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The Importance of Being Wicked (The Wild Quartet) Mass Market Paperback – 27 Nov 2012

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (27 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006219903X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062199034
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I grew up in southwest England. During my misspent youth I devoured the works of Georgette Heyer, Jean Plaidy and any other historical novels I could lay hands on. As a result I attended the University of Oxford to study history, ignoring all hints that economics might be a more practical subject. I spent several years writing catalogues of rare books and original letters and manuscripts for Sotheby's auction house in London and New York. Much of my time in this job was spent reading the personal correspondence of the famous. This confirmed my suspicion that the most interesting thing about history is people. I now live in Vermont where I enjoy skiing and writing romances set in Regency England where it hardly ever snows.

Product Description


“Wickedly sexy and just as witty, Miranda Neville is one to watch!” (Lisa Kleypas)

Sizzling, addictive, and deeply romantic: Miranda Neville’s novels are a joy to read. (Eloisa James, New York Times bestselling author)

From the Back Cover

The rules of society don't apply to Caro and her coterie of bold men and daring women. But when passions flare, even the strongest will surrender to the law of love . . .

Thomas, Duke of Castleton, has every intention of wedding a prim and proper heiress. That is, until he sets eyes on the heiress's cousin, easily the least proper woman he's ever met. His devotion to family duty is no defense against the red-headed vixen whose greatest asset seems to be a talent for trouble . . .

Caroline Townsend has no patience for the oh-so-suitable (and boring) men of the ton. So when the handsome but stuffy duke arrives at her doorstep, she decides to put him to the test. But her scandalous exploits awaken a desire in Thomas he never knew he had. Suddenly Caro finds herself falling for this most proper duke…while Thomas discovers there's a great deal of fun in a little bit of wickedness.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LEP VINE VOICE on 7 Dec. 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A charming, warm, story with engaging interaction between "Lord Stuffy" and the irrepresible Caro. To ensure that her younger, heiress cousin Anne is being wooed by a man worthy of her, the widowed, penniless Caro Townsend leads Thomas Fitzcharles, Duke of Castleton, a merry dance. Caro delights in trying to shock the man she nicknames "Lord Stuffy". Thomas comes across as a nice, rather sweet natured man, solid and reliable; unlike Caro's late reprobate of a husband who she was pasionately in love with and won't hear a word against. Even though he left her to pay his numerous debts and penniless.

Lighthearted, amusing fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K9 on 3 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fantastic romantic read for cold winter nights just bubbling with humour and warmth! Caro and Thomas are wonderfully drawn characters reminding me very much of the delightful heroines and heroes of Georgette Heyer. Secondary characters are also given depth which makes this altogether a very satisfying read. The historical detail is enough to give credence to the historical setting without taking over and the bedroom scenes are very passionate......I recommend this author whole heartedly and can't wait to read the next in the series!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caz on 6 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
... or maybe 3.5 stars, if I'm having a good day!

A more appropriate - although less enticing - title for this book might have been "The Importance of Employing some Common Sense", because there were times I really wanted to knock some into the heroine.

We first met Caro in the novella The Second Seduction of a Ladywhich I enjoyed very much. During the course of that story she meets and elopes with Robert Townsend when she is just seventeen years old.

This books starts some seven years later; she is now a widow and in straightened circumstances, Robert having gambled away all their money. Her debts are mounting up and she has no way to pay them, yet she still keeps "open house" for her friends, who are quite happy to eat her out of house and home with no thought as to how she pays for the food and drink they consume.

Caro is what would probably, at the time, have been termed "fast". She is vivacious and almost proud of the fact that she isn't respectable (which is understandable in some ways, given the rigidity of society at that time), and she flouts convention, even when she is supposed to be acting as chaperone to her cousin.

