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Book Review: Wicked by Shannon Drake

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The Earl was known as a beast.

Camille Montgomery is aware of the wicked man’s reputation. But as an expert in antiquities, she also knows his family’s Egyptian artifacts are the finest in England. The problem is, her wayward stepfather knows this, too — and he’s determined to steal them. So when he’s caught in the act of robbing the so-called Beast of Carlyle, Camille must swallow her fear and boldly confront the man whose mask is said to hide a face too loathsome to behold.

The Earl of Carlyle has lived in the shadows ever since the suspicious death of his parents. But he’s never stopped trying to unravel the mystery behind what he suspects to have been their murder. And now that the lovely Camille has stumbled into his life, he has the perfect pawn for his deadly game of vengeance and deceit. But in laying his ruthless trap, will he risk losing his own heart?

****

Beauty and the Beast meets British Egyptology in Shannon Drake’s book,
Wicked. I am a huge fan of this novel! I might be biased, because it
has a mixture of my favorite things, but I love this book beyond
reason.

Okay, now that I am done being a fangirl, I’ll tell you a little about
the plot. Camille Monrgomery, our heroine, is left in the care of her
reckless, but beloved, stepfather, Tristan Montgomery. Her stepfather
often tangoes with dangers, perils, and the law. But one ordeal proves
too much when he’s caught stealing an Egyptian artifact from Lord
Brian Sterling, the owner. Brian, nicknamed the Beast of Carlyle for
wearing a mask to hide his scarred face, keeps Tristan imprisoned on
his estate.

Camille seeks to protect Tristan from the Beast. She goes to free her
stepfather, striking a deal with Brian. Camille, who works as a
hieroglyphics translator at the British Museum, must move to his
estate so he could implement her talents. In return, her stepfather
walks free without consequence. Camille agrees, despite her
astonishment.

Camille moves into the estate in her stepfather’s stead. She learns
the Beast’s parents were killed in an archaeological expedition in
Egypt. Authorities ruled their deaths the result of a natural accident
by the stings if asps, but he believes otherwise. He thinks his
parents were murdered, and the perpetrator either works with Camille
at the museum or holds a close affiliation with the museum. Camille
offers him an anchor into the museum and its circles, giving leeway to
find his parents murderer.

Love simmers between the two as they come closer and closer to
catching the perpetrator. Deep in mystery, set in a beautiful period,
marvelous in description, and providing an outlook into British
Egyptology, Wicked stands as one of Drake’s best works. Of course,
Drake wrote about a hero similar to Brian Sterling. A hero in another
book of hers, Emerald Embrace(which I also thoroughly enjoyed), who
wears a mask to conceal his face. Deja vu for those who’ve also read
that book, but its a pleasant reminiscence. Wicked is a high
recommendation from me.

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