I have been in kind of a romance reading slump. I've read plenty that was good, but nothing quite good enough to pass along to others. There are some wonderful books coming in the next few months, and there's probably something in my To Be Read pile that's an absolute gem, but nothing I have actually read has sparked my enthusiasm in the past few weeks.
Meredith Duran is one of a handful of fairly new authors of historical romance (with the likes of Joanna Bourne and Sherry Thomas) who is an automatic Must Read for me. So, when Wicked Becomes You showed up, I knew exactly what the next book on my list would be. And I stayed up far too late into the night reading because I wanted to spend more time in Gwen and Alex's world.
Um, this is awkward, but I'm actually stumped for how best to talk about this book. Not because there aren't a bajillion wonderful things to talk about, but because I kind of don't want to share. I want to feel like Meredith Duran is my own super-secret author discovery — the romance equivalent of that band you really liked until they "sold out" (i.e., had more than five fans). But I also want lots and lots of people to read this book so we can share our thoughts on it.
So here are some of the things I liked best about this book, in no particular order:
- A large chunk of the narrative was set in and around Paris in 1890, including a scene at the Moulin Rouge which keeps popping into my head at the oddest moments.
- The hero and heroine have known each other for a long time, but, in a reversal of the usual way of things, it's the hero who's been secretly in love with the heroine.
- Gwen is completely inept at being wicked and her trusting nature and unbridled enthusiasm for the world around her are charming, rather than cloying. She has an independent spirit, but doesn't know how to stretch her wings. Watching her learn to reconcile her nature with her upbringing was quite satisfying.
- This is a long-ish book, so the romance really has time to develop, giving it an emotional depth that I truly believed would see these two through whatever obstacles the future put in their paths.
Unfortunately, this book isn't available in a digital format and the book is just over 400 pages long, so my wrist got a bit tired. But that's a small price to pay for such a delightfully satisfying read.