“I’m standing here, wanting to give you a fitting compliment, but my paltry vocabulary fails me.  I think what I need is a scientific exploration…Because the way you look, right now…they’d have a word for it there…A word for a sudden, cataclysmic torrent of beauty with the power to change landscapes…Some wild monsoon raged through me as I looked at you just now.  It’s left me rearranged inside, and I don’t have a map.”

Redonk Nutshell: A roadtrip between a bluestocking and a rake goes awry

A plot device that I adore? Road trips.  Love ’em.  It was fantastic in Kate Noble’s Follow My Lead and it’s simply wondrous in Ms. Dare’s latest, A Week to be Wicked.

Met met both Minerva Highwood and Colin Sandhurst in the first Spindle Cove book, A Night To Surrender. No need to fret about it, though, if you haven’t read the first.  Minerva and Colin’s story stands strongly on its own.

Minerva has spent the majority of her time buried in books and or surrounded my rocks.  She is a geologist.  Colin Sandhurst is an acknowledged rake, and Minerva is convinced he means to offer marriage to her sister.  Which is a reprehensible idea to her.  Min and Colin are constantly teasing each other, rubbing along as well as a stone in a shoe.  So when Minerva insists that Colin escort her to a Geological Conference in Scotland, effectively ruining her, he is flabbergasted.  She has no interest in marriage, she’s truly just desperate to get to Scotland so she can present research she’s been doing in Spindle Cove.

I adored this book.  These two are simply hysterical together.  Minerva is brilliant and straight to the point and Colin…well, Colin is a master at word play.  So when these two joust it ends up being a most excellent exhibition.   There’s a scene that had me giggling where Colin kisses Minerva just as a gaggle of girls is coming their way.  In this kiss, Minerva experiences something she never expected to experience during a kiss: tongue

“Whyever would you do that?”

“What do you mean?” he asked, chuckling. “You kissed me.”

“Yes, but why would you do…” her face twisted. “The rest of it.”

Colin paused. “Because…that’s the way a grown man kisses a woman?”

She started at him.

For God’s sake, she couldn’t be that naïve.

“I know you can’t have had much experience, but surely someone’s explained the natural way of things between the sexes?” He held out his hands in an attitude of illustration and cleared his throat. “It’s like this, you see.  When a man cares for a woman very, very much…”

She buffeted his shoulder with her fist, once. Then barely restrained herself from a second blow. “That’s not what I mean and you know it.”

She lowered her voice and slid a glance toward the group of girls, who were now disappearing into the rooming house, still absorbed in their own conversation. “Why would you do that with me? A simple kiss was enough. What could you be thinking?”

“What indeed.” He pushed a hand through his hair, more than a little offended at her accusatory tone. “I’m male. You rubbed your…femaleness all over me.  I didn’t think.  I reacted.”

“You reacted.”


“To…,” she shifted her weight from one foot to the other. “To me.”

“It’s a natural response.  Aren’t you a scientist? Then you should understand. Any red-blooded man would react to such stimulus.”

…”So you find me stimulating?”

“That’s not what I-“  he bit off the rest of that sentence.

The only way to end a nonsensical conversation was to simply cease talking.

A Week to Be Wicked is a must-read for any romance lover.

A Week to be Wicked, 384 pgs, 3/27/12

Rating: A

Romance: 4/5            Raunch: 3.5/5

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