From New York Times bestselling author Madeline Hunter comes the first novel in a Wicked regency romance trilogy about three irresistibly attractive brothers...
Gareth Fitzallen is celebrated for four things: his handsome face, his notable charm, his aristocratic connections, and an ability to give the kind of pleasure that has women begging for more. Normally he bestows his talents on experienced, worldly women. But when he heads to Langdon’s End to restore a property he inherited—and to investigate a massive art theft—he lays plans to seduce a most unlikely lady.
Eva Russell lives a spinster’s life of precarious finances and limited dreams while clinging to her family’s old gentry status. She supports herself by copying paintings while she plots to marry her lovely sister to a well-established man. Everyone warns her of Gareth’s reputation, and advises her to lock her sister away. Only it is not her sister Gareth desires. One look, and she knows he is trouble. One kiss, however, proves she is no match for this master of seduction.
Hunter (The Accidental Duchess) spins the intrigues of an enterprising bastard son and a resourceful artist to delightful effect in this excellent launch of the Wicked series of Regency romances. Gareth Fitzallen, illegitimate son of the Duke of Aylesbury, has two skills: brokering art deals and pleasing women in bed. When his poisonous half-brother dies, Gareth takes possession of his disputed inheritance, a near-ruined manor house. He is also tasked with solving the mystery of a missing art cache, an invaluable collection hidden in case of Napoleon's invasion that has vanished without trace. Impoverished spinster Eva Russell supports herself and her sister, Rebecca, by painting and selling copies of the Gainsboroughs she's found in the attic of Gareth's house. After an inauspicious first encounter, Gareth and Eva become unlikely friends and lovers, but Gareth's pursuit of the stolen masterpieces may endanger Eva and destroy their chance at happiness. The period detail educates without being onerous. Characters, such as the eccentric sisters who befriend Eva and Rebecca, round out an entertaining cast, and the romance and suspense are balanced perfectly.