Not Wicked Enough by Carolyn Jewel
February 7, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
She looked up at him, and said, "Am I too wicked, your grace?"
"My love, if I may be honest—"
"You’re not wicked enough."
I picked up Not Wicked Enough by Carolyn Jewel late one night, just intending to read one chapter before I went to bed. But I became so enthralled with the hero and heroine that I could not put this book down. We have two people with exquisite chemistry and such witty banter that I was charmed throughout the entire book.
Our heroine, Lily Wellstone, is a very wealthy lady who is extremely stylish and proper, at least on the outside. When she shows up at the Duke of Mountjoy’s house to visit her dear friend Ginny (who is the Duke’s sister), she is at first taken aback by this imposing duke, but the challenge invigorates her.
Lily stayed where she was, meeting his gaze without blinking or looking away. According to the terms she’d set for herself, she could not move while he trod on her shadow. The thought made her smile.
The duke didn’t look away either. Nor did he smile in return. The effect was … bracing.
Mountjoy learns she is not only beautiful, but she is quite the character. She flirts with him and has a very sharp sense of humor.
It takes him quite awhile to figure her out.
"Do you have ghosts here?" she asked.
Good Lord, he hoped she wasn’t serious. With that innocent face of hers, he couldn’t be sure. "Not to my knowledge," he said.
"You ought to consider it."
He was at sea. One moment he was convinced she was a helpless sort of female, none too bright, the next that she must be daft. Or intelligent beyond what her sex typically allowed a man to guess.
Lily’s love of her life died on the battlefield, and she really isn’t looking for another mate. She is happy in life when she visits to cheer up Mountjoy’s sister, who is grieving over the loss of her husband. Lily likes to have everything arranged, from her friends to the food on her plate.
Mountjoy was brought up on a farm and, as a shock, was handed the title of duke through a messy family tree. Although never expecting to have this position, he took it on seriously and has always tended to his duties. He may not dress necessarily proper, but his manners and behavior make him a very respectable duke. While not engaged, everyone assumes he will marry family friend Miss Jane Kirk and, out of duty, he plans to. But when Lily lands on his doorstep, he just can’t let her go, no matter how hard he tries.
A couple of things really stand out in Not Wicked Enough. First of all, the chemistry between Lily and Mountjoy jumped off the page in Chapter 1 and continued to the end. Lily is so unapologetic for her flirtation and her attention to the smallest details, yet she is extremely friendly and warm and truly cares about Mountjoy’s sister and her well-being. She is very secure and confident about who she is — so when she has the chance to flirt with the very attractive Mountjoy, she goes for it. She is very wicked and unashamed in her actions, and I loved it. And while they have a wonderful build-up of sexual tension, the sex scenes are so erotic and lengthy, they just added to the high sensuality of the book. There are these little moments, such as the following one, where they are having a somewhat normal conversation, and then Carolyn Jewel puts in just a sentence or two, that lights the whole page on fire.
"Tell me your adventure." The side of his finger brushed her bare shoulder. Neither of them acknowledged the contact. Not yet.
They have such a witty banter that I quite enjoyed. They tease and flirt so much that you can’t help but smile as they do it. As he is not engaged to Jane Kirk yet, he isn’t necessarily cheating on her, although it does give him pause a few times. I didn’t have any problems in regards to Jane or how her character played out.
There is a bit of conflict surrounding Lily, as her mother married below her station, so therefore her mother’s family practically disowned her after she was married, leaving Lily with little family. When Lily’s aunt leaves her a great fortune, this also causes conflict, as many of the other family members don’t think Lily deserves it. Someone from her past reunites with Lily and causes her some distress. Honestly, Mountjoy and Lily’s relationship overshadowed this conflict, so I wasn’t heavily invested in how things played out with it.
Not Wicked Enough is full of great chemistry and very sensual love scenes and is, dare I say, a very wicked book indeed. I highly recommend it.
This review first appeared at Happy Ever After.