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The Importance of Being Wicked Mass Market Paperback – January 29, 2013
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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.
Top customer reviews
A woman architect; outrageous!
Win has matured from a pleasure seeking ladies man, to a much more mature man who handles his families business concerns, as well as his own investments with skill and great success. That doesn't mean he doesn't still love the ladies; just that he is too busy to pursue them as he has in the past.
The time has come, he decides, to do his duty to his name and wed. While he has never had any problem seducing women, getting a woman who will make a good future countess to the alter, turns out to be much more difficult than he anticipated.
After three broken engagements, (not broken by him), Win decides he has been going about things the wrong way. Just what the right way is...well...he's smart, and the ladies love him; he'll figure it out!
After a terrible fire destroys much of his family's home, Miranda, (and her hideously ugly shoes), enters the picture, (being the only firm willing to begin work restoring the home to its former glory, immediately).
Is it love at first sight?
For Win and Miranda, the sparks are just starting to fly!
I found both characters to be refreshingly intelligent, warm, witty, and interesting. Did they occasionally say/Do things that weren't entirely rational? Yeah, they did. Some of the things they said were pretty funny, some were...well...you should just read it for yourself.
Win is not happy with this situation, but he has no choice, but to accept it. The firm, Garret and Tempest, is the only one that will attempt to finish the reconstruction by June, the date of the Ball, and even this firm will not guarantee it will be finished by then. The firm only agrees to "try". That is more than any other firm, so the work begins with this annoying woman overseeing the work.
The premise of a woman overseeing a construction venture in the late 19th century is a controversial one for the time period, and this contributes both serious and funny predicaments, which were most interesting. Winfield is not sure he likes this evolution of the feminine opportunities, yet he finds Miranda irresistible, despite her unorthodox position. The banter over the unusual circumstances between the two is done very well.
Despite the fun plotline, the first half of this book gets bogged down in mind talk, instead of conversation and action. Both main characters engage in self doubt and fear of the future so much that it becomes quite boring in many places. Do hold on though, because the last half of the book moves to some of the most romantic, fun scenes ever written. And the ending is very original and fun.
The firm's on site representative Is Miranda Garret - widow of John, Lord Garret. She is actually the architect behind the reputation of the firm, albeit her role is a secret. She has kept the firm running since the death of her husband in a construction accident. Women, in the late 1800's simply do NOT enter the business world. She has been doing the work but letting others take the credit.
Winfield (the traditionalist) and Miranda (the progressive) immediately set off sparks when they first meet.
Again Ms. Alexander gives and enjoyable visit to Millworth Manor... I laughed a lot at the antics of the two lead characters and welcomed back characters from the previous novel "What Happens at Christmas".
I would suggest that readers read the novella at the end of the book before reading the book so that they understand why Winfield never made it to the altar - it gives his character a bit more flesh.
Next Book in the series: The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride