My Lord Wicked is a Regency romance with strong characters. It is a romance between a young innocent girl with an older troubled man. I found shades of Jane Eyre here, if subdued. The excerpt that I had read indicated a Gothic or Rebecca type story, but that factor was toned down too. This is just a good story told well, although it is not the most original of plots.
Freddie Lambeth has no girly qualities. It is mostly because she has been ignored by her father who hated her, finding her responsible for her mother’s death in child birth. Freddie or Frederica has helped her father, a surgeon, and mastered every book she can lay her hand on. unfortunately, she was never taught in female pursuits like piano or needlework. Freddie is now orphaned and living with relations who treat her as shabbily as she dresses.
In a desperate moment, Freddie writes to her guardian Lord Stacks to help her out. She gets her desired invitation to visit him in Yorkshire, but has a shock in store. Lord Stacks has always assumed Freddie was a boy and is clueless about what to do with a young girl. He is living in the shadow of his wife’s death, a beautiful wife he has killed with his bare hands. He lives in Marshbanks Abbey surrounded by servants but in total solitude.
Freddie gradually endears herself to her guardian who hires a chaperone for her, dresses her richly, and arranges for all the neighboring young men to meet her. Soon young men are falling at her feet, but it is too late. Freddie has already developed an impossible infatuation, not hard to guess for anyone who has read a few books in life, or maybe even seen some life.
A large part of My Lord Wicked deals with how the main characters try to suppress their emotions and feelings for each other. There are other supplementary characters that provide adequate background. In a sudden twist, a decade long mystery becomes all too fresh.
Read My Lord Wicked if you enjoy the chase more than the prize. Some terms seemed somewhat out of place considering this is a historical romance. I loved Cheryl Bolen’s The Bride Wore Blue. And this book is also definitely worth a read.