Review: When She Was Wicked by Anne Barton

When She Was Wicked - Anne BartonPublisher: Forever (January 29th 2013)
Paperback: 416 pages
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some rules simply beg to be broken…

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?


An adorably cute couple perfect for each other if I ever saw one.

Miss Annabelle Honeycote is trying to make ends meet by being a seamstress and when that isn’t enough, her talented extortion skills really do come in handy. But just because she’s breaking the law doesn’t mean she doesn’t follow her own code of conduct. So desperate times call for desperate measures, but her encounter with Owen Sherbourne, the Duke of Huntford, definitely did not go as planned. Owen doesn’t take likely to extortion, but feels bad for the struggling Annabelle, so he offers her a job as personal seamstress to his sisters to “pay off her debt”.

The nice thing about this couple is despite knowing that their possible different status in society is a barrier to a possible marriage (and love), unlike a lot of brooding heroes, Owen doesn’t use it as an excuse to be a jerk to Annabelle. They don’t try to hide the fact that they enjoy each other’s company and that yeah there might be more than just lust here.  That being said, the hero and heroine are also very likable and don’t do (too many) idiotic things. Annabelle is stubborn and proud but really sweet and signs her extortion letters ” A Necessarily Resourceful Citizen” (haha) and as for Owen, this right here basically instantly makes him hero material:

“I’m glad I got to meet your sister,” he said. He was distracted  and staring out the window at the buildings rushing by. If [Annabelle] had to guess, dreaming of waltzing with Daphne.

“She’s as kind as she is beautiful,” Annabelle said softly. Which made it dreadfully difficult to resent her.

“Do you know know what I liked best about her?”

No, No, she did not, but swallowed, nodded, and brace herself for his response. She suspected “her cornflower blue eyes” or “her shining gold hair.” Men were predictable creatures.

“I liked the way she made you laugh. I’ve never heard you laugh that way before.” He turned to her then and cupped her cheeks in his warm hands. “And the way she called you Belle. It suits you…Belle.”

(Are you swooning yet?)

Yup, the romance/relationship in this book was definitely a winner. The other subplot of the book with Owen’s sister Rose was okay, but I felt it was mainly just a catalysis for Annabelle and Owen and seemed a bit weak, considering, I assume it would be a strong source of conflict of the book from what I could tell from the synopsis.

Overall, a strong debut book from Anna Barton. The romance was sweet, the characters not so annoying, and the scandalous secrets kind of scandalous. The second book in the Honeycote series is about Annabelle’s sister Daphne. We only got to see her a bit in the first book, so I’m excited to get to know her a little more, seems like she’s got her own little hidden secrets!

{*Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Chapters Indigo

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

0 Replies to “Review: When She Was Wicked by Anne Barton”

  1. I love the sound of this and will add it to my wishlist. I simply don’t buy romance books unless they are recommended to me since I am horrible at picking them out.

    1. I’ve read so many romance novel good and bad haha, I end up getting the majority from the library so I’m not spending so much money 😉

  2. […] people. A lovely addition to the Honeycote series and a good reminder to why I really enjoyed When She Was Wicked & why I’m looking forward to Once She Was Tempted.  Definitely recommended if […]

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