Series: Holt Sisters Trilogy #2
Also in this series: Beauty and the Spy, The Secret to Seduction
Genres: Historical, Historical Romance, Romance
Sylvie Lamoureux is the darling of the Paris ballet, renowned for her beauty and passionate dedication to her art. But when a mysterious letter sends her across the English Channel, she finds herself literally landing in the lap of one of London's most notorious men.
With a face that has charmed many a London lady, theater impresario Tom Shaughnessy is used to women falling into his arms. But from the moment this feisty young Frenchwoman leaps into his carriage, he senses he's met his rival in wit, daring...and sensuality.
When fate pulls Sylvie into the bawdy world of Tom's theater, a desire neither of them fully expects threatens to upend their well-laid plans. But the past Sylvie never knew she had will force her to make a decision. She can either let it bring down the curtain on their fiery pas de deux...or trust this wicked man with her heart.
All the Julie Anne Long books!
Thoughts on Ways to Be Wicked
By now I feel like I’ve read enough Julie Anne Long books to know that I’m going to be taken for a ride. Read all the euphemisms you want into that. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
There’s something about Julie Anne Long’s writing that I really adore. It’s her way of drawing out emotion and tension and drama, no doubt. It had me requesting this book after I finished Beauty and the Spy, and it had me requesting next next book, The Secret of Seduction, after I finished this one.
A rare instance where I read the books in order! And likely a series best read in order, too, mostly because what happens in book one sets the stage for book two (and likely three), even though the story here is largely Slyvie’s and Tom’s. (So you could probably read these out of order. I just recommend that you don’t.)
We met Tom in Beauty and the Spy, when Susannah (sister from book 1) was searching for information about her family. Tom is the fantastically beautiful man, whose mere smile can cause swoons. You’d think I say that with a healthy dose of sarcasm, but I assure you, it’s only a small amount. I’m quite sure that Tom was well deserving of the praise, but I much preferred reading about how he wooed Sylvie.
And then there’s Sylvie. I liked that she was an unconventional heroine for a historical romance. A ballerina, for one, although she did very little ballet dancing in the book. (Other kinds of dancing, yes.) She leaves everything in Paris (including a lover) and rushes to London to meet a sister she didn’t even really knew she had. But she’s got a lot of pluck and she manages to win over the other girls in Tom’s theater.
Along the way she meets Tom, and sparks fly. Hard core. I liked the slow unfolding of their romance. It was largely looks and flirtations and them simply understanding each other in ways that no one else seemed to. There’s a lot to be said for that kind of romance.
Despite this being a continuation of the Holt sisters trilogy, very little is actually discussed in this book. Even the time Sylvie and Susannah spend together is minimal. Although that time was put to good use, so I didn’t really think about it until writing up the review (which is usually a good sign, actually, because it wasn’t so pivotal to the story that I felt it lacking).
Kit and Susannah make an appearance in this book, so I’m hoping to see Sylvie and Tom in the next book too. And see the culmination of the Holt sisters’ reunion. Because that’s what it’s really about. (And seeing the sisters finding love. Because love.)