The Wicked Wallflower by Maya Bodale
Source: Received for review
Publication date: October 29, 2013
Summary from Goodreads.com: 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.
This was my first book from Maya Rodale and while it was an enjoyable read there were just a few things that kept it from being an outstanding read.
What I liked:
I really liked Emma’s character. She made the most of an awkward and potentially embarrassing situation when she finds herself engaged to be married to Blake. I loved the spunk she showed during the Fortune Games and that despite being dazzled by Blake’s good looks she doesn’t let it overcome her good sense for the most part. She’s still able to poke fun at him and his inflated ego.
Blake’s aunt Agatha was one of my favorite characters in the story. She was so rich and old that she could do and say whatever she wished which just cracked me up. I loved her quips as she dealt with relatives who were obviously there solely for her fortune. She also had her own retinue of handsome servants to obey her every command and her sarcastic relationship with Blake was oddly touching.
The story itself was fun to read and as can be expected from the mention of the Fortune Games it does resemble a playful version of the Hunger Games. Aunt Agatha invites twelve people to her home and has them compete each year to be the heir to her fortune. She has a scoring system that is only understood by herself and anyone can be dismissed at any time. Like I mention above it was fun to watch people scramble and see who were obviously kissing butt and who were being honest in their opinions.
What I didn’t like:
I’m usually oblivious about historical inaccuracies but even for me things just didn’t “feel” right. Everything had a modern day teenage girl feel to it just with fancy party dresses and corsets thrown in. The love triangle also bugged me. Emma obviously fell in love with Blake and even acknowledged it to herself but still dithered back and forth between he and Benedict despite Benedict having made no attempt to wait for her. She was gone for just a few days and he immediately engages himself to another woman. How could Emma seriously consider marrying a man who does this even if he was one of the only ones to show any interest in her in the past? Not to mention he went three years without proposing which should have been the first sign that something wasn’t right.
All in all a fun read but not one of my favorite historical romances.