Friday, August 13, 2010
I didn't like "Wicked Under the Covers" by Barbara Pierce.
I'm really surprised this book has so many 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon. I was tempted to give it 2 stars but the writing is decent even if I didn't like the plot or the hero and didn't believe the way the heroine acted.
Fayre, the heroine, starts the book by sleeping with Lord Standish because she loves him and believes he loves her. Soon she discovers she is merely a pawn in a revenge plot by her father's ex-mistress. She is "ruined" but there seem to be few consequences other than not being invited some places and putting up with snide innuendo. What seems more unbelievable is that Lord Standish was free to go about trashing her reputation without any social consequences. Fayre asked her father and brother not to challenge Standish but it's hard to believe a duke wouldn't have some pressure to bear on Standish (directly or through his father) to get him to stop talking about her.
I really disliked the hero, Maccus. He has some characteristics of a good romantic hero -- rising from humble beginnings to become wealthy -- but he acts like a bully and a manipulator and I cannot tolerate that in a romantic hero. Knowing what happened to Fayre, he badgers her and treats her rather badly to get her to help him gain entry into society. If he had simply gotten an introduction and explained how his plan could benefit them both, it would have made sense. But he grabs her out of her carriage at the park and basically acts like a jerk around her. Despite this, Fayre agrees to his plan and then proceeds to act in a way that makes no sense for someone trying to overcome social ruin. She starts meeting Maccus regularly at his house for lessons on how to fit into society. (One would think a family with a ruined daughter would keep closer watch on her so this wouldn't happen.) Meanwhile, Maccus is all over Fayre physically with no consideration for her reputation. Some readers might consider him a handsome rogue but it wasn 't romantic or heroic to me. He came off as a jerk and bully. And with no thought to how badly sleeping with Standish turned out for her, Fayre gets physically involved with Maccus. She is supposed to be a smart and spunky heroine but she came across to me as careless and foolish, which didn't make sense considering the social position she was in. And that's even given the romance genre where young innocent women are overcome with passion and sleep with men to whom they are not married or betrothed.
I see there are other books in the series about the Carlisle family: "Sinful Between the Sheets (Carlisle Family, Book 2)" and "Naughty by Nature (Carlisle Family, Book 3)." I won't be reading them.
I bought this book at a library book sale. At least I didn't pay full price for it.