This book was sent free for honest review by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Importance of Being Scandalous by Kimberly Bell
Series: The Tale of Two Sisters #1
Published by Entangled: Select on July 25th, 2017.
Genres: Historical Romance
Buy Links: Amazon | B&N
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A horse race in trousers on Rotten Row. Visiting a gaming hall in a dress that would make her mother faint. Sneaking an invitation to a masquerade ball attended by only the wickedest, most debauched members of society…
None of these things are scaring off bookish but strong-willed Amelia Bishop’s stuffy, egotistical fiancé.
The only thing left is to entice childhood friend Nicholas Wakefield into a truly engagement-ending scandal. The Wakefields are the height of propriety, and Nicholas’s parents have made it clear a wife from the neighboring Bishop family would be unacceptable…
But Nicholas would give up his family and his fortune if Amelia would ever see him as more than just a childhood friend. He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both, because he’s got a plan that will change her mind about him being merely the boy next door.
I have no words to describe how much I adored THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED. Having never read Kimberly Bell, I requested the book on a whim and now I have no idea how I’ll endure waiting until JANUARY 2018 for the next book. 2018! Gahhh.
This adorable friends to lovers tale features witty protagonists, secondary characters you’ll want to devour, antagonists you’ll want to murder, and a lusty romance that requires fire-proof undies.
Amelia Bishop wants out of her engagement to the overbearing and stuffy Embry like a bat out of hell, but the man won’t take no for an answer! She has no choice, with the help of her best friend Nicholas Wakefield, she concocts a scandalous scheme to scare the man off. Unbeknownst to Amelia, Nick has a plan of his own—to show her he’s more than just her childhood friend.
Nicholas leaned against a tree trunk. “I can still read you like a book.”
Of all the nerve! Amelia crossed her “What am I thinking, then?”
He leaned in close. Dangerously close. The coffee and citrus smell surrounded her as his eyes met hers and a jolt of awareness sparked between them. “You think I spent the last two years steeped in debauchery, bedding my way through the French countryside.”
The heat in her cheeks tripled. “Hardly.”
“…Mastering the sensual arts with voluptuous young women of questionable moral fiber.” His voice was pitched low, and it sent shivers rippling across her skin.
Amelia breathed in to steady herself, but it only made it worse. “Did you?”
“Master them?” He leaned closer. There was no room left between them. If either shifted, the front of her dress would brush against the fabric of his jacket.
Amelia nodded, eyes wide.
He was staring at her parted lips. She swayed forward, her own lips parting in response.
“Not really, no.” He backed away with a grin. “Mostly I learned about art.”
Nicholas is back after a two years of fun in France with his new—and my new book boyrfriend—pal Jasper and boy has he grown more handsome! It was so cute watching him wax poetic about his love for Amelia, even if he was a bit cowardly at first. I understand the pressure of family obligation and the need for parental approval, but sometimes I just wanted to smack him until he saw reason. Thankfully, he grew up and discovered
his balls the courage to fight for his happiness.
“This is a bad idea,” he said.
“I can see all of you.”
Amelia looked down at her own thighs. She twisted around to check her backside. “I’m covered.”
“But it…” Nicholas struggled for the proper way to word it. “It leaves nothing to the imagination.”
She circled him, observing his own riding clothes. “Neither do yours.”
“Women’s minds aren’t as vulgar as—”
Amelia cut him off with her laughter. “Is that what men think?”
[*snort* Right?! What women has not heard this and thought, “you really know nothing about women.” Sorry, just had to add my two cents!]
Where Nicholas is more reserved and modest, Amelia is bold, curious, and anything but subtle. She’ll stand up for her loved ones and fight for what she wants at the detriment of her reputation. She was wonderful and entertaining as hell with all the shenanigans she caused in the name of “carrying out her plan.” (At some point, you know she started to enjoy herself.)
Our main characters were not the only memorable, beloved characters:
We have Julia, Amelia’s sister, partner-in-crime, and social pariah of the Bishop family. She was easy for me to relate to as we both have life-threatening illnesses, albeit mine are less visible and dramatic. She’s witty, sarcastic, and a character I wish was real. The two sisters were a riot! I wanted to join them on their mischievous adventures.
“At first it was nice. His lips were against mine and it was sweet. There was a definite chance for tingles.”
“And then he swallowed me? His tongue was in my mouth and it was so strange and I could barely breathe and it was…it was a lot. A lot all at once.
“His tongue—in your mouth?”
“I don’t know!” Amelia threw her arms up in a general plea to the universe.”
Then there is Jasper, Nick’s only friend outside of the Bishop sisters. He is wicked, self-indulgent, and nonchalantly heroic. He spent much of the novel matchmaking and teaching Nicholas to be himself and live on his own terms. He’s a walking, talking, oxymoron and I would love to see him and Julia paired up. Imagine the trouble they would get up to!
“What did he want?”
Nick untied his neckcloth and tossed it on the dressing table. “You know, in mannered circles, one knocks before entering a room.”
“Mannered circles are boring, populated with boring people who have sticks lodged firmly up their backsides. And not in an exciting way.”
“There’s an exciting way to have a stick in your backside?”
Jasper’s grin was wicked. “You left Paris too soon. There is a great deal of the world that you still don’t know about, Master Wakefield.”
“If it involves being sodomized, I left just in time.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED was a hilarious, incredible romp that I recommended to all historical romance lovers/romance fans who enjoy lots of laughter with their love stories. I predict many re-reads in my future. I have already added The Tale of Two Sisters series to my auto-buy list, and I expect I’ll be gobbling up her other books in the meantime.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
About the Author
I write funny, women-centric romance novels in historical settings from my cabin in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada or the beaches of Southern California (it’s a super tough life, I know).
After a successful career in internet sales and marketing, I decided to pursue a pants-optional lifestyle which led to my first book: A Convenient Engagement. From there, it’s been a whirlwind of excitement and deadlines.
I am a pretty hardcore introvert that loves dogs, cheeseburgers, spreadsheets, and occasional day drinking. I also spend way too much time on twitter.
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