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The Earl Not Taken

(The Wallflowers of West Lane #1)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  194 ratings  ·  151 reviews
Left standing on the side while their contemporaries marry into society, four young ladies forge a bond to guard each other from a similar fate...

Finishing school failed to make a proper lady of Penelope Arrington. But as a Wallflower of West Lane, Poppy has a far more vital roleshe and her three best friends have made a pact to protect each other from the clutches of
ebook, 1, 220 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Kensington Publishing
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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Start your review of The Earl Not Taken (The Wallflowers of West Lane, #1)
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

Actual rating: 1.5 ⭐

I am an absolute sucker for historical romance - they are my go to 'feel good' books - so I was really excited to get this ARC from Netgalley. However, all my hopes and expectations fell flat almost instantly. Sadly, there was hardly anything that I liked...


Poppy's curses: The female protagonist, Poppy, had a habit of issuing some very colourful curses, such as 'Hade's fire'. I enjoyed that.


Plot: Can you
Mar 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sent abroad to a finishing school, four self-proclaimed misfits bond over a shared desire not to follow society's strict conventions. But when one of the four, Aurora, is married off to, and, shortly thereafter, widowed by a brutal man, the young ladies take things a step further; they vow to never be married to someone they barely know simply because their parents set it up.

This vow is put into effect when a different member of their group, Faith, has a engagement set up for her behind her
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it
A short and sweet period romance, which I found to be a fun read. However, I did have some hangups. Firstly, I feel like these character have been done before.... they had preconceived judgments of one another that one might refer to as prejudices and an overall sense of pride. Getting over all this, they fall in love. Unfortunately, it is hard to live up to Austen. Secondly, some of the story seemed trivial and silly. For example, why are these adult women in a club that they must constantly ...more
Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!

The Earl Not Taken was a charming debut but not a standout. This historical romance novel tells the tale of Pobby, who swore off marriage due to the extracurricular activities of her father and a duke, Rhys, who is trying to redeem himself in the light of his sister's best friend after an awkward encounter years prior. Their journey begins with secret meetings and kisses, heated moments, and a plan to reveal the true intentions of a well off man who is betrothed to a Wallflower. It was an
*The Angry Reader*
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historicals, arcs, 2020
Goodness gracious.

There was nothing objectionable about this book. And nothing particularly interesting. Imagine that an 8th grader has been assigned historical romance as her class project. Voila. Painfully historically inaccurate. Overly simple. Silly. Bumbling writing. And a quick easy read soon to be lost in the shuffle.

I wont read this author again.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to offer my honest opinion.

For more Reviews , Recommendations and everything bookish related , Visit my Blog :

We each have our own truths . One might believe he can run as fast as a lion .Perhaps he can , But if he believes the lion is faster then that is his truth

From time to time , I love to read a historical romance novel , getting all the Jane Austin Books feelings and reading about a different period with different cultures , rules , people and stories .

Ive requested The
Hesitations and investigations in the husband-mart!

Four wallflowers, who'd been "hell-bent on embarrassing [their] families", school friends who'd met when they'd been sent to school in Lucerne to have their behaviour moderated, band together to discover the hidden characters of prospective partners their families might fling them at. One of their number, Lady Faith Landon, is to be married to an unknown duke. Their union having been arranged via letters between her mother and the Duke. Well!!
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ther were so many things swirling around in my mind after reading this book that I had to take a day to collect all my thoughts before I could write a review for The Earl Not Taken. First off let me say that I enjoyed this book immensely. Secondly, I think this needs to be on everyone's must-read list.

The beauty of this book, I feel, is that is dives into so many social and mental issues all while wrapping it up beautifully in a historical romance. As we live in an ever-changing world where
Barbara Rogers
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Series: The Wallflowers of West Lane #1
Publication Date: 3/17/20
Number of Pages: 304

A.S. Fenichel introduces us to the four ladies who make up the Wallflowers of West Lane in this first book of her new series. These ladies became fast friends when they were each shipped off to Miss Agatha Wormbattles School for Young Ladies in Lucerne, Switzerland. Their parents viewed this as punishment, but the girls were all deliriously happy to be away from their misbegotten parents and the mistreatment they
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Earl Not Taken
The Wallflowers of West Lane Series #1
A.S. Fenichel
Release date 03/17/2020
Publisher Kensington Lyrica

