Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Dell
Released on April 29, 2003
Onward to the next Bedwyn sibling’s romantic adventure! And, what an adventure it is when Lord Rannulf and a young gentlewoman both pretend to be other than they are, have a few stolen days of passion, and then encounter one another in their real lives. Complicated only describes the half of it.
Sightly Wicked is book two in the Bedwyn Saga. It read best behind the earlier book as it referenced back and built on that story, but the reader could also pick it up standalone and do all right.
So, third Bedwyn son, Lord Rannulf is called to his grandmother’s side. He is her heir and she wants him to marry and be settled before she is gone. She has a young lady from the neighborhood in mind. Too bad, the moment he sets eyes on the poor relation of that family, he sees the woman who pretended to be a courtesan and actress and he knows now that she was a sheltered virgin pretending for her own reasons. She won’t accept his honorable proposal of marriage and he is stuck courting her silly cousin.
Judith Law was already angry and mortified that she must leave her father’s home and go act as the poor relation in her aunt’s household. An aunt, who is jealous on her daughter’s behalf and puts Judith in caps and unflattering gowns meanwhile Judith’s profligate brother arrives and is in debt deeper than ever without a care that he’s run the family out of money or that she is now forced to face the man who is a duke’s son and brother no less and knows of her idiot notion to act the part of another and now sees the truth. If he were not so attractive still…
I got caught up in the farce of it all as this pair reluctantly travel to relatives, meet on the road, pretend for a little while, and part. But, then are forced to face each other in the most uncomfortable of circumstances. Judith not only has to see Rannulf as a duke’s son and in a courtship with her cousin, but now her profligate brother is there and in debt to their cousin who is a nasty piece of work and attempts to force himself on Judith if Rannulf hadn’t come to her rescue.
The story has a Cinderella vibe to it with Judith starring as the downtrodden, but beautiful Cindy. Rannulf is not exactly Prince Charming, but he sure does seem to always arrive in time to do a princely rescue. I enjoyed seeing the pair of them figure out they liked and then loved each other beyond first blush of attraction and lust.
They did have their fair share of denial to themselves going on. I have to say that the one peeve I really had with this one was the denial stuff. Judith is breathtakingly gorgeous and talented. She gets plenty of empirical truth on this fact from the others around her, but of course, she won’t believe it and can’t see it for some reason. She saw everyone as more worthy and beautiful and would rather retreat into the shadows and cede the field rather than standing up for herself with her snotty aunt, her vapid cousin, her stodgy uncle, his sneering, skeevy son, or most of all, herself. The only one she stood up against was Rannulf- though she ran off from him a few times, too. Not my favorite kind of heroine, but I didn’t hate her and understood that being used as the family sacrifice would do that to someone.
But, that was a minor gripe and was swallowed up by the fun I had seeing things get bad for Judith and Rannulf getting to place the hero once again. When things got to the dire point, it was great to see the rest of the Bedwyns to the rescue. I do so enjoy when all the Bedwyns help when a sibling or one they care about is in trouble. Wulf and his icy duke persona and Freya and her fiery independence really brighten each scene they are in.
So, Slightly Wicked was engaging and I liked reading it though I preferred book one and will likely enjoy others more. I think the fiery Freya gets her story next and I can’t wait. She sure has been giving her brothers a run for their money and she’s been disappointed in love so she’ll be a tough one. Historical Romance fans who enjoy the story of family and siblings at the heart of things should definitely give these a try.
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