8 Rated Books Book Reviews

Book Review: If His Kiss is Wicked

Title: If his Kiss is Wicked

Author: Jo Goodman

Review Number: 3

Genre: Romance

Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Summary: Back cover says Shy by nature, Emma Hathaway usually leaves the drama to her rebellious cousin, Marisol. But when Emma agrees to meet with her cousin’s secret lover to end the affair, she is pulled into a dangerous game. Now Emma is convinced her involvement in the scandal has put her life in jeopardy. The trouble is none of Emma’s confidantes believe anyone is trying to harm her. As whispers of madness begin, Emma turns to the only person who might be able to help…The very handsome, barely respectable Restell Gardner has gained a reputation for helping people out of compromising positions. Never one to turn away a lady in need, Restell agrees to help solve the intrigue. Sensing there is more to the green-eyed beauty than meets the eye, Restell feels himself falling for Emma. But he resists succumbing to his passion…at least until he learns the truth about the danger that is haunting her. For if he gives in to temptation too soon, he could lose Emma forever…
Why did I read the book: Good reviews, recommended by pretty much everyone in Romanceland.
I would like to start my review with the things that I did not like about the book and get the negative out of the way. They are in this order: the cover, the title and the summary. I just hate them. I think they fail miserably to convey how much this book is worth to be read. Had this book a different cover, a smart title and a more suitable blurb, I am certain more people would buy it and perhaps even come to respect the genre. I wonder if Mrs Goodman has any choice in the matter but I think that most of the time (from what I gather by reading author’s sites) the editors are the ones to make these ill-advised choices that I am certain, are part of the reason why romance novels are on the fringes of literature!

Phew. Now that I got this out of my chest I can say that If his kiss is Wicked is quite simply splendid!

Emma Hathaway, our heroine, has been kidnapped and almost killed by unknown captors but she managed to escape and is now certain that the threat is not over although she is not sure that she is the intended victim of the attack or even if she is not just simply going mad. She contacts our hero, Restell Gardner, a sort of Private Investigator, who helps people in trouble in exchange for favours to be returned when necessary, and he agrees to help her.

To say more about the plot is to spoil part of the pleasure of the book – the investigation of the crime is as much as important to the story as the romance between Emma and Restell. I am glad to report that the mystery was not a secondary, contrived storyline that was there only to serve the main plot, i.e. the growing love between the protagonists. Quite the contrary, the mystery and the romance were intertwined in such a wonderful way that at times I didn’t know whether I wanted them to carry on investigating or kissing.

And talking about kissing (since I can’t talk about the mystery without spoiling the outcome): wow. What a love story. Restell is such a wonderful hero. Not your usual Tormented Alpha Male, he is considerate, funny, smart and sweet. Not that I have anything against Tormented Heroes but sometimes it is very refreshing to get a respite. Because he doesn’t have issues that need to be dealt with, he can concentrate in helping Emma whilst at the same time being unable not to fall in love with her. She doesn’t believe in love – she thinks it is nothing but a passing feeling – but she can’t help falling in love with him either, for all of the above qualities, plus did I mention he is hot? Well, he is. The sex scenes are well written and of good taste – although there is one scene that may offend the more sensitive, but for me it was on the right side of erotic.

Actually, the whole book is well written. Jo Goodman has a way with words, to be sure, and I found myself going back to sentences, paragraphs and even whole chapters in order to let the writing sink in. I had several parts marked to bring over to the review but the one below is one of my favorites:

“The moment he inclined his head, Emma rose on tiptoes. Her arms went around his neck with enough force to bring her body flush to his. His hands at the small of her back held her there. She lifter her face and the distance that separated their mouths ceased to exist. When he whispered her name, it was as if she could taste the sound of it on her lips.
She was delighted to learn her name tasted like warm brandy.
Restelll edged Emma backward against the pianoforte, and her hip brushed the keys. Neither of them noticed the oddly discordant accompaniment to their kiss, nor would they have done anything differently if they had.
Their kiss would suffer no trivial interruption. “

And neither did I as I read the book – my partner knows better than to approach me when I have a Not to be Disturbed warning in my eyes.

Notable quotes/parts: I really loved the whole thing around the marriage proposal. The happenings immediately before, immediately after and the proposal scene itself. At first look, it isn’t the most romantic proposal in the world but there were so many underlying feelings there that one can not help but to sigh and revel in such a perfect scene!
Additional Thoughts: The art stuff was also interesting. On top of the romance and the mystery there was also all the talk about painting – from the art of Tintoretto to Emma’s uncle who was a favorite of the Ton. I loved the considerations about light, paints, studios and the fact that both Emma and Restell shared an eye for capturing those moments worth putting on a canvas.

Verdict: BUY it NOW. I am keeping my copy at hand for future swooning.

Rating: 8

Reading next: The Rake by Mary Jo Putney

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  • Anonymous
    January 11, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Lovely review. I am definately reading this one. When I get it. :giggle:


  • Thea
    January 12, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Ana…this cover is freaking hilarious. I’m in stitches.

    The book sounds lovely though!

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