When She Was Wicked by Anne Barton

 WICKED

When She Was Wicked by Anne Barton
Publisher : Grand Central Forever
Genre : Historical
Length : Full Length (416 pages)
Heat Leval : Spicy
Rating : 5 stars
Reviewed by Tulip

A dressmaker in London’s busiest shop, Miss Anabelle Honeycote overhears the ton’s steamiest secrets-and (occasionally) uses them to her advantage. It isn’t something she’s proud of, but the reluctant blackmailer needs the money to care for her gravely ill mother. To make up for her misdeeds, Anabelle keeps to a firm set of rules:

Never request payment from someone who cannot afford it.

Never reveal the secrets of a paying client.

Never enter into any form of social interaction with a client.

Her list keeps her (somewhat) honest-until she encounters Owen Sherbourne, the Duke of Huntford.

Not only does Owen nip Anabelle’s extortion plans in the bud, the devilishly handsome Duke soon has the sexy seamstress dreaming of more than silks and satins. With Owen Anabelle enjoys pleasures she never imagined. . . until a scandal from the past resurfaces. Now her rules could mean his family’s ruin. Owen’s searing kisses carry the promise of passion, but how will he react when Anabelle’s most devastating secret is finally revealed?

I simply loved this novel from debut author, Anne Barton. Heartwarming and sweet, this Cinderella-like romance was magical and perfect.

Anabelle Honeycote has been a bad girl. The talented seamstress learned the secrets of the ton by eavesdropping on her gossiping clients. She then used those secrets to blackmail the unsuspecting aristocracy. She desperately needed the money to support her sister and ailing mother. Her scheme was successful …until she made the mistake of tangling with the Duke of Huntford. Caught red-handed, Anabelle makes a deal with the devil to save herself.

Owen Sherbourne , the Duke of Huntsford, turns the tables on the naughty Anabelle. Then, instead of turning her in, he offers her a deal. She will live at his family home while she creates a new wardrobe for his two young sisters. There is more to Anabelle than meets the eye. And Owen inexplicably finds himself attracted to her. He is soon crossing the boundaries of his own honor just to steal a kiss..or a touch.

Anabelle forms a bond with Owen’s sisters. And dreams of a forever with Owen. She helps Owen to understand his sisters. And he becomes her knight in shining armor. Even though they both admit to their feelings, they are bound by the social strictures of society.

This story was not without outside conflict. There was a sordid mystery that surrounds the youngest sister’s affliction. Adding to the conflict was a villainess with designs on the Duke.

I predict great things from this author. Anne Barton will become an author to watch. Her voice is strong and unique. Her writing is reminiscent of historical heavy-hitters such as Julia Quinn, Tessa Dare and Lorraine Heath. Her endearing characters and eloquent writing make her one of the most promising new authors in this genre. When She Was Wicked is a must read for historical fans. Anne Barton earns a five star rating for this debut effort. I can’t wait to read her next book.

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