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Slightly Wicked by Mary Balogh

Slightly Wicked

by Mary Balogh

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Moving on to the next sibling in the Bedwyn family... there's the heroine who has been constantly put down and is now facing a life as a poor relation who in a desire to grab a bit of life and has a brief affair with the wealthy and high ton Bedwyn brother. But fate brings them back into each other's circles and of course that ends in a happily ever after. Didn't like the hook as much as the first novel in the series. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Oct 19, 2017 |
Trigger warning: Attempted rape.

I did not like the start. The heroine carries on a fling with a man she just met. They spend a few days at an inn, pretending to be a married couple. It seemed something more likely to happen in the age of Tinder, than tinderboxes. It was also annoying how the guy thought her inexpertise was a skillful guise. Right. Because virgins magically turn into seductresses when they're with the right person. The hero, Rannulf, a.k.a. Ralf, also graciously considers turning her into his mistress after these few days in paradise. When she leaves him because she can't keep up the charade any longer, he feels used and tricked, fully thinking of her to be a cheap and manipulative woman, up until it is revealed to him that she was a virgin. Then he does a 180 and suddenly is filled with a sense of honor to do the right thing and marry her. What the fuck, standards all over the place. I almost stopped reading then and there.

Then the part where Judith has to make herself ugly and work as an unpaid servant in the house of her harridan of an aunt, while watching her vapid cousin flirt with the hero. Because, surprise, the person she just had a fling with shows up at the dinner table, and is planning on marrying into the very family who treats her like Cinderella. So she has to watch and pine from a distance. Boo hoo. Boring.

Then the attempted rape by an odious cousin.

The book only truly begins to pick up when Judith first turns down Ralf's lousy marriage proposal. Then the rest of the time I was just looking forward to the awful Horace (rapey cousin) being punished for attempting to frame Judith and her brother for theft.

What saves this from being a cheesy melodrama was the grounded stance about love and marriage that I've come to admire as a theme of Mary Balogh's books. Bewcastle warns Ralf that there is more to marriage than romance, and Ralf reassures him that he intends to work at it. The proposal scene was also quite lovely. After he lists the many auxilliary reasons why they should not, and should get married:

“Judith,” he said, looking up into her startled, arrested face, “will you do me the great honor of marrying me? I ask for one reason and one reason only. Because I adore you, my love, and can imagine no greater happiness than to spend the rest of my life making you happy and sharing companionship and love and passion with you. Will you marry me?”

I was sold with the companionship part.

I also did like the scenes where Judith gets into the zone for her Shakespearian performances.

However, Judith brings up good points about his earlier intentions. He himself mentioned that it was common for men like him to have wives and keep mistresses. Basically, if he could have so casually slept with her, what is to stop him from doing the same with others, after they are married? The main reassurance he comes up with is that he is a Bedwyn, and Bedwyns are faithful to their wives. If I really wanted to be a Doubting Debbie, one could think, a family "tradition" isn't exactly a guarantee, is it?

But I'm probably ruining it for other people. It is a testament to the skill of the author then that she somehow is able to take a distasteful opening situation, coat it with sugar and love, so by the end the readers will swallow the whole thing down with minimal objections. That's how I feel. Like I ate something that I didn't like but it was wrapped in bacon, so, okay. I accept. ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
Judith Law, an impoverished clergyman's daughter, is traveling to become her grandmother's unpaid companion when the stage coach overturns. Lord Rannulf Bedwyn happens to be riding by and, interested in her beauty, offers her a ride to the nearest inn. Judith is convinced she will never have a chance at love or marriage, and intemperately allows herself to be seduced. After a few wonderful days together, she sneaks away and catches another stagecoach to her richer relations'. They might never have seen each other again, and Judith might indeed have died an old maid, except that Rannulf is being pressured to marry Judith's younger, richer cousin. And so they happen to meet again, and as the houseparty continues, each realize that they love the other. But Rannulf is the son of a duke, and Judith's family is increasingly poor due to her brother's profligate spending. Neither thinks a marriage between them would be at all suitable.

I liked the first Bedwyn story better, but this one has a lot of charm. Aside from their romance, Rannulf and Judith each have other friendships and subplots. Rannulf has always been rich and has never much stirred himself, but coming in contact with the ruin Judith's brother has brought upon his family makes him think about his own dissolute habits. And Judith's friendship with her grandmother, and mixed feelings about her beauty, give her depth. Most of all, this book heightened my anticipation of reading some of the other Bedwyn's romances: Lady Freyja, for instance, who rides hard and treats her suitors like they're comrades in arms, but is still getting over a broken heart. And the Duke himself, the freezingly cold, intensely proud, always controlled young man who rules the Bedwyns with just a hissed whisper. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
A terrific series about the Bedwyn children. This is my favorite family of Mary Balogh! ( )
  olongbourn | Mar 1, 2015 |
Judith Law is daydreaming about a different life other than the one in front of her. A life that is filled with love and adventure when an accident lands her with an opportunity to have a small adventure, little does Lord Rannulf Bedwyn known that this adventure is going to be a complicated tangle that he's not sure he wants to detangle himself from.

It was fun, light, predictable fun. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jan 12, 2015 |
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Moments before the stagecoach overturned, Judith Law was deeply immersed in a daydream that had effectively obliterated the unpleasant nature of the present reality.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440241057, Mass Market Paperback)

Meet the Bedwyns…six brothers and sisters—men and women of passion and privilege, daring and sensuality…Enter their dazzling world of high society and breathtaking seduction…where each will seek love, fight temptation, and court scandal…and where Rannulf Bedwyn, the rebellious third son, enters into a liaison that is rather risqué, somewhat naughty, and…Slightly Wicked.

With his laughing eyes and wild, rakish good looks, Lord Rannulf Bedwyn is a hard man to resist. To Judith Law, a woman in need of rescue when her stagecoach overturns, Rannulf is simply her savior, a heroic stranger she will reward with one night of reckless passion before she must become a companion to her wealthy aunt. Imagine Judith's shock when the same stranger turns out to be among England's most eligible bachelors…and when he arrives at Harewood Grange to woo her cousin. Certainly, they had made no vows, no promises, but Rannulf never did forget his uninhibited lover…nor did she forget that one delicious night. And as scandal sets the household abuzz, Rannulf proposes a solution…but when Judith refuses to have him—in love or wedlock—Rannulf has only one choice: to wage a campaign of pure pleasure to capture the heart of the woman who has already won his.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:26 -0400)

In this Regency-era romance the rakish and wealthy Rannulf Bedwyn has no trouble having a brief tryst with a beautiful woman who claims to be a worldly actress. However, when he meets the woman a second time he is shocked to discover that she is actually Judith Law, the daughter of an impoverished pastor.… (more)

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