Series: Wicked Trilogy #1
Published by Jove on March 3, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
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.
I love Madeline Hunter books – engaging characters, exciting plot, and just a little something extra that makes me sigh – but for some reason I just could not get into this book and struggled to finish it. I can’t put my finger on what went wrong. Eva Russell is an intelligent and talented young woman who pulled her family up from poverty by creating and selling masterful copies of famous artworks. Gareth Fitzallen is the acknowledged bastard son of a powerful Duke and spends his time brokering major art deals. Suspicious deaths and a massive collection of missing artwork provides a cozy mystery to throw at the artfully-inclined couple.
By rights, this should be an exciting, passionate story. But something just falls flat. The answer to the mystery is fairly obvious about three or four chapters before it is revealed, I didn’t really believe the “love” felt between Eva and Gareth, and thought that far too much time was spent on secondary characters that did not add much to the narrative.
Overall, still a decent read, if dragging in some parts. I normally love Ms. Hunter’s books, so am going to chalk this one up to just a fluke.