Can the Earl of Kelthorne and a mere songstress from
an acting troupe
find lasting love in the wilds of Somerset?
You guys need to read Wicked and Wonderful by Valerie King to find out!!!
Her heart may
long for more…
Judith Lovington escaped a vile man years ago and
found sanctuary in a traveling troupe of actors. Fending off the unwanted
attentions of rakish gentlemen has become second nature to her. But when Lord
Kelthorne begins his assault, never has temptation been stronger. How will she
withstand his heated kisses when he represents all that she lost so many years
ago and all that she desires now?
But his wicked
intentions drive her into his arms…
Kelthorne meant only to have a little fun when he
first caught and kissed Judith in his apple orchard. Though intent on mending
his ways and marrying a proper young miss, he can’t forget the lovely
songstress and sets out to break down her every reserve. As he takes his stolen
kisses, however, his clever seductions begin working on his own heart. Will he
surrender to love at long last?
Judith Lovington raced through the orchard, stolen apples caught in
her thick wool scarf. At the far end of the orchard, a man on horseback rode
parallel to her position.
She had erred wretchedly and knew quite well that if she could see
him, even though only leaf-shaped bits of moonlight were scattered on the
ground, then he could most certainly
see her. What rotten luck that this man had chosen to ride his horse at so late
an hour, and at that in an orchard.
She watched his head rise. She stood very still hoping that perhaps
the dark, boy’s clothing she was wearing, borrowed from the troupe’s vast store
of costumes, would make her but a shadow in the orchard. Her heart pounded as
she waited. Suddenly, he spurred his horse in her direction. He had seen her.
She groaned, pushed her hat down hard about her ears, turned around
abruptly and began to run. All the while, stolen apples dropped to the ground
in dull thuds from the shawl clutched to her chest. How could she have allowed herself to be persuaded to enter the Earl of Kelthorne’s orchard in
the first place.
She stumbled more than once but managed
to right herself and keep running.
the man yelled after her, none too politely. “Stay a moment,
young halfling. A word with you,
and then my riding crop, for I
promise you I mean to beat you
within an inch of your life. At
the very least twill mean the
stocks for you and I will only now
be made content by throwing half a dozen cabbages at your head.”
The man, whose diction bespoke the
gentleman, was clearly
outraged by her crime. Stealing was a terrible crime and often punished by the
severest methods. She should never have allowed Charles Hemyock to provoke her
to the deed. From his first joining the troupe nearly a year past, he had barely had a civil word for
her. He was arrogant and cruel, and she did not like him above half. But when he had called her a worthless female
with little wit and no bottom at
all, just like all the other
females of the dramatic troupe,
she felt obligated to vindicate not just herself, but her sex as well.
So he had dared her to collect a dozen apples from
Kelthorne’s orchard and she had
accepted his challenge. Although
she now thought he may have been right about her lack of wit, certainly her lack of sense, for here she was, being chased by a man intent on
doing her serious injury and in some danger of being brought before a magistrate. Visions of dangling from Tyburn
Tree pressed her to move faster still.
back again. He would be on her in a
trice for she could hardly
outrun his horse. Still, she ran,
slipping through the orchard
sideways, moving from row to row of thickly-leafed trees in hopes of forcing him from his horse. She might
then have a chance to escape, for the
nearby hill was thick with growth and she knew how to hide. She had at the very
least some practice in that skill.
As she neared the edge of the orchard, she glanced again and saw that she had made some progress. He was
having difficulty, just as she had hoped, navigating his horse after
her. She felt a sudden rush of exhilaration believing she now had a chance to
escape when she heard a terrible sound, the deep bark of a large dog, not too
If the hound caught her, she would be in the basket, indeed.
Glancing once more over her shoulder, she saw moonlight glint off
the dusky coat of a bounding dog heading in her direction. Her heart sank as
fear engulfed her chest. She ran faster still. She dropped the rest of the
apples as well as her shawl. She raced for the woods. She did not know how she
might escape now, but she meant to make every effort.
She held to the last vestige of hope until she heard the wheezing of
the dog behind her and suddenly found herself shoved forward, then landing,
fortunately, on a patch of grassy turf at the very edge of the orchard.
“Rufus!” the man shouted from a distance. “Desist!”
Judith found herself pressed to the ground. The big dog was standing
on her back. At the same time, she covered her face with her arms fearing that
she would soon feel the creature’s teeth tearing at her flesh. Her heart
pounded in her chest so that the top of her head hurt. She felt dizzy and more
frightened than she had in her entire life, even more than on the day she had
run away from home some eight years earlier. Had death come to her at last?
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from WICKED AND WONDERFUL!To read the entire first chapter click HERE
First of all I need to say that I´m not a fan of Regency
books, but Wicked and Wonderful was quite enjoyable, I have
a lot of friends that love the genre, I had an amazing time Reading this title and would read any book from this author without a doubt.
The world building was
amazing, it was easy for me to get lost on the story and picture everything
that was going on with and around the characters. Watching the interaction of the Troupe gave me a sense of family and camaraderie that trapped me and made me fall in love withall of the characters.
Without a doubt this is
one of the most enjoyable reads I´ve had the pleasure to do, it was so sweet and ringed
so true that I had a hard time putting the book down.
Judith is an easily relatable
character, you can´t help but to fall in love with her after all that she has
endure. Aubrey wasn´t as easy but at the
end the man that he is, is what makes the whole story more interesting and
Several of the Side
characters are very easy to connect to, such as Laurence and Miss Currivard, they
were amazing, easily likable and fun.
The story is perfectly
weaved, it has very good moments that I feel where well thought and planned, I
wouldn´t change a letter from this book. I was hooked from the start.
I´m very enamored of the
cadence and properness of the dialogues, even if a reader is not used to reading
this genre is very easy to get lost on the romanticism and at the same time the
dialogue pulls you into another world, I´m not embarrased to say that I dreamed of the Ball Season, big dresses and fine cultured gentlemen.
I liked this book very very much.
The actual rating would be 4.5 starts....mhhh maybe I need to start working on my half stars graphic.
Caris Roane, aka Valerie King, has
published six paranormal romances for St. Martin’s Press, and has
self-published a number of vampire romances.As Valerie King, she’s written over fifty Regency romance novels and
novellas and will soon launch a new line of Regency books from sweet to sexy.In 2005, Romantic Times gave her a Career
Achievement award in Regency Romance.
As Caris Roane, she also writes
contemporary romance and has recently released her first contemporary, A
Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, loves
to write, really doesn’t like scorpions, and has two cats, Sebastien and Gizzy.