Your Wicked Ways
by Eloisa James
I've not really checked out any other regency romance authors yet, so I'm not sure if Eloisa's are some of the best the genre has to offer or not, but theres something about them that I really enjoy and this one was no exception.Summary: Helene, the Countess Godwin, knows there is nothing more unbearably tedious than a virtuous woman. After all, she's been one for ten long years while her scoundrel of a husband lives with strumpets and causes scandal after scandal. So she decides it's time for a change -- she styles her hair in the newest, daring mode, puts on a shockingly transparent gown, and goes to a ball like Cinderella, hoping to find a prince charming to sweep her off her feet...and into his bed.
But instead of a prince, she finds only her own volatile, infuriatingly handsome...husband, Rees, the Earl Godwin. They'd eloped to Gretna Green in a fiery passion, but passion can sometimes burn too hot to last.
But now, Rees makes her a brazen offer, and Helene decides to become his wife again...but not in name only. No, this time she decides to be very, very wicked indeed.
The book wasn't my favourite of hers, and there were things about it that infuriated me, but it had me hooked from the start. And I really like how, in spite of the time period holding the women in these types of stories back, Eloisa still manages to write strong female characters (and she's good at writing female relationships too--she doesn't demonize the rivals and she writes good friendships).
The romance in the book was one of the things that pissed me off because Rees was a total ass. He said and did things that clearly left Helene with long lasting insecurities and issues and it made me sad and angry to read that because Helene was pretty awesome, and while Rees does eventually give his reasons and apologies and sees the error of his douchebag ways it just...it doesn't feel like enough. I don't know if that's a weakness in Eloisa's writing or if I just judge too harshly, because it's not the first of her books I've had that issue with.
That's not to say the romance was awful, it wasn't and in the end I did like it.Their relationship made me angry sometimes, but it had its moments of sweetness. I was rooting for them to get together and for him to stop being an idiot, and I really loved the music thing the two of them had going on. Basically, even though I'm not sure he deserved her in the end, they did make sense together.
The only thing about the book that I genuinely kind of hated was the chapters telling Tom's story, because I didn't want to read those. The summary said the book was going to be about Rees and Helene and it was, but it was a pain having to drag through the Tom stuff to get back to those two.
...This review sucks, sorry, but I may or may not have stayed up all night reading the book so my brain is a bit scrambled right now. Anyway, I'd rate the book 3 stars out of 5 (not a particularly high rating, but these books are addictive to read and that's all I really need from them - for them to be quick, entertaining reads).
p.s. this is part of the duchess quartet, but I'm pretty sure this one is the fourth book so I guess I'll be reading the books out of order. It worked just fine on its own, but after reading the summaries of the other books, I think maybe there's some cameos and things of other characters from the earlier books present in this one, so maybe it would've been a better idea to read them in order.