by Cheryl Holt

September 2006
ISBN: 0-312-93799-7
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

Helen Mansfield finds herself in a very bad situation when her brother gambles away their home. When she approaches the man who won her estate, she finds out her brother also gambled her virginity away. If she is willing to spend one month with Luke Westmoreland then he will return their family estate. Helen is shocked and angry and, though she tries to go through with it, she finds herself unable to behave so recklessly.

Luke Westmoreland is a pirate through and through but, after rescuing some navy men from the sea, heís been branded a hero. With enough money to set himself up in style, he is hoping to confront the father who never acknowledged him, and who left his mother out in the cold when she announced she was pregnant.

Luke doesnít want to like Helen, but he finds himself strangely attracted to the woman, despite her drab wardrobe. When he takes over her home, he asks her to help teach him how to behave as a gentleman and he in exchange would let her live there for another year. While she tries to teach him the proper way to act, he begins to teach her how much fun being improper can be.

Helenís brother Archie and his lover Adrian are the villains in this story and come up with a malicious plan to get what they want from her. While definitely evil men, they arenít as prominent in the story as some of Holtís previous villains. This allows the romance to take the dominant role, making for a very pleasurable read. A secondary story between two characters whom arenít what they seem compliments the main romance and makes it that much more enjoyable. Too Wicked to Wed has moved to the top of my list of favorites by this talented author.

Reviewed in August 2006 by Jackie.

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