Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
If emotionally stunning, poignant stories w/ steam are your jam please read Julie Anne Long’s Palace of Rogue series & prepare to fall in love. Often.
I’m Only Wicked with You is 3rd in the series & it’s a somewhat circuitous journey to love that had me emotionally invested—stressing at moments & swooning at the end.
When the book opens, American Hugh Cassidy, a self-made man visiting London, has recently tattled on his fellow guest at The Grand Palace on the Thames, Lady Lillias Vaughn, resulting in her being effectively grounded. Lillias, a beautiful, ice cold queen, was smoking a cheroot, something that an Earl’s daughter does not do.
The tension between Hugh & Lillias, the acrimony & the sexual attraction, is strong & both leads feel the latter’s pull even as they acknowledge the former.
But when they’re caught together, these enemies must marry unless they come up with another plan.
First, this book—like the others in the series—is full of beautiful language & humor & warmth, & also lines that bring a flush to my cheeks. Like a line about Hugh wanting to pin her down on a mattress. The lust is top-notch, urgent.
Both leads are imperfect (bc of course!); they aren’t always likable, sunshine & rainbows, & I liked that too—even if it sometimes made me a little uncomfortable (bc I have some long-held beliefs about how women “should” act that I’m still working through.)
But the nuance to them both is beautiful; also their guardedness & the ways they’re affected by the vulnerabilities in the other.
Though the wait for them to admit feelings was a little challenging for me (I could have used some more softness, earlier), the payoff is huge. The sweet moments between Hugh & Lillias are lovely & the epilogue is *chef’s kiss.*
IOWWY is powerful & sexy & I can picture Hugh & Lillias running the world & falling more in love w/ every milestone. Though the dynamic between them isn’t my fave couple dynamic of the series, the whole lot is stellar & I am a huge huge fan.
4.5⭐️. Release Date: 08/24.
Give me that HEA, please.
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