Saturday, April 28, 2012

Her Wicked Ways by Darcy Burke

Lady Miranda Sinclair is on her way to the most dreadful place for her...the country.  Her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Holborn, are tired of her reckless behavior and after almost compromising herself on the Dark Walk at Vauxhall, its the last straw for them.  So Miranda is sent to the country to stay with her cousin with no money or frills from London.  While on they way there, they are held up by a highwayman and Miranda, in her brazen way, attempts to trade a kiss for the money (that they don't have).  She boldly kisses the highwayman and is left reeling from the steaminess of it but it is also one more mark against her character and her parents forbid her from even socializing or going into town while in the country.  Miranda's only time out of the dreary house is when she may go to the even drearier orphanage to help out.  Miranda just doesn't quite understand how the orphanage is in such disrepair.  Surely if one needs to fix the roof, they do it!  And the lice!  Shudder.  What is a gently bred young woman like herself supposed to do?

Montgomery Foxcroft, or Fox, is desperate to repair the damage his father did to his childhood home and his childhood legacy, the orphanage.  He knows he can not turn out the children but he is in desperate need of funds and leads a double life as a highwayman occasionally.  When the beautiful, but extremely out of place, wealthy Miranda arrives he starts to think maybe his prayers have been answered.  All he simply most do is get caught compromising the young beauty and he will have plenty of wealth to save his orphanage.  But as Miranda does not know that Fox is the highwayman, she finds herself attracted to Fox but all her thoughts are for the highwayman.  When her parents arrive to whisk her back to London for a 'proper' marriage, neither Fox nor Miranda know what to do.  How this couple finally arrive at their happily ever after is a treat to read!

This is Darcy Burke's debut novel and I really enjoyed it!!  I liked watching Miranda struggle to find herself and become a better person because she starts off very self-centered (due in large part to her overbearing, rude father who seems to want nothing at all do to with her), confident, arrogant and unaware of how truly difficult life can be without the comfort of money.  She learns, slowly, that money isn't always necessary to bring true happiness and that something as simple as a hug can go a long way to improving ones day.  I enjoyed watching her develop strong connections with the children from the orphanage and getting a bit closer with her cousin and seeing the sparks fly between her and Fox.  Fox was a wonderful balance to Miranda with his pride and generous heart.  There is an interesting development in the storyline when Miranda holds a benefit for the orphanage that adds a bit of suspense that I also enjoyed.  As I am an epilogue kind of girl, I really missed not having one with this story as I felt like there were a few loose ends left open and I am hoping they are addressed in the next book which features Miranda's brother, Jasper.  Overall, this was a delightful romance mixed with humor, tenderness and love (you might need a cool glass of water!) that left a happy smile on my face.  I can't wait for more books from Ms Burke!  4 solid stars

ETA:  Yay!  She added an epilogue and it is the icing on the cake :)  It wrapped up the little threads I felt were dangling.  

Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this ebook!

Upcoming books
His Wicked Heart  Summer 2012  Jasper's story
To Seduce a Scoundrel  Summer 2012

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