by Susanna Ives
Series: Wicked Little Secrets #1
Published on December 3, 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
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.
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I had so much fun reading this book! If you know anything about my reading habits, you know I love a good historical romance. Especially when the heroine is more than just a damsel in distress. And Vivienne Taylor is far from in distress, making it all the more difficult for her dashing neighbor and childhood friend, Lord Dashiell, to keep her from harm’s way.
Ives moves Wicked Little Secrets along at almost a breakneck pace, flying from one incident to another as Vivienne attempts to protect her aunt from a blackmailing scheme all while dealing with a horrid fiancé she feels obligated to marry. I loved how she was so intrigued by history and traveling and general adventuring. So many of these historical romances have a heroine who might rebel a little against society, but never enough to risk her reputation. Vivienne has a lot of strength in her but I felt that sometimes it was overshadowed or just plain disappeared for the sake of the story, which didn’t quite fit her character’s personality.
Her neighbor Lord Dashiell is a known rake and has more than just a bit of a reputation wrapped around him but he would never hurt her. She’s the one person he actually cares for so he’s afraid if he does anything not quite “proper” then he’ll ruin their friendship. So he has a habit of running away from many a situation. All around, I actually liked Dashiell in the story, and he’s totally swoon-worthy (but seriously, though… SWOON) but I really hate the “bad boy except for her” trope that pops up in these romances. I still read them and there’s a part of me that always ships characters no matter what. This one, though, is getting a bit too much page time lately.
Other than that little bit, I couldn’t put this book down! And trust me, that’s rare for a historical romance. For me, these books tend to be mood reads and somewhat guilty pleasures at that, but I loved that Dashiell collects antiquities and travels around the world. And Vivienne is smart, headstrong, loyal, and just a generally interesting heroine. She cares about more than just fancy dresses and balls, and seeks a husband for her family’s sake more than her own.
The writing itself is good. A bit more “modern” at times, in some of the phrases used, but it actually worked for this book. I think the mix made for a more interesting story. There aren’t a lot of lords and ladies in the formal sense in Wicked Little Secrets so it’s more down-to-earth. Ives also added a hint of mystery that kept things rolling.
Now this book wasn’t perfect by any means nor super memorable BUT it was a fun read and I will definitely be picking up the rest in the series. You’ll breeze right through this one and it’s perfect for fans of romances with a little humor, a dash of mystery, and plenty of sizzling heat.