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The Wicked Wallflower (Bad Boys & Wallflowers #1)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,182 ratings  ·  274 reviews
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 b
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Avon
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No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLeanDuke of Midnight by Elizabeth HoytThe Sum of All Kisses by Julia QuinnThe Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer AshleySomewhere to Dream by Genevieve Graham
2013 Historical Romance (July - December)
37th out of 240 books — 575 voters
The Duke and I by Julia QuinnA Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaughtWhitney, My Love by Judith McNaughtSomething Wonderful by Judith McNaughtEleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean
Dukes... Bring 'em on!
165th out of 332 books — 612 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Katrina Passick Lumsden

This book is just. Stupid. The premise is sort of embarrassingly ridiculous, any attempt at humor falls completely flat, the pacing is awful, and the characters are just badly plotted. The hero and heroine never really get to know each other, making their pretense at some deeper connection wholly laughable, and the peripheral characters are shallow and uninteresting. They're all rather watered-down HR cliches, and even as cliches, they don't work.

It's been stated in other reviews, but I'll
This book started out so good. However when I got to the part where Emma, our heroine goes to a house party unchaperoned, I really should have stopped reading.
However, I liked the Duke & Emma, so I preserved.

When Emma and her friends refer to her finance's presence as the Ashbrooke Effect I really should've stopped reading. Did I? No.

When I got to the point when Emma arrives at the house party unchaperoned and no one comments on it, I really should have stopped reading. Did I? Nope.

The party
Laura the Highland Hussy

Review posted on Got Fiction? Books

I really liked this book. You do have to suspend belief for the Fortune Games, and the dialogue was very modern, but I still had a great time reading it.

Lady Emma and her friends are drinking one night, lamenting the fact that they are still unwed and beginning their fourth Season. Emma meanwhile, has a boy (Benedict) who’s been courting her these past three Seasons. He and she have discussed their future life in deta
Needs to be slashed with an editing pen; many redundant scenes and dialogue. Pretty much the run of the mill regency duke story, with a few cute pretty acts and colloquy. Read like the author's first book (it's not, but the first I've read by Ms. Rodale), there's something there but very infantile.

Oh, and you probably want to stuff any historical knowledge into a dark corner of your brain while you read this. I mean, I could be wrong but the terms "Lover Boy" and "God Awful" and an unmarried mi
I've given this a B- at AAR, so let's call it 3.5 stars.

This first book in a new series by Maya Rodale is fun, fluffy, and unashamedly pokes fun at a number of trends in current popular culture. Now, I love well-done romantic fluff. It’s hard to write convincingly, and Ms Rodale certainly displays a talent for writing sparkling dialogue that flows effortlessly. The story is well written, there’s plenty of wit, the chemistry between the hero and heroine is wonderful, the love scenes are steamy an
Please note that if there was ever a book to be named a 'mistorical' , this would be it. Any resemblance to 19th century England is purely coincidental. I'm generally not a stickler for accuracy, more important is story. This story, however, did not even come close to compensating for the many, many baffling inconsistencies in the world building (a newly betrothed couple traveling together for three days without a chaperone, nor anyone commenting on it, was the least of it) . Rote characters, in ...more
3.5 stars

Maya Rodale’s new series under the umbrella title of Bad Boys and Wallflowers consists of both Historical and Contemporary romances, in which I believe the contemporaries are modern re-workings of the historicals.

This first book in the series was a very enjoyable piece of well-written fluff, although if you like a little more actual history in your historical romances, this may not be the audiobook for you. Good fluff is hard to pull off, and there’s no doubt that Ms. Rodale has the tal
Lady Wesley
"I like more H in my HR."

That was my one-line quickie review immediately upon finishing this book. I planned to write a more thorough review, but reconsidered. If you like fun, fluffy, not badly written but utterly ahistorical romance, then you'll enjoy this book. I do not and did not. The author plans to publish a contemporary version of the same plot, but really it won't require much rewriting to do so.
More of a 3.5, really. It was a pretty fun read, but I had a couple of minor issues.

I'm one who can usually roll with some historical inaccuracies. Forthright, independent, sarcastic regency heroines? Sounds great! Rakish, womanizing heroes who are almost always the impossible combination of rich, titled, built, intelligent, and charming, and who never ever have the myriad sexually transmitted diseases to match their alley cat lives? Sign me up! Because here's the thing: a modern reader looking
The Wicked Wallflower is the first in an intriguing-sounding new series that mixes historical and contemporary romance. It will consists of three historical romance novels that are "written" by the protagonist of a set of contemporary novellas. The "author" bases her novels on her own love life and the short stories show where the inspiration came from.

