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Bookish Ames

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.
~~Louisa May Alcott

Our Wicked Mistake - Emma Wildes Madeline is a widow, but she’s not your typical historical widow who hated her husband and hated the conjugal bed. Nope, Madeline loved her husband and actually enjoyed that part of her marriage. But Colin has been gone for years and someone is attempting to blackmail her into an affair with intimate knowledge of her marriage. So how did this come to pass? Colin kept a journal of his everyday life and he wrote down a few key details about what went on in the marriage bed...and as the case may be, a few times outside the marriage bed, like that one time at the opera house. And that journal was stolen. How does Luke, Viscount Altea enter into all this? One night a year ago, five years after her husband passed away, Madeline and Luke spent a passionate evening together. And even though Luke gave Madge the cold shoulder after the encounter, she knows she can still turn to him when she koshes her would-be blackmailer over the head and believes him dead. And sure enough, Luke comes to her rescue.

And the would-be blackmailer isn’t dead – but having to explain his presence in her drawing room could create a scandal for Madge so Luke takes care of that for her. And it brings him back into her sphere. You see, after that one night a year ago, Luke gave Madge the brush off for his own self-preservation. He lost someone he loved in the war and no one knows about it and he doesn’t want to open himself up to that kind of heartbreak ever again, and he knows he could easily fall in love with Madeline.

And even though Madeline was upset with Luke’s actions a year ago, she still desires him and so she goes after him – not for marriage, but for an affair. Meanwhile, there is still someone out there who wishes Madeline ill, and it somehow ties into her deceased husband’s journal…

I thoroughly enjoyed Our Wicked Mistake! I loved that Madeline wasn’t your stereotypical widow and that after years of celibacy she decided to do something for herself. And Luke, sweet Luke. I thought it was an interesting twist for a hero to avoid a woman because he knew she would make him feel too much. Usually a man will deny deny deny. But nope, Luke knew from the get-go and so he decided to stay away from temptation. But Madeline grabbed life by the horns and decided to take her fate into her own hands and went after her man. She even understood that all he would be able to offer her was an affair, something temporary. I like historical heroines who own their sexuality, that defy the conventions of the time.

What truly made Our Wicked Mistake even that much more satisfying was the secondary romance between Luke’s younger sister Elizabeth and their step-cousin Miles. You know I love nothing more than a good friends to lovers story and that’s what this one was. Elizabeth and Miles were childhood companions who grew up together and Miles knew he loved Elizabeth but he wasn’t sure about her feelings and it ate him up inside that she was in the market for a husband.

The plot surrounding Colin’s journal was interesting as well. And it was kind of in the background which was perfect for the story. The focus was on Luke and Madeline and the mystery was there, but did not overshadow the romance.

Overall, I thought Our Wicked Mistake was a great read and highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read Emma Wildes before. For fans of her writing, this one is right up there with her other novels. I’m giving Our Wicked Mistake a 4.5 out of 5. I can’t wait to read the 3rd book, His Sinful Secret!