Review: Once Upon a Devilishly Enchanting Kiss

Title: Once Upon a Devilishly Enchanting Kiss
Author: Bree Wolf
Publisher: WOLF Publishing
Release Date: January 2021
Length: 294 pages
Series?: The Whickertons in Love #1
Genre: Historical, Romance

England 1801: Lady Louisa, daughter to the Earl of Whickerton, never thought she would ever have reason enough to hate anyone; especially not Phineas Hawke, Viscount Barrington, the man with the most wickedly dark eyes she has ever seen.

Yet, at an innocent ball, Louisa is suddenly forced to realize that the man she could easily have lost her heart to has discovered her most shameful secret.

And that is not all.

Lord Barrington makes it a habit to tease her endlessly about it, his devilish grin and knowing eyes mocking her, testing her resolve time and time again. Struggling to maintain her composure, Louisa vows to never surrender, to never allow him to see how deeply his flippant words wound her. Anger settles in her heart, burying all tender emotions, as she tries her utmost to ignore him.

That, however, is easier said than done.

Phineas Hawke has known the lovely Lady Louisa almost all his life; not well, but at least from afar, they have always been acquainted. Her face is a familiar sight, and although he cannot deny that she possesses certain appealing charms, Phineas has never looked at her and seen someone other than simply one of Lord Whickerton’s daughters.

At least, not until another gentleman rather unexpectedly voices his partiality toward her.

Suddenly, Phineas realizes that the woman he has known all his life is one he has ignored for far too long, and to his utter dismay, she has come to loathe the very sight of him. Why? He does not know; however, he will not yield easily.

As it seems, neither will she.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

This is the first book in the Whickerton series about the family of said name. It is heavy on the enemy to lovers trope.

Louisa has kept a secret hidden from her family all these years. It causes her a lot of anguish and embarrassment, but she can’t seek help because then it will be revealed: she can’t read. She has avoided anything that could expose her.

Until one night at a ball when she overhears the man she pines for make a comment that displays her lack of intelligence. He knows!! Words he thoughtlessly said set Louisa on a different course. Now, she doesn’t adore him. She despises him.

And Phineas has no idea why. They were just words he said in front of the guys, and he doesn’t even remember them. They were inconsequential…but have drastic consequences for him!

Phineas is like the life of the party and he can’t reconcile this drastic change in Louisa. Then it becomes almost like a baiting game. If he cannot bring her around to enjoy his company, he will rile her. Quite a bit of the book has him almost mercilessly seeking her out, cornering her, exchanging heated and hurtful words, and even passionate kisses. Sometimes this was hard to read because Phineas continually sought Louisa, knowing the outcome would be the same over and over again.

Overall, unlike many historical romances that take place during the short time of the Season, this book is set over a longer course of time, allowing things to build in a meaningful way. The ensemble cast of family and friends help make the story – and you do see them reappear throughout the series. Grandma Edie is a gem! However, there is a subplot in the story that takes place and while not unheard of during the time, it is painful to read. I wish Wolf could have written the series without this event happening.

And Louisa’s illiteracy? That is probably my favorite part. How everyone in her life comes to support and help her.


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