December 26, 2012
THE TROUBLE WITH BEING WICKED
Author: Emma Locke
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
Release Date: Dec 9, 2012
Digital Price: $3.99
HE PUT HER ON A PEDESTAL…
When Celeste Gray arrives in the sleepy village of Brixcombe-on-the-Bay, she thinks she’s one step closer to leaving her notorious past behind. She even suspects the deliciously handsome—if somewhat stuffy—viscount next door is developing a tendre for her. That is, until the day Ashlin Lancester learns she’s not the unassuming spinster she’s pretending to be.
NOW SHE HAS FARTHER TO FALL
After a decade of proving he is nothing like his profligate father, Ash is horrified to have given his heart to a Cyprian. He launches a campaign to prove his attraction is nothing more than a sordid reaction he can’t control. But he soon learns that unlike his father, he can’t find comfort in the arms of just any woman. He needs Celeste. When he takes her as his mistress, he’s still not satisfied, and the many late nights in her arms only make him want more…
Celeste Gray is trying to save her friend’s unborn child from the life she’s been forced into. That’s why they’ve moved to a little cottage in Devon. The goal is respectability and to keep a low profile; except fate has other plans when Celeste meets Ashlin, the Earl of Trestin.
Ashlin is doing his best to dower his sisters, and recover from the path of destruction left by his philandering father. Celeste is a douse of trouble on Ashlin’s determination to avoid base instincts. Yet, the more he attempts to fight the attraction the more it seems to grow.
Enemies to lovers, betrayal… it’s a common theme I’ve been reading lately and I’m not growing tired of it. Celeste is the rich courtesan. She doesn’t need clients, and certainly doesn’t need money. Her desires are more directed toward wanting a home, a family and love. If only Ashlin could see fit to believe a courtesan was worthy of such affection. He believes she’s something she’s not and when the truth comes out everything hits the flan!
I really loved the opposite’s piece here. Usually the heroine is a courtesan because she needs money, and the hero is the wealthy benefactor. In this case Ashlin’s in desperate need of funds, but is just about willing to give everything he’s got for a chance at getting Celeste; except she’s not sure she wants him. This book spun me around in circles too. Emotional and a little wicked there’s plenty of happenings inside the bedroom and out. The internal and external struggles are equally balanced and well maintained. My only hiccup with the main characters is I thought Ashlin was a bit of a nodcock. I didn’t really like him as much as I liked other heroes and found he was a bit childish at times. As far as character growth I didn’t see a lot of it from him, until the very end of the story.
The story does drag a bit at times, and I found myself skipping some of the descriptive passages for a bit more action, but overall Locke has created a cast I found myself emotionally bound to. Will Celeste’s friend Elizabeth keep her baby and regain the love of the baby’s father? Will Ashlin’s best friend, the rogue Lord Montbourne ever come up to scratch? Will the sister Lucy get her wish of a life of spinsterhood versus being forced to marry? It’s like a drama unfolding and all the while Celeste is the one privy to all the secrets she wished she didn’t know, while dying of want for Ashlin.
Dialogue is robust, and the story telling takes us away from the fancy balls of the ton and into more of the private setting of homes and the Devon countryside. If you’re looking for a story with a scandalous telescope, tree climbing, and one heck of a horse race, then The Trouble with Being Wicked might be one you’ll enjoy.
Rating: 3.5 (Good)
Heat Level: 4 (Hot)
Reviewed by Landra