Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Series or Standalone: Spindle Cove #2
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
A Week to Be Wicked was the second Tessa Dare book I ever read back in the mid-2010s when I was first really dipping my toes in historical romance, so this book holds a special place in my heart. Full disclosure, I’ve reread this book a handful of times and it’s safe to say I love this one.
Bluestocking Minerva Highwood needs to get to Scotland to present her scientific discovery. Dissolute rake Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, needs funds to escape Spindle Cove. When Minerva propositions Colin to take her to Scotland, little do they realize their journey will see them racing across England with a fossil in tow. They also find themselves in various situations on this journey, such as pretending to be engaged, being kidnapped by highwaymen, and being forced to share one bed. While they start off wanting to kill each other, the forced proximity ends up taking them down a different path where they can’t seem to fight the burgeoning feelings for each other.
I’m a sucker for a good road trip romance and A Week to Be Wicked delivers! Some of the situations Colin and Min find themselves indefinitely feel over the top, but thanks to Dare’s trademark wit and humor, the situation’s absurdity works. Dare really throws everything at Colin and Min on this journey and it’s an absolute treat to read. You get all the hallmarks of a classic road trip novel, with tropes such as there is only one bed, but Dare can add even more layers to this with the situations she puts the character in. It’s a pure treat.
When it comes to Colin and Minerva, I love these two so much. We met both of them in A Night to Surrender and got to see the animosity between them develop in that book, but it’s so great to spend more time with the two of them. In real life, I feel like Colin could get on my nerves as he has a personality that can be grating, but in this book, he works for me. Colin’s very much got a happy-go-lucky, carefree attitude and an air for showmanship. But he’s also got deep trauma from a tragic event in his childhood that he’s never fully confronted. His personality can be a bit in your face, but I think he serves as a great foil to Minerva. With Minerva, we have Dare’s spin on the bluestocking trope. Min is so much more than that though. She’s a scientist with a top-notch brain who has made a fascinating discovery in Spindle Cove. She’s so passionate about her rocks! She’s thorough and logical in her approach to life, including romance. I love that she’s not ashamed of her feelings and instead views her interactions with Colin as an experiment. I also feel for her so much as she’s always been second best to her sister Diana. And while Dare could have easily had Minerva resent her sister, I loved that she doesn’t do that and instead shows how much Minerva loves her sister by saving her from Colin.
Colin and Minerva play off each other so well. The two personalities are on vastly different ends of the spectrum, but together they balance each other out. I love that Minerva brings out Colin’s softer side and gets him to open up about his past trauma while he can bring her out of her shell and make her sparkle. The romance between them develops at the perfect pace, which is amazing considering the actions of the book take place over a week or so. I love how the romance starts as an experiment but develops into something more. For two people who couldn’t stand each other initially, you start to root for them to be together very quickly. In the end, I also enjoyed how the final choice for the next step in their relationship is Minerva’s decision.
We do leave Spindle Cove behind for the majority of this book. If I was a new reader to this, I could be a bit worried about that, but Dare still manages to capture the spirit and essence of the town throughout this book.
This book has fewer secondary characters since the ones we see tend to stick around for only a day or two. Unless you count Francine as a character. I personally feel like Francine is deserving of secondary character status despite literally being an inanimate object. Francine is so important to the plot and the emotional journey both Colin and Minerva go through that it’s hard to overlook her. I literally got emotional the first time I read the book over Francine’s fate, which is quite an accomplishment for an inanimate object.
I feel like I could go on and on about all the things I love in this book. Everything about it is pure fun! I always end up with a smile on my face while reading this book and have even laughed out loud at the antics Minerva and Colin get up to. All I can say is if you’re looking for a top-notch road trip romance, look no further than A Week to Be Wicked. Tallyho!