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The Importance of Being Wicked (The Wild Quartet #1)

3.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  675 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
The rules of society don't apply to Caro and her coterie of bold men and daring women. But when passions flare, even the strongest will surrender to the law of love...

Thomas, Duke of Castleton, has every intention of wedding a prim and proper heiress. That is, until he sets eyes on the heiress's cousin, easily the least proper woman he's ever met. His devotion to family du
Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
Published November 27th 2012 by Avon
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(showing 1-30 of 1,830)
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Elis Madison
K, so now we follow Caro, the 17-y-o dimbo from The Second Seduction of a Lady, who eloped with the barely-out-of-puberty lothario wannabe Robert Townsend. Anybody who had any life experience could see it coming, right?

Yuh huh.

Robert died a year ago—but not before gambling away his considerable wealth. Caro has been trying to keep it together by selling off everything that isn't nailed down (except the Titian they bought on their honeymoon, which she tells people she doesn't have). One unusuall
Huma Rashid
Sep 01, 2012 Huma Rashid rated it did not like it
Shelves: classic
The Importance of Being Wicked is the debut novel in Miranda Neville's new series about some rather badly behaved women. Caroline Townshend is a notorious widow, whose elopement at the age of 17 with a member of the ton caused quite a scandal. Her husband passed on about six years later, leaving her shackled with his gambling debts and a valuable Titian that she has hidden from her creditors and friends and refuses to sell. Caro is playing chaperone to her lovely cousin, Anne, and receives her s ...more
Aly is so frigging bored
DNF 72%

I just can't stand Caro any more! What idiot buys more shit just not to pay the debts she already has?! And she lets her friends eat at her house and she lets them borrow her money just because she feels guilty. WTF? I don't even understand WHY she should feel guilty! And the poor Duke just goes along with her crap!

It started so promising but it has turned into a disaster!
... or maybe 3.5 stars, if I'm having a good day!

A more appropriate – although less enticing – title for this book might have been The Importance of Employing some Common Sense, because there were times I really wanted to knock some into the heroine.

We first met Caro in the novella The Second Seduction of a Lady, which I enjoyed very much. During the course of that story she meets and elopes with Robert Townsend when she is just seventeen years old.

This books starts some seven years later; she i
After happily devouring Miranda Neville's Burgundy Club series I was thrilled with the opportunity to read her debut of a spinoff series The Importance of Being Wicked. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried I could not enjoy it :(

I found the heroine, Caroline aka Caro, unlikeable. She idealizes her alcoholic/gambling addict late husband to excess. She acts irresponsibly towards the care of her innocent cousin. She lets her 'friends' treat her like a complete doormat. But the most damning thi
Mandi Schreiner
Nov 28, 2012 Mandi Schreiner rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
This book gives us two unlikely people to fall in love – a Duke, nicknamed Lord Stuffy, who while is no means desolate, would prefer to marry a rich heiress. And a widowed heroine who parties, doesn’t care for the rules of the ton, and because of her late husband’s debts, owes many people money. My main problem with this book is that by the end, I still wasn’t’ convinced these two had a love match or that they would live happily ever after…forever and ever.

Caroline Townsend, or Caro to her frien
Whenever I hear Miranda Neville has a new release coming out, I want to do the Snoopy Dance. She’s one of my all time favorite historical romance authors. Every single one of her books I’ve read have been extremely enjoyable, and for the most part her books end up on my keeper shelf. Avon has a great thing with Miranda and her latest release, The Important of Being Wicked, the first book in her Wild Quartet series. It’s a big shining star of awesome. The main reason is that Miranda has created a ...more
Manda Collins
Jan 18, 2013 Manda Collins rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase, Tessa Dare
Miranda Neville writes so beautifully that I have to read her books carefully so I don't miss a drop of language or nuance. I loved the period details, from how to open a regency wine bottle to all the artistic and fashion details. But what sold this book for me was the not always placid relationship between the proper Duke of Castleton and the widowed free spirit Caro. I loved how they were both so genuinely interested in one another, despite their differences. And I especially appreciated that ...more
Nov 17, 2012 Diana rated it really liked it
Rating: B-

I have to admit I am giving this story a higher rating not because I was full on enjoying it (I did, definitely a C+) but I was greatly impressed with the way the author portrayed the characters and their actions in this story.

