Series: Bad Boys & Wallflowers #2
Published by Avon on March 25, 2014
Genres: Regency Romance
Source: Advance Reader Copy
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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…
Wow, do I have issues with this book. Well, one issue to be exact. So this is a Big Misunderstanding premise, and I’m okay with that plot device, as long as it isn’t dragged on too long. This time, it was dragged on too long. Until the last pages, to be exact. And the worst part is that it might not have been able to be cleared up with one conversation since Olivia needed to trust Phin, I get that, but there could have been an attempt.
So this is a series where Ms. Rodale pairs each Historical novel with a Contemporary novella. This is the second book, and I like the Historicals better than the Contemps so far.
Quick and dirty is that Olivia is on her fourth Season, so her parents take matters into their own hands and agree to the Baron of Radcliffe aka the Mad Baron. Supposedly he killed his brother for the woman his brother was in love with and then took her for his own wife…and…dun dun dun…killed her! Gasp!
Obviously he didn’t, but he never really tells that to Olivia, hence the Big Misunderstanding.
So Olivia decides to break all the rules. If the Mad Baron chose her because she’s so perfect and follows all the rules, she’ll show him how imperfect she can be as she breaks the rules.
The antics were fun for a bit, but it was too much. After a while it got old, like just grow up already! She acted like she was 15, rather than 22 (I’m guessing but 4th Season, usually debut at 18, 22 sounds about right).
But it isn’t until 65% where we see Olivia turn around. It really bothered me. It’s like a teenage gothic novel and Olivia doesn’t grow up until then. That’s when the actual romance begins. That bothers me a lot since, 100% of this book should have been the romance, not just the last third or so.
In that last third, we see the two of them still dance around the issues keeping them apart, and the whole ending felt rushed. We spent most of the book watching them run in circles.
***ARC courtesy of Avon Books