Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Title:     The Wicked Wallflower [Bad Boys and Wallflowers, book 1]
Author:   Maya Rodale
Rating:   ★★★

One of the things I found out the hard way is that if you read almost 200 books from one genre, you will eventually be bored by repetitive plots. But then Maya Rodale, who describes herself in her website as an author of smart and sassy romance novels, comes along and restarts my hope that maybe there are still some original historical romance novels out there, waiting to be discovered, or written, and read.

Lady Emma Avery has accidentally announced her engagement—to the most eligible man in England. As soon as it's discovered that Emma has never actually met the infamously attractive Duke of Ashbrooke, she'll no longer be a wallflower; she'll be a laughingstock. And then Ashbrooke does something Emma never expected. He plays along with her charade.

A temporary betrothal to the irreproachable Lady Avery could be just the thing to repair Ashbrooke's tattered reputation. Seducing her is simply a bonus. And then Emma does what he never expected: she refuses his advances. It's unprecedented. Inconceivable. Quite damnably alluring.

London's Least Likely to Misbehave has aroused the curiosity—among other things—of London's most notorious rogue. Now nothing will suffice but to uncover Emma's wanton side and prove there's nothing so satisfying as two perfect strangers…being perfectly scandalous together.

The super cute love story between Lady Emma and Blake, the Duke of Ashbrooke, makes me want to break out in giggles. Gaddamit, I find that even I am not immune to the Ashbrooke Effect - which is what happens when ladies see the Duke of Ashbrooke and they become insensible or giggly or helplessly sighing over his Adonis-like looks. And while I am immune to very handsome men (kidding, I still sigh over George Clooney), what makes me giggle sparkle are the tremendous efforts that Blake has put into wooing Emma.

One of the things that I found vastly amusing was that Emma was referred to as London's Least Likely to Misbehave. But Blake kept changing that moniker in his mind to several other titles that he felt apt: Least Likely to Love Him, Leastly Likely to Marry Him, and the like. I have become a fan of Maya Rodale's witticisms and delicious bantering between Emma and Blake, and amongst the trio of Wallflowers. The friendship between Emma, Olivia, and Prudence also made me want to be their friend and sit copious amounts of sherry while coming up with schemes. I mean seriously, it sounded like keen fun.

The cover of the book is very seductive, which is actually not in keeping the tone of the book. I thought The Wicked Wallflower would be something more along the lines of Alexandra Hawkins' Lord of Vice series, where men are so deliciously wicked. But what I found instead is a vastly entertaining historical romance book that made me not want to get off my bed for two hours. If you're more into the historical in historical romance, you might not enjoy this so much since Maya Rodale focused more on the romance part. However, as I was more interested in Blake's sensual gaze attitude and courtship, I didn't mind it so much.

The Wicked Wallflower has made me wonder yet again why I had the misfortune to be born in the 21st century when I could have been born in the 1800s when I could participate in mad but totally lovable Aunt Agatha's Fortune Games or I could wear gowns all the time, when jewels while shopping are the norm, and men wore suits and deliciously seduced wooed women like men (not like the men today who...oh, you know what I mean!). But oh well, that's life.

Nothing more I could do but just read more historical romance novels and await the release of the sequel, Wallflower Gone Wild. Now I'm off to read more about dukes and their dastardly romances.



  1. Once upon a time, I was also fond of reading these types of books. Julia Quinn and Judith McNaught, anyone? But like what you said, the more you read them, the more you'll realize that they're getting repetitive. And the next thing you know, you cannot distinguish one book from the other. Having said that, I am temporarily taking a rest from reading such novels so in the future, I can dive into them again without any prejudices. Hahaha.

    I think I will have to start with this one given that the characters are awesome and the romance swoon worthy.

    Great review, Goldie. I hope Blake will also sweep me off my feet.

    1. I know what you mean! I constantly take a break between genres, although it's been three years and I can't seem to ditch the historical regency romance genre b-(


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