Reader Warning: This is a venting/review post.
So, I just finished reading The Wicked Winters series by Scarlett Scott (books 1-6 minus the .5 additions that were printed in anthologies). I read these one after the other which means I’m probably noticing some things I wouldn’t have had there been more time in-between readings.
Also, these are a lot of the problems I had with the series which makes it seem like I hated it. But that’s NOT the case! These are just things I noticed and bothered me. I’d still recommend reading the series, but maybe reading them more spaced out than I did.
With that caveat, let’s get to it! I’ve linked my Goodreads reviews for each individual book, so I’m leaving my overall series impression here.
Rankings from Favorite to Least Favorite:
Book 3: Wanton in Winter (LOVE)
Book 6: Wild in Winter
Book 4: Willful in Winter
Book 1: Wicked in Winter (NOT MY FAVE)
While I liked this series, I had some issues.
First, the fact that ALL of these books (except for the first 2) occur at the EXACT SAME TIME AND PLACE was far-fetched and repetitive. Each sister literally meets a guy at this Christmas party and falls in love. Yet, each book was pretty insular; there wasn’t a lot of actual sister interaction unless a scene pertained to two separate stories.
SPOILER EXAMPLE AHEAD
In Book 5 Wagered in Winter, Pru (the heroine) is leaving an assignation with Ash when she runs into a disheveled Christabella. A conversation happens here. There’s also a later scene where Pru and Christabella are walking outside when they run into Ash and his brother, Gill.
Then in Book 6 Wild in Winter, we see the EXACT two scenes again because this is Christabella’s book, and she was there.
This sort of thing occurs a lot and gets repetitive. I don’t need to see all these scenes again just because they’re happening concurrently with a different sister’s love story.
The author did improve the sister interactions the further you get into the series, but it still felt odd that there wasn’t more discussion between sisters of the drama going on in their lives. There was even a point where one sister marries on Christmas Eve (a big deal!), yet in the next sister’s book, she mentions that it’s Christmas Eve (but NOTHING about attending her sister’s wedding!). Major life moments are glossed over because EVERYTHING is happening at the same time and the characters are only focused on their own problems.
Overall, I would’ve preferred more family interaction. Dev, the head of the family, only gets “screentime” after catching his sisters in a compromising position. That’s the only time he pops up which doesn’t make sense when they’re supposed to be a close family at the same party.
I also dislike the repetitive scenes (besides the replica scenes I’ve mentioned). Due to everyone being in the same house at the same party, there are only so many places characters can go. So, it’s always the same salon or garden. And it’s always the hero happening upon the heroine in the library, etc. There wasn’t a good mix of unique scenarios, which made things run together. There were even repetitive conversations referring to using one’s Christian name.
Hero: “Call me, Dev.”
Heroine: “I will not, Mr. Winter.”
Heroine: “No, Mr. Winter.”
This would continue into multiple conversations.
Hero: “Just call me, Ash.”
Heroine: “That’s not proper, Mr. Coventry.”
Hero: “Please, it’s Ash.”
Heroine. “Absolutely not, Mr. Coventry.”
This occurred in multiple books and got annoying real fast.
This is probably nitpicky, but I noticed it and was frustrated by it.
Another thing that bothered me was that almost all of the heroines didn’t want to marry. They were all so similar (which they ARE sisters, but still). All of them were strongly against it and for dumb reasons. The resistance to marriage cropped up most strongly after the hero declared himself, too. So, their reasons never made much sense because the man literally just told you he loves you, etc.
I’m not a huge fan of ignoring the partner’s declarations/actions and choosing to keep going off old assumptions despite a whole book of learning otherwise. This might’ve been okay in one book, but almost every book in this series had this problem.
And I think that’s all I have to say about this series for now. She’s going to continue with another set of siblings who SPOILER ALERT are the six bastard siblings (The Wickedest Winters). Again, this seems ridiculous, but I’ll probably read them.
PS. If I have to read “her skirts billowed into his legs” one more time, I may tear my hair out...LOL