Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Review: The Wicked Husband by Mary Lancaster

Title: The Wicked Husband
Series: Blackhaven Brides
Author: Mary Lancaster
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: January 4, 2018
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing

Notorious young rakehell, Lord Daxton, wakes up in Blackhaven with a monumental hangover—and a wife...

Willa Blake, his old childhood friend and poor relation of his sworn enemy, has her own reasons for eloping with him to Gretna Green—not least the fact that she’s been in love with him since she was fourteen years old. Now they both have to face the consequences of their hasty marriage, which include not only scandal but attempted murder, accusations of theft and several duels, not to mention the fury of Daxton’s mistress and the determination of his mother to have the marriage annulled.

​Yet among all the chaos and unexpected fun of life with Daxton, Willa’s childish crush deepens into adult love. But will Dax, a man of impulse and passion, ever face up to his responsibilities, let alone return her love?

My rating:

Willa Blake is but a servant in her aunt's household, at the beck and call of her family, mostly her cousin, Ralph, who would do anything to humiliate her in retaliation for a past "incident". Which means Willa finds herself in the middle of a disreputable card party in order to bring her cousin his mother's money and encounters her childhood crush, playing dice with her wretched cousin.

Charles Dacre, Viscount Daxton, immediately recognizes little "Willie" and makes her a daring offer that will save them both; her from her family's clutches and him from having to rely on his father to pay off his debts. They'd elope and get married in Scotland...

The absolute best in this series (so far).

Although the reasons for Dax's "misbehavior" remained a mystery, I loved to see his reformation thanks to Willa. He wanted to be a better man for her and because of her, and he accomplished that. Willa paled a little in comparison with her hero, and there was no monumental change in her character, except for her finding her gumption, but she was sweet and caring, her gentle nature perfectly complimenting Dax's more erratic one.
I loved their romance. It might've come across as rather rushed, but the fact the two were somewhat childhood friends helped. It was both sweet and tender and passionately hot and I really enjoyed reading their scenes together.

The characters from previous stories made their requisite cameos or longer appearances, the next hero had a little more screen time, the wicked mother-in-law's change of mind was thankfully swift, the villain was "pleasantly" twisted, the other villain was simply a bitch, and the suspense quite nicely done.

I loved the various relationships, friendships, and interactions, I loved the main protagonists and their friends and acquaintances, the suspense provided that little pinch of intrigue, the pacing was spot-on...Loved it.


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