Thoughts After Reading:
Jade Lee's Engaged in Wickedness wasn't one of my favorite reads, but that didn't stop it from being a very good novella. It's one of the purest examples of the romantic story stereotype I've seen - the hero rushes in and rescues the damsel-in-distress, and they ride off together into the sunset. In this case, the damsel is a beautiful debutante who is dead set on rebellion, trying to substitute the lack of love in her life with passion. She hasn't gone further than kissing and a bit of grinding when the book opens, but you can tell she would have eventually - and it would have been disastrous in a Regency setting. The "prince" is a relatively poor baronet. He's dazzled by the heroine, and thoroughly inserts himself into her life as he: helps her with her emotional problems, repairs her relationship with her brother, and shows her how much better passion can be when it's infused with a bit of love. The relationship was touching at times, and even though the heroine's inner fears blew the final conflict a little out of proportion... it was handled in a romantic and rather satisfactory manner. On the downside, Engaged in Wickedness also demonstrated why heroes tend to be written as famously handsome ladies men. I thought it was cool that the hero was unassuming at first glance, in title, looks, etc yet was able to successfully capture the heroine's attention and then continue to hold it with his desire to understand the heroine (along with his surprisingly rakish skills). In light of these characteristics, though, the heroine's immediate attraction to him seems terribly implausible. So I did have a few concerns with the storyline of the book, but as a whole it makes me want to check out Jade Lee's other works - which is probably the novella's purpose in the first place.