I have been reading Maya Rodale ever since her debut novel, The Heir and the Spare, and have enjoyed all of them. So I was definitely excited to
Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads
Blog rating: B+

After a sherry-filled tipsy night, three wallflowers, Emma, Olivia & Prudence decide that the best and only way to get one of them finally engaged to be married is to simply write the engagement letter and post it in The London Weekly. Emma has been counting the years now, up to 3, to when her love, Benedict, will finally propose. The only issue, he’s being forced by his father to marry a well off girl and Emma doesn’t have much in the
I won't lie, I almost labeled this one as a DNF. I wasn't the biggest fan of the beginning. Both characters were kind of annoying and I wasn't really digging the way the scenes kept switching back and forth. But I kept reading because I usually love Maya Rodale's work and I am so glad that I did. Once I got to the halfway point I just couldn't put this book down. I loved the banter and humor between Blake and Emma and I found myself really falling for Blake. Once he became aware of his feelings ...more
Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
This was not well written. Which is sad because I love wallflower stories! :(
I love Wallflower stories. There was some funny, sweet dialoged moments in the book. Just didn't WOW me, but am intrigued enough to want to read the next book in the series.
I read an interview with a different historical romance author where she stated that the first book she ever wrote would never see the light outside of the bottom of a desk drawer. She took every idea she ever had, wrote her first book, and then realized how horrible it is. It had every trope known to HR fans along with a few new ones. So throughout the years, she's taken small parts of that book and turned it into parts of now famous works, but she cautioned writers to make sure they have a cle ...more
Utterly romantic story of a wallflower, Lady Emma 'Least Likely to Misbehave' and how London's most notorious rogue, the Duke of Ashbrooke falls for her. I enjoyed how Emma refused to fall to the Ashbrooke Effect but finds herself unable to stop thinking about him...or kissing him. Her lack of confidence in herself was a bit frustrating but Ashbrooke strives to help her see who she truly is, how he sees her (some very romantic gestures happen). We also see more to Ashbrooke than the rogue...he i ...more
3.5. We really need half stars at goodreads.

I am a bit split on this one. It started out charming and witty. I loved the heroine, loved the hero. I was intrigued by his invention of the "Difference Engine", for which he was trying to get investors.
It was nice to see him fall in love with the proclaimed Wallflower, one of "London's Least likely" as her and her friends were labelled by the ton. The games at the house party were fun and to see him "see" her and like her was nice.

But what I didn't
My intro to Maya Rodale’s work seemed promising: a fake engagement + a wink and a nod to The Hunger Games with a (much) tamer, 19th century high society version that has our characters competing for a large inheritance in the Fortune Games at the whim of an old rich woman.

But the execution was a huge disappointment. The beginning and the end were good, but Rodale did not know how to get her characters to grow—I kept waiting for their emotional arcs to materialize, but they never did. Instead wh
Dayse Dantas
2.5 really. it's not horrible, but it's kind of... weak. it bothers me that it has some great key points (the way the engagement was announced! the fortune games! the love triangle!) but none of these were really explored and did not fulfill their potential. as a result, the relationship between the main characters ended up being very... unremarkable. it's funny, because it's frequent on these romance novels that the hero has a very possessive streak and thinks things like "she is mine! i'm the ...more
I chanced upon the Wicked Wallflower whilst browsing new ebooks at the public library website. I was very pleased to have taken chance with this book, even though it's written in an easygoing, somewhat anachronistic style which may bother some readers. I appreciated the entertainment value of reading Maya Rodale's new series, I found it quite funny. I am curious enough to seek out the contemporaneously written companion book, Bad Boy Billionaire's Wicked Arrangement just to see how she writes co ...more
4.5/5 stars. Loved some of the humor in this one, like in the dining room -- and with the flute. My first by Maya Rodale, but I will definitely read more.
What a very sweet and enjoyable read.

Emma is almost done with her fourth season and still her beau has not proposed. So in order to force his hand, she and her friends decide (while a bit intoxicated from sherry) to announce in their local newspaper her engagement to the Duke of Ashbrooke, the most eligible bachelor, whom she has never met.

Blake the Duke of Ashbrooke decides to play along, as his disreputable reputation has made it impossible to get funds for his invention, and the irreproachabl
A 24-hour read can't be bad! It was also exactly what I needed after two (awesome, but long) weeks of heavy non-fiction.

The good:

- Our hero is strong, but not an ass. He lets Emma make her own decisions and never forces her to do anything. (Except for that once, but he repents.)

- Our heroine is smart, witty, and pragmatic. All of her decisions make sense, for the most part.

- The banter is ample, sharp, and above all fun. Rodale plays up the comedic value almost to the point of absurdity but rei
Having been immersed in the Historical Romance genre for a long long time I can literally think of dozens of ways characters have landed Dukes. So I have read a similar premise to a story before, but this was just...charming honestly. My friend Jenn and I joke that this falls in the "Hysterical Romance" genre since it, like so many other "Historical" romances tend to just create an alternate Regency/Victorian Era, just takes its premise and goes forth with the flag fully flying.

