Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson is a unique entry in the paranormal romance genre. Not only is the main character not a bounty hunter or private eye, she’s a nurse—a not-so-paranormal profession. In fact, it’s quite normal. The world that Dawson creates is also unique with its darkness and vampiriness mixed in with a bit of circus sideshow fun and steampunk tropes. It is a great novel for a quick read and an escape from reality.
Letitia “Tish” Everett is a nurse who comes across a ruby locket at an estate sale. After accidently stealing it, she forces the locket open, unleashing a spell that causes her to be transported to an alternate Victorian Era-like world where she is greeted by a dark and alluring stranger, a Bludman and carnival caravan proprietor named Criminy Stain. Together, they must fight against the evil Magistrate, Jonah Goodwill, and his band of crooked Coppers. This new world is full of bloodsucking creatures, most notably “bludbunnies” which tend to get punted a lot.
Tish is torn between the two worlds. On one side is Criminy, the seductive and mysterious, and the promise of never-ending adventure. On the other is her ailing grandmother and her comfortable job. Tish is a unique heroine in that she doesn’t want to run away from her more “mundane” life. In fact, she was just getting to a place of happiness when she is thrust into the world of blud and excitement. Throughout the book, she is at odds with herself as to which place she wants to be.
The descriptions in the book are some of the best I’ve ever read in a while and the chapters are full of witty one-liners that never seem forced. The mixture of serious and silly, seductive and sanguine mesh together into a very fun, entertaining, and engaging story. I will definitely read the other books in this series as soon as I can get my not-so-scaly hands on them.
P.S. I wanna be Delilah when I grow up.