Wicked Company

Written by Ciji Ware
Review by Elizabeth Caulfield Felt

Spanning the years 1761 to 1774, Wicked Company follows the adventures of Sophie McGann, from her adolescent management of her father’s bookshop in Edinburgh, to her work as a playbill printer for Drury Lane Theatre in London to her daring successes as a petticoat playwright. The path to her ambition is thwarted at nearly every step, as is her passionate relationship with the dashing actor and fellow Scot Hunter Robertson.

Ware has artfully blended the historical players of 18th-century London theater (David Garrick, Edward Capell, Kitty Clive, Elizabeth Griffith, and many others) into her fictional story. Her details of time and place are extraordinary, allowing readers to experience the cold, the smells, the scenery, and the costumes of the time. This is a must-read for romance readers interested in the history of British theater.

Sophie is a spunky heroine, and Hunter the tastiest Scotsman since Jamie Fraser. As the story progresses, the conflicts keeping the two apart seem sometimes forced and sometimes overly drawn out. Still, readers will be applauding their hard-fought-for theatrical successes and eagerly turning the pages until the two can be together at last.