Saturday, October 22, 2011

Too Wicked to Wed by Cara Elliott

Outspoken and independent, Lady Alexa Bingham enjoys the heady freedom of making all her own decisions, even though the challenges of overseeing her family's country estate are daunting. But when a chance encounter with London's most notorious rake awakens a secret longing for adventure, she accepts her aunt's invitation for a Season in Town . . . only to find that breaking the rules of the ton has serious consequences.

The Earl of Killingworth uses his rakehell reputation to hide the fact that poverty has forced him to work for a living. As the owner of a gambling den and brothel, Connor has no time for glittering ballrooms or innocent young ladies. But after a reckless wager leaves him with a new business partner, he is forced to take a risky gamble . . . Will the cards fall in their favor? Alexa and Connor begin to play a dangerous game of intrigue and deception as they seek to outwit a cunning adversary who wants to put them permanently out of business. But if they are not careful, it is the flames of their own fiery attraction that may destroy them.

When Lady Alexa wins half of The Wolf’s Lair in a game of cards, it leads her down a road of adventure she never dreamed of. Lord Killingworth, the other owner of the brothel, is frustrated by both the sharing of his business as well as the fact that someone is obviously out to ruin him. After an attempt on Killingworth’s life, they must flee to his childhood home. Will this spell true love for them? Will they find who’s behind the devious attempts to ruin Killingworth’s livelihood and life?

A historical romance worthy of Candace Camp! The writing style is easy flowing and captures you from the very beginning. It’s as if a dear friend is sitting there whispering the story in your ear, letting your vivid imagination carry the scenes out before you. The characters are interesting and fresh. The unconventional attitude of Lady Alexa goes a long way towards keeping you entranced as a reader. You just never know what she’s going to get up to next.

For me the best part of the book was the mystery behind Lord Killingworth’s life attempt. We know from nearly the beginning that someone is out to ruin him, yet we don’t find out until the end who is behind it. Even though I’m an avid mystery reader, I couldn’t have foreseen what was going to happen. I spent most of the book trying to figure it out and offered a big thumb up once the lout was revealed.

I only had two issues with the book. First, there were entirely too many sex scenes for me. Some readers adore these and for those readers, this is definitely worth looking into. They’re written well and erotic without being too bawdry. My second issue was with the character of Lord Killingworth. I really wanted to like him, but I found his character completely overdone. He’s a classic ‘bad boy who’s really not and has morals’ character. The character of Lady Alexa, as well as the supporting characters, more than makes up for the lack of imagination in his character.

Shawn/Minding Spot Team

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