by Liz Carlyle

October 2009
ISBN: 1-4165-9492-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

ZoŽ Armstrong is the very definition of a hoyden and her acts of carless mischief have finally come crashing down around her. After learning her father may force her into marriage with a man she will not have, ZoŽ seeks out the comfort of her best friend and fellow mischief-maker, Lord Robert ďRobinĒ Rowland. Unfortunately, life quickly spirals out of control when, after a few kisses and intimacies, Robinís elder brother, the Marquess of Mercer, and his mistress walk into the room and see ZoŽ and Robin in a compromising clinch.

Suddenly, ZoŽ and Robin are engaged and no one is more upset about it than Stuart Rowland, the Marquess himself. While ZoŽ has been a thorn in his side for all his life, Stuart is infuriated that Robin is going to end up with ZoŽ as wife out of default. He is afraid to truly examine his reasons for this anger however. But when ZoŽ and Robin spirit away to Stuartís country estate, to avoid the prying eyes of the gossips, it is there that his feelings finally come to light.

ZoŽ has never seen Stuart as anything other than an annoying father-figure, always trying to stop her mischief. At least, that is what she tells herself. But she soon starts seeing Stuart in a new light, just as her friendship with Robin begins to deteriorate.

Wicked All Day is one of the most passionate and tempestuous romances I have read in a long time. The lovelorn longing between ZoŽ and Stuart is tight as a rope throughout the story. These two have suppressed their feelings for each other for so long that to finally give in to their feelings is an immense relief and yet, a burden. Liz Carlyle does a phenomenal job of making their relationship fraught with tension, love, and responsibilities. ZoŽ is not the lighthearted troublemaker Stuart has convinced himself she is. There is a deep and abiding longing for love and respectability in ZoŽ that Stuart has failed to grasp. As these two start to circle each other with new esteem and emotions, their love will come to a crescendo that proves to be an immensely satisfying historical romance.

Wicked All Day satisfies on all levels: characterization, storytelling, romance, and friendship. Stuart and ZoŽ have a bit of a tough road ahead of them, but it is a journey you will want to join. This is a historical romance you can sink into and enjoy every moment of the ride.

Reviewed in October 2009 by Sarah.

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