Blurb :

Left standing on the side while their contemporaries marry into society, four young ladies forge a bond to guard each other from a similar fate . . .
Finishing school failed to make a proper lady of Penelope Arrington. But as a Wallflower of West Lane, Poppy has a far more vital roleshe and her three best friends have made a pact to
2.5 stars rounded up

Three years at a Swiss finishing school didn't exactly turn Lady Penelope Arrington into a proper debutante, but she did make three strong friendships. The four ladies call themselves the Wallflowers of West Lane and are determined to protect each other from dangerous men after the marriage of one of their own turned out to be a violent disaster. Now another of their number is set to marry a duke she's never met and Poppy is determined to learn his character. Unfortunately,
Jessie Sedai of the Black Ajah🥀🐍
A charming series debut! A glint of modern feminism breathes life into a Victorian era romance archetype like none other. This story is beautifully reminiscent of a simpler time while still shining a light on issues that ring true today - what makes love a joint venture rather than a dictatorship? Is marriage inherently biased as an oppressive construct of the patriarchy? Does the madness of love transcend the relevance of these institutions?

Poppy and her group of friends are known as a
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Review excerpted from my blog post over at FanSciHist (

My Rating: 2 stars

Library recommendation: Not recommended for public library historical romance collections.

Warning: Hereafter, you chance spoilers. I will try never to reveal major plot points, but to review any book, you must reveal some parts of the story.


Number of titles I have read by this author: 2

Love story speed: Slowish burn

Relationship dynamics: The Rakish Earl (H) / The
This series will featured four female protagonists: Poppy, Aurora,Mercy and Faith.
The girls named themselves -The Wallflowers- and they said that a lot.


After six in a school for ladies the protagonist-Poppy- return to London society to get her season.

There are besties and the BFFs always protect each one of them.
Faith is suposed to the Duke of Breckenridge-Nicholas Ellsworth. Suposedly they have corresponding without Faith knownledge.The girls are determined to discover what have brought Nick
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Earl Not Taken (The Wallflowers of West Lane) by A.S. Fenichel 4 Stars.
A Fun and Delightful Read!
Four young women met at finishing school where they were sent as punishment for not acting the proper ladies they were born to be.
The four bonded having shared similar upbringing and negative experiences of arranged marriage. They moved in together and vowed to protect one another from being forced into an advantageous marriage arranged by their fathers and the men who were seeking to better
Hannah Grace || BookNerdNative
I hate giving negative book reviews, but this story was just not at all what I was hoping for in a sweet historical romance. I love wallflower tropes, and I thought this one would really work for me but it didn't. The plot was essentially non-existent, The writing also felt very cliched, and the dialogue pretty cringe worthy. I don't know what else to say except to say that I was left wanting a bit more.
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm always up for a good Regency romance and love to see how two people find love, despite the intricate rules of society. I like the premise of "The Earl Not Taken" with a group of four woman who bonded in a Swiss boarding school for difficult girls, and are now back in London society. One of the group, Aurora, has been widowed and had a horrible marriage and another, Faith, is engaged to Nicholas whom she knows nothing about and is understandably worried about his personality. Penelope (Poppy) ...more
c, (½ of readsrainbow)
On my blog.

Rep: Egyptian side characters

Galley provided by publisher

I picked this book up on a total whim, intrigued by the blurb (I mean, best friends brother and hate to love?). And it was definitely an enjoyable read with a main relationship I absolutely loved.

