Review: This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan

this wicked giftReviewed by Jen

From most other authors, I doubt I would have been able to enjoy this story. In fact, part of me finished it feeling like I really should have disliked it.  After all, the hero was willing to essentially force himself on the heroine.  It wasn’t actually rape; and despite his intentions, it wasn’t even extortion.  But the point is, he was willing to do it and that’s a pretty substantial thing to overcome.

I suppose I should start at the beginning.  Lavina runs her father’s bookshop now that he is ill and her mother has passed away.  Money is tight and she must scrimp and save every penny for even the smallest luxuries.  So when her immature and self-centered younger brother blows their savings on a stupid scheme, things look pretty bleak. That’s where William comes in.

William White barely has two pennies to rub together.  He lives on the pittance that he makes as a clerk; that and the hope that one day he’ll get the inheritance promised him –and one day, he’ll know Lavina’s kiss.  When he hears of her predicament, he figures he can finally get one of the two things he has wished for.  Using what little money he has, he buys her brother’s debt and offers her an indecent proposal to forgive the note.

Unbeknownst to William, Lavina does have other options, but she gives in to his demands. She has always wanted him too –and she wants to teach him about the value of love given freely.  Here’s the thing.  William thought he was taking her against her will.  I have big issues with non-consent and even though it technically wasn’t, that’s a pretty big offense to forgive of the hero.  And yet, I did.  I don’t feel very evolved about it. And some readers may be really turned off.  But I still enjoyed the story.  Maybe it was because we started from Lavina’s perspective and I felt how she pined for him.  Maybe it was because William loathed himself enough for the both of us.  Either way, I found myself rooting for them to be together.

As always, Courtney Milan draws me into her characters and their circumstance.  And with this enhanced edition novella, I enjoyed getting a little extra perspective on her thought process. Overall, I liked this one, but I think others make take issue with the hero’s actions, regardless of his remorse.

Rating: B

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

This Wicked Gift
by Courtney Milan
Release Date: July 7, 2014

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