Series: Spindle Cove #2
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Avon on 27 March 2012
A Week to Be Wicked is a distinct improvement from the last novel as the main characters are likeable, the situations they find themselves in amusing and the romance is swoon-worthy. The bespectacled Minerva, a bluestocking geologist propositions the delectable rake Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne. She wants him to leave her sister Diana alone and fake an elopement so she can attend the Royal Geological Society Symposium in Scotland. She offers him the price money of 500 guineas which she reckons she is a shoo-in to win with her plaster-cast of a giant lizard’s footprint. I was pleasantly surprised to read Dare’s note at the end which identifies the lizard as an iguanodon as it was bugging me trying to work out what the damn creature was.
This is a travel romance at its best and the trials and tribulations that Minerva and Colin have to go through in order to get the 400 miles north bring the couple closer together. Minerva is initially a fairly plain, retiring character, bullied by her mother and determined not to outshine her sisters in any way. Whenever others are threatened though, she becomes an avenging angel. In A Night to Surrender (the first novel in the series), she whacks Bram over the head with a bag of rocks because she thinks he is taking advantage of Susanna and she even challenges Colin to a duel to get him to stay away from Diana. The girl clearly has hidden gumption and just needs someone (Colin) to bring it to the fore. The further in miles she gets away from her mother, the more opinionated and passionate she becomes. Colin may be a bit of a rake but he has principles – “no virgins, no prostitutes, no women in dire financial straits, no sisters of former lovers and no mothers of former lovers” (p82). He initially refuses to accompany Minerva but acquiesces when he realises just how serious she is about following her dreams. The fact that she agreed to share his bed was an added bonus spurred him on. Unfortunately Colin has a tragic past that means he is incapable of sleeping alone or travelling in closed in carriages. By sleeping, I actually mean sleeping, oddly enough.
The plot is well paced and Colin’s glib tongue and fanciful stories get the two both in and out of trouble fairly frequently. One of my favourite scenes would have to be where they recite naughty-sounding mathematical terms to each other. I don’t think I will ever view parabola and trinomial in quite the same way in the future. The ending is wholly unconventional, just like this couple and I loved every page of it.
This delightful Regency romance ticks all the right boxes. I am crossing my fingers that Dare can continue this trend with number three, A Lady by Midnight.