The Earl Not Taken follows Poppy, a woman sworn off marriage after seeing how her best friend has been abused and how her mother and father are to each other, and Rhys, the brother of said best friend. When another of Poppys friends
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, arc, historical
The Earl Not Taken by A.S. Fenichel was a lovely historical romance. The Wallflowers of West Lane, Penelope, Aurora, Faith and Mimi, are an amazing group of women who have been friends since they were all sent to finishing school. One of their own was married off by her father to a cruel and abusive man who was eventually killed. The women have vowed to not be forced into a marriage with an unknown man again. Penelope/Poppy is very strong willed and very forthright in her speech and attitude. So ...more
Lori D
When I see a new book by this author, I can never wait to read it. I know it will be simply wonderful and this one proved delightful!
Four girls who are friends (they call themselves the Wallflowers of West Lane) are sent to Switzerland to become proper young ladies. Each has been a trial to their parents and they look at it as an adventure! Once they are back this story picks up a few years later.
One of the four, Aurora had married an Earl who had just passed away and all were together.
Norah Gibbons
Mar 23, 2020 rated it liked it
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Earl Not Taken by A.S. Fenichel is the first book in The Wallflowers of West Lane series. The series is about four young women who met as girls at a finishing school in Switzerland and formed a lifelong bond. This book involves Penelope Arrington (Poppy) and Rhys Draper, Earl of Marsden, the older brother of one of the wallflowers. Rhys and Poppy have been at odds since they were children, always sniping ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked the character of Rhys very much, he was so considerate, kind and patient, handsome, a real gem of a man. Poppy was a different matter, I know she had a dreadful upbringing with her parents, but I felt like shaking her at times and saying , just look at the man Rhys is, rather than her preconceived perceptions. I also found her constant expressions annoying. I did enjoy the friendship that the four women had, and how they had each others best interests at heart. This was an engaging read ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was delightful and has reaffirmed my love for historical fiction. Dukes, duchesses, societal expections, oh my, this book introduces us to a group of women that anyone would want to be a part of. Poppy, Aurora, Mercy, and Faith, are all miscreants but in the most perfect way. Sent to boarding school together to become "proper ladies" we learn quickly that didn't go as planned and that they're even more of a societal nightmare than before. Their love for each other knows no bounds, and ...more
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄ ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book and many more today. LOL

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

Left standing on the side
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book left me pleasantly surprised! Historical romance is not my go-to but this one sounded different and Im so glad I gave it a chance! I loved every character and cant wait to read the sequels about the other Wallflower girls. Somehow Fenichel also managed to include a host of important issues without getting too preachy. I loved it. What a fun, wonderful read from start to finish. Thank you NetGalley, author, and publisher for the ARC. #TheEarlNotTaken #NetGalley ...more
Margaret Watkins
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Feisty Poppy Arrington's less than agreeable parents have turned her away from all thoughts of marriage and ever being owned by a man. Her nemesis, Rhys Draper and Earl of Marsden, has been a thorn in her side for years. However, when her friend needs intervention in an arranged marriage, Rhys realises that for Poppy's own good, he needs to join her in her endeavours. As Rhys and Poppy become embroiled in her friend's matters they learn a new respect for one another and soon find themselves ...more
Erin Mason
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun read! The first in a series we follow four friends that met at a girls boarding school as children. They made a pact to protect each other from being married to men that would not suit them or hurt them. The first story follows Penny Penelope as she tries to discover more information about the man one of her friends has been engaged to by her parents without her knowledge or knowing anything about the man.
The characters are strong and flawed in their own way. There is a sense of coming to
Lynn Spencer
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Id been missing historical romance, so I decided to try a new-to-me author. Im not familiar with A. S. Fenichels work, but I can see that she has a growing backlist. The Earl Not Taken is first in a new series and frankly, I have to say its just not worth my time or yours.

Poppy is one of the Wallflowers of West Lane. And yes, they do refer to themselves by that title you can almost hear the capitalization and everything. Maybe its meant to be the feminine version of one of those secret
Jenn Z at That's What She's Reading

As someone who doesn't normally read Regency novels, I was quite surprised at how the synopsis and this adorable cover really caught my attention, and I had to give it a try!

Penelope, Poppy, Arrington has never been considered a proper lady, and neither have her closest friends. While attending finishing school, they began calling themselves the Wallflowers of West Lane to fully embrace how comfortable they are not quite fitting in with high society. Their bond with one another is admirable and
Sophie (slovenianbookworm)
I love any book that has to do with wallflowers but while Id love to read about other stories in the series, I have to say I didnt particularly like this one.

First, long paragraphs. This was the very first thing I noticed and if it werent for the story, I would never read it till the end. I hate long paragraphs.

Second: language. Ive read my share of historical romances and while English is not my first language and I dont know much about the language in that era, I do know that the language used
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A.S. Fenichel (Andie) gave up a successful IT career in New York City to pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She's never looked back.

Andrea adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a

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