by Julie Anne Long

October 2006
ISBN: 0-446-61687-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Warner
Mass Market Paperback

When I started reading Julie Ann Long’s new novel, Ways to be Wicked, I had no idea that I had the second book of a trilogy. Luckily, Ms. Long’s storytelling skill kept this fact anecdotal. I had no need to read the first book to enjoy the second. And I enjoyed it very much.

Parisian ballerina Sylvie Lamoureaux had no idea that her adopted mother was keeping secrets about her family. When she discovers a letter from her “sister” she is both furious and deeply troubled. She immediately leaves for London.

Tom Shaughnessy is used to pretty women – he has a whole collection at his club – but the feisty Frenchwoman sharing his coach is unusual. She is full of contradictions, and has an air of mystery. When she turns up at his club, seeking employment, Tom is relieved that she is safe.

Sylvie has met men like Tom before, but has never been so attracted to such a rogue. Her former lover, Etienne, was nothing at all like this charming rascal. His “hands off” rule for his dancers surprises Sylvie, and the rumors about his private life abound. She soon learns that there is much more beneath the surface, and has to make a decision about trusting him with her past.

Ways to be Wicked is filled with unforgettable characters. Ms. Long has brought them to vibrant life and given the reader a glimpse behind the velvet curtain. It has also convinced me to find a copy of Beauty and the Spy so that I can catch up on the Holt sisters before the final book debuts in February.

Reviewed in December 2006 by Paula.

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