Audio Review: The Wicked Wallflower (Bad Boys and Wallflowers, Book 1) by Maya Rodale

wicked wallflowerHeroine: Lady Emma Avery is a respectable wallflower with the nickname the Buxom Bluestocking from finishing school. She is one of London’s Least Likely (to Misbehave) and in her own opinion least likely to be married by the next finishing school graduate ball, which marks the end of her fourth Season. Her long-time “beau” has yet to come up to scratch. Her friends, Olivia and Prudence, propose a wild idea of announcing their engagement. It was risky, but surely a gentleman could not refuse once it was so publically announced. While composing the letter, one of them said if Emma was going to risk scandal then they should go big or go home.

It’s all fun and games until someone actually sends the letter to the newspaper. Then it’s too late — and instead of a financially strapped second son of a viscount, the most eligible bachelor is declared the groom-to-be, and not just any bachelor, but a duke! Emma just knows she is ruined!

Hero: Blake, the Duke of Ashbrooke, is about to find out his past behavior can and will catch up to him. His charmed life of being the toast of a party, London’s most desirable rake and duke, and participating wild dares are not going to help him now. His backers desert him on his difference engine project and stress that it’s because of the man leading the project not the idea. They can’t trust him. Suddenly he needs a respectable wife… or at least the appearance of one until the financing is secure.

When the London Weekly posts his engagement announcement to a women he’s never met, he has the solution to his problem. He arrives at her drawing room to make it official – or failing that official long enough for them to try their hand at winning his aunt’s fortune in this year’s annual Fortune Games. Ashbrooke always likes a challenge so when the lady says no – he takes matters into his own hands.

Review: I loved this book from the main characters to the side characters to the romance. It checked all my boxes. My favorite parts were the love-letter writing on Emma’s bed and then Blake’s fulfillment of their fake courtship. He created a rundown gazebo, built a trellis, and said some of the prettiest proposals. Le sigh. He kind of goofs it all up at the end and could have come around a little quicker, but overall he’s one dreamy duke. The story ends as it begins with a potential scandal in the making. I wholly recommend to anyone looking for a fun and silly romp.

Narrator: I very much enjoyed listening to Carolyn Morris narrate. She pronounced clearly, naturally, and was easy to understand. I loved her portrayal of the hero and heroine and her accent and acting really pulled the story together cohesively. She had a very good presence and gave the story life. I’d listen to her again.

Rating: ★★★★½

The Wicked Wallflower (Wallflower Trilogy Book 1), Wicked Wallflower (Audiobook)

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Review: Too Scandalous to Wed by Alexandra Benedict

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Alexandra Benedict’s novel Too Scandalous to Wed flirts with disaster and happily ever after at every turn. A strong wind could not tumble the stack of fantasies Henrietta has built around Sebastian, Viscount Ravenswood, or could it? Sebastian does not want to be the hero of Henrietta’s dreams, he doesn’t want the little hoyden at all, but he can’t seem to get rid of her. Of course, he hasn’t been really trying – running away simply doesn’t count when the girl is determined to have him.

Henrietta has fancied herself in love with Sebastian for years and has been trying to catch his eye. She is certain that he loves her, even if he does not know it. At every turn the brute chooses to ignore her attempts of flirtation or reprimand her for the silliest things. If only she could get him to kiss her! When Sebastian runs off to hide on the continent to keep the lovely Henrietta at bay she turns a desperate idea of hers to keep him into action and visits England’s highest ranking courtesan for help.

Sebastian doesn’t know what hit him, but he is certainly feeling its affects as his eye and his thoughts are drawn more and more toward the bewitching vixen that’s replaced the girl who always adored him. The more she treats him with reverence the more he wants to hear her say his name. The changes in her are disconcerting and enchanting at the same time to Sebastian. He knows even as he tries to figure her out, that he should not get close to her as he is not a good man. The quickening in his heart and loins won’t let him rest either until Henrietta’s every mystery is solved.

Henrietta struggles to keep the lessons of seduction in place, pretending aloofness even while lightning sizzles through her at a single smoldering blue-eyed glance. Sebastian was finally finding her irresistible, becoming the man of her dreams before her eyes. Remaining coy and composed she flirts dangerously with disaster, because if Sebastian ever found out what she’d done to snare him, he’d never forgive her.

There are elements of intrigue and flights of fancy throughout the novel, from a revenge seeking enemy to Henrietta’s father calling her his ‘darling boy,’ you’ll be sure to gasp and giggle your way through the book.

Rating: 3.5 Stars