Author: Maya Rodale
Series: Book #1 in the Bad Boys & Wallflowers series
Release Date:October 29th 2013
Number of pages:384 pages
Source: ebook copy provided through Edelweiss for review
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Kindle,Barnes and Noble, Book Depository US, Book Depository UK, Read an excerpt
Grade: 3 stars
Goodreads appetizer: Maya Rodale's captivating new series introduces London's Least Likely—three wallflowers who are about to become the toast of the ton…
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.
My Thoughts:The Wicked Wallflower is one of those books that make it quite a challenge for me to both rate and review. And that is because even though I had quite a few issues with it I still managed to enjoy reading it. At least for the better part of it. So yeah, how exactly do you rate a book that made you roll your eyes at points but you were unable to put down nonetheless?
The Wicked Wallflower is the story of a plain wallflower, who no one notices and a notorious rogue who find themselves posing as a couple, both of them for their own personal reasons. Sounds cliche enough to you? Well, it is, but I have a thing both for reformed rakes and fake relationships that turn into something more. So, even if the story isn't anything new, I was still pretty eager to read it. From the first pages of the story I knew I would have a problem with the author's writing style. Don't get me wrong, it's not that the writing style is bad, it's just that Maya Rodale tried to add a humorous and playful tone to the novel, that although it made the whole story funnier it somehow felt forced and foreign. Not the whole time, but there were moments where I felt that a joke was forced or a situation wasn't all that funny if you thought it twice. Plus, all those "funny" mentions about "The Ashbrooke effect" and " London's Least Likely" or " The Buxom Bluestocking" weren't all that funny after a while.
But it wasn't just that. The whole narration wasn't all that smooth either. As with the funny parts, the romantic parts felt also a bit forced. I mean more than once I felt that a romantic scene came out of nowhere. I don't know if I have to blame the arc copy (after all there were more than a few typos in there) and the final copy will flow in a smoother way or that was the narration style. All I know is that I couldn't really feel any emotion in many romantic scenes. They were well written and after a bit I got in the mood and went along with the story but at first they felt forced. But that, could as well be due to the insufficient character development too. Especially where Ashbrooke is concerned. I mean he went from notorious rogue and scoundrel to lovesick puppy in the blink of an eye. Quite literally. I couldn't notice how his feelings for Emma were growing. Apart from the fact that he was intrigued by her refusal, I couldn't really pinpoint the exact moment he understood she means so much to him. As a result, he came off as a spoiled child who wants something just because he can't have it.
Emma on the other hand was a good character but by the end of the book, I really wanted to slap some sense into her. Granted, she was bound to feel reluctant to believe that Ashbrooke changed just for her, but reading pages upon pages of her internal turmoil tired me a lot. Another moment where I didn't really like her was the scene where she's ready to elope with Benedict. I haven't read a least sexy scene where the heroine finally surrenders to the hero while a second suitor is waiting for her just a few yards away ready to elope. She completely lost any affection I felt for her after that incident I'm afraid.
Verdict: The Wicked Wallflower is one of those books I really don't know how to rate because despite all the issues I had with both characters and writing style, I still managed to enjoy myself while reading it. Maybe some things didn't exactly work for me, but still, it was a decent and enjoyable story. And I will probably continue with the series. I still want to see the rest of the wallflowers finding their HEA :)