In the second in Maya Rodale’s delightful Wallflower series, London’s Least Likely to Cause a Scandal is taking Society by storm…
Being good has worked out very badly for Lady Olivia Archer. All she has to show for four seasons on the marriage mart is the nickname Prissy Missy. Her prospects are so bleak that her parents have betrothed her to a stranger with a dire reputation. If Phinneas Cole—aka The Mad Baron—wants a biddable bride, perhaps Olivia can frighten him off by breaking every ladylike rule.
Phinn has admired Olivia’s poise and refinement from afar…qualities that appear to have vanished now that they are officially engaged. This Olivia is flirtatious, provocative, and wickedly irresistible. She’s not at all the woman he bargained for, yet she’s the only one he wants.
He’s determined to woo her. She’s determined to resist. But Olivia is discovering there’s nothing so appealing as a fiancé who’s mad, bad, and dangerously seductive…
For the first half or so of the book (or whatever point it is up until they finally get married), the hero and heroine actually made me a little crazy–it was going to be a three-star read, and the book was going to feel lucky that it was getting that many. Too much of the story depended on the two of them not ever having a real conversation–which might have worked if they weren’t actually talking much or spending time in each other’s company, but this was not the case! Olivia’s not out-and-out asking Phinn for explanations, and Phinn’s not (for the love of God, already!) explaining to her how is first wife died was getting ridiculous–it seemed they were going out of their way to not communicate, and I was getting beyond frustrated.
Fortunately, the last bit saved the story. Once they’re married, Olivia begins to act more like a rational human being and stop freaking out over with the certainty that she would soon be murdered by the man her parents have engaged her to. I mean, really…like that was going to happen–the entire ton was watching their every move! (It would have been slightly more believable if Olivia were an avid reader of Gothic romances, a la Catherine Morland, but she wasn’t really. A shame…)
So…on the strength of the last bit of the book, combined with some very entertaining scenes between Olivia and her fellow (former, in the case of Emma) wallflowers and Phinn individually with Ashbrooke and Rogan, I’ll gladly bump the book’s rating up to at least a 3 1/2, if not a 4. Emma’s book (The Wicked Wallflower) is definitely on my TBR, as is Prudence’s (What a Wallflower Wants)–especially since their heroines don’t seem to be nearly as prone to ninny-like tendencies 😉
Rating: 4 stars / B-