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The Importance of Being Wicked Mass Market Paperback – January 29, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Millworth Manor Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Winfield Elliott, Viscount Stillwell, naturally expects to speak with a man at his appointment with the architectural firm of Garret and Tempest, so he is more than a bit surprised when Miranda Garret shows up. Win doesn’t need a woman, he needs an architect who can repair Fairborough Hall, his family’s ancestral home. Since no other firm in London is willing to even consider taking on the commission, let alone guarantee that the remodeling work will be done before the annual summer ball, Win really has no other choice but to meet with Miranda. Of course, it isn’t as if Miranda will actually be drafting the remodel of Fairborough Hall herself. That is what Mr. Tempest will be doing. At least that is what Miranda seems to be implying in this cleverly conceived and delightfully droll romance. Between them, Win and Miranda generate an abundance of fast-paced, snappy dialogue and a bounty of sexy chemistry, proving that the ever-reliable Alexander is now the go-to author for historical romance readers in search of love and laughter. --John Charles

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award-winning television reporter until she discovered her love for fiction. Since the publication of her first book in 1995, she has written 24 full-length novels and six novellas. With books translated into a dozen different languages, she has readers around the world and has twice been nominated for Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award. Victoria is now settled in Omaha, Nebraska, with her family. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Zebra; 1 edition (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420117076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420117073
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She turned to writing full time and is still shocked it worked out.

Since the publication of her first book in 1995, she has written thirty-one full length novels and six novellas. Find a complete list on her website http://www.victoriaalexander.com and chat with her on facebook https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaAlexandersPlace

The Perfect Wife--originally published in 1996 and reissued in March 2008--hit #1 on the New York Times list. Sixteen of her books are bestsellers hitting the New York Times, USA Today and/or Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. With books translated into more than a dozen different languages she has readers around the world and has twice been nominated for Romance's Writers of America prestigious RITA award. In 2009 she was given a Career Achievement Award from RT Bookclub and was named Historical Storyteller of the year in 2003. In 2008 she was the keynote speaker for the Romance Writers of American annual conference in San Francisco. Victoria credits much of her writing success to her experiences as a reporter.

Her years as a broadcast journalist were spent in two radically different areas of the country: Nebraska and West Virginia. In West Virginia, she covered both natural and manmade disasters. She was on the scene when a power plant construction accident in a small town left 52 men dead. She once spent the night on a mountain waiting to learn of the fate of coal miners trapped in a mine collapse. Victoria was producing a newscast when her husband (who worked at the same television station) and several other journalists were held hostage by a disturbed Vietnam veteran. In Nebraska, she reported on the farm crisis and watched people lose land that had been in their families for generations. She covered the story that was the basis of the movie BOYS DON'T CRY and once acted as the link between police and a gunman who had barricaded himself in his home. Her investigative work exposed the trucking of New York City garbage to a small town dump in rural Nebraska.

During her journalism career, Victoria covered every president from Ford to Clinton. She knows firsthand what it feels like to be surrounded by rising floodwaters and inside a burning building. She's interviewed movie stars including Kevin Costner, ridden an elephant and flown in a governor's helicopter. She's covered a national political convention and Pope John Paul II's historic visit to Denver as well as small town festivals celebrating everything from walnuts to Glen Miller. Her work was honored by numerous organizations including the Associated Press who called a feature about a firefighter's school "story telling genius". It was the encouragement she needed to turn from news to fiction. She's never looked back.

Victoria is a former president of the Omaha Press Club and in 2009 was named an OPC Face on the Barroom Floor. A caricature portrait of her joined previous faces including presidents, sports figures and politicians in a tradition that began in 1971.

Victoria claims her love of romance and journalism is to due to the influence of her favorite comic book character: Lois Lane, a terrific reporter and a great heroine who pursued Superman with an unwavering determination. And why not? He was extremely well drawn.

Victoria grew up traveling the world as an Air Force brat. Today, she lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and her dogs. Victoria had two bearded collies, Sam and Louie (named from characters in one of her books). Sam (on the left), the best dog in the world for 13 ½ years, passed away in September 2010. Louie took on the position of loyal companion and did a fine job even though he doesn't understand that kitchen counter surfing is not allowed! Now he's been joined by Reggie, king of the lilacs.

