Monday, December 1, 2014

REVIEW: "The Earl's Defiant Wallflower" by Erica Ridley

The Earl's Defiant Wallflower (The Dukes of War #1)
The Earl's Defiant Wallflower by Erica Ridley
(Dukes of War #2)

Goodreads -- Amazon
Author Website

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

Intrepid Reads -- Published on December 1, 2014
Ebook, 250 pages
Read in November 2014
Received from Netgalley

THEMES
Beta Hero

SUMMARY
Oliver York returns from war to find his father dead, his finances in arrears, and himself the new Earl of Carlisle. If he doesn't marry an heiress—and fast!—he and his tenants are going to be pitching tents down by the Thames. He definitely shouldn't be trading kisses with a penniless debutante... no matter how captivating she is!

Miss Grace Halton is in England just long enough to satisfy the terms of her dowry. But a marriage of convenience isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. Back in America, her ailing mother needs medicine only Grace’s dowry can afford. Which means the dashing earl she can't get out of her mind is the one man she can't let into her heart.


FIRST LINE
"It could be worse, Lord Oliver York reminded himself as he trained his narrowed eyes on this newest battlefield."

MY THOUGHTS
The Earl's Defiant Wallflower tells the story of an English soldier who suddenly inherits his father's title.  Oliver York, now the Earl of Carlisle, has also just discovered that his father has left him in dire financial straits so he is on the hunt for an heiress while dealing with the aftermath of years at war.  Unfortunately, his plans take an abrupt turn when he meets Grace Halton, a shy American who is desperate to marry quickly and then return home to her ailing mother.

I really liked both Oliver and Grace.  They each had legitimate reasons to go about their plans for marriage and were completely flabbergasted when they meet and fall for one another.  Oliver feels responsible for the servants and the estate which is always nice to see.  He was just a likable guy who is genuinely kind and has a protective streak with everyone he cares about.  Grace is also just as sweet of a character.  She wants to help her mother so is willing to marry someone she doesn't love in order to gain control of dowry and provide medicine for her ailments. 

My main issue with this book was the rushed plot.  I liked the initial meeting between Oliver and Grace, but things moved very quickly from there.  The romance was not an example of insta-love, but it just seemed like it happened without much showing.  They obviously liked one another yet kept talking about how wrong they were for the reasons I listed above.  And then, next thing I knew, their romance was moving ahead and I felt a little cheated.  Also, the ending had a Deux Ex Machina feel with all the issues being resolved quickly and without much development.

While the storytelling aspect was weak, I did find The Earl's Defiant Wallflower to be an easy read especially at only 250 pages.  The characters are entertaining and pretty well-developed.  I also am intrigued by Oliver's friends especially Xavier who seems to be in a catatonic state most of the time.  So I will probably continue the series though I'm hoping for more solid plot workings next time. 

I received a free e-galley of this book from Intrepid Reads via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
3 STARS

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


FAVORITE QUOTE
"Because I love you," she blurted.  "That painting is the thing you cherish most and I want you to have it!"
"I have the thing I cherish most."  He swept her off her feet and cradled her to his chest.  "You.  Right here in my arms."

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. The Viscount's Christmas Temptation
2. The Earl's Defiant Wallflower
3. The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress (Coming 2015)
4. The Major's Faux Fiancee (Coming 2015)
5. The Brigadier's Runaway Bride (Coming 2015)

1 comment:

  1. I've read books that feel like this one did. That there were good things but that there just wasn't enough showing and too much telling. I hope the next one is better.

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