If you have been following this blog, you know that I am currently on an Agatha Christie spree. This means I read too many mysteries for my own good. I think about them and dream about them. So a steamy, humorous romance was just what the doctor ordered. I generally have at least a 100 books lined up on my Kindle, and the choice of which book to pick up is often momentous. Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne attracted me by its unusual title and also by the excerpt I had read. And I got much more than my time’s worth.
Ellie Vyne holds all of English Society in dread. She leaves a trail of destruction wherever she goes. Illicit affairs, broken engagements, social fau pax, she has done them all. At twenty seven, she is very firmly on the shelf and all she wants is to retire to the country to a room full of books that looks out on a nice garden. If only she could settle all her family’s debts!
James Hartley is getting on in years. He is a notorious scoundrel and rake, and has been snubbed by the love of his life. He loves to hate Ellie Vyne. Vynes and Hartleys never mix and there is bad blood between them. He kisses an enchanting woman at a masquerade ball, little knowing it is Ellie. He now spends his time going around kissing women so that he can find the masked woman.
Ellie Vyne somehow gets her hands on the Hartley diamonds and James wants them back. He is tired of his matchmaking grandmother and asks Vyne to marry him. Ellie Vyne does the unconventional thing. She hires his services for a few days and agrees to marry only if certain conditions are met. But life as they say is not so simple. There will be more than one hurdle in their path, and the two skittish people hardly realize that they have been in love with each other since their childhood, when Ellie painted a fake mustache on a sleeping James, and he called her Ellie Phant.
There are a horde of interesting and lovable characters, right from the valet who gets his gossip from a Jeeves style butlers’ club, the ten year old Lady Mercy who is sweet on James and runs away with him, a good for nothing impostor, an amorous widow who won’t relinquish James, not to mention a hardy snobbish grandmother with a heart of stone. Can love triumph among all this adversity and chaos?
Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne is a hoot, and yet it touches the heart. There is steamy passion that will leave you yearning for more. All said, this is a good plot with strong characters and a bunch of wit to make you laugh. Highly recommended!