Evangeline can read people through touch. She can read their past. She can also sometimes read their future. Sounds great, right? Except that she gets horrible headaches after each 'sight' and she can't turn the power off and on. That means every time she touches someone, she sees things, random things. Imagine kissing a hunky guy and seeing how he got tossed in the privy when he was ten. Yeah, not exactly romantic!
There's also the abuse factor. Evangeline thinks her mother's friend is bringing her to a house party just outside of town. Instead, Lady Stanton is taking her far into the countryside to a reclusive lord's estate. There, Lady Stanton wants Evangeline to use her powers to gain information so they can force the lord into marrying her social outcast of a daughter. Oh, and this reclusive lord isn't all sunshine and rainbows himself. Society is certain he's a murderer.
When Evangeline meets Gavin Lioncroft, there is an instant sizzle in the air. This is a surprise party. He doesn't wish them there. He doesn't want to see anyone. He is not exactly welcoming yet he focuses all his attention on Evangeline. The situation is awkward and tense.
Then a member of the house party is murdered.
I know, I know. TOO WICKED TO KISS is one of those delicious gothic-style historical romances that will have you turning pages as quickly as you can. The tone reminds me of Eve Silver's Dark Prince but the style is distinctly Erica Ridley's. It is also a wonderful and original Beauty and the Beast story with Gavin putting his own stamp on the tortured, misunderstood Beast.
There is humor. Susan, the outcast daughter, calls Gavin Lionkiller instead of Lioncroft. There is passion. The sparks between Evangeline and Gavin fly from their first meeting. There are tender moments. When Evangeline collapses from a sight, Gavin is sweetly protective. There is also a murder mystery. I was clueless as always about the murderer but that didn't stop me from guessing. I know Enduring Romance readers are more clever at picking up clues than I am. Let me know if you guess correctly.
TOO WICKED TO KISS is a perfect dark historical gem. It is also the debut story from a sure-to-be bestselling author. I love it when I can support a new author, read a great book, AND have bragging rights with my buddies that I discovered her first. Reading doesn't get any better than that!
To read more about Erica Ridley and TOO WICKED TO KISS, head over to http://www.ericaridley.com . Ohhh.... I see she has a contest to win an advanced copy of TOO WICKED TO KISS!!