this befuddled guy who just cannot say the right thing. Watching him trip all over his feet was highly amusing. There is one scene that I found very funny, if a tad bit embarrassing for him. There is also a wonderful moment - Miranda standing up for herself in a scene that you won't want to miss.
There were so many things I liked about this book. I liked the slow build up of the romance. And, let me tell you it was slow; there was no jump into bed on the second page for this couple. They don't even kiss until half way through the book. I also found myself enjoying their conversations. It was refreshing to read conversations that were more than just fillers, but actually let us see the character development through their chit-chats. It was also a nice change to have a dead husband who wasn't a clod, even if he did take credit for things that Miranda did. There wasn't any dark deep angst for Miranda to get over; she loved her first husband and she loves Winfield. There were also numerous fights between Miranda and Winfield; however, they were not the "I hate you" kind of fights that populate romance books, but more along the line of one-up-manship fights.
If there was a moment that annoyed me, it was the misunderstanding toward the end of the book concerning Miranda's love for her first husband. I thought Winfield's little temper-tantrum was a little out of character and didn't add anything to the story. However, it was over quickly and we could move on to a very lovely ending.
This was a delightful story of a not-so-wicked hero and a heroine who finds herself. If you ignore the number of times the word "wicked" was used I think you'll enjoy this book. I do recommend it, and you probably don't have to read any of the others in the series. This is a fun stand-alone.
Time/Place: 1880's England