Wickedly Yours begins with a somewhat tired plot: orphaned innocent girl fobbed off on wealthy relations who treat her abysmally. Author Brenda Hiatt kicks it up a notch by adding a pickpocket past for the female protagonist, Sarah, that winds up coming in very handy for her altruistic reasons (protecting her brother) for resorting to a life of crime again. The “Saint of Seven Dials” is an erstwhile Robin Hood who robs from the rich and annoying and gives to the poor and deserving. Once Sarah finds out her brother, Flute (she insists on calling him William), is going to take the place of the now defunct Saint, she determines to assume the mantle of robbing from the rich to give to the poor.
This is made complicated by her recent marriage to Lord Peter who, until the week before he met Sarah, was a confirmed bachelor but is now hopelessly in love with his beautiful wife. So in love, in fact, that when she starts stealing again (yes, he married her even knowing that she had stolen before) and sneaking out of the house, all he worries about is that she is having an assignation with another man. Intrepid fellow that he is, he decides to follow her.
He bursts in upon her having blundered into a trap set by the real “Saints”, whom he is astonished to learn are his own dear brothers. They all band together to go rescue Flute, and all is well that ends well.
While starting out mundanely, the plot suddenly quickens to an exciting do-or-die tone with the laudable choice of making the heroine a bandit. The pacing of the novel is good and moves logically. Characters and settings are brought to life with discriminate use of speech tags and descriptive language; Lady Mountheath is loathsome from her description. A charming secondary character is the irrepressible Paddy. The sex scenes are well-wrought and convincing.
Wickedly Yours is a pleasant way to pass a couple of hours.