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A Week to Be Wicked

Thursday, September 27, 2018

A Week to Be Wicked (2012) Tessa Dare

Set in England in Scotland in the early 1800s.

Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne is a dissolute rake. His cousin is trying to reform him, but it’s not working particularly well, and in a few months, Colin will have access to his own funds when he comes of age.

Minerva Highwood loves geology. Specifically, she loves rocks and stones of all sorts. And right now she wants more than anything to go to Scotland, to participate in a symposium by the Royal Geological Society of Edinburgh.

Diana and Charlotte will do well for themselves, but Minerva? Plain, bookish, distracted, awkward with gentlemen. In a word, hopeless.

The words of her own mother, in a recent letter to their cousin. To make it worse, Minerva hadn’t discovered this description by snooping through private correspondence. Oh, no. She’d transcribed the words herself, penning them at Mama’s dictation.

She also doesn’t want Lord Payne to marry her older sister, Diana. So she figures she can offer him 500 pounds that she’ll win at the symposium, to take her to Scotland. What could go wrong?

I quite liked both characters.

“Jesus,” he finally managed, pushing water off his face. “Jesus Christ and John the Baptist. For that matter, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.” Still not enough. He needed to reach back to the Old Testament for this. “Obadiah. Nebuchadnezzar. Methuselah and Job.”

I have eyes like . . . like diamonds?”

“Not real diamonds. Bristol diamonds.”

“What are Bristol diamonds?” “They’re a kind of rock formation. On the outside, they look like ordinary pebbles. Round, brownish gray. But when you crack them open, inside they’re filled with crystals in a hundred different shades.”

I really liked Minerva. She was a scientist, through and through, and you easily believed it. She acted in ways that were sensible to her, but not to society, but she didn’t care.

“Perhaps that’s because sleeping on a bed of flowers and ribbons sounds delightful and romantic. Whereas sharing one’s bed with a primeval sea snail sounds disgusting.”

Her jaw firmed. “You’re welcome to sleep on the floor.”

“Did I say disgusting? I meant enchanting. I’ve always wanted to go to bed with a primeval sea snail.”

“Yes, yes. I understand. It’s a logarithm.”

Her head whipped up. She adjusted her spectacles and stared at him.

“You know,” he said, “this design begins to appeal to me after all. Sea slugs aren’t the least bit arousing, but logarithms . . . I’ve always thought that word sounded splendidly naughty.” He let it roll off his tongue with ribald inflection. “Logarithm.” He gave an exaggerated shiver. “Ooh. Yes and thank you and may I have some more.”

“Lots of mathematical terms sound that way. I think it’s because they were all coined by men. ‘Hypotenuse’ is downright lewd.”

“ ‘Quadrilateral’ brings rather carnal images to mind.”

She was silent for a long time. Then one of her dark eyebrows arched. “Not so many as ‘rhombus.’ ”

The one issue I had was that I wasn’t expecting it to be a silly and somewhat ridiculous book. It’s not that I dislike silly and ridiculous, it’s just that wasn’t what I was expecting, so the ridiculousness caught me off guard and changed the story midway through. Once I realized everything was going to be over the top, I adjusted my expectations, but it was initially jarring.

That said, it was still very well done and quite fun.

Publisher: Avon
Rating: 7.5/10

Categories: British, Historical, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    



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