Series: Wicked Widows #3
Published by Tantor Audio on July 29th 2014
Length: 7 hrs 54 min
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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This was the last book in the Wicked Widows trilogy. Although this was the only book in the series that I read, I had no problem following the story. I just had a hard time enjoying this since the characters were so stiff and formal and I never felt any real connection with them.
In the opening scene we are presented with the happenings on the night that the Duke of Ormond was killed. Gevase was abusive to Perdita and finally Perdita, with the help of her friends (who all suffered abusive first marriages), decided to leave him. But Gevase was drinking and he attacked Perdita before she could leave. He was holding a knife to her throat. While he was distracted by the other women, Perdita pushed him away and he fell on his knife. Perdita was never charged with his death, but someone is making sure that there is speculation around the ton about the night of his death.
Her husband’s secretary, Lord Archer Lisle has been there for Perdita since her husband’s death. Yet it is for more than just friendly support. Archer has been in love with Perdita since he first met her and was unaware that she suffered abuse at the hand of her husband even though he was always around. Archer tortures himself that he missed the signs.
The beautiful widowed Duchess of Ormond has been receiving a lot of attention, but Perdita will only consider remarrying a man she can control. She has relied on Archer, but she believes she could fall in love with him and that was her first mistake with Gevase. She believed she loved him and allowed him to slowly turn that love into control and abuse. She won’t listen to Archer’s offers of marriage. And for someone who is not an 18 year old virgin, she is still quite naive. She decides she will take Archer as her lover and maybe even keep him after she remarries. Archer realizes how foolish her plan is since the man she remarries will no doubt want an heir of his own and there is none that would risk the child being Archer’s to allow her to continue an affair.
Archer being no fool decides to take Perdita up on her offer in hopes that he can convince her to turn their sexual affair into a real marriage before she accepts one of the losers she is allowing to court her.
Meanwhile, someone is trying to harm Perdita and is blaming her for Gevase’s death. After being attacked both verbally and physically, Archer “kidnaps” her, with the help of her friends, and takes her to a secret location — his parents’ house?
Shockingly, the bad guy locates Perdita and Archer at his parents’ house, but with the help of his family, they attempt to protect Perdita from harm, and try to convince her that Archer loves her and would never harm her. A long talk with Archer’s mother, who was also abused by her first husband, goes a long way in trying to convince Perdita.
Although the characters were likable enough, they were too starched for my taste to really connect with. When Perdita is attacked and knocked off her horse, she hits her head and is knocked unconscious. When she wakes, she is apologetic to Archer for rudely falling unconscious in front of him. What? That’s a little too much for me.
She is also very naive in how she is facing her future in looking for a new husband (not that she really needs one) and she finds that she almost once again picks a man who will control her. Although she knows how kind and sweet Archer is, she won’t be fooled into marrying a man she is attracted to since that is what got her in trouble the first time. But she knows Archer better than she knew her husband who courted her when she was a young woman. Her plan to have sex with Archer and marry a man she can control, even though she is not a bossy woman by nature, is flawed. It is fantasy plan that a young, innocent girl would come up with when she is planning her first season in London, not a woman who has already been married and who is aware of how much a wife is subject to her husband’s whims.
There is also added stupidity in that when Archer and Perdita have sex the first time, Archer brings a ‘French letter’ (which is a condom), but then takes it off and they have sex again and he forgets to put it back on — um, what? You thought enough to bring one, but then forgot it for the repeat, and it is never used again. What’s the point of having the money to get one, having one and only using it once? You knew you couldn’t get her pregnant with her current stupid plan, but only use the condom once? I was just confused why bring it in and not continue to be smart about it.
The reveal of who has been torturing the women throughout the trilogy was very interesting but we might not have found this out if Archer’s plan for kidnapping Perdita was better. Perdita stupidly declared she wasn’t going to be frightened into leaving London leaving Archer with no other option but to work with her friends to drug Perdita and get her out of town. Now a woman who needs trunks of clothes and necessities can’t really be abducted quietly, but really, taking her to your parents’ house? Like that wouldn’t be a natural place to look for Archer when he disappears from town? Well, the killer figured it out quick enough since they were barely there a day, when the torture started again.
As far as the narration on this audiobook, it was nicely done and had a natural flow to it and very distinct voices so you weren’t confused as to who was talking. I did hate the way she pronounced Perdita so that was pretty annoying to hear dozens of times, and I never really got used to it.
I did recently read a Manda Collins short story, Once Upon a Christmas Kiss, which was more enjoyable than this story although I do have some nitpicking on plot issues. I’ll be back with that review tomorrow.
Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.