Caro was a wonderful character to read about because she didn't do the expected. She wasn't one of the cookie cutter misses traditionally found in these romances. I do enjoy this traditional standard of historical romance occasionally. I grew up reading authors
Nov 14, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
Caroline Townsend is dealing with the death of her husband and trying to find a way to pay all the debts left behind and with her generous nature, she finds it hard to turn away her late husbands artistic, struggling friends. A bright spot is the arrival of her dear cousin, Anne who is coming to meet her potential fiance, Thomas, Duke of Castleton. It quickly becomes clear that this proper man, or Lord Stuffy as Caro comes to call him, will not suit for Anne and does not fit in with Caro's more ...more
Feb 20, 2016 D.G. marked it as dnf
DNFed at 9%

Pretty quickly, this heroine drove me BUNKERS. First she's a thief - she owes people's money but it's hiding a valuable possession because it reminds her that her gambler of a dead husband "loved her once." For realz? You're not paying people who actually work for a living because you're being sentimental? Second, she decided she has to make the hero uncomfortable (the first time she met him) because she wants to convince herself that her cousin won't marry anybody who's "dull." Who t
Aug 31, 2012 Janga rated it it was amazing
I loved it! The first scene between the H/H is wonderful, one of my favorite meet scenes ever. Full review will be posted at Just Janga later this month.
3.5 stars

Thomas Fitzcharles, the Duke of Castleton, is everything that is proper and dignified. The Dukes of Castleton tend to marry wealthy ladies of impeccable pedigree to enhance their holdings and fortune with each new generation. Thomas' father was an exception, marrying for love, and it's clear to Thomas that their marriage was not a success. As such, he is determined to win the hand of the eminently proper and extremely wealthy Miss Anne Brotherton, who thanks to being her grandfather, th
Nov 12, 2012 Kimberly rated it liked it
The Importance of Being Wicked reintroduces heroine, Caro. It share with us her story and that of Thomas, Duke of Castleton. Caro is now a widow and in dire straits thanks to her departed husband’s love of the tables. While the first part of the book got off to a slow start, the second half swept me away. This is the first book in a four part series, dealing with badly behaving art collectors.

When the tale begins we met Caro and her posse of artist friends. She is beating the debt collectors fro
Brandy Dorsch
Oct 28, 2012 Brandy Dorsch rated it really liked it
Shelves: avon-addict
This was an ARC that I received for review. I am a fan of Miranda Neville’s books and this one did not disappoint. Caro Townsend is a widow who shocked the ton by running away at the age of seventeen and marrying a bad boy. Now that her husband is dead and left her almost penniless she is struggling to find her place. She brings her cousin, Anna, who is an heiress to love with her. That is how she meets Thomas Fitzcharles, Duke of Castleton. Thomas pays a call on the ladies because he is searchi ...more
Zel Polev
Jun 28, 2015 Zel Polev rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 11, 2015 Nicole rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I identified with Caro HARD. There were so many pressures she was under - the unwillingness to admit her mistake with Robert that led her to sanctify his memory far more than he deserved; the sense of duty to keep an open hand with her friends so as not to seem selfish; the pressure to keep a good appearance once she had money that led her to spend on wardrobe and decoration. They all seemed so realistic to me and I was glad Neville wrote a character who was flawed that I coul ...more
Original Post 4/7/15:

I found a personal resonance with this book. I think any woman who dated someone their parents did not like, or who was outright objectionable will understand the difficulty admitting to herself, or to anyone, that the love interest was not perfect, they weren’t suited or that it was a downright disaster, will understand what Caro is coming to grips with. That and the pile of debts; debts still coming out fro under the powdered wigs o
A story of opposites attract but strangely unsatisfying and I can't put my finger on why.

Caro is the widow of the leader of group of wild and reckless men/boys. She is part of an 'artistic' set who don't conform to society's rules and live a bohemian lifestyle.

