The Trouble With Being Wicked by Emma Locke (The Naughty Girls #1)
December 18, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
I believe this is the debut for Emma Locke and with a cute cover and a cute blurb, I had to try it. At times this book was rather adorable, and at times this book was rather slow. I think overall this author has the potential to write a charming, sexy book. This one didn’t quite make it there for me though.
Celeste Gray is a very well known and wealthy courtesan, who leaves that life behind when her good friend becomes pregnant. Arriving in the small town of Brixcombe, she moves her very pregnant friend Elizabeth into a somewhat dilapidated cottage, to prepare for the upcoming birth. A little unhappy by the condition of the cottage, she meets with the man who sold it to her, her neighbor viscount Ashlin Lancester. Celeste is thirty-three and knows how to get her way with men and starts the process of getting him to fix up the mess. All Ashlin can do is stare a little at her voluptuous figure.
Ashlin’s parents had a tragic end to their marriage after it was discovered his father was a ‘whoremonger.” When they died, he was set with the task of raising his two sisters for the past seven years (they are now both adults). He despises loose women and even refuses to take his sisters to London to find a husband for fear they will get involved in something scandalous. So when it comes to light that his attractive next door neighbor is actually a courtesan…well things get a little heated.
I feel at times in this book that characters and situations are introduced and not necessarily followed through with. For example, at the beginning of the book we really get to know Elizabeth, pregnant, no husband, not a lot of motherly instinct. I became invested in her and her baby’s future, only to have her leave and not be seen until the very end of the book (where there is much drama with her). Or one of Ashlin’s sisters, who thinks she is too old for marriage, but then falls for a bad boy and drama ensues. Yet, we miss how she seduced and fell for the bad boy. I guess my complaint is there is a lot of setting things up, and then telling us rather than showing us the outcome.
I think the hero and the heroine are well built characters. Ashlin has spent so many years worried about his sisters, and their well being. Almost smothering them in the country, to the point that they want to rebel. Enter our ‘loose’ heroine Celeste, and they see her as an opportunity to learn some crazy behavior. All of this makes Ashlin’s blood pressure rise. He is so, so against prostitutes, that when he discovers Celeste is one, I honestly am not sure I liked his reaction. He goes from being really sad to wondering if he slept with a courtesan would he immediately turn into his father. The very first time he learns of her profession, his reaction is one of sadness, that I was not expecting and it moved me. But as events unfold from there, his reactions become more muddled. Ashlin also struggles with money, where as Celeste is very wealthy. I liked that contrast in this book.
This book has a nice foundation and there are moments I really liked. But there are also times where it was slow, and the unfolding of events felt uneven.