Friday, March 13, 2015

Title:       Wicked, My Love [Wicked Little Secrets, book 02]
Author:   Susanna Ives
Rating:   ★★★
Availability: Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | iTunes

I feel like curling into a ball like a satisfied cat because Susanna Ives' Wicked, My Love was just beautiful. Sigh. I am really enjoying books from Ms. Ives, and especially from her Wicked Little Secrets series.

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...

It has been a while since I really enjoyed a historical romance book, and I've given Wicked, My Love five stars because it does not contain the same story lines even though it follows the hate-you-love-you trope. Aside from the romance, there was an underlying serious story about women's rights.

I love strong female characters, and Isabella's character was just right. She had her strenghts--such as a brilliant financial and analytic mind--but she also had her quirks. Lord Randall, on the other hand, was an Adonis--of course--who suddenly realizes that he has become just a mouthpiece for others' political ambitions, even though he has a real passion for doing good. I love how Lord Randall helped Isabella overcome her fears, while Isabella became the source of strength for Randall. The characters felt real, and not some unattainable human beings. I also enjoyed the part when, after a night of lovemaking, Isabelle went back to her cold self and Randall was reduced to be the irate and emotional lover. Hahaha. Secondary characters, especially the funny Mrs. Perdita, added to my enjoyment of the story.

There were some really funny parts, and the first chapter alone captivated me when Isabella started talking about the sacred vessel of women as she told nine-year-old Randall how babies are made. The pacing is quick, although there were some descriptions, such as Harding's preference for certain objects and how his house looked like, that could have been taken out, and it wouldn't have lessened my enjoyment of the story.

I couldn't put down my tablet, and I even thought about skipping a party just so I could resume reading. I even brought my tablet to a choir practice so I could continue reading during breaks. That's how much I enjoyed it! I recommend Wicked, My Love to fans of regency romance, not your usual fluff, and fans of Susanna Ives. I'm so excited for her next book!