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Wicked Designs: League of Rogues, Book 1 | [Lauren Smith]

Wicked Designs: League of Rogues, Book 1

For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple: find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.
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Publisher's Summary

For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple: find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books. It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes. Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with.

He has no plans to marry anytime soon - if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler's niece, the difficult debutante's blend of sweetness and sharp tongue makes him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love. Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric's shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard - and to rob him of the woman he can't live without.

©2014 Lauren Smith (P)2014 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Smith's fast-paced historical keeps [listeners] on their toes as they're taken hostage by a whirlwind of characters and an unforgettable romance." (RT Book Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (88 )
5 star
 (36)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (82 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (81 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Tracy T Jacksonville, FL USA 11-11-14
    Tracy T Jacksonville, FL USA 11-11-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much filler, and 2 hours too long."

    Well, not one of my favorite listens\reads that's for sure. This story would have been better if it was about 2 hours shorter. It was way too long. Too much filler. Too much blah blah blah thinking. Slow moving. Just found myself saying "okay already, get on with it, geez"

    There was not nearly enough dialogue for my taste. The concept and plot was good, but the story just went astray with too much nonsense filling up the pages. Then an abrupt ending.

    I did like the heroine, she was smart for the most part and witty. The hero was okay. They did have some decent chemistry and some nice sex scenes, so there is that.

    As for the narrator... UGH.. She sort of sucked. Sorry. There are 5 men in the League of Rogues, all present for most of the entire book, and all sound the same, and not at all manly. They all sounded so feminine, it was so disappointing. Which did not help the already lacking story.
    Sometimes a narrator can make an okay book better, this did not occur here.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Laverdure Québec, Canada 07-13-14
    Nicole Laverdure Québec, Canada 07-13-14

    Mirabelle

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding!"
    If you could sum up Wicked Designs in three words, what would they be?

    Wicked & Highly addictive!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is an amazing story of two tormented young persons, who help each other, trust each other and finally find love in their lives! Beautiful hot chemistry between the captor and the captive! Some scenes are so cute to read! Ms. Smith really wrote a beautiful story filled with tenderness, passion and intrigues. I highly recommend without hesitation, Wicked Designs, her first book in The League of Rogues, and I can’t wait to read her next book in this series; Wicked Seduction, Lucien’s story. I have to say, that Godric’s four friends are devilish and handsome rogues full of charm and tenderness, each, in a different way. I adore reading lives of rogues, they can be so much fun to follow! Lauren Smith didn’t disappoint me with the love story of Godric and Emily


    Which character – as performed by Heather Wilds – was your favorite?

    Emily


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I prefer listening to it several chapters at different times.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend without hesitation, Wicked Designs, her first book in The League of Rogues, and I can’t wait to read her next book in this series; Wicked Seduction, Lucien’s story. I have to say, that Godric’s four friends are devilish and handsome rogues full of charm and tenderness, each, in a different way. I adore reading lives of rogues, they can be so much fun to follow! I have to give the 6 stars! I really enjoy listening to this audio!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvette GILBERT, AZ, United States 07-11-14
    Yvette GILBERT, AZ, United States 07-11-14 Member Since 2009

    I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting Premise for a Story & Nice Romance"

    When I read a regency novel, I go into it expecting something great from the heroine since women were already at a disadvantage in this era. I look for a heroine who will be a maverick and surpass the confines of that time period and shine through. In that respect, I thought Lady Emily Parr did a great job of showing cunning, restraint, intelligence and charm as she was kidnapped by 5 rogues. --Whoa, now talk about a testosterone rush!!! I loved it when Emily fought the men, especially when she fought Godric St. Laurent, the Duke of Essex. Together these men composed the infamous "League of Rogues." All were men of high societal standing and quite dashing, but the kidnaping of Emily Parr was solely Godric's idea which, for me, seemed an idea not very well thought out by these rogues. Godric planned to ruin Emily as a way of getting back at her uncle, but the man and his faithful friends end up being something else to Emily entirely…that is, they become her friends and protectors. And, that sexy duke with green eyes ended up being the love of her life (Ah, I love a good HEA). The villain in this story is sleazy and vindictive, so I especially found satisfaction in seeing him defeated in the end. This story was further enhanced by the gifted narration of Heather Wilds, who was perfect. OMG, and I couldn't help but think that the name "Godric" sounded so sexy pronounced with an English accent!!!

