I love Kleypas and I had read the other books in this Wallflower Series before reading the very first book in it, and I am glad that I read the othersI love Kleypas and I had read the other books in this Wallflower Series before reading the very first book in it, and I am glad that I read the others first. This book utterly bored me. So much so that I can't even remember the heroine's first name! If you're not a stickler and can jump into a series halfway through then by all means, do it and skip this one altogether! ...more
This is the second in a series about the Wallflowers. The Wallflowers is a group of four women who rarely get asked to dance - it can't be a bodice riThis is the second in a series about the Wallflowers. The Wallflowers is a group of four women who rarely get asked to dance - it can't be a bodice ripper if it's not set in during the Regency! They introduce themselves at a ball since they are the four always seen being, you guessed it, wallflowers during the balls. They join forces to find themselves husbands, basically.
In this book, Lillian Bowman, an "uncouth American" (she actually speaks her mind instead of getting all British which seems to be synonymous with cold and distant), catches the eye of the Earl of Westcliff, who has made an appearance in several others of Kleypas's books. Apparently she had a big old yen for this character and decided to give him a woman. Finally.
Westcliff is all about the manners and upholding the family name since his blood doesn't get any bluer. Manners, manners, manners - that's what Westcliff is all about. And Lillian doesn't have any. She plays baseball in her knickers and convinces the other wallflowers to join her. In Westcliff's eyes that's akin to public defecating.
Lillian's father is giving her crap - You need to land a man with a title, young lady. - and so Lillian asks Westcliff if his mother will give her lessons in manners. With Lillian's smart mouth, it doesn't go so well. Especially since Westcliff's mother has a major pole up her bum.
Westcliff is drawn to Lillian despite how sassy she is (and I thought Kleypas could have toned her down a little bit more) and they end up in bed and then in love.
The weird part is when Lillian in fighting her feelings for Westcliff attempts to catch the eye of his bff Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent. Sebastian needs money and fast and since Lillian is an heiress to a soap and perfume company (albeit an American one), he sees pound signs in Lillian's lovely eyes. With the help of Westcliff's Mommie Dearest, Sebastian kidnaps Lillian and takes her to Gretna Green to get married.
And that's where it ends.
No. Not at all. This is a ROMANCE! If there is no HEA (Romance reader lingo for Happily Every After), then it's not a real romance.
I think you can guess who saves her from getting hitched to the wicked and dastardly Sebastian. And I think you can guess who actually does end up getting married at Gretna Green instead.
I love this book so much I want to marry it and have its babies. I want an "I heart Sebastian" t-shirt.
All right, so, this book picks up where "It HaI love this book so much I want to marry it and have its babies. I want an "I heart Sebastian" t-shirt.
All right, so, this book picks up where "It Happened One Autumn" leaves off. Sebastian is home and licking his wounds from getting a beat-down by his bff Westcliff, and who should show up on his doorstep but Evie Jenner, a fellow wallflower. It's not hard to tell why she is a wallflower because Evie is painfully shy and when she's nervous, she stutters.
She is in dire straits. Her mother is dead and she's estranged from her father who owns a notorious gaming club. She's got an inheritance, but it won't be available to her until her father dies. Meanwhile, she's being "looked after" by some crappy relatives of her mother - think Jane Eyre's crappy relatives.
Evie's father is dying and she wants to be with him and the only way that can happen is if she can get away from her crappy relatives. The only way to do that is to get married. So, why not marry the Lothario that just kidnapped her best friend to marry her for her money? Sure, why not. He's a bad boy and she's the good girl. So of COURSE they get thrown together!
Since Sebastian is hard up for money, he accepts Evie's offer and they take off to Gretna Green and get hitched. She makes one condition: he can bang her once to make the marriage legal and then let her be with her Dad until he dies. Sebastian will eventually get his money and then he can do whatever the hell he wants. Their marriage will be in name only.
He agrees. Of course.
But then Sebastian does her rotten and he ends up being shaken by the whole experience. No kidding, right? But he had his one shot, so to speak, and now it's over as far as Evie is concerned.
However, Sebastian accompanies Evie to her father's gaming club and soon begins to investigate why they're losing money and why it's being run into the ground. Sebastian has found a purpose in life that does not include debauchery: running a gaming club successfully and, also, finding a way back under Evie's skirts.
Evie's father dies, Sebastian immerses himself in the club and tries to seduce Evie. Evie tells him he has to not sleep with anyone, including her for six months and PROVE that he can keep it in his trousers. But, she will allow kisses.
