Wicked as they Come by Delilah S. Dawson
(Blud Series #1)
Pocket Books (March 2012)
Paperback, 394 pages

Steampunk Romance

Wicked as they Come is the first book in a new paranormal romance series by debut author Delilah S. Dawson. And I have to say that is one of the most refreshing reads I have read in a while.

It opens with Tish at the house sale of a former patient of hers. She is somehow drawn to a silver locket with a red ruby. She accidently steals it and through a spell she is transported into the dark and gothic world of an alternative of Britain in the early 1900’s.

Dawson weaves a tale that pulls you along to the point where you don’t even realise you are almost halfway through the book and as lost as our heroine, Tish.

I sympathized greatly with Tish when she lands in this world where the rules she lives and abides by no longer apply. She is a fish out of water, but while some authors may have chosen to make Tish the weaker more vulnerable character, Dawson gives her a side that means she is a born survivor. We know this since Tish managed to get out of an abusive relationship with an ex and it has made her more wary of men. After being controlled by her ex, she fights for her independence with every ounce of her being even with our dashing hero intent on wooing her.

It does take Tish a little while to get used to her new surroundings, especially as it turns out that she has gift of clairvoyance in this Otherworld. She can foretell the future, but has little control of the gift. It’s eerie, yet does prove useful in her mission to get back the locket.

Though the book can get very heavy and dark at times, there are humorous parts to lighten the mood. One such part was when a Bludbunnie bit Tish’s ankle. I couldn’t help laughing at the image of a cute fluffy bunny with vampire like teeth, bopping around the countryside.

On the subject of the bunny, the world is different due to the fact that humans, or Pinkies as they are referred to in this world, are in the minority and the Blud people are the dominant species, at least in the sense of being top of the food chain. They are unlike Vampires, for as our hero Criminey, points out he is as alive as Tish and has a heartbeat, just like her.

All wild animals are Blud species too, and the only non Blud animals are contained in the city to help keep the Pinkies fed. Let’s put it this way, Snow White really would have to watch out in the forrests of this world!

Criminy is an intriguing character. He came across as bit like Spike from the Buffy and Angel TV series. He has that slightly cocky attitude and is so sure that Tish will stay with him in the end. He will do almost anything for her, even if it means putting himself in danger. I did fall in love with his character. He had this dash of suave sophistication while also having dangerous side. Criminy is the epitome of the bad boy with the heart of gold, which I am such a sucker for. By the end of the book I was glad that Tish picked him.

The interesting thing about this book is that Tish isn’t stuck in this world at first. Whenever she falls asleep in our world, she is wakes up in the otherworld and vice versa, as long as she has the locket. It is this fact that makes the theft of the locket so important.

Tish is smart and starts to put pieces together about the relationship between her world and this one. The pieces begin to fall into place when she meets one of her patients in the Otherworld. In our world she is a care nurse for the terminal ill or those that are housebound. So when she comes face to face with Casper, who in our world is a gifted pianist that ended up in a coma after a motorcycle accident, it makes Tish wonder how many others have ended up here.

The subplot is cleverly woven in with the main plot of getting the locket back for Tish. This is all to do with the villains plan to wipe out the Bludmen, women and children. We get to witness this first hand and the brutality of its execution is not lost on the reader. It also shows Tish that there is more at risk than just herself.

The end of the book does come to a satisfying conclusion for Tish and Criminy, but I am looking forward to the next book as it is all about Casper. We are given hints on what his future holds, but I can’t wait to read what happens.


A wonderful start to a new series, that had me dying to find out more. It is a dark macabre tale that Tim Burton would only wish to dream of. It has a slight Alice in Wonderland twist to it that I just love. Many a midnight hour was burnt with me not wanting to put it down. For those who like this type of book, I can see them doing the same.


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  1. Wicked As They Come
  2. Wicked As She Wants



A self confessed geek who likes all things paranormal (except zombies as they scare her) Genre wise she likes horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and historical fiction. [Gemma no longer reviews for BCC]


DelilahSDawson July 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Thanks for taking the time to review it! I’m so glad you liked it. You totally made my day! <3


Gemma July 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Its no problem. :)

I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for book 2!


