January 29, 2014

Wicked Designs - Lauren Smith (+ Giveaway)

Wicked Designs Lauren Smith book cover
Wicked Designs by Lauren Smith
Series: The League of Rogues #1
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Source/Format: For blog tour (Thanks, Estelle!) || e-galley
[I received this book for review. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books. 

It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.

Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love. 

Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without. (from Goodreads)

Wicked Designs was a very pleasant surprise.

I swooned over the passionate romance, and enjoyed the witty banter between our hero and heroine. But that's the type of thing I've come to expect from my historical romances. What really caught me off guard was the intense love I felt for the League of Rogues, a band of best friends who are equal parts charming, kind, ruthless, devious, smart and loyal. This, in fact, is probably the main reason I adored Wicked Designs so much.

That's not to say that Emily Parr and Godric St. Laurent didn't play major parts in my entertainment. Emily is innocent, independent and intelligent, three traits that get her into both the best and worst situations possible. Godric is a rogue through and through, intelligent, physically capable and unwilling to fall in love (as most typical rakes are wont to be). Together, they have this amazing chemistry - as enemies, as friends, as lovers - and it simply leaps off the pages.

The story, including their romance, is not all that different from others. It involves a series of hijinks, an abduction (or two), gentlemen, not-so-gentlemen, mistresses, siblings, debts owed and repaid and a lot of everyday rituals, like breakfast or going out of doors. Even with the added dramatics (especially in the latter quarter), the story still managed to entertain. Since that's always what I crave when I read a historical romance, it hit the mark.

But seriously, I have to say, my heart was taken with these rogues - Godric and his friends Ashton, Charles, Cedric, Lucien. Each man is very different from the others, as readers will come to know over the course of Wicked Designs. But they have a camaraderie and history to their friendship, and I fell in love with it completely. I'm looking forward to learning more about each of these wonderful men as the series continues.

I really enjoyed Wicked Designs. I swooned, I yelled, I laughed, I was entertained, but best of all, I fell in love with a bunch of rogues. I really can't ask for anything better than that, except perhaps the second book to fall into my hands a whole lot sooner


In case you're interested in reading Wicked Designs, author Lauren Smith is hosting a giveaway in conjunction with the blog tour. There are 6 copies of Wicked Designs up for grabs! Please note that this giveaway is US ONLY. Thanks!

Please also check out the additional stops on the official blog tour for Wicked Designs:

January 28: Cocktails and Books
January 29: Alexa Loves Books
January 30: Buried Under Romance
January 31: Peace Love Books
February 3: Michelle and Leslie's Book Picks
February 4: Gone Pecan


  1. I have been just obsessed with historical romances lately. I can't seem to get enough of them, but at the same time, I'm trying to not to go crazy and read nothing else.

    I'm adding this to my TBR pile. I sort of have a soft spot for abduction plots. Messed up, but I can't help it.

  2. Thank you for stopping by Quinnsbooknook! I really hope you enjoy the book. I have a soft spot for abduction plots too LOL.

  3. I already have the book, and loved it. Tweeted and shared on FB!!

  4. I haven't read any historical romance in a while, but this sounds like a lot of fun! I love a good bit of banter in my books, and the romance here sounds very likeable and entertaining. I'm glad it was a pleasant surprise for you, Alexa! Lovely review. :)

  5. I'm all about the swoon! Thanks for introducing me this book.

  6. Ooooooo I love a good regency romance! Sounds like an excellent read, great review! :)

  7. I love a story with good banter. The characters sound so interesting and the storyline sounds like great fun. It's definitely going on my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. I was pretty much sold when I read the line in the synopsis, "find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books." A bookish girl + historical romance? I'm all over it!


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