Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: Sent
Most women will give him anything he wants. She is not most women…
As a well-known barrister and the son of a duke, Ives confines his passionate impulses to discreet affairs with worldly mistresses. A twist of fate, however, has him looking for a new lover right when a fascinating woman shows up in his chambers, asking him to help save her father from the gallows. Unfortunately, he has already been asked to serve as the prosecutor in the case, but that only ensures close encounters with the rarity named Padua Belvoir. And every encounter increases his desire to tutor her in pleasure’s wicked ways…
Having always been too tall, too willful, and too smart to appeal to men, Padua Belvoir is shocked when Ives shows interest in her. Knowing his penchant for helping the wrongly accused, she had initially thought he might be her father’s best hope for salvation. Instead, he is her worst adversary—not least because every time he looks at her, she is tempted to give him anything he wants…
This is an enjoyable historical romance with a bit of mystery and suspense. I have loved reading books by Ms. Hunter before; she creates progressive characters and interesting plotlines that satisfy most readers of this genre.
Ives (Lord Ywain Heming Ford) is the son of a duke, brother of the current duke and what most would call unconventional as he is also a barrister. Many in his standing would never stoop to working for a living, yet he enjoys what he does and still lives the life of a wealthy aristo. He was currently making a list of qualifications for his next mistress when a woman comes seeking his help and he is intrigued enough to get involved.
Padua Belvoir is a teacher of math and science at an all-girls school. She has plans to one day study abroad like her mother did and diligently saves every penny she can. When she learns her father has been accused of a crime, she goes to a recommended barrister to see what can be done. Although her father adamantly refuses her help, she keeps the promise she gave her mother, to watch out for him.
While Ives is on the opposing side of her father, he seems to be doing a lot of research and digging to get to the bottom of her father’s charges, he can’t seem to stay away from Padua. They form an interesting alliance which soon becomes more when he whisks her away to the country.
This is the second in the Wicked Trilogy series, featuring dashing brothers, and it includes enough mystery and suspense for all to enjoy. Although the books do not have a cliffhanger, there is an overall story arc about their oldest brother being murdered, but it can easily read as a standalone. I am anxious to read the conclusion.
Padua is an interesting woman; she is extremely intelligent and has very progressive ideas about women and their lives during this time period. She is not the warmest person and has a harden shell that protects her from hurt, I like her practicality but at times it is too much. She eventually lets herself get involved with Ives but it takes a while and even then she seems to hold something back.
Ives is a perfect hero, a believer in the law, he is curious from the beginning about Padua’s father and his accusations. He fits the pieces of the puzzle together each time he finds something new as he is bound to solve it. He is attracted to Padua immediately, intrigued by her striking beauty and intelligence, but there are many obstacles to overcome, one if which is his reputation because of the wicked ways he is rumored to enjoy his mistresses, of course Ives and Padua managed quite well when they leave London for the quiet countryside and he indulges in his fantasies with her.
I enjoyed the premise of the story, the mystery and suspense of the counterfeiting conspiracy is interesting as is the reason her father is so against her help. I also like seeing Gareth and Eva again and was happy to see how their lives have progressed. Lance is a hoot and I liked the scenes he is in, I will be looking forward to his book. Overall the story is enjoyable, the mystery believable and the suspense intriguing, unfortunately I am not convinced of the romance between Ives and Padua, the chemistry and spark are missing. I will however read the next one to see how it all turns out.
I give Tall, Dark, and Wicked by Madeline Hunter 3.75 stars!