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

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  714 Ratings  ·  121 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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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
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
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
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 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
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
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
Gnome Claire *Wishes she was as cool as Gnome Ann*
I just didn't buy the romance, Caro is so horrible to Thomas for so much of it and seems far more devoted to her dead husband than her living one, she refuses to change any aspect of her life (partly out of respect for Robert) while being aware that Thomas is not comfortable with some of her life (for example her flirty friends who make snarky unpleasant jokes at his expense and seem happy to publicly humiliate him) she just doesn't really take his side in anything while for the most part he's s ...more
Jan 14, 2017 Katrina rated it liked it
Solidly written romance with a fun cast of characters. Thomas was doing his best there, just generally endearing. He was my favourite part of the whole financial comedy of errors.
Nov 29, 2012 Jess rated it liked it
Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads
Blog rating: C

Caroline (Caro) is a widow who’s dealing with her late husband’s debts and surrounds herself with friends to help ward off loneliness. She’s in possession of one painting that would get her a fair amount of money to help pay off some of the debts, but she’s reluctant to sell it as it holds memories for her of her husband and so it remains hidden and she lets everyone believe that she doesn’t know where it is, including her husband’s friends
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.
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
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
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
Oct 12, 2016 Gretchen rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Picked up the series since it was on an Amazon sale.

This is my first read of Miranda Neville. All 4 novels have some positive components, but I didn't find them compelling.

In this book - I appreciated that Caro is "independent", and there's a moment where she coaches her new husband that is sorely missing in most romance novels. But 4 months after reading, I picked up the series again and found it skimmable.

A good read, but not terribly memorable.
Eileen Dandashi
Oct 06, 2013 Eileen Dandashi rated it liked it
Caro Townsend, a fiery and vivacious seventeen year old had eloped with a young, flighty man against her family’s wishes. Not many years later, she found herself widowed shortly after a miscarriage. Her husband had a bad gambling addiction and lost most of their money. His creditors were after her to pay for those debts. She was almost penniless yet she felt she had to continue to entertain her husband’s friends as lavishly as they had when he was living.

Her cousin, Lady Ann, whom she loved as
Oct 09, 2012 Carin rated it really liked it
We first meet Thomas and Caro when Thomas comes to call on Caro's cousin Anne whom Caro is chaperoning. The spark between Thomas and Caro is immediate but they are so vastly different that neither thinks that the spark will go anywhere. Thomas is all about doing his duty to marry a wealthy heiress and Caro still clings to her deceased husbands friends and their comparatively wild lifestyle.

I loved Thomas right away he is the good boy who has a wild side hidden within and he also is willing to do
Nov 20, 2012 Addictive rated it liked it
I was drawn in by the title….and of course the author. My interest was elevated by the premise, I’m always drawn to high born, stuffy lords attracted to courtesans, widows, or the like.
Caroline Townsend is a widow who has multiple debts thanks to her late husband who liked to gamble. She has in her possession a painting that if sold would most likely end her financial troubles but she won’t part with it since it came into her possession during one of the happier moments of her marriage.
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
2.5 Stars

I was excited by the premise of this book. I love an "opposites-attract" story especially when it involves a starchy duke and a carefree heroine. This story, however, fell a little flat for me. The hero and heroine are definitely opposites but the attraction aspect isn't well explained or shown. It just magically happens that they suddenly are both having lusty thoughts about each other fairly early in the story. Even when I tried to mentally fill in the blanks on why they might be attr
Katie Michaels
Jan 04, 2013 Katie Michaels 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
This one just didn't work for me. Nobody is really likable in this story until the very end. Although the beginning had a lot of potential to me, it just lost its charm and everyone became unlikable.
The heroine is a selfish doormat, that lets her leeching friends just take take take.
Always with the excuse that this is how she lived when her husband was still alive. The same loser, that left her with nothing but debts.
Yet even after a Duke offers marriage to her, she still holds up her useless
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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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