For What It's Worth

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: A Little Bit Wild by Victoria Dahl

A Little Bit Wild


Jude Bertrand is not an excellent dancer. Nor does he wear the most fashionable coats. But when Marissa York's brother approaches him, desperate to preserve Marissa's tenuous reputation, Jude does prove heroic enough to offer to marry the girl. In fact, the union should more than make up for his lack of social graces --- and his own scandalous past ...


Marissa knows that betrothal to the son of a duke --- even one as raw and masculine as Jude --- will save her from ruin, but that doesn't mean she's happy about it. Soon, though, she finds that Jude has a surprisingly gentle touch --- and plans to use it to persuade Marissa that their wedding day cannot come soon enough ... (Historical Romance)

I'm not really a fan of historical romances but I love Victoria Dahl's contemporaries, so when I saw A Little Bit Wild, a HR by Dahl at BEA I thought I would give it a try. In her contemps the women are strong and the guys are swoon worthy and there is ALWAYS a big dose of snarky humor. I was thrilled to find that this style carried over to her historical romances as well.

Marissa is curious and bold about sex. She loves looking at all the gorgeous young society men and sees nothing wrong with experimenting like they do. Once Marissa is caught in the throes of passion with the not so skilled (or nice) Mr. White, she is forced to marry to avoid sullying her reputation. Marissa cannot bear to be betrothed to the man she was caught with. Her fantasies and illusions were shattered by the experience. Her brother Edward agrees that she shouldn't be forced to marry Mr. White but insist she still marry in case she is with child.

Family friend, Jude Betrand steps up to the plate and offers to marry Marissa to restore her reputation. He's not young and beautiful in Marissa's eyes but he is the son of a Duke. A bastard son, since his mother is a courtesan, so Jude walks that line in society where he is accepted but not fully embraced. He's good enough for Marissa's purposes. She can feign a relationship and engagement just long enough to restore her reputation and then go their separate ways. What she doesn't count on is his kindness and friendship - or her attraction to him.

Of course Jude has had his eyes on the wild Marissa for awhile and thinks he can convince her to stop toying around with the boys and take up with a man. Jude believes he has something to offer Marissa and hopes that this will be a love match even though it starts as a facade. They're a match in both wits and passion. I love their first sweet, exploratory encounters and how they slowly turn into more. Nothing beats a romance that is allowed to develop over the course of the story instead of insta-love.

 There were times when Marissa and her family don't treat Jude very well because of his mother's profession. It pissed me off but Jude has self respect and handled it well. I was able to simmer down in my defense of Jude and watch Marissa grovel a bit to win Jude over. She had to work for it!. Love that! Jude is a definite keeper.

There are so many things to like about A Little Bit Wild I'm not sure where to begin. Marissa is spoiled and very shallow but she's also intelligent and confident in her sexuality. She really develops as a character over the course of the book. She's not always kind to Jude but those moments where she realizes and changes her behavior are fantastic. Her family is wonderful too. It's a historical romance and as such there are ridiculous rules to follow and reputations to preserve. As head of the family, Marissa's brother Edward has to take charge and fix Marissa's mistakes. What I liked about this story is that he loves his sister and cares about her well being. He isn't going to let her marry a jerk just to preserve the family name. Her family is genuinely concerned with Marissa's well-being as well as her reputation.

The one negative to this book was the bad guy. Someone is trying to blackmail Marissa about her transgressions and it felt a little overwrought and was an unnecessary plot complication. There were a lot of false accusations and one too many "he's the one!" no "he's the one!"

Otherwise this was a delightful and funny story that I'm sure I'll be picking up again.

Rating: 3.5 out of 4 Victoria Dahl is becoming one of my auto buy authors that is able to transcend genres for me thanks to her strong, feisty heroines and sexy, smart heroes.

Find Victoria Dahl:
Tumblr - where you will find man candy, and perverted works of orange peel art.

Source: Received a free copy at BEA
Publisher: Zebra August 1, 2010
Buy the book! A Little Bit Wild


  1. Awesome review, Karen :)) I just found this one on my bookshelf last night! I don't like it when the 'mystery' or villian takes over my romances either!!

  2. Not so sure about the whole she is so curious and interested in sex. She just would not be, oh there I go again, I should just enjoy HR and not analyse ;)

  3. @Blodeudd - lol, that's what I liked about it. She wasn't the typical boring, virginal HR heroine but like I said I'm not really a fan of historical romances so I'm not sure how people who do like this genre would feel.