The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne
by Jayne Fresina
(Sourcebooks, $6.99, PG-13) 978-1-4022-6600-3
***
In hersecond book in the Sydney Dovedale series, author Jayne Fresnia brings readers some wit and amusement. The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne is an entertaining and fun book, though is not without its flaws.

James Hartley is known for his rakish behavior, but he's ready to change that and become more responsible. He's known Ellie Vyne since she was a child and feels it's his place to protect her from her own irresponsibility by marrying her, though he does have ulterior motives.

Ellie Vyne has a complicated past. She doesn't know who her father is because her mother was lost at sea and rescued by an Admiral. The Admiral married Ellie's mother, but then when her mother died, she was left in her stepfather's care with her two half sisters. Ellie has always been difficult and doesn't care about acting like women should.

James and Ellie know each other well, but right now, James is trying to get his diamonds back. He had given them to a lady friend who claims the Count de Bonneville stole them. When he finds that Ellie has been with the count, James decides that keeping her close will lead to the diamonds.

Ellie reluctantly agrees to the marriage "agreement," though she has her own agenda. By keeping James, her enemy, close she hopes her antics don't get discovered. She is tired of being the misfit that causes everyone to shake their heads.

The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne has two robust characters that bring together an enjoyable story. Ellie is very independent and does what she can to take care of those around her. Even if those she is taking care of don't realize it and only see her nonconformist self as a disappointment. James is a good man, but hides behind his rakish reputation. He cares for Ellie, even though he tells himself he's only watching out for her for his own agenda in getting the diamonds back. Behind both facades is a want for love and happiness.

The first half of the book is witty, funny, and quite comical. It flows well and is attention grabbing. The second half though is where things go wrong. Most stories have a good plot twist embedded, but this one has three. And all three happen at the same time. It is a bit overwhelming for the reader and also improbable. Of course, the happy ever after is there, but it's all summed up and resolved rather quickly at the end.

The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne is worth a read, but doesn't get a glowing recommendation.

--Nichole Howell


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