I’ve said it before, the reason that I didn’t read historical romances in the past was because of how horribly antiquated I thought they were. I’ve been proven wrong time and time again though. Historical romance isn’t always the cliche that some people make it out to be. In fact, some of the HR that I’ve read have come across as pretty modern. However, some historical romances are actually the cliches that people talk about and Wicked Becomes You by Meredith Duran is one such cliche.
She’s been burned not once but twice by London’s so-called gentlemen . . .
Gwen Maudsley is pretty enough to be popular, and plenty wealthy, too. But what she’s best known and loved for is being so very, very nice. When a cad jilts her at the altar—again—the scandal has her outraged friends calling for blood. Only Gwen has a different plan. If nice no longer works for her, then it’s time to learn to be naughty. Happily, she knows the perfect tutor—Alexander Ramsey, her late brother’s best friend and a notorious rogue.So why won’t a confirmed scoundrel let her be as bad as she wants to be?Unbeknownst to Gwen, Alex’s aloof demeanor veils his deepest unspoken desire. He has no wish to see her change, nor to tempt himself with her presence when his own secrets make any future between them impossible. But on a wild romp from Paris to the Riviera, their friendship gives way to something hotter, darker, and altogether more dangerous. With Alex’s past and Gwen’s newly unleashed wildness on a collision course, Gwen must convince Alex that his wickedest intentions are exactly what she needs.
I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to perfection – especially when your talking about human beings. So, when an author makes their character seemingly perfect it takes away from the book for me. An example of this is how the main male lead, Alexander Ramsey, was so perfect. I understand and realize that in a good portion of books of the historical romance genre there is a dashing, handsome, intelligent, and rich rouge who sweeps the woman off her feet. Alex is one such man. He owns his own business, he’s the most handsome man in the room, he’s intelligent, and loyal to his family. He’s got every lady in the room looking to snag him as a husband, but of course he is also the ultimate bachelor. The only companionship he requires is that of the occasional visit from a lady of questionable reputation. All of these things add up to me not really liking Alexander Ramsey, not because he’s a player, but because he’s so damn stereotypically perfect. There is a reason that a character like this is cliche, and that’s because there are a thousand other books with a thousand other characters like this one.
Gwen was a little bit better than Alex. She was one of those women that did whatever it took to be accepted by society. A proper lady, who aspired to get married to a respectable man. However, after being left at the alter by two ex-fiance’s, she’s had it with being respectable. She has decided that she doesn’t care what people think of her, and she uses Alex to help her cast off that veil of respectability that she’s so used to donning. I actually enjoyed watching Gwen try to be scandalous. She wasn’t exactly a pro at it, but she certainly gave it a try. The result was some pretty humorous events that saved Wicked Becomes You from being a total flop in my eyes.
The story was okay. There were even times when I genuinely wanted to know what was going to happen next. However, I found that I wasn’t totally interested in what was going on all the time. I wish that Wicked Becomes You had went more into what Alex’s brother was doing, and why. The parts that did feature this problem were some of the best in the book.
Overall, I can’t say that Wicked Becomes You by Meredith Duran is the best historical romance that I’ve ever read, and if this was the first HR that I had read, I don’t think I would be clamoring to read another anytime soon. The stereotype of Alex’s character and of Gwen’s situation were just too much, and I think that if Alex had one obvious flaw that maybe this book would have been better. And who knows? You might actually like this, if you have a thing for old fashioned chivalry. If that’s the case, then certainly this might actually catch your fancy. Unfortunately for me, this just wasn’t the winner I was hoping that it might be.