    Overall, this was a good story, but my only note of dissatisfaction was that the sex life between Godric and Emily felt unfinished, and I didn't like that. I want to know that each will be equally fulfilling to one another. Maybe it wasn't meant to be a big deal, but after a few of the other men came back from a tryst with some "ladies of the night" well they tell Godric about some interesting new techniques (mild bondage etc.), when Godric mentions this to Emily she begs him to never do that to her. Yet, Emily was so new at sex that I thought Godric could have had fun exposing her to new things, I mean the girl did really love sex with him…ugh…I don't know…it just seemed like an unfinished thought from the author because it was never touched upon late in the story. The writing came across, to me, as being from a young writer. This is good because it means the writing is only going to get better with opportunities and time. In that respect, I look forward to the other books and hope more depth and density is inserted into the lives and background of the characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A.W. ATX 05-20-14
    A.W. ATX 05-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved this story! :)"
    Where does Wicked Designs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Considering this is my first audiobook, I thought it was fantastic. It was just as much fun as I imagined it would be.


    What other book might you compare Wicked Designs to and why?

    This book is reminiscent of Kresley Cole's MacCarrick brother series. The boys of the League reminded me a lot of the MacCarrick brothers. They are chock full of rakish rogues who are well to do, but tend to get into mischief. However, they are no match for their witty and strong heroines who make them come undone.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    When five devilish rogues kidnap a woman to get back at their enemy, they get much more than they bargained for. ;)


    Any additional comments?

    The action starts quickly and I found myself immediately sucked in. I was really impressed with Emily's strength, courage, and wit, especially after she is kidnapped. Considering she was up against five men? She even surprised me a few times and I was proud of her for that. Enter Godric and the League of Rogues. Hunky, wealthy bachelors who are up to no good and when they are wronged they seek to mete out their own justice. Unfortunately, that put innocent Emily smack dab in the middle of their plot for revenge and it changes each one of their worlds. Emily proves to be quite the intelligent and challenging captive-- even Godric can't deny the desire he feels toward Emily. The tension between the two was palpable and I can't deny I wanted her to fall in love with Godric. Despite kidnapping her, he still made sure she wanted for nothing and was taken care of. He really was a roguish rake, but I loved him. :)

    As a side note** I really loved the narrator's accent in accordance with this being set in England. It totally put me right there with Emily!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    demetra Hartland Ia 10-17-14
    demetra Hartland Ia 10-17-14

    demetra iliopoulos

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a whole new league of rogues that keep you going"

    pulled an all nighter listening to an audio. I count stop it. It had everything. A duke with his group of rogues. An uncle that was mistreating his niece. A kidnapping and a nasty villain that mistreated the brothel ladies. Godrick the Duke of Essex kidnapped Miss Par for revenge against her uncle. There is a lot of twists and turns in this . It's beyond 5 stars. hopefully there will parts for all the rogues IFive devilish rogues and one woman at this point I am going to state, “take me with you, oh handsome rouges, let me be that one woman!” Onto what I thought of Ms. Lauren’s historical debut. I really enjoyed this book. This is the first book in a series, so it would make sense to have all the characters introduced. Really- you’re paying attention because you want to know which rogue you’ll click with.

    The story unfolds quickly with Emily Parr being kidnapped on her way to a ball by five gentlemen. What I like about Emily is she doesn’t just sit back and cry she puts up a fight with these guys. She knows she cannot physically outmaneuver them so she uses her brains to get her out of the the situation. Since it wasn’t an equal fight she is taken to Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex’s estate to be held captive. Once there, Emily attempts to escape but is again, outmaneuvered, this is when she changes her strategy and friends these gentlemen to learn why she was the lucky girl taken from her carriage. The mastermind behind this kidnapping is Gordic St. Laurent, Duke of Essex. Emily’s uncle owes him and to get payment he takes Emily. He had a dark childhood and doesn’t feel worthy of love or giving love. His true nature is to care for people and after he kidnaps Emily a whole new side of him begins to blossom. I know you’re thinking, “oh, she falls for her kidnapper oh-so typical”…yes, but no… There are four other gentlemen that find Emily’s feisty personality intriguing and we see tension occur among life-long friends.

