Reviewed by JenMoney has been tight for Caroline since the death of her husband Robert. The two eloped when she was just 17 and their seven years of marriage were a whirlwind of parties, fun, and artistic expression. Really, the only things of value she has left are her memories, her old friends, and the painting of Venus that Robert bought for her before he died. She sold everything else to pay off his debts, but allowed herself to keep the one painting that reminded her of his love.
Caroline is serving as chaperone to her cousin Anne when Thomas comes calling for the young woman. Thomas is very proper... stuffy, even. But Caro thinks he would be good to her cousin. Anne is just what Thomas needs - a combination of a good bloodline and a sizeable dowry. But it's Caro who heats his blood. And the attraction goes both ways. It's only a matter of time before they stop trying to fight it.
The story got better for me as it developed. The first half moved a bit slowly at times as we laid the groundwork for the relationship. I got tired of Caro extolling the virtues of her late husband, who was clearly a cad. Especially since Thomas is such a good guy. He is steadfast and stalwart and his inexperience and naivete are all the more attractive in contrast to Robert.
The sexual element of the relationship is well done. I enjoyed the tension as Caro worked to seduce Thomas and the payoff was good as she taught him the ways of physical love. (He is not virgin, by the way, but he has a lot to learn.)
There is not a huge conflict here, at least not an external one. The biggest hurdle to face is for the two to get over their issues -- especially Caro. And waiting for this to happen got frustrating at times. But overall, I enjoyed this one.
*ARC Provided by Avon
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The Importance of Being Wickedby Miranda NevilleRelease Date: November 27, 2012Publisher: Avon