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A Little Bit Wild (York Family) Mass Market Paperback – 6 Sep 2010
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Dahl heats up the pages... --Romantic Times --Romantic Times
Top customer reviews
Jude Bertrand has always enjoyed house parties with the Yorks, not least because of that glint of wickedness that Marissa somehow manages to conceal. Not that he fools himself she even knows he exists. Marissa likes pale, pampered pretty boys, while Jude is very much a man - big, strong and far from pretty.
Yet with ruination threatening, and Marissa refusing to marry the man responsible, Jude is more than happy to step in to save her from scandal. Still, as long as they hush up the rumours and there are no unfortunate consequences, their engagement need only be an act. Or so Marissa comforts herself. Until Jude begins to show her his wicked side...
Victoria Dahl returns to Victorian England for her fourth historical, and start of a new series. Once again her heroine is a bad girl, not to mention spoiled, haughty and terribly shallow. Actually, there were moments when I found Marissa difficult to like at all. Only her ability to realise when she's gone too far redeemed her for me.
And then there was Jude. Not handsome, but definitely sexy, Jude is a man with a plan, and his ability to give Marissa the run around was wonderful. He's good-natured, friendly and sneaky. His games, combined with his real desire to win, without becoming competitive, made him an intriguing and vastly likeable hero.
Combined with a cast of potentially fascinating characters begging for their own tales (or comeuppance - Nanette and Dunwoody in particular), this story bubbled along with some daft plot twists and a touch or two of social angst. More romance than historical, with one of my least favourite of Dahl heroines, but possibly my favourite of her heroes, this was an enjoyable way to pass the time. Oh, and did I mention hot. There are a couple of scenes in Jude's bedroom that... well, you'll just have to read it and see. I look forward to seeing what Dahl comes up with next.
Really amusing story of Marissa getting into trouble which could ruin her reputation and Jude kindly steps in to help her but he's not exactly what she looks for in a husband. He's not the typical handsome man but as they go on their journey to cover up her indiscretions she realises that he is better than all the other gentlemen but is it too late. Could they have a lift together?
There were parts that made me laugh as Marissa confesses her antics and the reactions of the characters are quite amusing. There was plenty of passion between the pair which leads to Marissa wanting more with amusing outcomes. I really enjoyed this and will have to read more of her books.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Dahl writes romances in my favorite way, with complete respect for the female characters. Her contemporaries are fantastic but she has done something exceptional in her historicals. She gives us lovable female characters with libidos! Her lead ladies are sexual in a society that disapproves and Dahl brings us into stories where the women are strong and confident in themselves and the secondary characters are often working to learn to accept this about them.
I really enjoyed Dahl's "To Temp a Scotsman" because we watch as the man grows and learns to accept her sensuality. He goes from slut shaming to feeling guilty about it and understanding, he learns to appreciate her as his equal. In this story, "A Little Bit Wild," the male is the opposite, in that he would never slut shame her, quite the opposite! The lead male is a really great character.
I truly appreciate Victoria Dahl's style and that she doesn't repeat the same story or use the same template in all of her books. She may explore the same idea, but in many different ways. <3
In my quest for the unlikely gentleman, the one that lives and breathes outside the stereotype that authors fall prey too, A Little Bit Wild holds a secret place in my heart. Its plot in a way parallels the dilemma that I had been musing on earlier. It got me to thinking, do we as readers set the template for our hero and heroine? Do we demand it? Are our desires dictating that authors conjure up the most improbable of fantasies?
In A Little Bit Wild, Dahl's male lead Jude Bertram is very much an outside-of-the-box hero, and better yet, his character knows it. It's what makes him so endearing to readers. As the acknowledged illegitimate son of a Duke, Jude is a self-made man who has carved his life and his body by sheer mind-numbing work. He is not a fop and he's definitely not pretty. He has none of the soft features that society favors but one that is full of character and sharp edges. He doesn't cavort around with a holier-than-thou attitude a `la Fitzwilliam Darcy, but is rather the anti-stereotype.
