Safely landed in the UK! London Heathrow is a lot smaller than I remember it being – perhaps because of the stretches and stretches of walkway leading from the terminal. Once I got down to the arrivals lounge it seemed like there wasn't enough room for everyone just from my plane.
I'm adopting a review structure – new to me, but not new overall. My darling mother uses a WIN/FAIL review structure, and considering that that's pretty much how I think of the books I read, and we speak like that to each other all the time, I've decided to steal it. You can read her reviews at her VOX blog.
I managed to read Wicked Becomes You on the airplane after having a freakout attack when I realized I'd left my packet of information at school (I have a friend coming to the rescue and bringing it with her – yay for being the first one to arrive and having friends to save your ass). After absorbing myself entirely in her world, and not getting much sleep because of it, my status as a Meredith fangirl remains solid.
While this book takes a turn away from Meredith's usual dark, thought-provoking fare, I was really impressed with her versatility. She handles her hero and heroine, Alex and Gwen, with a dexterity that reminds me of Julia Quinn, only as I imagine her to be after a couple of martinis.
Gwen is the darling of London. She makes an effort to be extra polite to everyone, even when they give her the cut direct. She is stood up at the alter – not once, but twice – despite having quite an impressive fortune of her own left to her by her dead parents and brother.
Alex, our hero, was her brother's best friend and made a deathbed promise to look after Gwen and make sure she was settled properly. We see that he is intrigued by her and on the way to falling in love with her even before she is jilted. Only, once she decides she's sick of being nice after her second fiance leaves her and wants to be bad for a while, Alex is even more intrigued to the point of whisking her away on some pretty fantastic adventures . . . in bed.
Corny fortune cookie references aside, I loved that Gwen was more than just the “good girl gone bad”. She obviously has depth to her, a brain, and a sense of street smarts from trying to survive in the upper class. Her parents were nouveau riche, so she has something to prove for most of her life. And certain things were practically beaten out of her – I won't ruin it for you by telling you what.
The soul-revealing scenes, particularly on Alex's side, made me weep and my heart flutter. I'm one of those persons who doesn't really need the three magic words to believe an HEA; this scene was amazing for Alex's honesty and his obvious devotion to Gwen's happiness. If I had to say one thing that I didn't like as much about this book, it would be that I thought Alex's acceptance of his love for Gwen was just too damn easy. Boy had a lot of baggage, and we didn't really see him struggle with it. Gwen was the one to resist for far longer than was really necessary. Alex was also pretty demanding and insistent towards the end. But the words he uttered were sincere, and Gwen really does have him wrapped around her finger . . . she just doesn't know how to use it yet. We do see that he is completely gaga over her and devoted to her happiness. Just a stubborn ass.
And the sex? Duran's voice is one of my favorites. Steamy, powerful, and heart-rending.
Overall, I'd say this book was a definite WIN.