Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wicked Becomes You by Meredith Duran

Wicked Becomes You
by Meredith Duran

Genre: Historical Romance

She’s been burned not once but twice by London’s so-call ed gentlemen . . .Gwen Maudsley is pretty enough to be popular, and plenty wealthy, too. But what she’s best known and loved for is being so very, very nice. When a cad jilts her at the altar—again—the scandal has her outraged friends calling for blood. Only Gwen has a different plan. If nice no longer works for her, then it’s time to learn to be naughty. Happily, she knows the perfect tutor—Alexander Ramsey, her late brother’s best friend and a notorious rogue.

So why won’t a confirmed scoundrel let her be as bad as she wants to be? Unbeknownst to Gwen, Alex’s aloof demeanor veils his deepest unspoken desire. He has no wish to see her change, nor to tempt himself with her presence when his own secrets make any future between them impossible. But on a wild romp from Paris to the Riviera, their friendship gives way to something hotter, darker, and altogether more dangerous. With Alex’s past and Gwen’s newly unleashed wildness on a collision course, Gwen must convince Alex that his wickedest intentions are exactly what she needs.

Gwen considers herself to be a friend to ALL in London's society. She obeys every rule, smiles at insults, charms all those around her, doesn't go cycling becasue it requires split skirts, refrains from singing in company, declines wicked parlor games, and even "refuses every second glass of wine!" (pg. 44) No matter who jilts her at the alter (twice!), she passionate about bouncing back becasue she doesn't want anyone's pity. Yet, she's sick of ALWAYS being cheerful and having her friends "campaign to save Gwen from Eternal Humiliation" (pg. 69) and so she decides to break some rules and finally live on the wicked side. She gets some help from a old family friend, Alex, who happens to be a notorious rake and together they get wild in Paris and quite naughty in Monte Carlo. But, can Gwen keep up the charade when she starts developing feelings toward her partner in crime?

I was blown away with how much I enjoyed Duran's writing style. I got sucked into the story that I finished half the book upon my first time reading Wicked Becomes You. The plot was very refreshing and the reader can easily understand Gwen's innocent personality as well as her new passion to explore the unknown. The visual writing was superb and the settings really come to life (ex: "Smartly dressed ladies hopped fearlessly from omnibuses, and servants shuffled past with their various charges -- nannies escorting little boys in velvet knickerbockers and cuffs of Belgian lace; maids dragged by tonsured poodles, which lunged at the olive peddlers and made the girls selling fresh carnations shriek and jump away.") (pg. 104) Good Stuff! It was also a joy to read how the two main characters bullied each other into silly dares or to reveal shocking truths. Unfortunately, the ending kind of went flat for me and really put a damper on the whole tale, but it won't stop me from checking out more of Duran's work.

Likes: There were parts of the story that had me laughing out loud, which is always a great thing from a book!

Dislikes: I felt like both characters kind of lost a bit of their spark (ie.
what made them both uniquely fascinating) in the end.

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