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Friday, July 11, 2014

REVIEW: "Wallflower Gone Wild" by Maya Rodale


Wallflower Gone Wild (Bad Boys & Wallflowers, #2)
Wallflower Gone Wild by Maya Rodale
(Bad Boys and Wallflowers #2)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language and Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

Avon -- Published in February 2014
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Read in June 2014
Borrowed from Library

THEMES
Beta Hero, Arranged Marriage

SUMMARY
Being good has worked out very badly for Lady Olivia Archer. All she has to show for four seasons on the marriage mart is the nickname Prissy Missy. Her prospects are so bleak that her parents have betrothed her to a stranger with a dire reputation. If Phinneas Cole—aka The Mad Baron—wants a biddable bride, perhaps Olivia can frighten him off by breaking every ladylike rule.

Phinn has admired Olivia’s poise and refinement from afar…qualities that appear to have vanished now that they are officially engaged. This Olivia is flirtatious, provocative, and wickedly irresistible. She’s not at all the woman he bargained for, yet she’s the only one he wants.

He’s determined to woo her. She’s determined to resist. But Olivia is discovering there’s nothing so appealing as a fiancĂ© who’s mad, bad, and dangerously seductive…


FIRST LINE
"In spite of extensive preparation from Lady Penelope's Finishing School for Young Ladies of Fine Families, Lady Olivia Archer was a failure on the marriage mart."

MY THOUGHTS
I love it when a good girl tries to go bad in romance...usually with hilarious consequences.  So it should come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed the latest in Maya Rodale's Bad Boys and Wallflowers series which intertwines historical and contemporary romance.  This is the second of the historical novels written by the protagonist of the modern-day set Bad Boy Billionaire novellas, Jane Sparks.  You don't need to read the novellas to understand the Wallflower books, but it is fun to see Jane's own romantic situations depicted in historical contexts.

Wallflower Gone Wild focuses on Lady Olivia Archer who has gained the reputation of being a goody girl and, after four unsuccessful seasons, her parents decide to arrange a match with Phinneas Cole, a mysterious baron.  Phinn first set eyes on Olivia during a ball and thought of her the perfect woman for him: beautiful, soft-spoken, and unlikely to cause him angst like his first wife.  Of course, Olivia doesn't like the idea of marrying someone who the ton believes killed his first wife and she decides to do everything in her power to make Phinn call off the engagement.

While the plot is not the most solid, the characters and the writing are what really sold me on this story.  I adored Olivia's sweet personality that also never ventured into pushover territory.  Phinn was a typical misunderstood hero with a tragic past, but he was written with such passion and devotion that I fell in love with him pretty quickly.  I really felt for him with the way that society viewed him and how he dealt with such a reputation.

In terms of the romance, I thought it was nicely developed and actually very sweet.  I liked that we got to see them as a couple before the big reveal about Phinn's past so the drama was actually lessened on purpose.  The main issue I had with the romance was the fact that Olivia seemed to be afraid of Phinn for a significant amount of time.  While I understand the reasoning behind her feelings, I felt like Phinn proved himself to her much earlier than she was willing to believe that things could have been different than she was being told.

Despite this issue and the slightly ridiculous plot, I thought Wallflower Gone Wild was a lot of fun with likable characters and a decent love story.  Maya Rodale just has such an entertaining writing style and this series is only getting better.  I am eager to see Prue get her happy ending in What a Wallflower Wants later this year.

3.5 STARS

STEAM LEVEL
Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES

4 comments:

  1. Very nice review. I always love Maya Rodale's historicals. I think the hero and heroine play well off of each other and you need that in a romance.

    Grace
    Books of Love

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  2. I recently read Rodale's Seducing Mr. Knightly and I definitely liked it. I am planning on read the Wallflower series very soon. I have a copy of the first book, so I need to make time ASAP.

    I would probably be a little frustrated with Olivia, too, if Phinn proved himself to her, but she was till afraid. However, I am looking forward to reading this nonetheless.

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  3. It is fun seeing the good girl try to be a bit naughty. You've got me curious about Phinn :)

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    Replies
    1. Phinn was adorable and oblivious which I always find fun in a historical romance. Thanks for the visit!

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