My rating: 4 of 5 stars
4.5 stars-the writing was really good, but a little wordy for my taste.
I had been looking at this book for a month or two, then apparently all of my Goodreads friends read it at once, because there were updates everywhere. So, after reading a few really good reviews (and one or two crappy reviews) I came to my friend Catherine’s review:
Her review made me want to read this book, because it is one of the only ones I saw that pointed out Gwen’s change. She is a beautiful and extremely wealthy debutante, who has been jilted twice at the altar. Goodness me the scandal! But she has through it all remained London’s sweetheart. Very kind, always perfect in society, never a cruel word, and always the epitome of all a lady should be.
The back of the book makes it sound a bit like Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, and while I loved that book to death, I don’t want to read the same story by a different author. But I was wrong. It’s not similar at all.
The back blurb basically says that Gwen is tired of being everyone’s sweetheart, so she decides to be wicked. Okay, yes and no.
Gwen is worth 3 million pounds. A freaking fortune, and yet twice, she’s been jilted and both grooms were flat broke, so thinking it’s her, poor Gwen feels that if she behaves even more flawlessly amongst Society, she’ll find another husband. By the second jilting where the groom literally leaped over the balcony and ran off, she is done being nice. For instance, if Lady Anne (one of her bridesmaids) volunteers Gwen for knitting sweaters for orphans then Lady Anne can bloody well knit them herself. That tiny rebellion cracked me up!
And this is where I started to see Gwen growing up and becoming who she really was.
“While trying to explain this book to a friend of mine I realized how cliched and trite it sounds to explain how Gwen decided to live for herself and stop trying to be so nice after she’s jilted for the second time. I realize that the good girl gone bad seems like it’s been done a million times before, but that’s not how this storyline came across at all. It’s not a story of Gwen going bad and starting to hang out with a rake, it’s a story about Gwen growing up and dealing with her issues and learning who she is as a person. Along the way she falls in love with a man who is so much more than his surface personality would suggest.” (courtesy of my friend Catherine)
Keeping that in mind while watching Gwen not just become wicked (or wickedly becoming) but watching Gwen find herself was the true joy in this book. And watching Alex see Gwen for the first time, not as his friend Richard’s little sister, but as a woman, and a sensual, sexual one at that, it was fabulous. I loved how he realized that he’d been in love with her since she was a teenager, and how obvious it was to him that all the times he’d encouraged Richard to speak of Gwen, it was for himself as well.
Alex both infuriated and intrigued me. I loved the scene in the library, and I loved seeing Gwen grow. Alex needed his expectations of Gwen shot down, and the way he handled it was great.
There was only one part that seemed a bit off to me.
***small spoiler ahead***
At Gwen’s second wedding, Lady Anne seemed desperately in love with the groom, and it was said that she’d nursed feelings for him before, and she was super bitchy to Gwen.
So at the end when she visits Gwen to tell her why her groom had turned tail and run, it’s because he’s in love with a German man. I could care less that he was interested in men, I feel it was built up to look like Anne and he would get together. I was certain that Anne was there to tell Gwen that they’d gotten married. I don’t mind a twist or a surprise , but it felt so random.
Other than that, it was a great book, and I cried at the last line. It was very touching. I only wish I’d seen Gwen actually get a wedding.