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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review - - Wallflower Gone Wild

Wallflower Gone Wild
London's Least Likely - Book 2
By Maya Rodale
Publisher: Avon
Release Date:  March 25, 2014



All she wanted was to fall in love and get married but with her unfortunate nicknames of "Prissy Missy" and "London's Least Likely to Cause a Scandal" plus her overbearing mother dogging her through the ballrooms of London, it looks like Lady Olivia Archer's fourth season won't be bringing her any closer to her goal than her first. And now her parents have tired of waiting on her and have betrothed her to a man who terrifies her: Phinneas Cole, known as the Mad Baron, a man believed by all of society to have murdered both his first wife and his brother. True, he's handsome and there was a mutual fascination when Olivia encountered him at a ball but that was before she knew who he was and what he had done.  At Lady Penelope's Finishing School for Young Ladies of Fine Families, Olivia and her friends were told that if they followed The Rules they would find husbands and happy marriages. Since that's not happening maybe it's time to change the rules.

Phinneas Cole has come to London for two reasons: to complete the Difference Engine (an early type of computer) he's building in time for the Great Exhibition and find a sweet, biddable wife who will leave him in peace to continue his scientific endeavors.  He thinks he's found her when he encounters Lady Olivia Archer at a ball.  She's quiet, refined and elegant; the opposite of his late wife and exactly what he needs.  No need to waste time.  He contacts her father and Olivia is presented with a fait accompli.  But once engaged, the sweet, quiet woman disappears, to be replaced by a wallflower gone wild, flaunting the rules at every turn.

Olivia believes the rumors about Phinn and is determined to cause enough havoc to cause him to break the betrothal.  Phinn had enough drama in his first marriage to last a lifetime but the more mischief Olivia causes, the more fascinated he becomes.  He sets out to woo her though he's woefully inept at it and unfortunately the advice he receives from his well-meaning but clueless friend only reinforces Olivia's beliefs about him. But Phinn is determined and slowly Olivia comes to realize there's more to the man than meets the eye...if only there wasn't that pesky murder rumor in his past.

I really enjoyed this book.  Rodale has created characters that are complex, engaging and just plain fun. It was delightful to watch Olivia blossom as her betrothal rebellion slowly changes her from a quiet young woman who wouldn't dream of breaking her mother's or society's rules into a confident, strong woman who has learned to make rules of her own.  Phinn is a hero I'd take home any day. I adored him and while his efforts to woo Olivia often went off course, he finally got it right for a happy, sigh-worthy ending.

Wallflower Gone Wild is the second book in Rodale's London's Least Likely series. It reads well as a stand-alone although the primary couple from the first book, The Wicked Wallflower drop enough hints about their own journey that, like me, you'll probably want to start reading their story as soon as you turn the final page of Wallflower Gone Wild.  I'm now counting down the days until the release of the third book in this series.  What a Wallflower Wants will hit the shelves in September.

~PJ

Do you enjoy wallflower heroines?  How about nerdy heroes? Do you like to see them grow into strong, confident characters or do you prefer that they remain true to their roots?  Or can they be both? With the help of her friends, Olivia dreams up some crazy schemes in her attempts to convince Phinn to break their engagement.  If you were a wallflower gone wild in Regency England, how would you break the rules?

I have a print copy of Wallflower Gone Wild for one lucky person who leaves a comment today. 
(U.S. and Canadian addresses only)

31 comments:

  1. Oh, I love Maya's novels and have so been wanting to read this book of hers!!

    Yes, I enjoy wallflower heroines and nerdy heroes. It's fun to see them gain confidence, throw off their shyness and learn to shine. As a kid that was so terribly shy, I know how hard it is to learn to come out of a shell and enjoy life. Sometimes, I think I've gained too much confidence because I tend to "break the rules" quite often and so enjoy it! My older sister is always fussing at me for being myself. :-)

    If I was a wallflower in Regency England, I would probably skate on the edge of the rules by dancing with someone to whom I have not been properly introduced; imbibing a glass of champagne instead of that sweet old punch; and flirting as much as I wanted. Life is short. Have fun!

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    1. Connie, sounds like you and Olivia would be good friends. She just might have done some of those things you mentioned! ;-)

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    2. Oh really? That's cool. Now, I must really grab a copy of this book and see if Olivia is my long lost twin!

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  2. I have this book on my TBR pile!! (My TBR pile is unfortunately large at the moment.) Want to read it--I adore wallflowers!!

