A WEEK TO BE WICKED is simply magical! This is what romance should be! Tessa Dare has outdone herself with this delightful and thrilling romance between two unlikely souls who complemented each other to perfection.
Bookish Minerva Highwood can’t compare to her lovely, refined, elegant sister, so she focused her attention to the study of rocks. She’d just found the footprint of a giant lizard that she was sure would change the way the world view its history, and she needed to give her presentation at the symposium, where she hoped to make a name for herself as a serious geologist and gain the accolades of her peers. For this, she needs someone to protect her on her travels and who better than Colin Sandhurst, the man with whom she’d bickered during their entire time in Spindle Cove?
As for Colin, he didn’t want to go. He just knew something terrible would happen to him when in the company of Minerva Highwood. Plus, if an unmarried gentlewoman and a rake like him were to travel together, her reputation would be ruined, and even if Colin were a rake, he had principles to uphold, one of which is that he doesn’t ruin an innocent woman. Yet, he was beguiled by flashes of the real Minerva hiding under the spectacles and behind her books, and when Minerva was determined to go with or without him, he was fascinated by the hint of the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, and he knew he couldn’t let her go alone.
Amazing! Simply, simply amazing. I was held spellbound from the first page, and even the prospect of having to go to work the next day couldn’t tear me from my reader. The wit and humor are understated and wonderful, provoking that burst of laughter; the story is full of heart and romance. I love this book, and just couldn’t say enough of this story. I laughed and cried and I didn’t want it to end.
Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, is to-die-for. Beneath the rake, he’s a decent man and there’s a vulnerability that eats at the reader–and Minerva. I have to admit I didn’t think much of him in A Night to Surrender (the first book in the series) where he first appeared, but he quite changed my mind. I like the way he came to regard Minerva, his ability to see beneath the facade she presented to the world. I like how he’s so protective of her, and I like seeing how his view of her changed from scene to scene. Like, at first, he thought there was a certain beauty to her, until he thought her lovely, without any qualification at all.
Here’s a delicious quote, and one of my favorite scenes!
“You’re beautiful, Min,” he said, in a tone of wonderment. As if his own words took him by surprise. “Lord above. You’re stunning.”
She huffed a protest. “I’m not. You know I’m not.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“No one’s ever called me so before. I’m twenty-one years old. If I were beautiful, surely someone would have noticed by now.”
He seemed to think on this for a moment, dropping one hand to straighten the trim on her sleeve. “It is hard to imagine anyone overlooking beauty on this magnitude. Perhaps you weren’t beautiful until very recently.”
A nervous laugh rose in her throat. “I’m sure I haven’t undergone any dramatic transformation.” She searched her own reflection, just to make sure. The same wide brown eyes stared back at her, encircled by brass wire rims. They anchored the same rounded face and funny, heart-shaped mouth. Her skim had freckled and tanned over recent days, but other than that… “I’m the same as I ever was.”
“Well, I’m not,” he said simply, still drinking in her reflection. “I’m altered. Destroyed. Utterly laid waste.”
Then, there was the way he complimented Minerva in this same scene, and though it was never said of him, I thought he is such a romantic. His declaration of love nearing the end certainly attests to that! I read that part about three times!
There’s a certain sweetness and fairy-tale quality to their romance, but most of all, each served as a catalyst to the other–to change and grow and become the person they were meant to be. I thought my heart would break when he despaired of being “worthy” of the love Minerva has for him, not knowing or understanding that love is unconditional and given freely.
Minerva is a gem. She came across as bookish with her head full of rocks, but she has heart and a keen perceptiveness that allowed her to see through to the real Colin. Because of her mother’s…um, high-handedness and certain condescension, she hid her true self beneath a meek facade until Colin coaxed her out with dares and challenges. It’s such a joy watching these two match wits and outdo each other.
From the first scene, Tessa Dare swept me into their unlikely romance–and it is a romance. I swear, I could feel them falling in love with each other throughout the book, and this quite thrilled the romantic in me. Even after I closed the book (i.e., my reader), I keep thinking about them and reliving their romance. When a book is able to do this to me, I know it’s a keeper!
A WEEK TO BE WICKED is even better than the first book in the Spindle Cove series. I hope we’ll be able to revisit Colin and Minerva in future books. If I could give a rating of more than five stars, this story would’ve rated a perfect 10 from me. A must read for all romance lovers. Highly recommended!
Rating: 5 stars
When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin . . . time is not on their side.
Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.
Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be . . . anywhere but Spindle Cove.
These unlikely partners have one week:
to fake an elopement
to convince family and friends they’re “in love”
to outrun armed robbers
to survive their worst nightmares
to travel four hundred miles without killing each other
All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.
What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.
Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble. And maybe . . . just maybe . . . everlasting love.