The allure of a Regency Gothic romance was too delicious to ignore, and so I gave in to Erica Ridley’s debut novel readily. Full of danger, intrigue and sensuous private liaisons, Too Wicked to Kiss is quite wicked indeed.
After losing her mother, Evangeline flees from her abusive stepfather to the protection of Lady Stanton, a friend of her mother. The Lady and her daughter Susan are planning a scheme to trap Gavin Lioncroft, known as ‘Lionkiller’, into marriage with Susan. To assure her continued protection from her stepfather, Evangeline reluctantly agrees to assist in their plans. The moment they arrive at Blackberry Manor Evangeline knows they are unwelcome by the fierce and intimidating manor of their host. Despite his obvious desire to see them gone; Evangeline is drawn to him while being slightly frightened at the same time.
Gavin has never refuted the rumors that he killed his parents- it made for a much wanted solitary life. Having been shunned by his family, his sister showing up on his doorstep with his nieces spikes his curiosity as well as his ire. A house party is the last thing he wants, and he resents the intrusion on his privacy just for matching his eldest niece with an elderly rich gentleman who can’t stay awake during dinner. To the others, Gavin is a dangerous killer who would just as soon murder them all as to dine with them, but a noticeable change happens when it becomes evident his sister is being abused by her husband. The evidence is on her face, and while all believe Gavin struck his own sister in a rage, Rose, Lady Hetherington, sets them straight on the true culprit. When that person is found dead the next morning, all eyes look to Gavin as the murderer. Only Evangeline’s gift can prove his innocence, or so they believe. However, her stepfather has other plans for her.
Gavin and Evangeline are a very passionate pair. Gavin is the typical brooding, dark, Gothic hero- edgy and dangerous, but with a softer interior. Evangeline is the quintessential heroine, getting herself into trouble while trying to prove Gavin’s innocence. Betrayal abounds in this story of death, regret, murder and sizzling kisses between Gavin and Evangeline. This review really doesn’t do the book justice, so you’ll have to read it for yourself to see just how wicked this gothic romance truly is.