I love when I find a new (to me) author to get excited about and read all her new books when they come out. Stacy Reid has a fan in me with “Wicked in His Arms”. I’ll admit to a little light Internet stalking where I found Reid’s story about how she came up with the idea for this series. She said that she was rewatching “Pride and Prejudice” (love) and said to her husband “why doesn’t Jane just get herself caught in a scandal with Mr. Bingley?” or something to that nature. And he suggested that she write books about characters forced to marry because they get caught together or are involved in scandal. I love that! Even better, this isn’t a typical marriage-of-convenience trope where they got caught, but it was a mistake or something. These two have serious passion! But, I am getting ahead of myself…
Livvie didn’t have a successful first season out because of the scandal surrounding her father’s suicide. In order to make sure she marries properly, she is sent to the estate of a Duke whose mother is supposed to help Livvie. The Duke in question, Tobias, is known as a cold and calculating man. He never lets his feathers get ruffled or loses his temper: he is like a pressure cooker which is constantly simmering, but never bursting. He refuses to let a woman make a fool of him like the previous men in his family. Oh, and he’s a writer! Swoon!
I identified with Livvie- her temper, her love of reading and doing things her own way made her a very appealing heroine. Tobias was maddening, but so lovingly redeemed in the end that it made his journey worth it. Still… up to that point, I was like “poor Livvie should not be putting up with this emotionally unavailable jerk.” I found the dialogue very strong and loved how Livvie put the other women in their place. Some of the back and forth in the second half of the novel got a bit redundant to me, but the characters and the development of their romance won me over.
If you enjoy historical romance with savvy dialogue, I recommend fun and unique read. The characters just fly off the page into the imagination and make you root for them so hard. Isn’t that what all romance strives to be? I will be checking out the first book in this series and am looking forward to the next one! 4 1/2 stars