REVIEW: Wicked Becomes You by Meredith DuranFriday, August 6, 2010 13:00
Meredith Duran’s first novel came out around the time I began seriously following romance blogs. Since I’ve heard a number of good things about her writing, I was eager to read her latest release Wicked Becomes You. Alex Ramsey is a second son who went into trade despite his brother’s wishes. Gwen Maudsley, sister of Alex’s dead best friend, has been left at the altar twice and is ready to ignore society’s wishes
Alex protests less than the usual historical romance rake, which is refreshing. Oh, he tries to keep Gwen out of too much trouble, but he quickly begins goading her to test the bounds of society. He’s a cool customer, but it is not because he’s hiding his passions. He simply expresses himself in a smooth way, relying more on actions than words to reveal his emotions. He’s long been interested in Gwen, so taking her on an unchaperoned cross-country trip to discover why his brother sold one of the family estates tests his loyalty to her dead brother’s expectations. While Alex prefers to stay far away from England, he does feel loyalty to his sisters (who are less silly than they first seem) and his brother.
Gwen is a different type of female lead than the usual. She’s a merchant’s orphaned daughter (rather than some sort of nobility or gentry), worth enough money to get away with almost anything. Instead, she worked on making herself a perfect member of society in order to fulfill her parent’s dream for her – marriage to a man with a title. She has her own hobbies, including singing and landscaping. She’s tired of hiding her hobbies and personality behind an amicable mask. Of course, she’s been so busy being nice she has no real idea how to be bad. (Her attempts appealed to the naïve geek in me.)
I liked Gwen and Alex well enough and thought they had decent chemistry. The plot moves slows down at some points, but allows for a number of humorous situations and a nifty escape scene. But, I didn’t love Wicked Becomes You. Duran kept me interested, but didn’t make me passionate about any part of the novel. Wicked Becomes You was perfectly fun to read, but I doubt that I’ll read it again.
I may try to find Duran’s previous novels from the library. The writing was good enough to convince me to try another and hope I connect to it in the way I didn’t with Wicked Becomes You. Still, I think it was a good enough story that it probably sparks something in other readers that it didn’t in me.
She’s pretty enough to be popular, and Lord knows she’s rich enough for it. But what society loves best about Gwen Maudsley is how very, very nice she is. So when a cad jilts her at the altar—again—an outraged London bays for blood. Only Gwen has a different plan. If nice no longer works for her, then it’s time to learn to be naughty. Happily, she knows the perfect tutor, Alexander Ramsey, her late brother’s best friend and a notorious rogue.
Unbeknownst to Gwen, Alex’s aloof demeanor veils a very personal interest in her. He has no desire to see her change, nor to tempt himself with her presence when his own secrets make any future between them impossible. But amidst the glittering temptations of Parisian nights, Alex’s past and Gwen’s wildness enter a collision course. As their friendship gives way to something hotter, darker, and altogether more dangerous, Gwen must convince Alex that his wickedest intentions are exactly what she needs…
Read an excerpt here.