Wickedly Yours
by Brenda Hiatt, historical (2003)
Avon, $5.99, ISBN 0-06-050759-4


I'm now convinced that the Brenda Hiatt that wrote two great books before the Harper-Avon unholy merge and the Brenda Hiatt that arose from the ashes after the merge, well, these two can't be the same person. I want the good Brenda Hiatt back. This Brenda Hiatt writes about stupid heroines in stupid plots and I don't like this at all.

While not as stupid as the previous heroines in the author's Dial Seven for Moron, sorry, Seven Dials series, Sarah Killian is still a hambrained nitwit nonetheless. Watching her is like standing on a rail track and watching a train coming towards me. Eight years ago, Sarah and her brother William are orphaned and a kind Samaritan takes them in but sends them to separate boarding schools. Now, twenty-year old Sarah returns to learn that William had ran away the first year he was sent away to his school. The school's principal hid the boy's disappearance so that he can claim William's tuition fees. This means that William has been missing for seven years. Sarah, who has lived for no reason than to be reunited with her brother again, is predictably horrified.

The Samaritan manages to locate Sarah's aunt and next thing she knows, Sarah is the poor relation staying with her aunt. Cinderella here wants to locate her brother, and if this means she will have to charge solo, gung-ho, brain-no, into the Seven Dials, so be it. Luckily for her, circumstances force her to keep bumping into our hero, Peter Northrup (ex-spy, et cetera). When she locates William, she learns that William plans to take up the role of the Saint of Seven Dials (for this review, let's just say he's the Robin Hood of Seven Dials) if the missing Saint doesn't show up. Sarah cannot allow this. So what will she do now? Why, she will bluff William and tell William that the Saint is back in business by stealing things from the Ton. All just to keep William safe.

If you, unlike me, haven't slumped over the seat and beg for deliverance from these Stupid Heroines With Plans, you and this book are made for each other.

It is okay with me if Sarah has the brainpower to pull through her plan, but jeebus, that woman is a train wreck in progress. She is always stammering, her face goes pale whenever she tries to do funny things, she flushes in her cheeks - in short, she pretty much gives away her plans even before she acts. Peter, therefore, has the thankless job of chasing after Sarah to clean up her mess. When Peter steps in to marry Sarah to save her from herself, her gratitude is clear: "It would appear that I have no choice. Of course I cannot allow the world to censure you on my account. Nor do I much fancy living on the streets. I'll not forget that you forced my hand, however." I guess she will be so much happier if she is tossed out to the streets on her butt and forced to service dock workers for lunch money. I know I will be, because aside from being a Class A Coach on the Moron Express, our idiot also wants to marry for love.

As an illogical walking stereotype of stupidity passed off as "virtuous selflessness", Sarah and the stupid plot she hurls herself into make this story barely readable. The sad thing is, Sarah is the smartest heroine the author has ever written since Avon took her in and did... I don't know, something to her. The hero is okay and he is the only thing that prevents this book from being a total failure. Wickedly Yours is a nerve-grating waste of time.

Rating: 60


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