Wicked, My Love, by Susanna Ives, was a breath of fresh air. At last, a book with humor in it! Before I continue, let me preface all of this by saying comedy/humor/funny is very subjective and what tickles one person’s funny bone will only make another person groan disgustedly. Wicked My Love is the second book in Ms. Ives’ Wicked Little Secret series, and I confess I sort of forgot the first book, although I did read it. So, when I had a laugh-so-hard-I-cried moment in the beginning of this book, I stopped. I was a little afraid that having laughed so hard at the beginning I might run into problems later — so I checked out my review of her other book and then I remembered. I remembered there were a few what I call Jerry Lewis syndrome moments in that book (that is not knowing when to stop), so I crossed my fingers. I have to say that Ms. Ives’ writing has entered a new level. Was it silly? Was it farcical? Was the humor sometimes over the top? Yes, yes and yes, but I smiled alllll the way through the book because not only was there some funny stuff in this book but the characters were more than just something to bounce humor off of. Both Isabella and Randall were well-developed, interesting characters, and that proved a counterbalance to some of the silliness. It was a very enjoyable book.
Isabella and Randall have known each other since they were children, and as children there was a strong animosity between them — they just didn’t get along. Always trying to get the better of each other, always trying to be the one who is right. That doesn’t change much as they grow older; however, now there is sexual tension just below the surface. Isabella is a shy person. She keeps all of her emotions bottled up inside and she believes that at 29 she will never have a fulfilling life. That fulfilling life includes a husband and children. She has a mind that understands finance, and through the encouragement of her aunt Judith she has written a bestselling book. Now this book has made her sort of a folk hero to a lot of women; in fact she has quite a fan base. However, because of her shyness she is not all that eager to meet her fans, and sometimes she is embarrassed with their enthusiasm. She is also a partner in a banking venture and one of her partners is Randall.
Randall, on the other hand, is all about emotions. He is a politician, and he just exudes charm. He comes to Isabella for some help in saving his career, and along the way they team up to find out who is passing fraudulent bonds. However, that plot is only an excuse to get these two together for a fun adventure. Along the way we get to meet a variety of great supporting characters, especially Isabella’s maiden Aunt Judith. Aunt Judith isn’t all that fond of men. She has founded the Mary Wollstonecraft Society Against the Injurious Treatment of Women Whose Rights Have Been Unjustly Usurped by the Tyrannical and Ignorant Regime of the Male Kind. She has educated Isabella in the ways of a woman’s “sacred vessel” and a “man’s dangly parts.” So, Isabella’s outlook on biology is a tad bit slanted — but don’t worry, Randall helps her sort through most of it.
If you want a laugh or two you should pick up Wicked My Love. But, I think you will get more than just a few guffaws. This book has a very delightful couple in Isabella and Randall. Even with all of the chortles there are some emotional depths explored by both Isabella and Randall by the end of this tale. Wicked My Love was a pleasure to read.
Time/Place: 1847 England