Not Wicked Enough (Reforming the Scoundrels, #1) - Carolyn Jewel 3.5 stars

I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. Full disclosure: The main reason I read this book is because the blurb revealed that the hero is named the Duke of Mountjoy. Throughout the book, his given name is never revealed. He's just Mountjoy. Mountjoy. Call me immature, but I couldn't resist some good Mountjoy action.

Lily Wellstone, an independent heiress, travels to Bitterward Estate to visit with her recently widowed friend Ginny. On the way there, she encounters a gypsy king who gives her a magical love medallion. Naturally, upon her arrival at Bitterward, the first person Lily meets is Ginny's older brother, the poorly dressed but super hot Duke of Mountjoy. The two of them immediately develop a flirtatious banter and start to screw around like brazen hussies. Good times. But Mountjoy's practically engaged to another woman, and Lily has vowed never to love again. Will all of their mounting be for nothing, or will that mounting lead to joy?

Not Wicked Enough is one of those rare books that includes its title in the text of the story. During one game of verbal foreplay, Lily asks Mountjoy if he thinks she's too wicked. Little Mountjoy (that's a euphemism for his penis) prompts him to respond that she isn't wicked enough. Thank you, Carolyn Jewel, for making the connection, even if "wicked" is among the Top 10 Most Overused Words for HR Titles, right up there with rake, rogue, sin, scoundrel, and seduce.

Lily is a pretty awesome heroine. I'm used to hating Regency heroines, so she really came out of left field. She isn't a blushing virgin, so I didn't have to put up with any of the blushing virgin wangst. She's fun, energetic, and good-natured, and I fully understand why Mountjoy A) wanted to put his Little Mountjoy in her and B) ultimately fell in love with her. Even better, she's discreet! She understand the dangers posed by forming a liaison with the duke, and she keeps a proper distance, just as you would expect a mistress to do back in the day. Granted, she totally boinks her best friend's brother, which some might consider indiscreet, but her actions made way more sense than 99% of Regency heroines these days. So good for you, Lily!

Mountjoy, aside from having an epic name, isn't as much fun as Lily, but he makes up for it by being adorably vulnerable at times. He's honorable (if you ignore the fact that he's screwing his sister's best friend), dedicated to his title and tenants, and really likes the smexytimes. He grew up on a farm before learning he was so close to the title and still dresses like it. There's some cute banter between Mountjoy and Lily about her becoming his valet.

Although the characters are stand-up people, not a lot happens in the story. It's more of a character study than anything, and I love characters. But honestly, in my old age, I need more action. There are only so many smutty lover's trysts I can read before I get bored and start praying for a sword fight. So I wasn't particularly thrilled with the storyline. The magical gypsy love medallion is only faintly alluded to in the story, and it could have been used for some freaky stuff. However, I enjoyed the characters enough to give this book 3.5 stars. Since I'm feeling generous, I'll round that up to 4 stars for the Goodreads rating.