The Blonde Zombie July 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I saw this book around a few months, but passed it up…I’ve just been on the fence with it really, plus the cover is awful..the guy on the front is ugly and I hate that bloody hat!… he looks like he’s dressed for the circus and the cover puts me off owning this book. A GREAT review though..I’ll think I’ll try and borrow a copy..

Plus… what’s up with Amazon lately?.. they aren’t selling it only through 3rd party! C’mon Amazon UK!


Gemma July 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I’d try bookdepository for your book. Very good service for US books.

Funny you should say that about how the guy on the cover looks like he is dressed for the circus, because he owns a circus in the otherworld. It does tie up. Plus his getup ties in with the steampunk/gothic vibe (true he doesn’t go shirtless, well not that I can remember. lol)

Give it a try. Its a really good twist on the usual PNR/Steampunk/UF stuff.


The Blonde Zombie July 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I can see how the cover fits, I love all the steampunk elements to it, it’s just that guy is ugly, and he doesn’t like real if that makes sense… but I caved, I’ve just ordered it :-)


Gemma July 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm

yay! You MUST let me know what you think. Its that age old saying, never judge a book by its cover….


Laura July 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Ooh another 5 star review, we’re on a role this week! :-)
I’ve seen this one around too and wasn’t sure about it. But your review makes it sound really exciting!


Gemma July 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

It is! The book is just so different from what I’ve read recently. Its so good, its on my keeper shelf. (and you know how brutal I have been in the past!)

Ignore the naked torso dude on the front. If you get time, give it a try.


Carolyn July 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I have this one on my shelf, and I’m soooo pleased it’s good as it was an impulse 1-click 😉

I actually like the cover, it say paranormal romance but has a darkness about it too.


Gemma July 16, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Lol! This was an impulse by for me too! Glad I did though. :)


Carmen July 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm

yes, not usually one for the “hunky” hero’s on the front cover (yawn!) I actually really like this one! It would have me picking it up to read. i must walk around in a daze as have never seen this one but your description of a Tim Burtenesque Wonderland with Steampunk has me positively drooling!


Gemma July 16, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Ooh, if you do you have to let me know what you think of it. Its just a great read!


Alexa July 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Well that was a great review. I feel like I’m really prepared to read this book now that I know a bit more about it. I do own a copy due to so many people raving about it but I didn’t really pay much attention to what the story was about. This was one I bought on hype alone so I’m hoping I find the story just as amazing as you did.

Thanks for the great review, so glad you loved this one. :)


Gemma July 16, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I’m happy to help. It was a really compelling read. I lost many hours sleep reading this


DelilahSDawson July 17, 2012 at 11:36 pm

To everyone just now picking it up, I hope you like it! <3 Seeing it compared to Tim Burton and Alice just makes me SQEEful.


Rebecca July 19, 2012 at 8:13 am

Oh wow Gemma, I remember you telling me about this book! It’s a great review, and the book really does sound awesome! I may have to add it to my ever-growing to-read list!! 😀
(And bunnies with vampire teeth? INSTANT WIN.)


Gemma July 19, 2012 at 8:57 am

I KNOW! How frigging cool is that? Vampire Bunnies! lol! (Though they are not Vampires, they are Bludpeople)

You’d love this book. It has just the right mix!


Rebecca July 19, 2012 at 11:22 am

Ahhh don’t say that, I’ll have to buy it!! 😉


Gemma July 19, 2012 at 11:53 am

Listen, its saying “buy me! Buy me! I’m awsome!”


Samantha July 22, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this one so much. I had a hard time connecting with the main characters at first but by the end I was hooked. I’m looking forward to reading the 2nd book whenever it comes out :)


Gemma July 23, 2012 at 12:04 am

Its a really novel idea and i liked the executition so much. can’t wait to read book 2 either! :)


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