Wallflowers vs Rogues, Book 1
Heat Factor: The hanky panky scenes are steamy but
Character Chemistry: The romance feels a tad forced and the couple seems kind of ill-fitting so
Plot: When bibliophile Lady Beatrice Bentley inherits a small property, she grudgingly hires the carpenter who lives and works on her brother’s property to complete the work as she struggles to retain it. They don’t seem to have much in common and they certainly don’t live in the same social spheres, but they’re drawn to one another nonetheless.
Overall: It was a lovely read but I did struggle to see how the couple fit together and the “teasing” was a little clumsy
Here we have a classic opposites attract–Lady Beatrice Bentley, the bookish Bibliophile, who desperately wants to spend all of her time on her work on an etymological dictionary, and Stamford Wright, a Navy ship’s carpenter who happened to grow up on her brother’s property.
Ford (Stamford) can’t resist helping Lady B when she inherits a bookshop with a scandalous past. As Lady Beatrice struggles to retain ownership, Ford is dealing with his own family lineage. It’s a whole thing.
Here’s what you need to know–I love a good opposites attract, but in my mind, they work because while the two involved are “opposites”, they are both impressed by and enjoy these differences, and ultimately it’s that crucial element that knits them together. In this book, I found that the ribbing and teasing often showed a very subtle lack of understanding. It kind of reminded me of being a poet at a party full of engineers. It was awkward sometimes, and while that might have been deliciously resolved somewhere along the plot, I ended up getting the feeling that that resolution just didn’t really happen. It seemed like they just kind of paired up at some point without there being some deeper understanding/the blossoming of a new sense of respect for the other person.
I will say that their development separately was really fulfilling. I loved seeing Lady Beatrice kind of unfurl her unapologetic sense of self, and it was equally cheering to see Ford learn to heal from and accept his own origin story.
The book sets up a very interesting series. The supporting characters were quirky and interesting, and as I have said–I love the opposites attract trope. Plus, it was one of those classic historical romances that has all the feel-good ingredients you need for an enjoyable weekend. So, if you like really steamy bedroom scenes and a plot that thickens, you’d probably love this.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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