There were times I felt some empathy for her, as her thoughtlessness and generally carefree attitude was obviously just a front to cover for her anxieties and insecurities, and to stop her thinking about things she didn't want to think about. But at other times, I just wanted to yell at her to grow up, and to be fair, towards the end of the book, she realises she needs to do just that.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 37 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
I hate to do it, but................... 21 Feb. 2013
By CaroleDee - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
After happily devouring Miranda Neville's Burgundy Club series I was thrilled with the opportunity to read her debut of a spinoff series The Importance of Being Wicked. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried I could not enjoy it :(

I found the heroine, Caroline aka Caro, unlikeable. She idealizes her alcoholic/gambling addict late husband to excess. She acts irresponsibly towards the care of her innocent cousin. She lets her 'friends' treat her like a complete doormat. But the most damning thing, to me, was she married Thomas,The Duke of Castleton, with great enthusiasm but it took months into their marriage and a great tragedy before she showed her true self to a man that she was supposedly completely smitten with. The whole thing was hard for me. Thomas is a wonderfully written respectable gentlemen, if not a bit stuffy (Caro actually refers to him as Lord Stuffy to her friends throughout the book!) He's absolutely in love with her and she keeps him, emotionally, at arms length for the first 250 pages of the book! I felt horrible for the man. He's 30 years old but reminds me more of a naive, sheltered teenaged boy. Caro's character reminded me more of the 'opportunistic female villain' of historical romances rather than the heroine.

Perhaps I'm being harsh because I did love the Burgundy Club so much, and my expectations were too high. I was expecting more of the previous series's formula of mystery, intrigue, and love. What I got was an unbelievable match, almost no drama, and an extremely unlikeable heroine :(

There were a few saving graces to The Importance to Being Wicked. The last 100 pages (when the 'real' Caro finally introduced herself to Thomas) were great. After she decided to stop acting like a rebellious child the relationship was finally believable and highly enjoyable to read.

Oliver, a 'starving artist' type that lives in Caro's carriage house, was funny and refreshing. His open and honest charm was a breathe of fresh air in contrast to the heroine's personality.

I'm just not sure if I can recommend this one. I'm hoping that Neville can bring back the spark in future installments of this series, until then I'll just reread the Burgundy Club series and try to stop hating Caro so much :)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
don't miss this one 8 May 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of this author but not all her books are five stars. The best best thing is that the male characters are NOT bored rakes. All her characters are true to life and not based on troupes of the trade. Thank you Miranda for that!

This latest though is well written with characters that grow to love each other even while they face their own insecurities. Both characters stay true to themselves, honor each other and forgive the other's mistakes.

I don't want to spoil anything, but the hero is fabulous. He is dutiful yet decided to marry the heroine in spite extreme pressure to marry for money based on his need to provide for his illegitimate sisters and make up for the mistakes of his father. The heroine is very reckless and finally makes the right decision committing to this man. She is in denial about her late husband and his friends and lets herself get into precarious financial situations. I thought it was very real to life. Fortunately the hero is the kind of person who she can count on. He doesn't judge her and shows his loyalty again and again. He isn't a beta-male; just willing to risk it all for this woman. The heroine is exactly the kind of person to upset his life and give him a chance for joy in life rather than duty. Their happy ending is well deserved!

This is a keeper! Plus, we now get to learn about a group of people obsessed with art. Fun!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Importance of Being WIcked~ 27 Nov. 2012
By Lisa Wolff - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Caroline Townsend is dealing with the death of her husband and trying to find a way to pay all the debts left behind and with her generous nature, she finds it hard to turn away her late husbands artistic, struggling friends. A bright spot is the arrival of her dear cousin, Anne who is coming to meet her potential fiance, Thomas, Duke of Castleton. It quickly becomes clear that this proper man, or Lord Stuffy as Caro comes to call him, will not suit for Anne and does not fit in with Caro's more carefree lifestyle...but the attraction between Thomas and Caro is there and hard to ignore. When Caro attempts to settle on of her larger debts, Thomas is there to sweep her away and this forces a change in their relationship. However, Thomas needs to marry for money so how can he throw away the chance to marry for money (Anne) for the chance to marry for love and passion (Caro)? Will he choose duty or love? Will Caro be able to find a balance for her feelings for Thomas, a balance between proper and free?

