THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED
The first in Neville’s series centering on scandalous women and the art world is a deliciously wicked tale that pits a scandalous duchess (think the Duchess of Devonshire) against a very proper duke. This ready-made conflict is not new, but the backdrop and the eccentric cast of characters are charming and what many readers will admire and savor.
At 17, Caro Townsend shocked the ton by running off and marrying an inveterate gambler. Six years later, the debt-ridden but vivacious duchess outrageously opens her home to artists and her husband’s friends. Suddenly Caro find herself chaperone to her niece and the girl’s fiancé, the staid Thomas, Duke of Castleton. When duty-bound Thomas meets Caro, his idea of a proper wife is turned upside down. She’s shocking, sensual, outspoken and as beautiful as the Titian painting she has hidden in a secret closet. Will being wicked bring Thomas everything he desires? (AVON, Dec., 350 pp., $7.99)