Title: Wicked as They Come
Author: Delilah S. Dawson
Release Date: March 27th, 2012
Genre: Adult Steampunk Paranormal Romance
Have you ever heard of a Bludman? They’re rather like you and me—only more fabulous, immortal, and mostly indestructible. (They’re also very good kissers.)
Delilah S. Dawson’s darkly tempting debut drops her unsuspecting heroine into a strange faraway land for a romantic adventure that’s part paranormal, part steampunk . . . and completely irresistible.
When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: This book arrived on my doorstep and I must confess I had not heard of it before. I read the back cover and it sounded really interesting, so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I gave this book a shot because wow! It blew me away! While this book is classified as paranormal romance, I think Steampunk fantasy would be a better description. There is romance sure, but the world of Sang really steals the show and the adventure is driving the plot forward rather than the love story.
Wicked as they Come, is unlike anything I have ever read before, it was very unique and interesting. Sang mirrors our own in many ways, but has quite a few twists that make it simply magical. The names of the places in Sang are a couple of letters off from places in our own world, which gives the reader a way to relate and navigate Sang. It is also inhabited by people who eat meat and vegetables called “Pinkies” and others vampiric beings that survive on blud (blood), known as Bludman. Many of the creatures Letitia encounters also survive on blud as well. The most difficult one for me to get used to were the bludbunnies that Letitia runs into upon arrival into Sang.
“Motion caught my eye, and I looked down to see a small brown rabbit tenderly nosing out from the wood. It hopped and halted, hopped and halted, almost to us.
“Did you dream that?” he said.
“The rabbit? Sure, I suppose I did,” I said. “He’s a cutie. Probably represents my kindness. Or innocence. Something like that.”
The rabbit sniffed my foot, nose twitching, eyes bright. I smiled.
And then it bit me, sinking fangs into my bare ankle.”
Letitia also encounters Criminy Stain (which is the best character name ever) when she wakes up in Sang. I pictured him as a mixture of every character Johnny Depp has ever played rolled into one. He is the proprietor of a magical traveling circus and he has been waiting for Letitia. He is dark and dangerous and yet incredibly attractive at the same time. He speaks in riddles, you are never quite sure of what is going on in his head, his magic is quite alluring and he is dead set on making Letitia his. I loved his clever dialogue and his desire to put Letitia at ease with who he is was endearing.
“I watched him playing with the long blades of grass, weaving them into patterns as he hummed an unfamiliar song, a waltz.
“What are you doing?” I asked him.
“I’m letting you get used to the idea of me,” he said idly. “I’m pretending to be harmless. Is it working?”
He is by far one of the most spellbinding characters I have ever encountered. I was glued to the pages when he appeared and could not wait to see what adventure he would bring us next.
Letitia on the other hand was fascinating but frustrating at times. Her last relationship was not a good one and ended poorly. Which has left her with a hardened heart and no desire to find another guy anytime soon. She is intrigued with Criminy, but does not want to be tied down again and therefore she fights him every step of the way. Her unwillingness to give into her emotions and just be with him results in a slow building romance. It was nice not to have them meet and jump right into bed together, but I thought she could have put up a little less of a fight. There was also a hint of a love triangle thrown in there for a bit that I could have done without. There was enough tension being built between Letitia and Criminy and throwing another person in the mix was just too much. The two guys did represent her two choices, stay in Sang or return home, but I thought that choice could have come from within her without the other guy entering the picture.
I can’t really delve into the plot too much without giving away all the delicious secrets of this world. I will say I was completely engrossed from beginning to end and could not walk away from this book for a moment. It is utterly enchanting. I don’t know how Delilah came up with the world of Sang, but I cannot wait to see more from it in the future. In a world of books that can blend together this book stands out and has become an instant favorite of mine. I highly suggest this series to anyone looking for something a little different that will suck you in and not let go until the last word.
FTC: Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book for review.