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The Importance of Being Wicked

(The Wild Quartet #1)

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  935 ratings  ·  150 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 d
Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
Published November 27th 2012 by Avon
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Average rating 3.35  · 
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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
Aug 23, 2012 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!
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
... 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
Nov 12, 2012 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
Mar 31, 2012 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
Jun 05, 2013 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
Mar 30, 2012 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 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
Aug 24, 2012 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
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020, romance
I always want to love Miranda Neville, and I somehow always expect to, because I started with an audacious and poignant book of hers that remains one of my faves in the genre (who doesn’t love a murderous governess who longs to be happy?), but almost everything else of hers I’ve read has deeply illogical and even unpleasant protagonists who are just... boring.

HOWEVER, eta I now realize exactly how funny those Canaletto jokes are, which is: VERY.
Apr 17, 2015 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
Oct 23, 2012 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 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
This was clearly another Hoopla audiobook read.
Thomas is a bit stuffy but ... Caro I just wanted to smack.
Miranda Neville is really breaking me with my heroine centric love because I just want to SHAKE these ladies. JFC.

Caro is ... I mean she's dumb. She's just fucking dumb. She's deeply into debt yet spending like normal "because that's what we did" ... her husband was an asshole too but since she can't admit she made a mistake by eloping with him at 17, she's determined to pretend everything w
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Your enjoyment of this book will hinge on whether you like the heroine, Caro. I did, and I also appreciated what MN did here by turning Caro as a 'rogue' of sorts, a role usually filled by the hero in a historical romance setting.

Caro is roguish and closer to careless than carefree, but she's also coming to terms with some of her decisions in life, chiefly her marriage to Robert, a real rogue who in the end all but abandoned her and left her in a precarious financial position and with a house f
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
A widow of questionable reputation meets a Duke who desires to marry a wealthy woman of good moral fiber.
Caro ran off to Gretna Green at 17 with a man she loved. She found herself living a life full of parties and craziness until her husband started gambling. When he does unexpectedly, she is left with a lot of creditors and one very expensive painting.
I liked the characters and the overall story. A widow with secrets and the desire to enjoy life. A Duke who is to marry for money but finds him
Amber Ray
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
Caro, the heroine of this book is a love/hate kind of character. I do like that she's a little unusual in nature but really her flighty nature and love of high living have her on the verge of being a high-class courtesan to pay the bills. Castleton rescuing her from her unwanted "first potential client/bill payer" is a bit hard to understand. I didn't quite get WHY her life was his concern. The book does pick up towards the end, but I do wish Caro'd have sprouted some sense and ability to live w ...more
Jane Irish Nelson
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, historical
Caroline eloped when she was seventeen, and was cast off by her family. At first she was happy with her husband, Robert, and the slightly scandalous crowd he surrounded himself with. But then he died, leaving her with a pile of debts that she struggles to pay. Now she is chaperoning her younger cousin, Anne, who is being courted by the very proper Duke of Castleton. But almost immediately, Caroline and the duke find themselves attracted to each other, despite their very different backgrounds and ...more
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
I enjoyed the world of artists that was presented in this novel. From the colorful characters to the descriptions of what makes well painted piece.

It is this set of artisans that Caro Townsend has surrounded herself with, during and after her marriage to her late husband. In walks "Lord Stuffy," Thomas Castleton, who couldn't be further from this crowd, yet falls in love with Caro, when he should be making a match based on the wealth of the woman. Each learns to make concessions for the other, w
Jan 10, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-ok
I really didn't like the weak heroine, so nearly DNF. She's self indulgent and childish. The H is a good man, shocked by her lifestyle as well as his attraction to her. He's kind to her and tries to help her. In return, she names him Lord Stuffy and openly makes fun of him with others. When they agree to marry, she assumes he's wealthy and spends his money freely. He's horrified but still loves her. I did like how she showed him how to please her, and the epilogue was great. But not a fan of thi ...more
Lisa C
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story of Thomas, Duke of Castleton, one of the most stuffy people ever and his undeniable attraction to the scandalous, free spirited Caroline Townsend. They both have secrets they are not willing to share, and this also makes for troubles in the relationship. One of the best, most endearing scenes when Thomas tries to become the man he thinks Caro wants. I listened to the audio of this book, excellently narrated by Anne Flosnik. Can't recommend enough. ...more
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I hate when authors rely on assumptions to generate conflicts.

The heroine is also all against changing her ways to please his husband but she expects him to be less “stuffy” - kind of hypocritical.

Another thing I didn’t like about the heroine: she keeps bringing up her dead husband in the most inopportune times without any consideration as to how it might affect her new husband.

Jan 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
I didn’t like the main characters nearly as much as I would have liked to. It’s hard to appreciate the story when you are disapproving of all the decisions the “heroine” is making. Caro was also not totally believable as an upper classish lady of the time period.
Janet Russell
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An unlikely romance

Sometimes bawdy sometimes frustrating sometimes mysterious sometimes poignant and sometimes loving and lusty. A quick lovely read very picturesque descriptions of times and persons
Sharon Wagner
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

So much excitement,drama,adventures. Loved these characters in this book, they were lovable,intriguing and very romantic.Loved that Caro came to realize that Robert wasn't all she thought he was. She found her soul mate in the Duke.
Varian Ross
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 24, 2015 01:53PM  

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Miranda Neville grew up in England, loving the books of Georgette Heyer and other Regency romances. She lived 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.

"Since Goodreads is fo

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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61 likes · 6 comments
“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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