When His Kiss Is Wicked
Zebra, Apr 2009, $5.99
With the death of her father, Colette Hamilton takes over running the family bookstore in which she supports her mom and four sisters. However, her uncle and mother are appalled with her working as they want her to marry wealth and sell the shop; Colette prefers work over marriage.
In 1870 an earl, Lord Lucien Waverley stops at the bookstore to buy books for his father. He and the shopkeeper are attracted to one another as he begins to understand the adage “You can’t judge a book by its cover” and she “The family that plays together”. However, though they see each other at social events, their potential courtship is derailed over a philosophical difference about whether women should be allowed to own and run a store as he wants a throwback to the Regency era and she reminds him of who runs the empire.
The strong gender war over the role of women in Victorian society makes for an amusing, entertaining yet profound historical story. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the beloved enemy combatants meet in her family bookstore and never slows down as they fall in love while debating whether women should be allowed in business. Sub-genre fans will relish the first Hamilton sister tale and look forward to more engaging mid nineteenth century romances.