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Their Wicked Ways by Julia Keaton

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Their Wicked Ways 

Julia Keaton
Historical Romance/Erotica (ménage)
Published in 2013

H/h - Darcy St. James and Nicholas Cain/Bronte Dunmore
Setting: Regency England.

Read in Feb 2014.
My rating:

                                                     [spoiler alert]

Just finished another Julia Keaton book after quite a while. I generally enjoy her books and Their Wicked Ways was no different. I never thought I’d say it in a ménage but the story was totally hilarious. Not your average ménage erotica out there for sure!

Darcy and Nick, two very close friends since their childhood, have always been inseparable. They are like two peas in a pod, understand each-other so well that others just stare at awe. Sometimes they don’t even have to talk to communicate. They also like sharing things, sometimes even mistresses. No, they’re not gays, very much straight men, but they’ve just… always been together as far as everyone remembers.

Darcy is very tall, muscular with dark curly hair and hazel eyes, whereas Nick is a little shorter and less muscular in built, with dark hair and blue eyes.  Whereas Darcy is jovial, friendly type, Nick is distant and cool, always assessing everything before speaking. And they come to blows, mostly with each-other but they’re equally good in everything they do and those incidents turn out to be nothing more than friendly fisticuffs and harmless jibes. One thing, for now, these two are squabbling about is, which one of them holds the title of England’s Greatest Lover (imagine me eye-rolling and laughing). This leads them to a stupid wager and to the doorstep of Bronte, a widow from America, who is currently visiting her ‘ailing’ mother.

I put ‘ailing’ in quote because the woman is actually anything but. But she loves emotional blackmail, to Bronte’s annoyance. It’s not that she doesn’t love her mother, but she can be a bit too much at times. Incidentally, we learn that both Nick and Darcy’s parents’ estates border on Bronte’s parent’s and they played together when they were young. They had another playmate, Isaac. Bronte was a willing puppy-like creature following Nick and Darcy’s wake when she was nothing more than a little girl. But they were much older boys and though they tried their best to accommodate her wishes, sometimes it wasn’t possible. They had another playmate, Isaac.

Bronte has been moony-eyed over both Nick and Darcy since then. But they never paid any serious attention to her. And it hurt bad. She knew they never found her attractive even when she grew up to be a freckly red-head. Isaac, the jealous a$$ made it sure that Bronte knew what kinda scrapes Nick and Darcy had gotten into (concerning girls of their age) or what they think of her. Somehow, Bronte was married off to Isaac pretty young. No wonder she was never really happy. She moved to America and has been living there so far. This time, her mother was able to summon Bronte with an urgent ‘this is THE time’ kind of message, which was of course not true. The elderly woman is doing pretty well, and even though she guessed it, Bronte still returned for a visit.

When Nick and Darcy stop by at her house suddenly, Bronte, very painfully becomes aware of the fact that she hasn’t gotten over that ‘infatuation’ she had for them as a girl. Or so she thought and tried to brush aside her hurt of rejection by marking her feelings as ‘infatuation’. But this isn’t good, not when the only thing she can think of how good-looking they still are and that they are here to see her.

At the same time, it’s revealed that Nick and Darcy have both always harbored much deeper affection for Bronte, maybe even loved her. Yes, she was too young, too thin and freckly for them but they never realized that she’d grow up to be an auburn haired beauty. And this shakes them rather bad. Both now want her, no matter what... But the thing is that, Bronte didn’t seem happy to see either Darcy or Nick. At all. Hmmm, what could be the matter?

What we see next are some silly, yet endearing, competitions between Nick and Darcy to see who can win her over and Bronte spurning them every step of the way. Not that she wanted to but she knew these two are bad news. Incidents after incidents left me laughing my a$$ off, scenes and dialogues so funny yet not overly comical. The best thing about this story was that I felt Nick, Darcy and Bronte sharing an inherent connection, as well as attraction, that was always there. When Bronte was kissing Nick or Darcy, or these two were bickering over her, it never felt ridiculous. Neither did I find their attraction out of place or thought that they were only blinded by lust. I absolutely loved their interactions.

At one point, the misunderstanding arising throughout the story (some from their childhood) were solved. Nick and Darcy both ask for Bronte’s hand. But she doesn’t want to marry because she thinks she’s barren. Though neither Nick nor Darcy need to sire heirs being born after ‘the heir and the spare’ (or so to speak), Bronte still doesn’t want either of them to regret their decision at a later point in their life.

When they, still, ask her to choose between them, Bronte comes to a decision. It was a tough one but she had to try something out. It might be unorthodox and might ruin her reputation entirely (not that she cares much about that) but Bronte can’t deny that she wants them both. It was clear, as she had told Nick and Darcy, that she loves them equally. So wouldn’t it be better to taste passion with them both, rather than never being with them at all? She can’t imagine breaking another’s heart by choosing one. Nick and Darcy were in for a big surprise when they come to a hunting lodge at her request to find her waiting for them with that probable solution... Must add, sex scenes were hot.

The ending was rather rushed and kinda sketchy. They do end up marrying... er, Bronte marries both Nick and Darcy, on the ship bound to America, though I’m not sure how are they going to live there without anyone noticing their unusual relationship. 4 stars and I seriously wish there were more.

Note that Their Wicked Ways was previously published under another penname of the author.


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