Wicked with the Scoundrel (Wicked Secrets Series) by Elizabeth Bright
After ten years of adventure, Colin Smith, the bastard son of a viscount, returns to the place he most despises ––London. But only until he can sell off some of his treasures. He has no use for the stifling rules of the ton, but he’s more than happy to play the game if it gets him what he wants. Lady Claire, daughter of a marquess, is everything Colin loathes about the ton, but she is determined to win him over. Her life is a catalogue of dances and evening gowns, and thanks to an eidetic memory, she can remember every blasted, boring second of it. A treasure hunt for the Cleopatra Emerald promises adventure, but Claire wants more. If she can convince Colin Smith to take her with him as he travels the world, then she’ll have the life she’s always dreamed of. There’s just one problem, he doesn’t seem to like her much. But Lady Claire loves a good challenge and the intellectual beauty may be on her way to the grandest adventure of all.
England is not his home, at the age of sixteen Colin left it behind, he was the illegitimate son of a lord and a lady’s maid. So society had turned their nose up at him, so after seven years travelling Egypt and India, Colin comes back to sell some of his goods.
Lady Claire wants out of England, she’s bored of the society life, she wants adventure, she has a memory that remembers EVERYTHING; she’s tired of being treated as “different” and after she meets a certain Mr Colin Smith, she’s fallen in love 🙄 She wants to travel the world and thinks he would be a great guide, but propriety dictates that she can’t travel on her own, and certainly not without a travel companion (and not a male) so she proposes a solution to Colin …..
Colin can’t believe his ears !!! A marriage proposal and to daughter to a Marquess no less !!! He thinks it’s all a nasty joke, but after Claire explains it all (she needs a guide and to find a treasure, it will set the pair of them up for life)
And when he is approached by Claire’s father, he wants to take Claire on a fake adventure, and in return he will set Colin up for life in his business venture. Colin has to think logically (but her father says that he is to keep it “business” only)
During the adventure Colin sees Claire as more than just than a soft debutante with a silly notion of adventure. He sees a young woman struggling to find her identity. He sees past her dowdy exterior, and sees instead a passionate and fun loving young woman, slowly Colin warms to her.
Yes it’s the usual bastard meets debutante, she softens him and changes his outlook on life. But I liked this one, the adventure in Egypt was a little far fetched, but entertaining none the less; there were a few funny moments, the dance lesson was very funny.
So does Claire get her happy ending ? Does Colin get past his bitterness, with his hate of high society ? And more importantly, do they find the treasure ? Because if not, the outcome could wreck both they’re lives.
Books in the series …..
Twice as Wicked
Lady Gone Wicked
Wicked with the Scoundrel