Niels Eriksson is a charming and clever thief with a taste for the finer things in life. Lord Richard Essex is a wealthy aristocrat who caught Niels red handed robbing his mansion. Instead of having Niels sent to prison, Richard makes him an offer he is in no position to refuse.After Niels overcomes his initial shock and begins to enjoy atoning for his crime, Richard starts to develop feelings he never thought he had. I thought Wicked Game was a very well done historical romance. The author does a great job showing the difficulties faced by two men from vastly different social classes living in a time when homosexuality was illegal. Richard and Niels both came from dysfunctional family backgrounds and had difficulty expressing their growing feelings for each other. The main characters are very appealing, the sex scenes were hot and the romance very satisfying. I found the historical aspect of the story rather weak. When I read an historical novel, I like to see evidence of thorough research - accurate details of the period, believable settings, and convincing portraits of people. Because these details were lacking, the past did not come alive for me. Richard and Niels could just as easily have lived in modern times with just a few changes in setting, costumes, and situations. I was also disappointed that the author did not spend much time exploring the character and motivations of Julian, Richard’s closest friend, and Jacob, an acquaintance from university who shares Richard’s secret desire for men. Despite the story’s flaws, Wicked Game was a very enjoyable read.