The rules of society don’t apply to Caro and her coterie of bold men and daring women. But when passions flare, even the strongest will surrender to the law of love…
Thomas, Duke of Castleton, has every intention of wedding a prim and proper heiress. That is, until he sets eyes on the heiress’s cousin, easily the least proper woman he’s ever met. His devotion to family duty is no defense against the red-headed vixen whose greatest asset seems to be a talent for trouble…
Caroline Townsend has no patience for the oh-so-suitable (and boring) men of the ton. So when the handsome but stuffy duke arrives at her doorstep, she decides to put him to the test. But her scandalous exploits awaken a desire in Thomas he never knew he had. Suddenly Caro finds herself falling for this most proper duke…while Thomas discovers there’s a great deal of fun in a little bit of wickedness.
This is the first of a four book series centered around a group of badly behaved late-Georgian art collectors.
Thoughts from a newbie:
I can list so many things about The Importance of Being Wicked that make it a delightful read. It’s well-written, well-researched, filled to the brim with larger than life characters that you’re dying to see more of. But if you’re a sucker for historical romance like me, it’s what sets the book apart from the rest of its genre that makes it memorable. In the case of Importance, it is the two leading characters and their chemistry that really take your breath away.
The story is delightfully character-driven. You are introduced to the characters that will populate the rest of the series by a protagonist who is wildly different from common historical romance heroines. Caro Townsend is quick-witted, sassy, and undeniably flawed. She elopes with her late husband in a fit of youthful fancy and defiance, and in the following years never really grows out of that rebelliousness. When her husband passes away and leaves her mired in gambling debt, she is forced to fake it ’til she makes it, and many times takes it too far. She’s vivacious, adventurous, reckless, and proud. But despite traits that may be unappealing at first, you’re inevitably drawn to Caro and her unapologetic ferocity. She’s a heroine you can stand behind. You want her to be happy. You get her.
Another aspect of the book that keeps you on your toes is that you get to watch Caro and Thomas develop together, both as individuals and as a unified existence. Caro is a whirlwind to be reckoned with, and Thomas is basically a wall. Instead of canceling each other out, the two characters amplify each other in the most organic ways. They grow and mature just as a couple naturally would, and seeing these subtle changes is what makes the journey fantastic.
If you’re hankerin’ for a solid historical romance that’s full of pleasant surprises, I highly recommend picking up The Importance of Being Wicked!