Tuesday, March 3, 2015

His Wicked Reputation (Wicked Trilogy #1) by Madeline Hunter

Gareth Fitzallen is celebrated for four things: his handsome face, his notable charm, his aristocratic connections, and an ability to give the kind of pleasure that has women begging for more. Normally he bestows his talents on experienced, worldly women. But when he heads to Langdon’s End to restore a property he inherited—and to investigate a massive art theft—he lays plans to seduce a most unlikely lady.

Eva Russell lives a spinster’s life of precarious finances and limited dreams while clinging to her family’s old gentry status. She supports herself by copying paintings while she plots to marry her lovely sister to a well-established man. Everyone warns her of Gareth’s reputation, and advises her to lock her sister away. Only it is not her sister Gareth desires. One look, and she knows he is trouble. One kiss, however, proves she is no match for this master of seduction.

Type: Historical Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

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*pets the pretty man chest* His Wicked Reputation was oh so delicious. The perfect balance of heat, humor and romance with bold, passionate characters and an easy storyline that had me grabbing for my book every chance I got. Love that feeling!

The quick of it is that Eva and Gareth are new neighbors. And a fiery start--homeboy totally almost mowed her down with his horse when she was maybe kinda sneaking one of his paintings out of his house to copy--led to some seriously luscious little sparks. Sparks that turn into a lot more when some strange happenings push them together and they decide...it might just be time to see what's between them.

Eva and Gareth were lovely. I really enjoyed these two. They were easy to like. Easy to cheer for. Easy to get all smitten over. Both have had set backs in life. Eva's brother left her and her sister alone and poor while Gareth was the bastard son of a Duke. Both could have easily moaned over their lots in life but instead they were fighters and rather scrappy. They were good people who worked hard for what they had and to improve their lives. I just...liked these two.

The connection and romance between them was nice. They've got the chemistry happening, they're jumping in with a no strings attached thing and exploring each other but slowly they start depending on each other and all those pesky strings start wrapping around them. I love when that happens. Things do heat up and oh there were some moments of yummeh as she caved to his wicked reputation.
"Can you even imagine what hell this has been? I do not just miss your company, damn it. I hunger for you. I walk around insane with lust while I play the visitors guide and the good neighbor. So do not ask me to attend you in private and provide amusement so your time is not poorer."

"I do not need amusement. I don't. I need--" She reached out and placed her palm on his chest. Warmth. She needed warmth. She closed her eyes and savored the connection under her hand.

"Eva, you are in grave danger of being ravished, and honor be dammed. Remove your hand and step back.

She opened her eyes and looked at her hand. "I cannot remove it. It is stuck." She moved it across his chest, under his coat. "Oh, look. It can move. Not totally stuck. Just too heavy to lift, I suppose." She caressed up, over his shoulder, feeling all the bones and muscles that gave it such an appealing form.

He suffered it, showing more stoicism than she wanted. What happened to honor be damned? She stepped closer, so his scent filled her head. Her lips hovered an inch from his chin, tantalizing him. She smoothed her hand down between them lower yet. His stomach tensed when she passed over it. His erection brushed the back of her hand. She closed her fingers around it through his trousers.

"Damnation, Eva." His fingers stretched through her hair, holding her head against his chest. He turned her head so her face angled up. He claimed her with a kiss full of the hunger he spoke of. 
While the mystery wasn't too much of a mystery and from nearly the beginning most things are fairly obvious there were a couple little turns that kept it interesting as Gareth tried to track down some missing paintings and everything unfolded with a touch of danger added to the mix.

All in all, I was a damn happy reader-girl when I closed that last page. For hours after I finished His Wicked Reputation I kept rushing through things so I could sit down for a few more minutes with Gareth and Eva only to remember dangit I'm already finished! I so could have spent more time with them. Definitely looking forward to seeing Gareth's brother's stories. Both popped into the story a few times and oh they're going to be good! Hunter has me hooked and I cannot wait for more.

Have you read Hunter? Have a favorite?

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