- Title: Wicked as They Come (Blud)
- Classification: Adult Fiction
- Genre: Paranormal Romance/Steampunk
- Format: Paperback, 416 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books; Original edition (March 27, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 1451657889
- ISBN-13: 978-1451657883
- Author's Website: http://delilahwrites.blogspot.com/
'When I first saw the chain hanging from the top of the old tome, I didn't know what to think. I tugged it up. As the flat locket slid from between the pages. I got a little rush of excitement, like when pulling the prize out of a box of cereal. Sure it was tarnished and grimy, but it was a prize nonetheless. Maybe my luck was finally changing...'
Letitia had no clue just how life changing, not just luck changing, the locket would be, for that very night as she lay sleeping she was transported to a strange, yet somewhat familiar, new land, or dimension if you will. At first she assumed she was dreaming, she ran about unhindered by clothing feeling unburdened and free as she often did in her dreams. Then she saw Him, the man whose face had intrigued her and resided in her newly acquired locket.
"You're here," he said simply.
"Do I know you?" I asked, which came out more haughtily than I had intended.
"You will," he answered, kicking off the tree and walking toward me. "After all, you're wearing my locket. And I've been waiting for you."
Later when the cute little bunny that sat at her feet extended its fangs and bit her, however, she started to wonder...
So I have a confession to make. I saw this book listed by the publisher and decided not to put in a request for it. It's not the first time they've sent me a book out of the blue, but I was very hesitant to read it. When I first saw the cover I was attracted to it like one of Kresley Cole's Valkyries to jewels--utterly enthralled. Yes, put a pretty cover in front of me and you could probably rob me blind, and I wouldn't notice. lol The description, however, didn't pull me in, in fact, it did the exact opposite. It actually sounded like something I wouldn't like. So as I opened the package and saw the book, I wasn't sure what to do, but since I've loved pretty much everything the publisher has sent my way, I thought, "What the heck? I could be wrong." Thankfully, I was. :)
The book reminded me a little of an episode of 'Sliders' where the main characters end up in an alternate reality. The world Letitia finds herself in is very similar to ours. The main cities and countries have the same or similar names to those we have. For instance, Manchester is still Manchester, but France is Franchia. As the character Criminy (rhymes with Jiminy--as in the cricket) states about different worlds/dimensions, "I suppose it's like a slight warp in a mirror. You're still you, just a little fatter or thinner or more wobbly. Just a tiny change with grand repercussions."
In the world of Sang, the rules are different. Magic lives and vampires roam and not just those of a human variety, but animal vampires as well. Interestingly enough, vampires, or as the world of Sang calls them bluds, don't rule, but rather humans do. Humans, however, in an effort to adapt and not be used as tasty snacks by the local blud population have secured themselves behind city walls and Victorian style clothing. If the skin is covered, you're less likely to attract that kind of attention. Interestingly enough, blood seems to be the common currency on the land. Rules, however, have also been put in place, at least in the cities, to prevent bludmen from drinking directly from the vein. If they do their sentence is severe--death. No exceptions are allowed.
Criminy, if you haven't already figured it out, is a bludman and the man from the locket. According to Letitia, "He seemed to be in his early thirties, but his skin was unusually smooth. His dark, glossy hair didn't have a single strand of gray. And no stubble. He smiled brightly then, showing me his teeth. They were very pointy." Apparently his locket had been bespelled to find him his perfect woman and bring her back to him. Apparently, Letitia is that woman or at least that's the story he's giving her. The question is can she trust the sexy bludman or does he have more sinister plans in store for her?
Letitia had just broken up with her former fiance before Criminy found her. It had been the type of relationship where one looses all sense of one's self. The type of relationship that is of a one sided nature where your significant other attempts to shape and mold you into what they want instead of accepting you as you are. While it started off with little things, over time they started adding up till Letitia couldn't handle it any more and ran away. While she might be up for a little fun, a serious commitment is not something she is ready for nor something she wants.
In Letitia's world she is a nurse, in Criminy's world there are no diseases. As Criminy hinted, Letitia is not exactly the same in his world as she was in her own. Shortly after arriving in Sang she discovers she's a glancer, or rather a fortune teller. When her skin comes in contact with that of another, she may see the past or the future of an individual. She can only inform them of the past and perhaps learn their secrets, but by telling them their future she can alter what may happen. When she touches Criminy's hand, she sees something of her own future and what she sees disturbs her. It won't be until almost the end of the book that we learn what she saw.
Why was it called 'Wicked as They Come'? Well, I believe it has to do with this statement made by Criminy: "I'm a gypsy. A rogue. Wicked as they come."
Some of my favorite lines/quotes/moments. (Don't worry there are many more):
- " I imagined you with more clothes," he said.
" I imagined that you ended at the collarbone." I said. (side note: Upon their first meeting she was wearing only the locket, and she'd only seen a picture of him in the locket and didn't think he existed, at least not in her lifetime.)
- I wasn't buying it. I needed to take control of the dream. I held out a hand with fingers spayed and focused my will.
'Zzzzzzzsssst! Pshew! Zzzzist!" I said. But nothing happened.
"What in Sang are you doing, love?" he asked.
My arm dropped to my side. "I was trying to shoot lightning bolts out of my fingertips." I said. Then quietly, "It usually works."
"Told you it wasn't a dream. Do you want to try flying, too?"
-"I'm fiendish and unscrupulous, a vicious killer and a thief and a bloodthirsty monster. And maybe a little romantic. But don't tell anyone, or my reputation's shot."
- "What if you could take everything you were looking for in a person and whisper it into someone's ear, and they brought that person to you? And then, when you saw them for the first time, even if you didn't know they were the one for you, you suddenly knew it anyway?" His fingers traced my eyebrows, my cheekbones, as he thought a moment, "What if your heart stopped when you saw that person, and only after that did you realize that they truly were everything you ever wanted?"
"OK, that would be nice," I had to admit.
"That's what happened for me," he said gently.
This was a very fun story that had a slightly warped 'Through the Looking Glass' feel to it with vampires instead of mad hatters and evil queens. It was one of the most original and fun books I've read this year and it had a Kraken to boot. *sigh* What more could a girl want? Firstly, you've got romance. Then the drama of whether Letitia will be able to live in both worlds or stuck in one or the other. Plus, the added drama that someone is out to destroy all bludmen. Additionally, there is the mystery of whether Criminy is what he seems or not. Could he be the spider attempting to coax the fly to his seductive parlor? Lastly, there is the wonder of a world that is, but isn't, like our own. I truly loved the world Ms.Dawson created. If you read this one before going to bed just remember to sleep tight and don't let the bludbunnies bite. I hear they're quite nasty. lol
Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. Thank you Pocket Books for sending this book my way. I absolutely adored it and look forward to reading the series and discovering what more the world of Sang has to offer. On the Lisa Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a Shower rating - a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol