Wicked Becomes You - Meredith Duran My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book. This one's got 3 parts.

Well, this book's fun but that's all. I'm yet to be 'grabbed' by it. I like the characters, the story is good but... well, this theme of 'a rake's tutorials to lead a lady astray' has become kinda boring. I'm not even sure I care for rakes anymore, unless they make me eat my words one way or the other, then make me fall head over heels for them.

Alex is a rake, no doubt. He screws widows because he's bored! Honestly, I don't really care for that info! Most of the times, I don't like his lifestyle and perspectives on it. Seems too frivolous for my taste. He doesn't care for modesty and social norms. Well, sometimes I don't either but I always believe in knowing my boundaries. He's a gorgeous specimen, confident in his own skin and seems everything runs smooth in his life. Well, he is a lucky bastard but not all of us are that lucky!

Talking about luck, I feel sorry for Gwen. Why two suitors jilted her is a question niggling at me always, hope I find some answers as the story progresses. She has always been nice but after the last debacle, now trying to be daring and make a life for herself. I don't like her absolute trust in a man like Alex. After all, she is 23. Naive I know but hoped she'd have some ideas about the colorful truths of life though. She wants to ruin herself so no more problems with any future suitors, and I agreed with her. But, not sure how this 'ruining' part would go. I'm willing to see some fire/spirit from her. I always like fiery heroines giving 'I told you so's to unrepentant/incorrigible rakes.

Alex is Gwen's deceased brother Richard's friend. Even Richard cautioned Alex not to have any designs on her. Such a good friend didn't trust him with his baby sister's welfare, until when he was dying and asked Alex to see her settled. I'm yet to get this 'tutorial for ruination' but there are scenes I liked. Gwen is a very talented singer, a fact I appreciated. Now, let's see what this romp in Paris brings forth for them.

PS: Gwen has a secret admirer, who sends her letters. Who could that be? Hmm ...

Well, things have become kinda interesting. I'm liking their banters now. Still, can't exactly adore Alex or Gwen. Sometimes Alex's words to Gwen are kinda too straightforward, bordering on humiliating. Still, Gwen's sticking on. She's not very fiery but she isn't a limp towel at all.

The plan Alex hatched to get information regarding one of his family's estates wasn't very bright IMO but I loved their interactions in those scenes. Poor Gwen, doesn't know what a flute is! :p That was funny. There are funny scenes here and there throughout the book. It's just that Alex and Gwen, don't feel like 'soul mate'-type to me. I don't really feel the connection, the intensity between them. I know Gwen feels for him, specially after Alex's words on his childhood asthma, she realized she loves him. At first, she thought Alex doesn't wanna fall in love or attach himself to anyone and then it reminded her about her 'bad taste' or luck in men. It was sad. Then Alex said something like, until now ... and they make love. I'm glad he's decided to move on.

Let's see...

So, even last night I wasn't sure what to rate it. I was hovering at 3. There are a few additions, revelations about why Gwen's suitors jilted her, her and Alex's word exchange, strain in their relationship ... all these seemed like crammed in a few chapters, too rushed up. It did feel like the book could've been much much better if the plotting was better. There were other lose ends, like what about that secret admirer? Not even a single mention after those 1st chapters. I, like some other reviews, did think it was Alex. Alas, nothing of the sort! Could've been much more romantic IMO. I was confused about the Barrington case as well but in the end, I got some answer to what happened.

Anyway, the last scene at Heaton Dale was what moved me a lot. There was something so honest and real about that scene, made me think if only the whole book was this honest and real. And of course, I loved that 2nd love scene, in a linen closet no less ... Ahemm, that was hot! :p

So, ultimately, I've decided on 3.5. The book was quite enjoyable but not actually the wowing type. It always makes me sad to finish a book thinking it could've been so much better. If only ... *sigh*