[Review] Wicked Designs by Lauren Smith

Fry's Reviews, Reviews 0 Comments 8th November, 2014

[Review] Wicked Designs by Lauren SmithWicked Designs by Lauren Smith
Series: The League of Rogues #1
Published by Samhain Publishing on January 7th, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance
Pages: 407
Source: Purchase
The League of Rogues takes what they want—but have they taken on too much?

For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.

It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.

Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.

Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without.

Product Warnings:
This novel includes a lady who refuses to stay kidnapped, a devilish duke with a dark past, and an assortment of charming rogues who have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into.

Alright, so I agreed to review His Wicked Seduction and it ended up being the second book in a series. The completionist in me hated the prospect of starting it before reading the first book, and so here we are.

Unfortunately, this book didn’t jive too well with me. It’s a standard kidnapping plot with Stockholm syndrome abound. Despite how strong willed our female protagonist is, she ultimately ends up in bed with the main male protagonist and onwards flow the cliches.

Emily Parr is about to be sold into marriage to a fat old man with a grudge against her mother for friendzoning him, in order to pay off her family’s debts. Unfortunately, her uncle is also in debt to the one Duke of Essex, who, with the help of his witty and handsome companions, end up kidnapping Ms. Parr. She originally was having none of it. Worried about her reputation, just her being with a notorious band of ladies men was damaging. She already had a hard time finding a marriage prospect, and now her reputation would be fully tarnished.

Though, that was Godric’s plan. Apparently he didn’t want to actually ruin Emily, just mess with her reputation a bit to give the Uncle some trouble. But, he soon began thinking with little Godric and eventually fell in love with the girl.

All the while, Blankenship, the old man with a grudge, is attempting to regain his control over Emily. Godric will have none of that. There’s plenty of drama and a bit of romance in between and everything turns out all right in the end. There’s not nearly as much drama as I would have hoped. The pages where the ex-mistress shows up are brief, and the tension she could have roused is quickly brushed past in interest of other, less fun things. Even when the final showdown happens and Emily is captured once more, it covers much less of the book and is much less tense than I would have anticipated. You know, even with people dying all over the place and whatnot.

The romance itself was lack luster. I just wasn’t feeling it. I guess, for the most part, I didn’t connect with the story or the characters. I did like some of the more tertiary characters, and perhaps their stories will be more interesting. But the kidnapping plot just wasn’t hitting my buttons.

Written by Fry


Probably in a dungeon somewhere. Game Master for the D’n’D actual play podcast Roll For Wenches .

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