Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean
Wicked and the Wallflower
Fast-paced, charming, and dynamic, Wicked and the Wallflower was an absolute delight to read! The prologue opens like a fairytale, though a much darker and sordid telling of one. But the words themselves, the tangled story they described, instantly drew me in, and thankfully, that first impression was quickly backed up with brilliant, in-depth characterization and rich, vibrant setting details.
Overall impression? Sarah MacLean hit it out of the park with this book.
I do I have a confession to make, however.
You see, this is actually my first Sarah MacLean read. I know, I know. I can hear the collective gasps across cyberspace. In my defense though, I haven’t read a lot of historical romances in recent years, maybe a dozen or so spread out over time, because I’ve naturally gravitated toward contemporary, paranormal, or romantic suspense. And her books have been on my radar to read, I just hadn’t done it before choosing to review this one. But I am fully woke to Sarah MacLean now. And you can rest assured, I will be devouring her backlist asap because…holy cow, you guys, I loved this book so much!
No heirs was the rule. The only rule.
Devil is the sort of you hero you can’t help but root for because he’s just so lost and wounded inside that he makes all the wrong choices, and yet somehow, he still has that spark of goodness in him, too. It’s the goodness that stirs to life when he first meets the strong yet vulnerable, Felicity Faircloth. Okay, there’s sort of a moment of wickedness in there, too, but with Felicity, it’s a little more on the good side of the spectrum.
At least at first.
In a story like this, character connection and reader connection is so important because so much of the story is developing right before your eyes. MacLean truly takes you on a journey with this book, carrying you from one scene to the next, making you wonder what could possibly happen next and when it does happen, what sort of effect will the event have on the characters you’ve grown to care about through the story.
Personally, I fell in love with both Devil and Felicity right away. That doesn’t always happen, but when it does, I always know I’m in for a serious treat with the story I’m reading because the author obviously created characters I relate to in some way or another.
Broken, wounded heroes and vulnerable, guileless heroines are sort of my jam. I love when characters have to struggle for their happily ever after, both with themselves and with other people. To me, that’s the best kind of story and that’s what Wicked and the Wallflower does so well.
“You are too late for the duke,” she repeated, knowing, even as she spoke, that she must stop the words from coming. Except they were a runaway horse—loosed and free and wild. “Because I’ve already landed him.”
Both Devil and Felicity were byproducts of their upbringing and environmental experiences, and neither one of them knew their own worth. They struggled because they failed to understand their own needs, and as a reader, that kind of struggle appeals to me in a very big way.
Witty banter, breathtaking scenes, excellent characterization, and phenomenal storytelling make Wicked and the Wallflower a must read historical romance. It’s delightful, fun, and thoroughly, wickedly engaging.
I can’t recommend it highly enough!
ABOUT THE BOOK
WICKED AND THE WALLFLOWER
Author: Sarah MacLean
Series: The Bareknuckle Bastards #1
Imprint: Avon Romance | Avon Books
Genre: Fiction | Romance | Historical
Format: Mass Market/EBook
Pub Date: Jun. 19, 2018
Purchase: Avon Romance | Amazon | B & N
Other Retailers: iBooks | Kobo
When Wicked Comes Calling…
When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She’s seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won’t accept a marriage without it.
The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain…
Bastard son of a duke and king of London’s dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.
For the Promise of Passion…
But there’s nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she’d rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil’s carefully laid plans are in chaos, and he must choose between everything he’s ever wanted…and the only thing he’s ever desired.
From WICKED AND THE WALLFLOWER:
The three were woven together long before they were aware, strands of spun, silken steel that could not be separated—not even when their fate insisted upon it.
Brothers, born on the same day, in the same hour, at the same minute to different women. The high-priced courtesan. The seamstress. The soldier’s widow. Born on the same day, in the same hour, at the same minute to the same man.
The duke, their father, whose arrogance and cruelty fate would punish without hesitation, stealing from him the only thing he wanted that his money and power could not buy—an heir.
It is the Ides of March the seers warn of, with its promise of betrayal and vengeance, of shifting fortune and inalienable providence. But for this sire—who was never more than that, never close to father—it was the Ides of June that would be his ruin.
Because on that same day, in that same hour, at that same minute, there was a fourth child, born to a fourth woman. To a duchess. And it was this birth—the birth all the world thought legitimate—that the duke attended, even as he knew the son who was to be his heir in name and fortune and future was not his own and still, somehow, was his only hope.
Except she was a daughter.
And with her first breath, she thieved future from them all, as powerful in her infancy as she would become in her womanhood. But hers is a story for another time.
This story begins with the boys.
PRIZE: To celebrate the release of WICKED AND THE WALLFLOWER by Sarah MacLean, we’re giving away two $10 Amazon gift cards!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open internationally. Two winners will each receive a $10 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 6/29/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Pure Textuality PR is responsible for the prize and will send the prizes out to the winners directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.
Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com’s Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her “gracefully furious.” Sarah lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.