Dahl has infused Jude's character with a vulnerable side that is directly linked to his self-perception. Jude knows that he does not fit in with the model template of society. He more resembles a groundskeeper than a polite gentleman. But there is a sense of self-acceptance and earthy sensuality to him that I find rather appealing. He knows exactly who he is and who he wants. His vulnerability to his looks is brought to the fore when he desires the one thing he thinks he cannot have: Marissa York.
For Marissa, being a "bit wild" or that that innate curiosity into the affairs between men and women has been a mystery that she has been desperate to solve. It also challenges the stereotype of feminine "purity" so common in historical romance heroines. Her past minor dalliances have left her mostly unscathed and relegated to youthful fumblings. That is, until her latest fiasco with Peter White which has left her compromised and at the mercy of her family and society.
Jude offers to court Marissa to stave off any impending scandal and protect her and her family. But all the wiles he possesses will not dispel the fact that Marissa has an "ideal" in mind, and painfully Jude knows that he does not fit into it. Marissa has always been attracted to fops, to the tons "pretty" boys- fair-of-face and body. But can Jude convince her? Possess her? Can he woo her into seeing who he really is?
A Little Bit Wild is a great romance, a grand romance. Its unlikely love affair wound itself delicately into my heart and did not let go. Readers will be rooting for Jude all the way, as he demands nothing more than the truest, deepest form of love from Marissa-one that transcends looks and class status. It touched on the most vulnerable facets of love...our self-perceptions and worthiness to love and allowed to be loved. It was absolutely refreshing to have a character aware of their shortcomings and it dually provided a challenge to the author to craft them in a way that is appealing and went beyond superficial artifice.
I cannot recommend A Little Bit Wild highly enough as well as any of Dahl's numerous accomplished novels all of which I adore.
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)
This is, however, my first historical. I'd actually started it a few times and got distracted. I knew I loved her contemporaries, but I was worried that, I dunno, I was worried.
Ended up really loving this after the very beginning. I was concerned after the opening scene that the characters were going to be cardboard. Fast forward to the end when I am sleep-deprived and cannot stop reading it!
What I like about Victoria Dahl is she's not afraid to give her heroines libidos and "pasts" to varying degrees. A lot of romance novels make the heroines virgins with never a tingle down below, until he walks in. Victoria Dahl's women are spirited and fun, and that makes a huge difference. For the edification of people who seek out or avoid these things, there are always at least couple scenes of that spirited fun which are funny, explicit-ish, and pretty steamy.
What was great her is the hero looked at Marissa, saw her inner vixen, and accepted it all kit and kaboodle. When someone seeks to blackmail her, using knowledge of a birthmark as collateral, the heroine has a small -- but scandalous for the time -- list of suspects. The hero takes it in stride, knows she's curious and high-spirited, and hopes to see the birthmark too some day. Oh, there might have been some jealousy, but he never treated her like she was damaged good for what amounted to playing doctor. There is a pivotal scene where Marissa realized that -- that all the men she'd been smitten with took whatever she was willing to give, all the while telling her she really shouldn't allow improprieties, or was -- in one case -- a notorious ladies man. Jude was the guy to encourage her passion and exploration, the person she knew she could try anything and everything with.
Marissa starts the book as very shallow and unkind to Jude, who in a practical sense is doing her a favor and is steadfastly kind and supportive toward her. A trope a lot of people like is a hero or heroine going into a good grovel when they realize how mistaken and stupid they've been and Marissa provides that.
The is always genuine heat in a Victoria Dahl love story, and this is no exception, but what made the book over-the-top good is the heart there. Marissa grew and learned and had to deal with the possibility it was too little, too late. The author did a terrific job of making me fall in love with Jude and then ache for him when Marissa behaved like a mean little girl instead of a woman. Then, I applauded when she pulled her head out of her rear.
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