What a fun, sexy, enjoyable easy read! I really like to read a good book sometimes without major conflict, without loads of action and with feelings expressed without having to pull teeth and I felt Miranda Neville delivered with this one. Caro is a spirited, kind, loving and a wonderful teacher to Thomas about all things wicked! Thomas is the perfect, proper, stuffy gentleman who knows his duty but can see importance to learning all things wicked. I did feel like the story was a bit slow in the beginning but it really picked up for me half way through and I finished it in one sitting to see how it all played out. I think the reason it was a bit slow for me was all the other characters are introduced for the upcoming stories and it detracted from the romance blooming a bit. However, by the end I loved how the author weaved in just enough tidbits about the upcoming stories that I am very anxious for them now as they all look quite scandalous! I enjoyed watching Thomas go through a slew of emotions of his feelings for Caro but how he never backed down once he made up his mind, even when some secrets from his mothers past is revealed. Caro also stayed true to her feelings once she realized them and this was a nice surprise for me as I was worried she would be a bit flighty in that regard. And even though this is a very easy read, there is a touch of heartbreak that had me heart sinking that adds just a bit of drama. Art collecting isn't really my interest but it was touched just enough on without overwhelming the storyline. Overall, a smashing start to a new series that I thoroughly enjoyed. 4 stars

*review copy*
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Stuffy duke meets merry widow. 10 Feb. 2013
By OLT - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story has a premise a bit like Jo Beverley's A Scandalous Countess but is a better read than that one. The heroine here, Caroline Townsend, at 17 marries her "true love" neighbor boy, against the wishes of her family, and the two of them live a rather hedonistic, irresponsible London life for seven years, running with a somewhat disrespectable crowd of fun-loving people. The husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her a widow in her early 20s who's saddled with many debts because of his gambling addiction.

Caro still runs with the fun crowd, still entertains at her house and still lives a rather irresponsible life, albeit on a more restricted budget. She doesn't want to give up her friends. They were the friends of her love-of-her-life husband and are now her tie to his memory.

Enter hero Thomas, Duke of Castleton. Although the long-ago first Duke of Castleton was the illegitimate son of Charles II and one of his actress mistresses, this present-day duke lives a totally respectable, almost repressed, life. He needs to marry, as all dukes seem to in HRs, and he wants to marry respectability and money. So he's after a young well-regarded heiress who, at the moment, is living with and being chaperoned by Caroline. That's how the stuffy duke and the irrepressibly fun-loving widow meet. And, oops, it's lust at first sight on the part of both.

But it's not an easy path to the HEA. Their personalities and attitudes towards life are at odds, but their changing relationship is realistically and well drawn by Neville. You can see the rather immature, irresponsible Caro become more self aware and more realistic about her first marriage and her way of behaving. At the same time, stuffy Thomas has to loosen up a bit.

The many secondary characters are interesting, with many different personality types. There's a bit of a side story about a Titian painting, another about Thomas' mother and his younger twin sisters and lots of interesting detail about life in the fast lane in 1800s England. Neville shows her knowledge of history and art and is also nicely realistic about love. I like her flawed H and h and the fact that even their sexual intimacy needs some adjustments to be good for them, instead of all that instant perfect alpha male pushing all the right intimacy buttons from the first encounter that is usual in HRs.

This is actually only the second Neville HR that I have read. I read one of her very first ones a few years back, did not like it, and had actually avoided her books from then on. I'm glad I found this one at the library on a day when the selections were poor and I picked this up just because. I'll be trying her out again in the future.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Couldn't bring myself to love the characters 24 Jan. 2013
By Rosie - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like Neville's writing style, but this book just kept hitting the wrong chords with me. I hated Caro's easy acceptance of freeloaders and I disliked how irresponsible she was with money. I liked the idea of her being a liberated woman, but she was not my type. Thomas was good, except for when he pulled the whole "man of the house" deal. Even in a historical, when this is accepted culturally, it rubs me the wrong way.

I also thought the story would have benefited from a sub plot, and I think there were a few passages told from the POV of characters other than Caro and Thomas, which was inconsistent and sloppy.

I still plan on reading more of Neville's books, but I did not like this one at all.
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