Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)
It’s Not Easy Being Good…
Vivacious Vivienne Taylor has finally won her family’s approval by getting engaged to the wealthy and upright John Vandergrift. But when threatened by a vicious blackmail scheme, it is to her childhood friend that Vivienne turns; the deliciously wicked Viscount Dashiell.
When Being Wicked is so Much More Exciting…
Lord Dashiell promised himself long ago that his friendship with Vivienne would be the one relationship with a woman that he wouldn’t ruin. He agrees to help her just to keep the little hothead safe, but soon finds that Vivienne has grown up to be very, very dangerous to all of Dash’s best intentions.
What a delectable treat this book was…just perfect for brightening up a dull, rainy day! It was hilariously funny and deliciously sexy with a wonderful cast of outrageously quirky characters.
Always the bane of her family, the vivacious Vivienne Taylor has finally won their approval and saved them from financial ruin by becoming engaged to the wealthy and upright John Vandergrift. She is determined to be the perfect wife even though it means supressing her true nature. This might prove more difficult than she expects when her childhood friend and neighbour, Lord Dashiell, returns from his travels. With such a wicked reputation, she should stay well away from him, but Dashiell is the only one she can turn to for help, when she fears her aunt is being blackmailed. If only he didn’t stir her heart and senses!
Adventurer and seasoned rake, Lord Dashiell has a reputation of steering well clear of any emotional involvements. So when his friend, Vivienne asks for his help, he reluctantly agrees because he feels an obligation to keep her safe. The problem is that the lonely, little girl he befriended has grown into a ravishing, spirited lady who threatens his much vaunted emotional detachment. If only she didn’t stir dangerous emotions best kept dormant!
The chemistry between Vivienne and Dashiell is absolutely delicious as they try not to act on their growing attraction for each other but inevitably they succumb…
The warm softness of his lips sent a hot, heady wave through her that silenced her thoughts. Everything was him. The hard contours of his chest and the tingle of her nipples as they rubbed against him, the taste of his tongue as it caressed the tip of hers, while his thigh pushed between her limbs, invading her, seeking that place inside her that throbbed, deep and wet.
Their attempts to thwart the blackmail scheme, and solve the mystery surrounding some missing, risqué art lead to a series of mad-cap escapades. There are some hilarious scenes and my favourite has to be when Dashiell dons a disguise to help Vivienne escape the clutches of a scheming brothel madam. I won’t spoil it for you, but look out for the halo and pair of angel wings!
There are moments of wickedly funny dialogue as well, like this gem from Vivienne’s Aunt Gertrude…
“Promise me, dear Vivvie, that you’ll be a virtuous lady,” her aunt insisted. ‘This is the most important thing in all the world.” Her eyes narrowed. “No matter how the devil may tempt you… with… with ripe luscious apples and golden calves and silken chemises.”
“Wait, silk chemises aren’t in the Bible. Biblical women wore-”
“But they are in the black soul of the devil, I tell you! Chemises, lacy drawers, and stockings are all in there. He waits for a lady to slip, he whispers to her, enticing her, tingling her…tingling her nether regions.”
Ms Ives has assembled a lively cast of secondary characters; Dashiell’s ribald grandfather and “the boys”; the lady members of the Wesley Congregational; the pompous, conceited John Vandergrift; Teakesbury, the questionable solicitor; the occupants of the seedy brothel and the man-hating cockatoo.
This was such a delightful romp, full of laugh-out-loud moments, vivid characters, spicy dialogue and, of course, romance.
REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: HOT
Read February 2014
My sincere thanks to Susanna Ives for kindly providing me with a copy of this delightful book in return for an honest review.