Review: Wicked Designs by Lauren Smith

Wicked Designs by Lauren Smith
Series: League of Rogues (# 1)
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Pages: 316
Source: Book provided by the publisher for review



For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.

It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.

Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.


Review:  In this rollicking tale of Regency England, Lauren Smith introduces a new set of characters called the League of Rogues — five sinfully handsome rich men with titles and a penchant for mischief.

In Wicked Designs, the adventure begins when those dastardly rogues abduct innocent Emily Parr, whose only goal in life is to escape her uncle’s home and live her life in peace. When she is abducted by the League of Rogues on her way to a gathering, she is less than pleased.

What started out as revenge for a financial matter resulted in Emily ending up in the arms of Godric St. Laurent. A seasoned rake, he has no desire for happily ever after, but he is more than willing to introduce Emily to the glories of womanhood. Emily may be an innocent, but she isn’t going to give up her virtue without a fight.

For readers who enjoy historical romance, this is definitely one to add to the reading list. Full of rich details, the author has woven a beautiful story with multi-faceted characters who are just waiting for their own stories. I especially loved the integration of humor into the novel. Emily’s antics to escape easily brought a smile.

From a heat standpoint, there is no doubt that the chemistry sizzles between Emily and Godric. As the relationship builds, so does the threat that her uncle’s nefarious business partner will destroy everything Emily holds dear. This plot twist, while somewhat expected, provides a perfect framework for the characters to hash out their differences.

This wouldn’t be a historical romance without the details, so readers need to expect that there will be plenty of description both in and out of the bedroom. I’m glad I caught the beginning of the series, because this will be one to follow.