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

4.2 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Millworth Manor Series

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Editorial Reviews

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 has never looked back. Victoria grew up traveling the country as an Air Force brat and is now settled in a very old house in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two allegedly grown children and two bearded collies. She firmly believes housework is a four-letter word, there are no calories in anything eaten standing up, procrastination is an art form, and it s never too soon to panic.

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

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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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Winfield Elliot, Viscount Stillwell, is sad and frustrated. The fire that ravaged Fairborough Hall, his country estate, left so much damage that it might be impossible to hold the Midsomer Ball. The Ball has been held every year for a century. Win was at Fairborough to meet with the architect of Garret and Tempest. However, before him stood a woman, Lady Miranda Garret, who says the architect cannot attend, but she is here as his representative.

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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Book #2 in the Millworth Manor Saga tells the Story of Winfield - best friend of Grayson Elliot (What Happens at Christmas) who has been engaged three times and never made it to the altar. His ancestral home has sustained fire damage and he has hired the firm of Garett and Temple to design and undertake the repairs.

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
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Lady Miranda, and Lord Win are both likeable, complicated characters. They meet at a time when Miranda is discovering how much she has changed since her husbands death, three years before. She is also trying to protect the business and employees she inherited. At the same time, she is also trying to protect an important secret; she is the architect behind the success of the company. What her family and society would think, and say if they found out...
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.
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