Thomas, Duke of Castleton, is Caro's opposite. The descendant of one of Charles (I or II I can't remember)'s bastards his family has made a religion out of marrying well and increasing the family's wealth. His intent is to marry Caro's cou
Jun 29, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
A couple of my favorite authors were talking about being excited for the next Miranda Neville book, so I decided, “Hey. I can always use new historomance recommendations” and popped over to the library to pick up the first books in her series. (Because that’s how I roll.)

Though I definitely enjoyed the book, I did have cause to roll my eyes more than once at the heroine, and that’s never a good thing. I just… didn’t like her all that much. You know, like, if I’m supposed to see the importance of
Apr 19, 2015 Cassie rated it really liked it
Okay, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here. I make it a point to be very discerning in my reviews. I will give a 3 to something I still enjoyed very much. I almost never read anything that has below a 3.7 rating, because there's so many good HRs out there, that I can afford to be picky. The ONLY reason I picked of a Miranda Neville book was because I saw Duke of Dark Desires was a new release and I have a thing for undercover and disguises stories so I pre-ordered it on a whim. And I LOVED it ...more
Judy Goodnight
2.5 stars actually

This is the first book I've read by this author. I liked it well enough, but what bothered me was the way the female lead character, the widow Caroline Townsend, kept clinging to the belief that her first husband was so special & wonderful when, in fact, he gambled away most of their assets and left her in dire financial straits. Then she contemplates prostituting herself to the cad who is dunning her rather than living within her means or asking for help from the "friends"
Tracey Parker
So we catch up with Caro seven years later. She is widowed and fighting off debt. She is a chaperone to her heiress cousin. She still loves the fun of life and wants to see her cousin happily married. So when the Duke of Castleton who's family always marries wealth is interested in Anne, Caros cousin, they aim to see if he is a good match. But things don't always go as planned. But can she completely give up her past. I really enjoyed watching Carp and Thomas's relationship change and grow. This ...more
Having read - and LOVED - The Duke of Dark Desires (The Wild Quartet Book 4), I was excited to go back to the beginning and better know the fascinating characters who kept popping up.

I really enjoyed this book, particularly because the author flipped the typical hero/heroine dynamic. Caro is a slightly scandalous widow who is loud and charming and not the slightest bit interested in what society thinks of her. I love that. Thomas, a very proper Duke, whom she nicknames Lord Stuffy, is handsome
Stephanie  G
Dec 14, 2012 Stephanie G rated it it was amazing
In 1793, Carolyn Brotherton eloped to Gretna Green with Robert Townsend the heir to his father’s fortune and title. Six years after they eloped, Robert had gambled and squandered away his fortune on booze and women, leaving Caro in desperate straits. The only thing of value Robert had left her was a very valuable painting that he had purchased for her when they were first married. It had hung in their sitting room until he had died from excessive living and gambling and left her in terrible debt ...more
Jan 09, 2013 SidneyKay rated it liked it
Shelves: romance-regency
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May Mostly Romance
Apr 10, 2013 May Mostly Romance rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
อานเลมนีชาไป เพราะดันไปหยิบเรือง The Second Seduction of a Lady ซึงเลาเรืองราวทีนางเอกในเรืองนีมีบทบาทไมนอยอยูดวย แลวเราดันไมชอบนางเอก (ซึงปรากฎตัวในเลมนัน) เอาเสียเลย ไมชอบมากขนาดไมอยากอานเรืองราวของเธอเลยสักนิดเดียว

โชคดีทีเราเปนคนเปลียนใจงายนะคะ เพราะพออานเขาจริง คาโรไมไดเลวรายอยางทีเราคิดวา เธอเปน (จากการอานเจอเธอใน The Second Seduction of a Lady) กระนันกมีขอเสียหลายอยางทีขัดใจแมยกพระเอกอยางเราอยู โดยเฉพาะเลมนี พระเอกนารักมาก ๆ

โธมัสอาจจะมีบรรดาศักดิเปนถึงดยุคแหงคาสเซิลตัน แตในตัวตนของเขาแลวก
Jen (Red Hot Books)
Jan 04, 2013 Jen (Red Hot Books) rated it really liked it
Money has been tight for Caroline since the death of her husband Robert. The two eloped when she was just 17 and their seven years of marriage were a whirlwind of parties, fun, and artistic expression. Really, the only things of value she has left are her memories, her old friends, and the painting of Venus that Robert bought for her before he died. She sold everything else to pay off his debts, but allowed herself to keep the one painting that reminded her of his love.

