Miss Cleopatra Lewis is about to be launched in society by her aristocratic grandfather. But since she has no intention of marrying, she visits a costume emporium specifically to order unflattering dresses guaranteed to put off any prospective suitors.
How To Be A Wallflower by Eloisa James is a five star treat. It follows Ms. James’ wildly popular Wilde family series. This first book in her latest series comes out on all cylinders and does not disappoint.
You’ll find witty banter here between a brash, devilishly handsome American bent on building his own empire and an independent businesswoman equally bent on hiding her light beneath a bushel or, in her case, the puritanical cut of her gowns. I have to say how refreshing it is to have a businesswoman and not an heiress as the heroine. I thought it added another dynamic to the character.
Jake Astor Addison is a self-made millionaire who comes to England to buy a theatrical dresser’s business and bring her and her entire business to the states to costume his growing number of theaters. I love the connection to theater, not to mention a glimpse into the early days of New York’s own ton.
Cleo Lewis, aspiring wallflower, is the daughter of a successful businessman who trades in commodes and the intrepid, wild daughter of a viscount. She takes the reins of the business while her estranged grandfather wants to give her a belated season. Cleo wants no part of it as she has no interest in marrying. Her parents’ marriage was not a happy one with her mother’s infidelities that broke both Cleo’s and her father’s hearts.
Cleo steps in and buys Quimby’s right out from under Jake. He is both incensed and intrigued and he manages to get under her skin, as well. A friendship develops between them as they live in the same hotel. They genuinely like and respect each other as passions develop in a slow burn. No trip to a happily ever after can run smoothly but they both know what they have is worth the journey.
There are a few other players in their life that add hilarity and dimension to their story. We see Jake’s dear friend Merry, now the Duchess of Trent. Yes, that Merry from The American Duchess. She adds a bit of mischief here. We also see Cleo’s friends Lady Yasmin and Lord Liliford. Not to mention a wily valet and a would be fiancee with a penchant for all things bovine.
I loved every page of How To Be A Wallflower. I am excited for this new series and can’t wait for the next book! I am a huge fan of Eloisa James’ writing. Her characters are always bright and engaging. Her books are hard to put down. I have lost a great deal of sleep because I am up late reading her books and this one was no different. If this is your first Eloisa James book - you are in for a treat. If you are a long-time fan - settle in for another great read.
Do you enjoy historical romances that pair an American with a Brit?