A smooth-talking rogue and a dowdy financial genius…
Handsome, silver-tongued politician Lord Randall doesn’t get along with his bank partner, the financially brilliant but hopelessly frumpish Isabella St. Vincent. Ever since she was his childhood nemesis, he’s tried—and failed—to get the better of her.
Make a perfectly wicked combination…
When both Randall’s political career and their mutual bank interests are threatened by scandal, he has to admit he needs Isabella’s help. They set off on a madcap scheme to set matters right. With her wits and his charm, what could possibly go wrong? Only a volatile mutual attraction that’s catching them completely off guard…
Publisher and Release Date: Sourcebooks Casablanca, March 2015
Time and Setting: England, 1847
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by Claudia
Randall and Isabella are different as people can be. Randall is a born politician, able to charm anyone and the man who seems to have it all, while Isabella is very shy and academic and has trouble connecting with other people. These differences are one of the reasons they have hated each other since childhood. But their business – a bank inherited from their fathers – forces them to work together constantly, and their childhood antagonism has continued over the years.
The plot is really, really well done and quite complex. It’s completely understandable that Isabella and Randall would feel the need to do everything within their power in order to save the bank when it is threatened with ruin, and I loved their ingenuity. There is also a subplot regarding womens’ rights which fits right in with the main story.
Randall is a very well written character. At first, he seems to be a superficial person who has no deep interest in anything but his prestigious Parliamentary career, but when we get to know him, we come to see that beneath that handsome, charming exterior, he is serious, devoted, determined and very hardworking and loyal. He wants to use his position of influence to change the things he cares about.
Isabella is very intelligent and brilliant with numbers but is very awkward in regards to human contact. She just does not understand or pick up on normal humor or sarcasm; even when Randall teases her (as he does often), while she mostly recognises what he is doing, she is never sure quite of the exact joke. She wants to be loved, but recognises, that given her circumstances, that marriage is very unlikely.
The relationship between Randall and Isabella is well done too and I enjoyed watching their dislike (if it ever really was dislike) change and the way their connection evolved into a love and attraction. There is a lot of humour in their exchanges, and I really liked to see them together. It took both of them time to understand what they were feeling, which made it very believable.
Having said all that, I find I can only award the book three stars when taken as a whole. This is mainly because while I really liked Isabella, some of her decisions were just stupid, and I could not understand why she – supposedly a very intelligent woman – would go through with them.
There were also some points during the story when it turned overly silly, and those moments took away some of my enjoyment.
This is one of those books where I came away from it not quite sure how I felt about it. I really liked the characters and I thought the plot was very well done, but there were parts of it that just didn’t measure up. All in all, however, Wicked, My Love was a nice read and I think I will give this author another try.