The Importance of Being Wicked
Miranda Neville

ISBN-13: 978-0062199034
Publisher: Penguin Group
Line: Berkley
Release Date: Nov 27, 2012
Pages: 384
Retail Price: 7.99

Heat Level: Mild

The rules of society don't apply to Caro and her coterie of bold men and daring women. But when passions flare, even the strongest will surrender to the law of love . . .

Thomas, Duke of Castleton, has every intention of wedding a prim and proper heiress. That is, until he sets eyes on the heiress's cousin, easily the least proper woman he's ever met. His devotion to family duty is no defense against the red-headed vixen whose greatest asset seems to be a talent for trouble . . .

Caroline Townsend has no patience for the oh-so-suitable (and boring) men of the ton. So when the handsome but stuffy duke arrives at her doorstep, she decides to put him to the test. But her scandalous exploits awaken a desire in Thomas he never knew he had. Suddenly Caro finds herself falling for this most proper duke…while Thomas discovers there's a great deal of fun in a little bit of wickedness.



Caro married at seventeen and widowed by twenty. She’s got no children, and is on the verge of destitution. Instead of embracing the severity of her situation, and the offer from her dead husband’s latest announced creditor, she’s hosting a visit from her cousin and acting as chaperone between her cousin and suitor, the stuffy Duke of Castleton.

What I loved about Caro was her vitality for life. She believes in having fun and living each experience to the fullest. The only problem with this carefree existence is you’re typically broke and don’t get near the amount of respectability you deserve. Caro also becomes a little centric toward the idea that everyone wants to change her, which is common for someone who went against the grain. What I didn’t like about Caro is her flair for drama, and her childish mannerisms, which caused her head to get in the way of doing the right things. Needless to say, Caro is the type of heroine that made me laugh, roll my eyes, and make me want to cry. She evokes plenty of emotion and eventually becomes someone willing to sacrifice for the greater good.

Thomas, the Duke of Castleton, otherwise referred to as Mr. Stuffy has to marry for money. He needs a proper wife with a giant dowry, even if the chosen woman prefers antiquities and is the absolute wrong fit for him. When Thomas meets Caro he sees a woman that makes his heart and caveman instincts roar, but she’s not the woman he’s supposed to marry. As these two become closely involved sparks fly, and what one ought to do gets thrown out the window in favor of what one desires to do.

Thomas is a really good man. He’s the perfect gentleman, and besides his tendency to take things a little too seriously he’d be idyllic for me, personally. I loved him, his manners, and his no nonsense way of clothing himself. Caro luckily enhances him, allows him to loosen up and smile, but her drama gets under his collar creating a bit of scandal too.

My favorite scene: Caro, Anne, and Thomas are at a ball and not a ton one either. Things are about to get out of hand, and Caro is being manhandled by an oily idiot. She needs a rescue.

“Let go!” she said, abandoning the pretense of complacency. And watched with horror as his mouth descended toward hers. She smelled his sweet perfume mixed with sweat, the wine on his breath.

Her knee was poised to strike his private parts when suddenly she was released. Horner, taken completely by surprise, struggled in the grasp of a very large duke.

*             *             *

Thomas had no idea who the man in the tight striped coat was, but he knew he didn’t like him. The blackguard had the nerve to lay his fingers on the curves of her bosom, the flawless skin that he, Thomas, was far too much of a gentleman to touch, however much he might wish to. Crimson rage flooded his brain and took possession of his body. Whatever his name was, he hand no chance to put up a fight. Thomas spun him around and smashed fist into jaw…
I love my dukes! 

With a disgusting villain, a deeply emotional backstory for Caro and a group of secondary characters I loved to hate Neville keeps the dice roll and the mind guessing. It’s anyone’s shot at a happy ending and I loved not knowing how the bet would land. Overall, this is a good series opener and I’ll be looking for future stories.

Reviewed by Landra