Author: Jo Goodman
Shy by nature, Emma Hathaway usually leaves the drama to her rebellious cousin, Marisol. But when Emma agrees to meet with her cousin's secret lover to end the affair, she is pulled into a dangerous game. Now Emma is convinced her involvement in the scandal has put her life in jeopardy. The trouble is none of Emma's confidantes believe anyone is trying to harm her. As whispers of madness begin, Emma turns to the only person who might be able to help...
The very handsome, barely respectable Restell Gardner has gained a reputation for helping people out of compromising positions. Never one to turn away a lady in need, Restell agrees to help solve the intrigue. Sensing there is more to the green-eyed beauty than meets the eye, Restell feels himself falling for Emma. But he resists succumbing to his passion... at least until he learns the truth about the danger that is haunting her. For if he gives in to temptation to soon, he could lose Emma forever...
As I admitted in a previous post, If His Kiss Is Wicked is my first Jo Goodman read. Since I'd heard little to nothing about Goodman's writing prior to this book, I went into reading about Emma and Restell with some apprehension.
I am happy to say that my skepticism was unfounded.
Emma is asked by her cousin, Marisol, to take a break-up note to one of her male flirtations. Emma, agrees, albeit a little reluctantly, because Marisol is engaged and she feels that it is best for her cousin to break off all relations with men other than her fiance. Emma wears, Marisol's bonnet and shall when she leaves to deliver the note. In the course of her leaving the house and performing the task at hand, something terrible happens; leading Emma to believe that she was mistaken for her cousin and that Marisol's life is in danger.
This is where Emma goes to Restell, a man who assists people when they want minimal attention brought to their situation. Restell is not completely convinced that it is Marisol's life that is jeopardy, but that Emma may very well be the cousin in immediate danger. He agrees to take on Emma's case, and from there the story takes off.
I think the element that really stood out to me in this book was that Emma and Restell became married halfway through the book, at a point where story wasn't anywhere near finished. They still had to work through a heap of problems, but it was done in a very believable manner.
If His Kiss Is Wicked was a very enjoyable read. I felt a connection to all of the characters, even the ones that stayed on my last nerve. The love between the hero and heroine progressed in a truly believable way that. No contrived circumstances there, everything that happened seemed to fit seamlessly into the story as a whole and move it forward. Grade A-
Question: Now, I am a novice when it comes to Goodman, and I'm not sure if the rest of her books are as good as this one was (to me), but I have to wonder--given that Goodman has been writing for close to two decades--why the buzz around her work is so quiet?
I mean, is IHKIW a diamond in the rough, or are all of Goodman's books as good as this one? Thoughts?