After Midnight

The Bride & the Beast

Charming the Prince

A Kiss to Remember

Lady of Conquest

Nobody's Darling

One Night of Scandal

Yours Until Dawn

 

 
Some Like it Wicked
by Teresa Medeiros
(Avon, $7.99, R) ISBN 978-006-123535-1
***
Some Like it Wicked is my first book by Teresa Medeiros, and while I have some reservations, I was engaged and enjoyed it thanks to a fiery heroine and a sexy, sometimes vulnerable rake of a hero.

Catriona Kincaid was born in the Scottish Highlands, but has lived with her uncle's family outside of London most of her life. She was sent there by her brother, Connor, when their father and mother were killed during a war over the Highlands. He figured she would be safer in London. Catriona has always vowed to go back, unite her clan and reclaim their glory. Since the story is set in the early 1800's, this seemed a bit outlandish, but Medeiros made it work.

When Catriona was just 16, she spied a young Naval officer attempting to seduce her cousin Alice and almost succeeding. He would have, except Catriona and her cat fell out of the loft onto the two entwined lovers when her curiosity overcame her balance. The ever-gallant young man defended her and listened to her tale of Scottish lore. She fell in love even then. His exploits of valor added to his glamour to the starry eyed girl. When she discovers that this same officer is now imprisoned in Newgate for debts and attempting to seduce a magistrate's daughter, she decides to act.

Simon Westcott is a bastard son of a Duke and as such, has always been treated with both honor and disdain. His mother was an opera singer and she sent him off to his father when he was just a lad so she could go off with a new protector. She did it out of love, but he hated her for it and told everyone she was dead. Simon grew up hero-worshipping his half- brother, the heir, and was eventually sent off to the Navy to get him out of the way. His exploits had always had two sides to the story, but his "legend" grew despite his efforts. Simon now finds himself in Newgate but he still has his sense of humor and considerable charm.

He remembers Catriona and is amazed when she offers half her dowry to him if he will marry her, take her to Scotland and after a period of time, have the marriage annulled. Catriona figures this will give her time to find her missing brother, her clan and a new home in the Highlands. Simon will receive money, and she assures him he will weather the storm of the scandal due to his charming reputation. Despite his misgivings he agrees as long as he gets his wedding night with her.

Their adventures begin and what adventures they are. Some are a bit farfetched and at times, Catriona is too naive to believe. Simon is just as jaded. There were even a few times I found myself wondering if I liked either one of them. Simon treats her poorly and she acts either too naive or too brazen. But Medeiros allows some new things to occur and they recover their charm. Luckily their behavior is more likeable than not, thus keeping the disillusionment to the short-term.

Ultimately, this is a story of two people fighting their pasts to find their present and future. Simon really does redeem himself nicely and with some finesse and vulnerability. Catriona stays sassy until the end, although her stubbornness almost was her ruin. For me however, the tale seemed forced at times and some of their antics didn't ring completely true.

As I write this review I realize that my reservations outweigh some of the fun and the steamy sex, thus making this an acceptable tale, but one that I struggle to wholeheartedly recommend. It was close, though, and fans of Medeiros may enjoy it more wholeheartedly. Some Like It Wicked is at times wicked, sexy and fun.

--Shirley Lyons


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