Practically Wicked is sweet and quite romantic. The focus of the book was on Viscount Max Dane and Miss Anna Rees. The conflict was how Miss Anna Rees’ reputation, thanks to her mother, might affect the future of this reluctantly blooming romance. Anna, despite or rather due to the fact that her mother is one of the most infamous ladies in the demimonde, suffers from the immense need to separate herself from the ton and the demimonde. She is well too aware of how she is viewed by society and wants nothing to do with it. Viscount Max Dane doesn’t give a flying fig about what the ton thinks. What he cares about, strangely enough, is being spurned (or so he thinks) by a girl he met four years ago. This bothered him so much that he’s made a spectacular buffoon out of himself in front of Miss Rees. And so our story begins.
What I really loved about this book was how well it was written. I was actually surprised the first time I read one of Alissa Johnson’s books because wow, this author can tell a story. I haven’t read the first book in the Haverston series but by the subtle characterizations she’s provided for this third book, you won’t need to read the previous books to understand Practically Wicked. She does such a great job that it sucks you right in and you won’t know what’s happening until you’re being poked left and right by feelings. And since this is a romance novel, it’s practically a given that they’ll have a happy ending. The question always is will it be immediate or will you need to wait for an epilogue or two (I’m looking at you Charlotte Featherstone). Alissa Johnson does such a great job of letting her characters’ emotions come across that I was so torn between demanding that Anna and Max end up together or that Max let Anna go. And of course, she also writes great dialogues. My favourite quote is a bit sappy, but hey, it’s pretty:
“There’s a place for us, Anna. I know it. We can try the country and see if it suits us, then London if we decide it doesn’t. Maybe Scotland. Freddie swears by the Scottish countryside. Paris or Rome or Boston after that. We can emigrate or travel indefinitely. We’ll look—”
“And if there is no place for us?” The question slipped out before she could bite it back. “If there is nowhere we can both belong?”
“I don’t care. I don’t care if I spend the rest of my life searching for the perfect place. I don’t care if I die having never found it…as long as I’m searching with you. As long as the last thing I see on this earth is you. This…” At last he stepped close enough to touch. He took her face in his hands. “This is what I need to be happy. This is where I belong. I love you, Anna Rees.You are all I need.”
I think I’ve found another author for my auto-read/buy list!