Erica Chilson's Reviews > What a Wallflower Wants

What a Wallflower Wants by Maya Rodale
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really liked it
bookshelves: digital, dark, kindle, r2r, romance, wickedreads, 4-star, historical-romance

I received an ARC of What a Wallflower Wants to read and review for Wicked Reads Review Team

I will preface this review by stating that What a Wallflower Wants is darker than most Historical Romance, yet still encompasses the feel-good, puts a smile on your face, level of romanticism.

Rodale gave a 5 Star effort in regards to the emotions behind those assaulted. Book after book, where the heroine's past is violent, the author will write the character 'out of character', actions and reactions belying their inner monologues. Meaning, more often than not, the wounded heroine will be too trusting, too quick to forgive, and a starry-eyed innocent who instantly falls in love.

Maya Rodale shined with the slow, patient trust that was built over time through interaction between the Hero and Heroine of this tale. Prue was skittish, afraid, slow to trust, and this was true to real human behavior of those who have survived a traumatic experience, making the book feel true-to-life.

Prudence was a real heroine: strong, just, intelligent- not putting her needs beneath or above those around her, but as equally important. Prue was courageous and inspiring- a great role model- yet equally flawed.

John was patience personified in a genre of stories where more often than not, the Hero's strength is through domination or status of position, not through the strength of intelligence, integrity, and physicality.

Both the Hero and the Heroine expressed how we should view people through their actions and reactions, instead of by their title or position. It was a refreshing change.

While the trust and love was built slowly, over time, and with great patience, this slowed the book's pacing down considerably. A reader who loves a fast-paced, thrilling read will be slightly bored at times, waiting for the action to start.

What a Wallflower Wants is more character-driven, story-driven, than by exciting conflict. Not that there weren't exciting bursts of action scenes, steamy scenes, and moments of great conflict. But it was interspersed with a slowly evolving storyline.

While above is my glowing review, I only have one gripe. I'm not a fan of 3rd person narration. I'm not lessening the story because it was in 3rd person. However, there were times where I was confused by the multiple POV changed ups on a single page. In the beginning of the story, it was cut and dried, who's mind we were getting a glimpse inside. Nearing the end, it could be a sentence, or a paragraph later, and we would be thrust inside another character while still in 3rd person. (I versus She/He versus Character names) I would have to reread passages to get a handle on who's inner voice I was reading. This was easier when it was just Prue & John (She & He). But when the other Wallflowers, their husbands, Lady Dare, and the villain were all thrust together within pages of one another, it became chaotic and difficult for me to read. Ejecting me from the story itself, forcing me to interpret or decipher who was whom. Especially during the final two pages of the final chapter before the epilogue. It was a just a mangled mess of YESes, intermingling single sentences of what others around town were doing. I was thrown by this, and I hope since this was a un-edited review copy, that this will be changed in the final published edition.

Burning question to the author: What happened to the fiance? I would have loved to know what happened to him after the highwaymen. While we hear of gossip used against Prue because of his letter to his mother, we never actually find out if he is still alive, where he is, or what happened to him. Why wasn't his mother confused at the appearance of her son's affianced, yet not concerned about her son's whereabouts? This was a storythread left hanging; one I'd like to read its conclusion.

Overall, I enjoyed What a Wallflower Wants. I'd recommend it to Historical Romance fans, especially those who need a bit of darkness, the raw reality of life, to combat the oft sickening sweetness that accompanies the genre.

I will gladly read more by Maya Rodale. Thank you for allowing me to read and review your work.
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Reading Progress

September 25, 2014 – Started Reading
September 25, 2014 – Shelved
September 25, 2014 – Shelved as: digital
September 25, 2014 – Shelved as: dark
September 25, 2014 – Shelved as: kindle
September 25, 2014 – Shelved as: r2r
September 25, 2014 – Shelved as: romance
September 25, 2014 – Shelved as: wickedreads
September 25, 2014 – Shelved as: 4-star
September 25, 2014 – Shelved as: historical-romance
September 25, 2014 – Finished Reading

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