‘The Importance of Being Wicked’ by Victoria Alexander

TIOBW VASTORY: For Winfield Elliott, Viscount Stillwell, finding a prospective bride always seemed easy. Perhaps too easy. With three broken engagements to his name, Win is the subject of endless gossip. Yet his current mission is quite noble: to hire a company to repair his family’s fire-damaged country house. Nothing disreputable in that—until the firm’s representative turns out to be a very desirable widow.

Lady Miranda Garrett expected a man of Win’s reputation to be flirtatious, even charming. But the awkward truth is that she finds him thoroughly irresistible. While Miranda resides at Millworth to oversee the work, Win occupies her days, her dreams…and soon, her bed. For the first time, the wicked Win has fallen in love. And what began as a scandalous proposition may yet become a very different proposal

REVIEW: I knew this story was going to be good because I had so much fun reading its prequel ‘intro’ novella ‘Lord Stillwell’s Excellent Engagements’. If you plan to read this book, I highly recommend you read the novella first because in it you’ll get to know him and his life a bit better.

As for this story, it was again such a breath of fresh air to read a mature and slow developing friendship, courtship and love. The heroine is no simpering miss, but a grown woman, a widow that actually has is running a business, although naturally in the Victorian England, she’s still hiding behind her husband’s name and an alias male ‘employee’ name. That part of the plot was almost as much fun to follow as the relationship between the two.

When it comes to painting a Victorian Era picture, Ms. Alexander excels in making sure I ‘see’ the setting, the costumes, the language and I’m never disappointed as I ‘enter’ the world she creates for my pleasure.

If you’re like me, a long time fan of Victoria Alexander, then you’ll get this one for sure. For all of you bookworms that have never had the pleasure, may as well start with this one. This is a slow, simmering and chemistry filled sensual romance filled with great verbal, witty sparring between the main characters and I do recommend you read it.

LSEE VA‘Lord Stillwell’s Excellent Engagements’ by Victoria Alexander

STORY: Some say I do not take my engagements seriously. Nonsense. What man with no interest in marriage would find himself proposing not once, but three times? And each time, I’ve felt certain that this, at last, is the absolutely, positively, perfect woman.

Miss Felicia Whitingdon, for instance, has youth, beauty, style, grace–and a handsome fortune. Lady Lucille Eustice is a widow of impeccable social standing, and a balm to my soul. Then there is Miss Caroline Hibbitt, sweet and charming in every way. Any one of these intoxicating treasures could make a man happy. Any one of them could be an ideal wife. But which–if any of them–will it be?

MINI REVIEW: Like I said above, this little novella was very fun and helpful in getting me ready for Win’s full story. It was entertaining to watch our hero, Lord Stillwell, having a hard time holding onto a woman long enough to get her to the altar.

I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry for the poor man! Three times he comes close, and no cigar! Each woman is carefully chosen by him, and in the end each jilts him for another man.

I admired the man for being able to accept the inevitable with understanding of all the women that were ‘almost’ his bride.

You really don’t have to read this novella before the full Win and Felicia story, but I think you should because it’s well written, very entertaining and very enlightening about the hero.

*Books provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

 

‘What Happens At Christmas’ by Victoria Alexander

STORY: A blazing fire, an English country house . . . and the ultimate game of charades. In this charming holiday novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander, a beautiful widow finds her plan for a Christmas proposal going perfectly awry . . .

Camille, Lady Lydingham, knows precisely what she wants for Christmas–an official engagement to a handsome, dashing prince. Her very proper suitor expects a proper English family and the perfect Dickensian Christmas, which leaves the lovely widow with a slight problem. The last thing Camille wants is for the prince to meet her unconventional relatives. But with the aid of a troupe of actors, Camille intends to pull off a Christmas deception of massive proportions.

At least until Grayson Elliot shows up. A dozen years ago, he declared his love on the day before her marriage to another man, then vanished from her life. Now he’s back, gate-crashing Camille’s already chaotic house party, playing absolute havoc with her scheme–and with her heart. Because for Grayson, losing Camille once was quite bad enough. Losing her twice? Unthinkable. And he’ll find a way to show her they belong together–for this season, and every Christmas yet to come . . .

REVIEW: This one is for new and old VA fans! This author is a must for me and I devour everything she puts out. I still have a lot of her back titles on my TBR and I make sure never to pass up on getting one of her books.

As much as this story line was predictable, it was well written that I didn’t mind it at all. It still felt fresh because of the dialogue and characters involved.

It reminded me of the Murphy’s Law, if anything can go wrong, it will. No amount of planning helped our heroine and it made for a very funny and cute love story.

Very enjoyable Victorian romance!