They all live happily ever after in a house under constant renovation and the accompanying parade of men in tool belts. And never ending chaos. Victoria laughs a great deal--she has to.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
A novel-length continuation of the story begun in "Lord Stillwell's Excellent Engagement," Victoria Alexander's "The Importance of Being Wicked" lives up to her usual standard of engaging characters and solid plots. The conflicts in the story revolve around preconceived notions and fears based upon past pain. Set in a time on the cusp of modern ideas and significant changes in the roles of women, the novel deals very well with the difficulties faced by women embarking upon professions. In order to have the loving future each deserve, Win and Miranda must overcome their prejudices and self-delusions to be open to new ideas and to take risks in order to build on their love for each other. The only weakness, if it can be called that, is kind of dragged out way the story proceeds, with the characters often seeming to take far too long to come to some sort of resolution, making the story drag at points. But even that does not detract significantly from the enjoyment of the novel. And an added bonus are the secondary characters--the delightful Hadley-Attwater crowd. I can't wait for the next installment in the adventures of those siblings.
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What a charming warm-hearted story! Ms. Alexander's witty characters are carefully built into the story one piece at a time, creating the perfect amount of attraction and tension for the ultimate CO (Certificate of Occupancy). As if that weren't enough, a bonus novella is at the end, "Lord Stillwell's Excellent Engagements."
Lauren Calder
See the entire review at affairedecoeur.com
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A nice historical romance. For once, women are not treated as porcelain vases unable to think or usefull only to spend their husbands' money. Pretty cool and progressive, huh?

If the place of women in this historical romance is quite interesting, they are portrayed as being equally manipulative or secret creatures incapable of telling the truth. Unflattering in one case as in the other ... But at least the female have personality, strengh and do not hide from revealing it. It is already a progress!

Through Miranda, the reader follows a young widow who participated in the architectural work of her husband without obtaining credits. After his death, she decided not to close the company and continue to work incognito even by risking a scandal and bringing shame on her family.
Win, the Viscount Stillwell decides to hire her after a fire occurs in his family home and falls under the spell of her mind and her scathing repartees. A brave one who he's not afraid that his wife has a mind in a archaic era that gives me goosebumps. Believe me, reading this kind of novel, I am delighted to be a woman soon plunged in 2013 ...

As for the love story, it is enjoyable even if I found a lack of action. The story is a little soft with heroes who are overthinking their actions and emotions too much. So, I read some passages in diagonal which did, in the end, not really missed. Despite these lengths, I smiled to some good verbal sparring between the two heroes.
I even got a soft spot for Win. Despite the fact that he is being mistaken for a spoiled child, a bit slow and succeptible half the time. He may have lack a bit of testosterone to be a trully wicked heros.

A pleasant romance.

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Format: Kindle Edition
I was so excited to read and review Victoria Alexander's new historical, The Importance of Being Wicked. I am big fan of her writing and when I read that this book was going to be about Lord Stillwell (whom we have met in two other books: What Happens at Christmas and the novella Lord Stillwell's Excellent Engagements) I just couldn't wait to read it.

The one thing that really stood out in this book, and that made me enjoy it so much, was the witty banter between the characters and especially between Lord Stillwell and Lady Miranda Garrett. The dialogue was very well written and made the characters come to life for me. I have always enjoyed Victoria Alexander's books and The Importance of Being Wicked is another wonderful addition to her already acclaimed bookshelf.

Lady Garrett is a widow who is still running her late husband's architectural firm, Garrett and Tempest. She is an educated woman who has a very big secret - she has always been the architect of the firm, not her husband. When a fire destroys Fairborough Hall, the ancestral home of Lord Stillwell, he hires Garrett and Tempest to rebuild it.

Lady Garrett plans to stay and oversee the construction personally, even if Lord Stillwell doesn't fully approve. Their first encounter sparks a battle of wits and thus begins the most enjoyable of dialogue between these two characters. The reader knows that Lord Stillwell is a bit unlucky at love, having already three failed engagements under his belt, and Lady Garrett has been widowed for some time. It was such a delight to this reader, to see how these two characters were going to eventually fall in love.

The Importance of Being Wicked was one of those books that I was sad to see end.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was looking forward to this book because I'm a big fan of this author, and I really liked what I've read of the hero from appearances in other stories. The heroine has also been a supporting character in a previous book. The setting of this book is Victorian England.

Both the hero and heroine in this book have undergone changes to their personality, due largely to circumstance. They both seem to be unaware of it until pointed out to them by friends and family. Winfield Elliot, Viscount Stillwell was something of a rake in his younger days. After the defection of his cousin, three failed engagements (none of the three being his fault despite public opinion), and some maturing, he is still the charming, likable man he always was but also became more responsible and a man to be counted on. At the opening of the book, a fire damaging his family country home and facing his father's mortality shocks him and have him acting not quite himself at times. Lady Miranda Garrett is a widow. She comes from a large and opinionated family. In her family she was often regarded as the meek and mild one. She later married a man she loved, but she often acquiesced to his wishes and let him take all of the credit for her contributions to his architectural firm. After her husband's death, she is still hiding behind the scenes in many respects. She also continues to let her family think of her as they always have. Win & Miranda meet when Win hires her firm to repair and restore his home. Their first meeting is rocky because Win expects to be dealing with a man. They have a brief battle of wills in which Miranda is the victor. This sets the stage for their future dealings with each other. The meetings are filled with verbal sparring, which eventually leads to attraction.
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