The Wicked Wallflower by Maya Rodale (Bad Boys & Wallflowers #1)

The Wicked Wallflower by Maya RodaleAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Avon

My Copy: Edelweiss

Reviewer: Pam

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.

I found The Wicked Wallflower to be a delightful historical romance with much humor and excitement to satisfy all. This is the first in a series about three friends from a finishing school that find themselves still unmarried after four seasons, they are “The Least Likely” ladies.

Lady Emma Avery and her two friends Lady Olivia Archer and Lady Prudence Payton are starting their fourth season still holding up the walls in the corners of ballrooms. The three are desperate to be engaged before their school reunion. Emma does have a beau, Benedict, and while they have thought about a future together he has yet to propose. While drinking sherry one night Emma’s friends decide to see if they can make Benedict move faster and pen an announcement for the paper, but in their drunken state they think, why just ask for Benedict’s hand, if they are going to dream, dream big and they announce the engagement of Emma and The Duke of Ashbrooke, but in the chaos of a kitchen fire, they lose track of the letter, that is until the announcement is published in the paper.

Blake, the Duke of Ashbrooke is a notorious rake and a big disappointment to his family, even his favorite aunt has not invited him to her annual Fortune Game. His reputation is so bad that businessmen who were ready to invest in his Difference Engine, a mathematical machine, are pulling back. He is desperate to show everyone he can be responsible so jumps at the engagement announcement and the two decide to work together; they will visit his aunt Agatha, win The Fortune Game and then split up.

This is such a fun book; I love the interaction between Blake and Emma. The fact that she is not interested in him just about floors him and the banter between them is hysterical. I also love his Aunt Agatha, she is a hoot and really steals the show when they are playing The Fortune Game. You can tell how much Blake and Agatha love each other but the way they portray it is amusing, they both tease each other with severity but you can tell the affection is there. Agatha was there for him when he most needed someone as a child, and that is very special.

As the story unfolds the change in Blake is phenomenal, he became this amazing romantic and when he reproduces the “day he proposed” for her when it never really happened, I got a bit choked up. I think the two together work well and the chemistry although slow to start takes off with a bang as they try to win the game. I was unhappy that it takes a while for Emma to make a decision and I hated that she still thought about Benedict after all Blake did for her. And to me, there was something slimy about Benedict that, although it was hinted at was never revealed – I think he got what he deserved.

The secondary characters were all fun and entertaining (except Benedict) and I know that the next wallflower books will be about her good friends, I am excited to see who they end up with and what adventures they will have. I think the ending was cute and I enjoyed how the author dealt with the conflict on the way to the happily ever after.

The author is writing the Wallflower series and Bad Boy series together, they parallel each other, one set in contemporary times and one in Regency times. According to Ms. Rodale the historical books can be read as stand-alone stories but the Bad Boy series should be read in order. The Bad Boy Billionaire’s Wicked Arrangement is the contemporary parallel to The Wicked Wallflower and I am intrigued to read how the author brings the story to modern times but believe it will fit well. I can’t wait to read them.

I give The Wicked Wallflower by Maya Rodale 4 stars!

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