When His Kiss Is Wicked

When His Kiss Is Wicked - Kaitlin O'Riley After reading and enjoying O'Riley's "One Sinful Night," I was disappointed by this mediocre story.When His Kiss Is Wicked is a historical set in the Victorian period and tells the romance between a feisty bookshop keeper and a marriage-minded heir to a marquisate. Colette Hamilton has taken over managing the family's bookshop after her father's death six months before the book opens. Her Uncle Randall would much prefer she and her sister marry money and abandon the bookshop as he resents that the family is involved in trade. Lucien Sinclair, the Earl of Waverly, meets Colette when he visits the bookshop to find reading material for his invalid father. Sparks fly between the feisty proto-feminist and the traditionalist aristocrat and the attraction grows as they run into each other at Society events. Lucien, however, is determined to marry a boring, biddable wife, no matter how much Colette appeals to him.One of the first flaws to smack me in the face is that O'Reilly absolutely MANGLES the English peerage. She gives an illegitimate son a courtesy title - Lord Jeffery Eddington - and then mangles it further by referring to him as Lord Eddington. There were many other examples, but as Eddington was a major secondary character, this was the most glaring. The lack of basic research made immersing myself in the story rather difficult.In addition, she uses modern language and ideas in what is supposed to be a historical. I can buy that a woman could run a bookshop, but not that she wouldn't sell the business after marriage or that she would expect people to find her behavior totally acceptable. I was rather bruised from being beaten over the head with the feminist overtones. I know it's tempting to put modern ideas in play, but Colette was a walking anachronism.Characterization was poor as well. O'Reilly made the mistake of telling, rather than showing. We're told Eddington is quite charming, but she wrote little dialog that let the reader see him as such. I saw very little of people's inner workings via POV musings. Characters felt flat and one-dimensional.The plot did a poor job of making me wait. I freely admit that I am a poor plot prognosticator. You show me a mystery, and I'll show you a shocked face every time the culprit is revealed. Yet, I guessed every plot twist before it happened. If you can't fool me, ay yi yi.As a result of the flat characterization and total lack of tension, I was completely bored by this book, nearly abandoning it at page 100. Highly disappointing, considering how much I enjoyed her earlier book. I hope this was merely a speed bump in her career, as she's clearly capable of better work.