It took me over four days to finish this book - and that, in and of itself, speaks volumes.
"Too Wicked to Wed" is the overly formulaic, clichéd, disengaging, and at times unrealistic, even for the fiction genre, love story of Lady Alexa Hendrie and Connor Linsley, the Earl of Killingworth, aka the Wolfhoud.
Unnecessary twists, intended to drive the story only end up prolonging the plot of this novel. The two protagonists meet in the Wolf's Lair, Killingworth's brothel, where they immediately engage in a rather disconnected make out session. Later, through rather rash and improbable actions on the heroine's behalf, they find themselves as co-owners of said brothel, which leads to the predictable antagonism that transforms into desire and dangerous life-threatening incidents intended to allow the protagonists to spend time together and force the confessions of love.
I would have probably given this novel 2 ½ stars, but whoever proofread the work did a rather poor job, so I am deducting that extra ½. There are numerous errors that distract the reader: missing prepositions - "The irony of her position was not lost her;" absent definite and/or indefinite articles - "from slope of her shoulders [...];" typos, some of which involve repetition of words - "Having made it made it this far in life [...];" - comma splices; omission of verbs - "[...] the expense of transporting stone could kept to a minimum;" and a score of other grammatical mistakes I will not delve into.
Keeping style, editing, and proofreading in mind, "Too Wicked to Wed" could have also benefited from the editor's slashing of the annoyingly prevalent wolf descriptions referencing the male lead - "a wild and wary wolf," "alone and aloof," "howl," "randy beast," "ravening wolf," "animal magnetism," "he was a Wolf"- not to mention the over usage of the word "growl" - it seems our male protagonist cannot speak; he growls. Also, when it comes to our heroine, the unnecessary statements depicting Alexa's "unique spirit," behavior "unusual for a gently bred young lady," and so on grew tiresome. I could continue, but I think I have made my point.
Now, as to the characters: Alexa Hendrie, who is all of 22, is the female protagonist. Her behavior is more rash than independent and defies the reader's suspension of disbelief. How a young woman during that time period can enter a brothel not once but twice without chaperone is beyond me; and, also, how can a young lady, a member of the ton, defy convention so freely as to pack her bags and go nurse a "renowned rake" with no serious consideration to the consequences???? Don't get me wrong, Alexa is a genuinely nice girl - she can manage estate business, has a quick mind, and so on - however, her behavior is too much. Also, she has serious self-esteem issues, which display themselves regularly and at the most inopportune times - yes, during the sex scenes.
Connor Linsley, on the other hand, is the typical tortured hero who has earned the Romance Genre its bad rep. Not only is he the recipient of the abundant "wolf" descriptions, but he is tormented by his past, primarily his parents' relationship, or lack there of, and lives a dark existence, hence all the growling. And of course, Alexa is that beacon of light, waiting patiently to save him. The one redeeming quality that Connor possesses is his drive to make money, as opposed to succumb to ruin or wed a dowry.
The sexual attraction between the two could not be felt. Even though the two protagonists end up "making out" in the prologue, what the attraction was, I know not. Blatant romance genre clichés - "overwhelmingly male," "she had been helpless to resist his allure ... and the fire he had lit inside her" - are used to depict the "lure," but their predictability is mindboggling. As to the sex scenes themselves - glossed over is an apt description; this is a PG-13 novel. Even though I like sizzle, I could have overlooked the PG-13 aspect of this work had the chemistry and attraction been better developed.
Overall, don't bother. This is a slow and painful read. And if you devour romance books, as I do, this will not achieve the desired escapism.
original on romancecritic blog