Lessons From a Scarlet Lady

Seducing the Highlander

Our Wicked Mistake
by Emma Wildes
(Signet, $6.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0-451-23150-5
Our Wicked Mistake is a delightful story of two couples following two separate paths and finding love where they least expect it. The story is light-hearted and enjoyable.

Luke Daudet, Viscount Altea, is a man of status in 1816 London, known for his promiscuity and not-so-proper dealings. His past includes contributing in the war against the French where he finds love and marries Maria, who is pregnant. Maria is caught in the cross fire of the war and killed on their wedding day. Due to this enormous loss, Luke vows to never get serious with a woman again. But after finishing a high-stakes game of cards, he receives an urgent message from a woman he hasnít spoken to in a year.

Madeline May, Lady Brewer, is a sophisticated woman who is a young widow, but has her own fortune and is the darling of society. She has recently been harassed by Lord Fitch and his advances involve knowledge of her personal life with her deceased husband, Colin. Colin loved writing and would often describe their intimacies in a journal, which is thought to be the rationale for Lord Fitchís knowledge. Lord Fitch crosses the line and instinct forces Madeline to grab the fire poker and hit him. The amount of blood causes her to believe he has died, so she does the only think she can think of; she puts an urgent call out to Viscount Altea.

Luckily for Madeline, Luke confirms that Lord Fitch is not dead. Luke drags Lord Fitch home in hopes that Fitch wonít remember anything. Madeline and Luke shared a passionate night together the previous year and Luke was so enamored with Madeline that he left her immediately and ensured they never crossed paths again. The incident with Lord Fitch has now brought them together and Madeline propositions Luke to be her lover. The challenge for both of them becomes enjoying each otherís passions, but restricting their feelings to prevent permanency.

Elizabeth Daute is Lukeís sister and has just entered her first season as a debutante hoping for a husband, though she is strong-willed and insists on marrying for love and not just for obligation. Miles Hawthorne grew up with the Daute family and was thought of as a cousin, but is reality was not. Elizabeth and Miles were very close and still are. Miles went off to university and since he has been back, his feelings for Elizabeth have turned into true love. Elizabeth hasnít a clue and Miles doesnít want to ruin the relationship they do have, so he keeps his feels to himself. Many prospective bachelors are eagerly courting Elizabeth, which proves to be a great challenge for Miles.

Iím not quite sure why the book is called Our Wicked Mistake. Perhaps it is in reference to the questionable relationship between Luke and Madeline. It may not have been kosher for the time period, but ďmistakeĒ may be the wrong word.

The back cover of Our Wicked Mistake only mentions the characters of Luke and Madeline. Elizabeth and Miles get a good amount of dedicated plot, more than mere secondary characters. At first this combination seems a little disjointed, but in the end the reader is treated to two love stories for the price of one.

The book contains an ineffective bit of mystery related to the journal and how it got into the hands of Lord Fitch. The inclusion of two sets of main characters drowned out this attempt at suspense and mystery and the book would have been just as enjoyable without it.

The writing style is well done and flows well. The descriptive language is just enough to paint the picture without bogging down with detail; however, the dialogue felt a little heavy on the properness.

Our Wicked Mistake is book two of the Notorious Bachelors series by Emma Wildes. A reader can easily read and appreciate this book without any previous knowledge of the first book.

I genuinely enjoyed Our Wicked Mistake and it will now have a home on my bookshelf.

--Nichole Howell

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