All is going well, with some really hot kisses - and as Sebastian told Evie after one particular make-out session, she did not specify WHERE he could kiss her *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*.
But then someone is after Evie, as in they want to kill her. This, of course, sets the stage for Sebastian to protect Evie. And he does. By taking a bullet for her.
She nurses him back to help with the help of his estranged bff and Sebastian realizes his all consuming desire to be with Evie. So, she seduces him this time and all is going well aside from finding the dude that wants to kill Evie. His name is Joss Bullard and his big beef is that he believes Evie's father was also his father, but was never acknowledged as such. He basically think it's just so unfair that Evie gets all that money and he gets nothing! Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!
When Sebastian is well enough, he spends his time running the club, shagging Evie and trying to find where Joss is hiding. One night, Joss sneaks in the club and nearly disembowels Evie, but dun da da dun! Who should save her? You guessed it: Westcliff.
No. Of course not. It's Sebastian.
Then at the end of the book Sebastian tries to send Evie away because he is so shaken by her near death and his obvious love for her, but Evie will have none of it and tells him how much she loves him and how she needs him to love her too.
And he admits that he does in a scene that I wanted to last for 20 more pages.
I loved this book, too! Not as much as I loved "Devil in Winter", but this was a close second. I loved the hero, Matthew Swift, and would consider havI loved this book, too! Not as much as I loved "Devil in Winter", but this was a close second. I loved the hero, Matthew Swift, and would consider having his babies.
Daisy, Lillian's sister, is the only one left to get married. All her Wallflower friends are married off and blissfully happy and Daisy is the only one without a man. However, as much as she would like to find love, she's still got her books to retreat into and so she's content.
Her father, on the other hand, is not. Lillian is married, so Mr. Bowman is determined to get Daisy married off and to the man he's had in mind for her the whole time: Matthew Swift. His protege from America and the guy who has been running Mr. Bowman's soap and scents business back in America for him.
Westcliff and Lillian have a house party which is really just an excuse to introduce Daisy to a few more eligible gentleman in London since Daisy HATES Matthew Swift. (It's raining men, Halleluiah, It's raining men!) She thinks he's an upstart, a brown-noser and a weasel and she wants nothing to do with him.
Oh, but what does she spy with her little eye when making a wish at the wishing well to find love? Why, Mr. Matthew Swift coming upon her of course! They stop. They stare. They are transfixed! Matthew is happy to see the woman he has loved for so long, but it's a torturous kind of happy because he knows she does not love him back and he knows that their love can never be due to some terrible secret from his past...DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!
Throughout the house party Matthew and Daisy are thrown together here and there which results in their first hot hot hot! kiss and Daisy's feelings for Matthew slowly start to change. Matthew is torn between keeping his distance because - dun dun dunnnn! - of his terrible secret, but he is drawn to Daisy like a moth to a flame.
When Matthew makes it clear to Daisy that they can never be, Daisy sets out to make him jealous with another man. And it works - duh! Matthew and Daisy end up shagging in an amusing scene in which Daisy pretty much seduces Matthew into having sex with her. She tells him: You know you have to make love to me or I'll never stop complaining about it.
After that Matthew concedes that he will marry Daisy - he just compromised her after all, plus he can't deny that its what he wants. He just hopes no one finds out about this terrible secret of his.
Oh, Matthew, Matthew, Matthew...this is a romance novel so of COURSE your secret is going to come out!
Some morons from America come to take him back with the claim that he was some other dude before he was Matthew Swift and that he murdered someone! Matthew Swift: Former Brown-noser and Weasel, but now a Poser and a Murderer! Except not so much. Turns out he was framed and fled before he could hang for a crime he did not commit.
This is where I don't care about the story. Yeah, yeah, yeah, he was framed, yeah, yeah, yeah, he has to go back to America, just get back to the Daisy & Matthew goodness, please!
Matthew faces the music in America and is let go after almost a year of court trials etc., and then Daisy and Matthew are reunited and able to marry.
The end was a little slapped together and I thought we could really do without this terrible secret of Matthew's that wasn't really so terrible after all. THIS was why he resisted Daisy for so long? *Rolling my eyes* I know that romance authors feel like they need to add these seemingly insurmountable odds to add tension, and I know they need to be creative about it to keep things fresh and exciting, but honestly? Did not care what had happened to Matthew before he came into Daisy's life. It just seemed superfluous to me.
However, I loved Matthew and Daisy's story minus all that other junk and I was sad to let the Wallflower series go...but wait! There is another book! A Christmas-time book featuring Lillian and Daisy's brother...