Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: November 1, 2013 (re-release)
Fifteen years ago, a strange twist of fate made Rayne Wyman both the Viscount Tipton and a notorious outcast. Now a practicing surgeon, even Rayne’s own vow of revenge has not tempted him to reenter the polite world—and he is certain that nothing and no one ever will. Then he meets the young and remarkably lovely Devona Bedegrayne, who summons the temerity to knock on his door and demand his help.
Intrigued by her innocence, exasperated by her determination, Rayne never imagines the danger Devona faces—or the irresistible desire she will awaken—when he becomes her accomplice in a bit of very scandalous mischief. . .
The No Good, Irresistible Viscount Tipton by Alexandra Hawkins was, for me, a different kind of historical romance. Death played a big role in this book, in fact it seemed to be a central point that all the characters kept coming back to. It’s not as morbid as it sounds; it actually made this book stand out for me and made it more enjoyable. The danger was more palpable from the very first page and there were moments early on where I thought the one of the main characters wouldn’t make it and that a new love interest would be brought in. It was unpredictable in that regard.
Originally written under the name Barbara Pierce and titled A Lady’s Mischief twelve years ago, the story (and cover) has been revised and according to Alexandra Hawkins, this version is sexier. I’m glad that this particular book was brought to my attention, it has all I need for a good time, danger, a tormented hero, a feisty heroine, humor and of course, passion.
Rayne Tolland Wyman is the accidental Viscount. When he was a child, he and his older brother Devlin became deathly ill. Devlin succumbed to the illness but Rayne did not. Unfortunately for him, circumstances lead everyone around him to believe he had died and Rayne was buried alive. With the timely help of some unsuspecting grave robbers, Rayne survived his ordeal but from then on was known as Le Cadavre Raffine or, The Refined Corpse. Years later, Rayne is now a surgeon and a social outcast. He is shunned and feared by polite society, even his mother cannot stand to be in his presence. Content with his existence, Rayne is surprised when one night a very daring lady forces her way into his hoe and turns his life upside down.
Devona Bedegrayne, the fifth child of a baronet needs the help of society’s resident outcast, but so far he has refused to acknowledge her letters. So with the help of her servants, she quite literally forces her way into the Viscount Tipton’s home in order to plead her case. After leaving his residence, Devona feels like she has failed but she has fascinated the reclusive viscount and now she may have bitten off more than she could chew and it isn’t long before attempts on her life and Rayne’s start taking place and the two must work together to find out who wants them dead and why.
I love the suspense in this novel. Like I said, death played a big role in the story and that made it so much more than just a historical romance. The mystery of the villain’s identity remains very well hidden throughout the book and even I was surprised when I found out who it was because everyone was a viable suspect except that one character. The amount of deaths and the details of them were another surprise. Normally it’s the paranormal romances that get that bloody or graphic so it was a shock to see that much bloodshed in a historical romance. It did make the deaths more real though, there was no glossing over the deaths.
How Rayne and Devona found time to fall in love among all the chaos, I don’t know but they did and I did love watching them fall for each other. Devona is so headstrong and while that makes her behave recklessly at times, Rayne doesn’t try and “tame” her, he just finds a way to redirect all that energy towards safer pursuits, or towards himself. As self sufficient as he is, Rayne needs Devona to give him new meaning to his life. He can live and hope again with her and she doesn’t see him as an oddity to be stared at, but as a flesh and blood man who needs to be loved and accepted.
As far as secondary characters go, I think the entire Bedegrayne clan is amusing. Wynne, Devona’s older sister may be beautiful and caring, but she is also sarcastic and clever, two traits that are unattractive to men in that time period. Then there was Brock, the brother. He’s more of an “Act now, think later” kind of character but his heart is in the right place most of the time and he doesn’t like to leave the protection of his sisters to anyone else, which causes him to butt heads with Rayne on several occasions.
The No Good, Irresistible Viscount Tipton was a surprise from start to finish, it was never what I expected but that is exactly what kept me interested and had me falling in love with this book.