Well, one thing you can count on from Nicole Jordan, and that's repetition; repetition from novel to novel and repetition of words over and over in the same novel. Similar to her other two novels I've read, there's little substance to WICKED FANTASY other than the incessant, interminable and repetitive introspection/meanderings from the hero and heroine. And then there's the sensual coupling. WICKED FANTASY contains endless passages of the hero thinking about the heroine and/or the heroine thinking about the hero.
The beginning 30-40 pages were mildly interesting, the rest was a horrible blur. I kid you not. I still won't back down from thoroughly enjoying her novel THE WARRIOR, but lord almighty, Nicole Jordan has zero creativity, and THE WARRIOR is the best of the lot.
Trey Deverill, known to all as Deverill (pronunciation intentionally close to Devil), is the epitome of perfection. His towering presence, massive shoulders, heavily-muscled and chiseled frame (something Jordan diligently reminds us at every turn), handsome looks, considerate nature, and all-around good-guy personality lend credence to this embodiment of perfection. The book would have us believe that he challenges the heroine, but mostly I saw a conciliatory, placating and servile disposition towards his heroine. THE WARRIOR's hero Ranulf challenged his heroine, while WICKED FANTASY's hero Deverill is something of an abiding slave with the looks and frame of a Greek God. I can almost picture Deverill in the toga garb ready to service and pleasure his heroine Antonia at her behest. WICKED FANTASY would have us believe that Deverill "kidnapping" Antonia shows his "high-handedness." Hardly. Being the perfect good guy that he is, he refuses to force her to leave the danger, and he basically begs her to come. She follows willingly. He then plays the maid after her.
Towards the end, Deverill behaves like some impotent puppy dog without any will of his own, as Antonia saves him, then has him fall into the infamous jealousy trap. It's funny, I think a hundred people came out of the woodwork to help Deverill towards the end: the Guardians (exclusive club devoted to protection), titled members of Society, Bow Street runners, and our heroine Antonia. All of that against 1 villain, a villain he out-weighs and towers over. Too funny. And still Deverill needed Antonia to shoot the villain to save his life. [laughs] So what good is all that brawn if not for circumstances like the end of this novel? Apparently for the heroine to moon over -- repetitively.
I thought it was childish for a thrice-widowed Lady to encourage our heroine Antonia into an affair with Deverill, noting the rarity of passion and how Antonia should take advantage of such passion wherever she finds it. Antonia consents, resolving to keep love out of it. Uhuh, as if that's ever been possible for women experiencing impassioned lovemaking.
When she flaunts herself in the nude before Deverill, Deverill melts away, his decision to distance himself from Antonia long forgotten. Deverill tried to convince her to marry him before when he compromises her virginity, but that failed. As recompense for compromising her virginity and not allowing him to marry her, he distances himself emotionally and physically from Antonia, hoping to minimize the damage to her reputation. Only to have her seduce him. I thought he should have demanded marriage before he agreed to pleasure as she requested.
I found Antonia and her emotions too childish. The entire romance between our lead pair was gawd awful.
There's no plotting, no settings, no substantive characterizations, and the ending was terrible.
The Story (briefly).
The beautiful Miss Antonia Maitland is a skilled marksman, heiress to a vast fortune left by her late father, and predictably stubborn. After her late father dies, her housekeeper Mrs. Peake suspects her betrothed Lord Heward for poisoning him. Mrs. Peake also believes her father intended to break the engagement which ultimately prompted Heward to kill Antonia's father.
Mrs. Peake sends for her trusted friend Mr. Trey Deverill to help save Antonia, a reputed adventurer helping the government capture pirates and baddies. Deverill & Antonia reacquaint themselves after meeting briefly 4 years earlier and share an instant attraction. A quagmire of emotional musings and introspection ensues from both the hero and heroine. When the villain Heward frames Deverill for a murder he didn't commit, Deverill escapes imprisonment to entreat Antonia to come with him.
I'm really not sure the rest is even worth mentioning, it dissolves from there.