Today, I am reviewing Wicked Design’s by Lauren Smith. This is Ms. Smith’s first historical romance.
For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.
It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.
Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.
Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without.
This novel includes a lady who refuses to stay kidnapped, a devilish duke with a dark past, and an assortment of charming rogues who have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into.
My Thoughts: Five devilish rogues and one woman at this point I am going to state, “take me with you, oh handsome rouges, let me be that one woman!” Onto what I thought of Ms. Lauren’s historical debut. I really enjoyed this book. At first I was intimidated by so many characters being introduced but don’t let that stop you. This is the first book in a series, so it would make sense to have all the characters introduced. Really- you’re paying attention because you want to know which rogue you’ll click with.
The story unfolds quickly with Emily Parr being kidnapped on her way to a ball by five gentlemen. What I like about Emily is she doesn’t just sit back and cry she puts up a fight with these guys. She knows she cannot physically outmaneuver them so she uses her brains to get her out of the the situation. Since it wasn’t an equal fight she is taken to Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex’s estate to be held captive. Once there, Emily attempts to escape but is again, outmaneuvered, this is when she changes her strategy and friends these gentlemen to learn why she was the lucky girl taken from her carriage. The mastermind behind this kidnapping is Gordic St. Laurent, Duke of Essex. Emily’s uncle owes him and to get payment he takes Emily. He had a dark childhood and doesn’t feel worthy of love or giving love. His true nature is to care for people and after he kidnaps Emily a whole new side of him begins to blossom. I know you’re thinking, “oh, she falls for her kidnapper oh-so typical”…yes, but no… There are four other gentlemen that find Emily’s feisty personality intriguing and we see tension occur among life-long friends. You see the beautiful illustration of the men with Emily by Joann Renaud, what woman wouldn’t be happy to be locked away in a huge estate with these five?
This story has a fast moving plot with great dialogue between characters, that kept me turning the page. Ms. Smith gives her characters a lot of depth and you begin to like these characters because each one is unique. This is great read and I look forward to reading the next book in this series. Wonderful, historical debut Ms. Smith. You have yourself a new fan!! 🙂
*I received an advance copy by the author for an honest review.
-Romance Reader Girl