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    1. I think you'll like it, Hellie. Have you read the first book in the series? I haven't yet but will be soon! :)

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  3. Love wallflowers heroines

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  4. I enjoy wallflower heroines. I was really shy when I was in my teens, so I can easily imagine being a wallflower at a ball!

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    1. People who know me today would never believe this but I was a very shy teenager also, Cheryl. I can easily see myself as a young London wallflower. ;-)

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  5. Oh, I've enjoyed her books and this one sounds like a fun read too! I would hope that I would be brave enough to break some of the rules lol.

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  6. Thanks for the review. Even though the term wallflower has been around for ages, I'm always reminded of Lisa Kleypas's series. If the hero is nerdy, I like him to have a quiet inner strength. As far as breaking the rules, that would probably be easy since there were so many of them to remember.

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  7. I've been wanting to read this book for ages.

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  8. THanks for the awesome review! I'm dying to read this book :) I like wallflowers that are true to themselves and yet can grow too! I'd make a terrible wallflower heroine. I'd stay a spinster cuz I'm too afraid to take risks! LOL!

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    1. You might surprise yourself, Erin. Just like Olivia did! :)

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  9. I do enjoy watching wallflowers and nerdy heroes grow into their own. If I was a wallflower and wanted to go wild, I would probably flirt shamelessly and drink lots of liquor that ladies didn't drink normally.

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  10. I love wallflowers and nerdy characters. You know what they say about watching out for the quiet ones. LOL And I've been really loving this series, both the historical books and the coordinated contemporary novellas.

    Marcy Shuler

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  11. I do love wallflowers they are so fun to read about.

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  12. I like characters who are different and don't fit in so easily. I want to see them find some happiness but remain true to themselves.

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  13. I adore Maya's romances! And this one sounds as fascinating as the rest of hers. I do like wallflower heroines and nerdy heroes. I, too, enjoy the antics they get involved in as they grow out of their wallfloweriness and nerdiness. :-) And it doesn't matter if they retain some of their wallfloweriness or nerdiness because it's endearing and makes them real humans to this reader. Thanks so much for your post. jdh2690@gmail.com

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  15. I would definitely be a wallflower, I think it's because of my introvert side. Big party seems to be more of a must-go event for me, and not enjoy it at all. I tend to go find a drink or snacks then go find me a corner, sit and listen to people talk or interact with each other, it's more interesting that way, for me that is. Which means I don't think you'll find me at places like RWA event any time soon. :P

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  16. I'd probably have been a wallflower because I am very shy especially when there are a lot of people around. I blush all the time too.

    I'd try to wear pants when I was outside riding my horse or working in the yard. Yes, I'd do some gardening. I'd get a tan . I'd probably try some wine in public. Maybe go to Vauxhall Gardens or a masquerade ball in disguise.

    I like nerdy heroes Vicki Lewis Thompson has a whole series. I want them to be true to themselves but I think they can evolve and grow .

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  17. Sounds like a fun read. Phinn is a type of hero I like - more interested in his studies and science than being a macho noble. Lady Olivia is someone we can all feel sympathy for and understand, if not agree with, her actions. It is always fun to watch characters go "out of character" and act in ways or take positions you wouldn't usually expect.

    I was a wallflower, and still am at times. I would probably be involved with science, doing research and exploration to places like Egypt, Africa, South America, or the American West. I would publish my research and write adventure novels under a pen name. I would probably maintain the shy, disinterested persona and then sneak away to do what really interested me. Not very wild, but it would work for me.

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  18. I love reading about wallflowers and nerdy characters. There`s something about those quiet ones...they have a lot going on behind the shy, quiet exteriors. I enjoy seeing them grow more confident in themselves and come out of their shells, perhaps go wild and break a few rules! I definitely would fit in with the wallflowers, and I would break the rules by going to a scandalous masquerade ball and dancing the night away :-) I have this book on my wishlist, so I`m really looking forward to reading Maya`s book!

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  19. When I hear wallflowers, I always think of one of my favorite series- Lisa Kleypas' Wallflowers series. I think that wallflower heroines and nerdy heroes can be both shy and confident at the same time, it's fun to read about the evolution of turning into a confident hero/heroine. As for me, if I was a wild wallflower gone wild in Regency England, I would be giving the Grand Dames the vapors and getting myself kicked out of Almacks!

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