Monday, March 28, 2022

Review & Giveaway - - How To Be A Wallflower

How To Be A Wallflower
by Eloisa James
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: March 29, 2022
Reviewed by Santa

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.

Powerful and charismatic Jacob Astor Addison is in London, acquiring businesses to add to his theatrical holdings in America—as well as buying an emerald for a young lady back in Boston. He’s furious when a she-devil masquerading as an English lady steals Quimby’s Costume Emporium from under his nose.

Jake strikes a devil’s bargain, offering to design her “wallflower wardrobe” and giving Cleo the chance to design his. Cleo can’t resist the fun of clothing the rough-hewn American in feathers and flowers. And somehow in the middle of their lively competition, Jake becomes her closest friend.

It isn’t until Cleo becomes the toast of all society that Jake realizes she’s stolen his fiercely guarded heart. But unlike the noblemen at her feet, he doesn’t belong in her refined and cultured world.

Caught between the demands of honor and desire, Jake would give up everything to be with the woman he loves—if she’ll have him!

Santa Says:

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? 

One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, March 29 will receive a print copy of How To Be A Wallflower. 

*U.S. only
*Must be 18
*Void where prohibited


  1. Don't enter me. It's on my tbr pile :)

  2. I do love the American/Brit historical romances! The cultural differences add a twist to the story.

  3. it's fun to see the bit of clash of cultures

  4. Thanks, San! I'm so excited to read this one!

  5. Yes, this sounds like my kind of book!

  6. I enjoy Historical Romances, full stop. I'm here for any nationality :-)

    1. Also, don't put me in for the giveaway as I have already preordered my copy!

  7. I'm with Katie Chapman, I enjoy any historical romance, American & Brit or otherwise. Love Eloisa James as well!

  8. Yes, I do, since it is so enjoyable and entertaining.

  9. Americans and Brits always are appealing and special. What a wonderful novel.

  10. This sounds like fun. I haven't read Eloisa James in a while.

  11. I love how Americans and Brits fall in love!

  12. I'm a huge Eloisa James fan! She is one of the masters in the historical romance field, in my opinion. I'm so happy to see that she has a new series coming out!

  13. I am a fan of Eloisa James. I like books with humor. And she provides that for me. I have not read many romances which pair an American with a Brit. It is generally a place where there are many opportunities for laughs.
    Thanks for the review. You always give me something to consider.
    Hope all are happy.

  14. I love Historical Romance with an American and a Brit.


  15. American/British romances are always fun!

  16. RC meetings all day got me here late today. Eloisa James is a favorite of mine. I enjoy historicals of just about any combination, locale, time period. The current trend in books set around WWII and those dealing with Americans heading to England looking for or finding spouses in England has been enjoyable and appreciated. Thank you for the review.

  17. Sounds delightful!! Looking forward to reading this one!!

  18. Yes! I started with Lorraine Heath and her English men visiting and settling in Texas. I loved Julianne MacLean’s American Heiress series set in England.