The draw of Rodal
My first and likely last Rodale. Some redeeming humour, the occasional clever turn of phrase and good relationship portrayal between people who have difficulty expressing emotion like the duke and his aunt. Last few chapters flowed well and everything was wrapped up very satisfyingly. Tough to get to that point though as most of it was Torturous. Here's why:
1) Endless repetition of the word wallflower. We get it. She's not the most popular gal at the party. (Repetition in general really but I'll
The story line was good, the writing was good I liked Blake (H), but I could not stand Emma (h) at all ever, no matter if she was talking or thinking I skipped half of it. I understand low self esteem, but my god how many times do we have to hear her say or think "im not pretty, or why me, or something's wrong with me" OMG!!! I really liked this book in the beginning, i set aside Emma, and read every page till about 50%. Then seriously I could not take it anymore, not only that but she "loved" B ...more
If you're in the mood for no angst, quick read, and if it's cheap (this is a must), then there are worse ways to spend a few hours.

If historical accuracy is your thing, this is not your book.
The 'movie-like' scene shifts. One minute I'm in a ballroom, the next I'm in the Duke's bedroom, then I'm back to the ballroom, then the morning pallor. I guess the idea was to create an idea or feeling of anticipation or immediacy or urgency. Mostly it just took me out of the book. This is more of a
Lady Emma and the Duke are engaged…at least on paper. As soon as Ashbrooke strolled in amongst the ladies, ready to claim the fiancé he had never met, I was hooked. Lady Emma isn’t sure how to fix the mess she has made, but she’s surprised to find herself risking everything to go along with the pretend engagement. While she might be saying “yes” in public, she keeps telling him “no” in private. And that’s when the fun begins.

Blake (aka Ashbrooke) expects a meek, docile woman. After all, she’s a
Suzanne the Mighty (Under the Covers Book blog)
I love it when a wallflower brings a rake to his knees. Which, is exactly what Lady Emma Avery did when she accidentally announced her engagement to the supposedly irresistible Blake, Duke of Ashbrooke. But it is Ashbrooke who is finding Emma's resistance to him irresistible, never has a woman ever withstood his charms and the more she rebuffs him, the more he wants her. But is it just desire that he feels for the former wallflower or something more?

As I said at the beginning, I love a wallflowe
A delicious romance with plenty of sass and spice! Actually rated 4.5. Taken from my review at

After four years at Lady Penelope’s Finishing School for Young Ladies, Lady Emma Avery was optimistic as she entered her first Season. But as a bluestocking, lacking any breathtaking beauty, charm, wit or fortune, she is labeled one of London’s Least Likely, along with her two fellow wallflowers, Ladies Olivia Archer and Prudence Payton. Now, with three Seasons behind her and startin
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 21, 2015 12:13PM  
  • How to Tame Your Duke (A Princess In Hiding, #1)
  • Love and Other Scandals (Scandalous, #1)
  • I Married the Duke (The Prince Catchers, #1)
  • When the Marquess Met His Match (An American Heiress in London, #1)
  • Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4)
  • The Trouble With Being a Duke (At the Kingsborough Ball, #1)
  • The Duchess Hunt (House of Trent, #1)
  • When You Give a Duke a Diamond (Jewels of the Ton, #1)
  • When She Was Wicked (Honeycote, #1)
  • Vixen in Velvet (The Dressmakers, #3)
  • Desperately Seeking Suzanna (Tricks of the Ton, #2)
  • All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue (The Debutante Files, #2)
  • Diary of an Accidental Wallflower (Seduction Diaries, #1)
  • When the Duke Was Wicked (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #1)
  • Compromised
  • Sins of a Wicked Princess (Sinners Trio, #3)
  • No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (The Rules of Scoundrels, #3)
  • The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #3)
Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the author of numerous smart and sassy romance novels. A champion of the romance genre and its readers, she is also the author of the non-fiction book Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation Of Romance Novels, Explained and a co-founder of Lady Jane’s Salon, a national reading series devoted to romanti ...more
More about Maya Rodale...

Other Books in the Series

Bad Boys & Wallflowers (6 books)
  • The Bad Boy Billionaire's Wicked Arrangement (Bad Boys & Wallflowers, #1.5)
  • Wallflower Gone Wild (Bad Boys & Wallflowers, #2)
  • The Bad Boy Billionaire's Girl Gone Wild (Bad Boys & Wallflowers, #2.5)
  • What a Wallflower Wants (Bad Boys & Wallflowers, #3)
  • The Bad Boy Billionaire: What a Girl Wants

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“What are you reading?"

She replied without once taking her eyes off the page. "I am reading the sort of sentimental novel men dismiss as rubbish but could actually stand to learn a thing or two from."

"That's an awfully long title," he remarked dryly.”
“You must be the only woman in the whole entire world who is immune to the Ashbrooke Effect," Olivia said. "Amazing. You are a medical marvel."

"First of all, the Ashbrooke Effect is not an actual medical condition," Emma lectured, after another sip of her drink. "Secondly, I refuse to believe it even exists at all."

"I suffer from it even thinking out him," Olivia said. "My heart is fluttering and my skin feels hot. I must be blushing all over."

"That's probably all the sherry you've been drinking," Emma remarked.”
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