    This story has a fast moving plot with great dialogue between characters, that kept me turning the page. Ms. Smith gives her characters a lot of depth and you begin to like these characters because each one is unique. This is great read and I look forward to reading the next book in this series. Wonderful, historical debut Ms. Smith. You have yourself a new fan!! listen to this in audio and it was fantastic ,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay TX, USA 08-19-14
    Jay TX, USA 08-19-14

    I am quiet and love being comfortable. I love curling up in a corner either reading or listening to a nice romantic book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wicked Designs"

    What more can we say? A well written book, we began with a kidnapping, then hopefully a settlement of a debt, then the bedding and uncontrollable passion, the unvailing of a brother, another kidnapping and eventually a marriage!!! All in a day's work! All because some lecherous old man who had a desire for a young girl's mother (who thankfully was wise enough to despise him) and therefore never paying him any attention decided to take his anger and lust out on her. What a miserable piece of work!! Her uncle should be tied, flogged and quartered for agreeing to all this just because it cleared his debt. I can't wait for the other books in this series to see what happens to the other 5 League of Rogues this is including Jonathan whom by all means should have his own love story hopefully after bedding a few mistresses and getting himself in some trouble. Hopefully it is Lord Ashby next!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Arkansas USA 07-30-14
    Amazon Customer Arkansas USA 07-30-14

    Ninny's Closet

    ratings
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    "love this book"
    What did you love best about Wicked Designs?

    the writing was wonderful. Lauren Smith caught my attention right away and held it through the entire book. She is right up there with my favorite author's. I have read the book in epub and now I have listen to the audio book still is a great book.


    What other book might you compare Wicked Designs to and why?

    have not listen to any other audio books to compare it to but will I love it.


    What about Heather Wilds’s performance did you like?

    Wilds did a great job telling the story


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed quit a bit with this book


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael dean 07-23-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "so good"
    Where does Wicked Designs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    it is a good 8 on the mike scale and hope they get better


    What did you like best about this story?

    it was not predictable in plot


    What does Heather Wilds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    the league


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    to hearts healed by comming together


    Any additional comments?

    looking foreward to book 2

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephani 07-14-14
    Stephani 07-14-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Frustrating but enjoyable"
    Would you try another book from Lauren Smith and/or Heather Wilds?

    Yes, I look forward to the next installment in the series


    What about Heather Wilds’s performance did you like?

    The performance by narrator Heather Wilds makes the story come to life with passion and vibrancy.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the first book I have listened to by Lauren Smith and currently the only one available in audio. As regency novels are among my most guilty pleasures I am always more than willing to discover a new series. I enjoy getting to know several characters over several books, getting to know each one and go along with them on each of their discoveries. “Wicked Designs: League Of Rogues” the first book in the series “League of Rouges” has done a very good job at giving us a group of men that are among the top of the aristocracy and who are bonded together and abide by their own rules. This book is very well written in regards to the strong male characters. Each of them show their abilities to be dominant and protective but also show an ability to be caring, passionate and slightly vulnerable not to mention being the typical thick headed, heavy handed clods that make them endearing and lovable.

    As for Miss Emily Parr our heroin she is more than capable of giving each of the gentle men a run for their money with her quick thinking and sharp wit. My only drawback of this book would be the complete and utter melt down when ever Emily is kissed. It’s as if her brain simply vanishes and we are left with an imbecile. There were one or two points where I found myself actually become frustratingly annoyed with her devolvement into a puddle is unintelligent goo. The love scenes although enjoyable I thing could have used a bit more romance, more sharing of pleasure between them. I tend to prefer the slow in sensual over the rough and ready.

    Overall a very good beginning to the series, frustrating but enjoyable in the end. I ended with the thought that I want to know more about these men, the woman that may inter their lives and what journey they will take me on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shani 05-20-14
    Shani 05-20-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can't stand stupid heroine"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    the girl gives in way too quickly to men who kidnapped her!


    Has Wicked Designs turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    What would have made this romance irresistible?

    some fight for goodness sake.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Lucie
    Buckhurst Hill, United Kingdom
    6/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "GREAT book"

    I loved the book , but not the narrator. To me the performance was lifeless.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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