Practically Wicked - Alissa Johnson In the vast mob of Regency romance authors, Alissa Johnson is one of the few I'll read faithfully. I can't quite put my finger on why. Maybe because her characters aren't so dumb that their anachronistic little brains fall out of their stupid heads? Johnson writes characters with at least a modicum of intelligence who mostly act appropriately for the time period.

It's telling that I will read most of an HR author's work on the premise that her characters aren't quite as fucking dumb as others in the genre. From the current state of romance, one has to take pleasure in small victories.

So in that spirit, I have to compliment Johnson for creating two well-reasoned and likable main characters. They're super-duper nice. Just snowflakes and puppy dogs, those two.

And I can't remember their names for the life of me.

Seriously, three days later, and my mind goes blank when I try to remember Who's-her-name and What's-his-face. That's the problem with overly sensible characters. Their stories aren't very interesting. Sure, my husband and I share a great, quiet love, but no one gives a shit about that. That's why we aren't characters in a romance novel.

I'm only complaining a little. I finished Who's-her-name and What's-his-face's story because I cared about their HEA. She's a bastard to a whore mother. He's a second son who inherited a viscountsy after his brother kicked the bucket. They have lots of long walks and long conversations. Misunderstandings are promptly discussed and dispelled. They're great eggs, Who's-her-name and What's-his-face, but only mildly interesting.

Case in point: The final conflict holding them back from marriage is that she likes the country and he likes the city. That's it. And then, after some hand-wringing, they talk it out and compromise.

So Practically Wicked is a sweet read. Not a lot of sex, which is actually refreshing in the genre's current dependency on boring orgy-fests. But there isn't a lot of plot, either, and the story suffers for it. This is a character study, and sadly, Who's-her-name and What's-his-face aren't compelling enough for a good one.

Ah, well. At least this book didn't set off my FIFTY BELL RAGE ALARM. 3-stars to you, Practically Wicked.