Review: Practically Wicked by Alissa Johnson

Posted October 22, 2012 by Ang in 4.5 stars, Historical Romance, Rating A Tags: , ,

Practically Wicked
Author: Alissa Johnson 
Release Date: Oct. 2, 2012
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
ISBN: #978-0425258033
Genre: Historical Romance
Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
For some, virtue is a vice
 As the illegitimate daughter of a scandalous woman, Miss Anna Ward is almost as well known for having been raised in the hedonistic demimonde as she is for her implacable resolve to abstain from all the fun. Quiet and reserved, Anna wants nothing more than to leave behind her mother’s wicked world of rakes and courtesans for a life of respectable obscurity. But she may need to rethink her dream if it means leaving behind the handsome, charming and decidedly wicked Lord Dane.  If only she could convince him to join her in search for respectability. . . 
For him, vice is a virtue
Viscount Maximilian Dane is perfectly content with his reputation as a disreputable rake. After years of following the dictates of proper society–with disastrous results–he left behind the ton’s ridiculous rules, and he sees no reason to begin courting respectability anew. Except that it may be the only way for him to win the lovely and fascinating Miss Anna Rees—if only he could convince her that the grass is greener on the wicked side of the fence. . .
What Ang is talking about:
I thoroughly enjoyed Practically Wicked. It was a fast paced fun read with smart, likable characters fighting to figure out who they are in a world that dictates who they are supposed to be. Although shown to be complete opposites, they are one and the same in their true desire of love and acceptance for who they are (without the judgement of the world around them), along with the freedom to love who they choose. Anne is an engaging heroine who is fighting the stigma of being the daughter of a courtesan while Max ,our hero, is working hard to thumb his nose at the ton by participating in the world Anne is trying so hard to rise above.
I loved Anne’s tenacity and spunk. Her ability to to see the worlds they both live in with such clarity as to understand that she would never truly be one of them, regardless of who she might marry. With that knowledge she knows that she wants freedom more than anything. I often wonder how many women of the time period where simply fighting for freedom in anyway they could. She is open to the idea of love, and I think would relish a happy home and marriage, but can’t see pass the rules of society to make it happen. Thank goodness for Max and his unwillingness to give up.
Max wants us to believe he is happiest when doing whatever he wants, even if it goes against the acceptable rules of society, but he seemed far to eager to give up the life of the demimonde for me to believe it. After one encounter with Anne he is ready to marry her and live a life of respectability. Of course, should this have happened there would have been no story at all. So due to the interference of Anne’s mother, he finds himself meeting her again years later in a unlikely place as she comes to know her half siblings. I would have enjoyed seeing more interaction between Anne and her family as they came to know each other, but it wasn’t a big enough complaint to lower my rating, and really this was my one and only complaint. 
The story is well written with great dialogue, beautifully described. There is plenty of romance with a well written love scene near the end, but I didn’t even notice the lack of sex until I was finished reading the book. Ms. Johnson understands that all the sex in the world won’t make up for a lousy story line and so she appropriately focuses her attention there first, giving us well rounded characters and a well developed story filled with romance. This is a wonderful change of pace after many of the historical romances I’ve read of late that seem all to eager to forget the characters and story line in favor of ripped bodices and heaving bosoms. When I put this novel down at the finish, I was sad it had ended. I wanted to know more about their world and their life together. That to me is mark of a great novel. I think anyone who is looking for a sweet book and a fun distraction for an afternoon ought to pick up  a copy of Practically Wicked, they are sure to enjoy themselves. I certainly did.
Angs Rating:
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)

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