All it took was Cannonballer Beth Ellen to say “fun banter” and I was typing in A Week to be Wicked (2012) by Tessa Dare into my library’s catalog search. This is my first Tessa Dare novel, and even though it’s not quite up there with my favorites, it was fun and enjoyable. I’m planning on reading at least one more book in the series, maybe even more.
A Week to be Wicked is actually the second book of what I think is a four-book series, so I think I may have missed a little set up in the first book between our heroine, Minerva Highwood, and hero, Lord Payne–Colin Sandhurst. The book begins with Minerva knocking on Lord Payne’s door in the middle of the night, asking him to run away with her to Edinburgh, faking an engagement, in order to get to the Royal Geological Society meeting and win a prize of 500 guineas. Minerva’s primary motivation seems to be to protect her beautiful, older sister from marrying Lord Payne–the well known rake.
Lord Payne refuses, but we must have a story and eventually they set out on their journey and many adventures. There is danger, lies, and sexual awakening on the road and everything ends as expected. At the same time, Dare sets up the romance for her next book.
Minerva is a fun character, smart, brave, and witty, as well as an amateur geologist. I did find her glasses distracting, though. I have horrible eyesight and have glasses when my contacts are out, and they are so not sexy. If you’re trying to connect with someone, there are thick panes of glass in the way. When you’re making out with someone, they get bumped all over the place, and if you take them off, the entire love making experience is a big blur. I appreciate that they added something to her character, but I don’t need the reminder of what a bother they are.
The plot of this book was absolutely ridiculous. I felt like I was reading comical erotica more than anything remotely historical. The plot jumped from highway robbers to an orgy house in the country, but its saving grace was that it didn’t take itself seriously and it was fun. I did love the banter between the two main characters. Although I got a little frustrated by Minerva and Colin’s constant, “Oh, I’m not good enough for him/her” drama, the characters were likable and their relationship was sweet. I’m glad I read it and I’m looking forward to the next one.
P.S. I am not a fan of the cover. Those models are nothing like I imagined the characters, and are they supposed to be having sex? Also, they they resemble each other a little too closely for comfort.
Find all of my full reviews here.