Series: Wicked Trilogy #1
Published by Jove on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Mystery, Regency Era
FROM NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR MADELINE HUNTER
She was a sensible woman. He was a man who could drive a woman senseless with desire.
Gareth Fitzallen is celebrated for four things: his handsome face, his notable charm, his aristocratic connections, and an ability to give the kind of pleasure that has women begging for more. Normally he bestows his talents on experienced, worldly women. But when he heads to Langdon’s End to restore a property he inherited—and to investigate a massive art theft—he lays plans to seduce a most unlikely lady.
Eva Russell lives a spinster’s life of precarious finances and limited dreams while clinging to her family’s old gentry status. She supports herself by copying paintings while she plots to marry her lovely sister to a well-established man. Everyone warns her of Gareth’s reputation, and advises her to lock her sister away. Only it is not her sister Gareth desires. One look, and she knows he is trouble. One kiss, however, proves she is no match for this master of seduction.
Gareth, is well known for his charm and his seductive ways in the bedroom. He has certain connections that make him a target for women everywhere. Gareth knows a woman’s body just as much as his own and enjoys the pleasures of it. After his brother Percy is killed, Gareth and his two other brothers are the prime suspects. As Gareth and his brother try to investigate and clear their names, there is also missing artwork, that they are trying to find and also the thieves responsible. Gareth, has regained the property that was denied him for so many years, as he works to restore it to its former glory, he meets an unlikely match but like bee to honey, he can’t resist the temptation. Eva Russell, is a spinster, and even though they are considered “gentry”, she and her sister are struggling to keep their home from being taken away from them. Eva is talented and created, and uses her talents as an artist to copy paintings and sell the work. In an unlikely meeting, she and Gareth stumble across each other and soon Eva realizes what temptation really is. Gareth with his handsome looks, his seductive ways and his charming manner, she knows he is dangerous for her and not what she wants. And even though she is trying to settle a match for her younger sister, she is drawn to Gareth and doesn’t know if she will be able to resist him.
Gareth is considered to be the “bastard” son and brother of the brothers. He grew up with a loving mother who adored his father. Even though his parents loved each other, they couldn’t ever be officially married. Gareth was a interesting character. We see what a rake he is in the beginning, he definitely isn’t ashamed of who he is. He has a kinship with his two other brothers. Even though he hated his brother Percy, he never wanted him dead. On the surface Gareth seems to be the type of man that only is interested in women and drinking. But we see how his childhood shaped him into who he has become. He is a bit cynical especially when it comes to marriage and love. In his mind its just a reason to have sex. Gareth has depth you don’t expect when you first read this story. Its with each chapter, we see a bit more of the truth Gareth, and it isn’t until you get to the “artichoke heart” of his character that you really begin to understand him. Gareth’s character surprised me in those little ways that added more pleasure to reading this story.
Eva Rusell, is the oldest of the two sisters. Eva has had to resort to creative thinking in making sure she and her sister survive, thanks to their brother’s foolish decisions that have cost them just about everything. Eva is the protective one, she is a spinster and is content with her position. She doesn’t feel the need to marry, but she knows it’s what her sister wants and needs. Eva is a talented artist, and she uses those abilities to create a somewhat steady income for their needs. But Eva knows that she has to be careful. Eva is very talented, but cautious especially when it comes to men. She doesn’t trust Gareth or her feelings for him. What was most fun about Eva’s character was seeing her personal growth. I love how firm she is with Gareth, and she stands up to him and his seductive ways. She is intelligent and creative, and a very endearing character.
Plot and Story Line
His Wicked Reputation is the first book in the latest series by Madeline Hunter. This is an author I have had on my TBR pile for years, probably ever since I started reading romance, since she has been writing for quite some time. I wonder why I haven’t read her before now. I picked this book up, because I had read some positive reviews on it, and since it was available at my local library, I decided that I needed to grab this one up. From the first few pages, I was slowly hooked onto this one. I love this authors writing style, very engaging and I didn’t have a hard time getting into it. In the middle, the pace of the story was a bit slower, but then it picks up again. I had quite a enjoyable time with His Wicked Reputation, because of the characters. There was so much more to them than meets the eye and I loved seeing more depth of layers to their characters than you expect to find at first.
The plot is evenly paced, we do have a couple of mysteries in play in the story, but they aren’t a driving force of the story. The actual center of the book, is the romance between Eva and Gareth. These two are one of those unlikely matches. Gareth is used to experienced women in the bedroom, but Eva is opposite from all the women he has been with. She is something different. They had a easy going bantering that was entertaining and this is what really keeps the reader involved in the story. I loved the chemistry….oh what chemistry these two have. Makes me want to find my own wicked regency man because Gareth was delicious to read. The secondary characters played a pivotal role in the story as well. I loved the sisters and their relationship, they are very close and I loved their friendship and easy going manner with one another. Its very light hearted and carefree and so fun to see them interact with each other. Then we have the brothers, and boy are they lively when they are all in the same room. Each brother is different, but they are as close as brothers can get. You see the close ties they have, despite their different views on handling life.
The love story between Gareth and Eva was charming and sweet and sensual. I just couldn’t get enough of seeing them in action, and the building of their relationship. There is a instant spark of physical reaction, but with our hero being cynical about love it takes some time for him to open himself up more emotionally to Eva. But I loved seeing them grow together and it was very interesting seeing their relationship blossom with the other variables of the plot. It was simply a blast reading Gareth and Eva’s story and I can hardly wait to grab up the second book.
I do love it, with the relaxed but confident posture. Almost a “come hither” and see what I have to offer. Love the tones of gold and grey blue in the background.
His Wicked Reputation is a sensational read that will leave you wanting more from Madeline Hunter. An author writing at her best…historical romance with flair, passion, and mystery. Guaranteed to make you fall in love. AN INTOXICATING ROMANCE!!