Caroline is serving as cha
The Window Seat
Nov 18, 2012 The Window Seat rated it liked it
I usually read books from an earlier time, about braw lads in kilts, but I tucked right in to enjoy some handsome men in pantaloons. This book is about a bohemian lifestyle before it really was “the thing” I think, an artist’s lifestyle and the group of “hangers on” that goes with it. It probably happened, but was named something else? I just associate it to the 60’s and 70’s of our generation, but this book takes place in 1800 England.

We first meet Caroline known to all as Caro, at the end of a
Nov 09, 2012 Terree rated it liked it
I usually read books from an earlier time, about braw lads in kilts, but I tucked right in to enjoy some handsome men in pantaloons. This book is about a bohemian lifestyle before it really was “the thing” I think, an artist’s lifestyle and the group of “hangers on” that goes with it. It probably happened, but was named something else? I just associate it to the 60’s and 70’s of our generation, but this book takes place in 1800 England.

We first meet Caroline known to all as Caro, at the end of a
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 24, 2015 01:53PM  
  • At the Duke's Wedding (A romance anthology)
  • The Tattooed Duke (The Writing Girls, #3)
  • The Art of Duke Hunting (Royal Entourage, #2)
  • A Lily Among Thorns
  • When You Give a Duke a Diamond (Jewels of the Ton, #1)
  • The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe
  • Sins of a Virgin (Sinners Trio, #1)
  • How a Lady Weds a Rogue (Falcon Club, #3)
  • The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright
  • All I Want For Christmas is a Duke
  • The Duke in My Bed (The Heirs' Club of Scoundrels Trilogy, #1)
  • Ripe for Scandal (The League of Second Sons, #2)
  • Your Wicked Heart (Rules for the Reckless, #0.5)
  • Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (Sons of Sin, #1)
  • A Lady Awakened (Blackshear Family, #1)
  • When the Marquess Met His Match (An American Heiress in London, #1)
  • Lessons from a Scandalous Bride (Forgotten Princesses #2)
  • Dancing in the Duke's Arms
Miranda Neville grew up in England, loving the books of Georgette Heyer and other Regency romances. She now lives in Vermont with her daughter and an immensely talented cat who made a book trailer for her novel The Importance of Being Wicked. Her historical romances published by Avon include the popular Burgundy Club series, about Regency book collectors, and The Wild Quartet.

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More about Miranda Neville...

Other Books in the Series

The Wild Quartet (4 books)
  • The Ruin of a Rogue (The Wild Quartet, #2)
  • Lady Windermere's Lover (The Wild Quartet, #3)
  • The Duke of Dark Desires (The Wild Quartet, #4)

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“You love Robert, not me. You don’t love Lord Stuffy, so I tried to be like Robert.”
The sweet idiot! She felt like weeping again. She began to protest, but he cut her off.
“I don’t drink and I don’t gamble and I don’t have a mistress. I’m dull. You told me so, the first time we met. So I tried to change.” He frowned. “Not the mistress. I’ll never do that.”
“Good,” she whispered.
“I’m trying to be like Robert, but I’m no good at it. I drank wine. And brandy, lots of it. I didn’t like it and it made me sick. I played hazard and I lost.” He looked momentarily cheerful and her heart sank. “But I didn’t like that either. If I was a real man like Mr. Fox, or Robert, I’d have lost thousands.”
The sadder he looked, the more her heart ached, a happy ache.
“I failed you, Caro. I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I’ll always be Lord Stuffy,” he said, and closed his tortured, bloodshot eyes.”
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