Waltzing with the Wallflower
The Season has only just begun, but already Ambrose Benson is bored…until his brother offers him a challenge. Something worthy of his particular talents.
The object: The girl hiding behind the plants—the one in the horrible dress.
The goal: Turn her into the envy of the ton. A lady suitable for a duke.
But there is just something about the lady—in spite of all her social misgivings—something that draws him like a moth to flame and makes him want to waltz with the wallflower.
Driven to distraction by the redhead across the room, Anthony Benson barely hears the terms of his brother’s challenge before agreeing to them.
No matter. It will be easy. Viscount Maddox has never had any problem impressing the ladies. And four weeks is more than enough time to win over this so obviously neglected wallflower.
But things are never as easy as they seem.
The lady has lofty aspirations. And not one of them includes love or marriage. Especially not with an arrogant and self-assured playboy like the viscount. No matter how attractive he may be.
Being level-headed and even-keeled is a thing of the past. Sir Colin Wilde’s broken heart has sent him over the edge. And he is convinced the only way to get over the loss of Lady Gemma is to lose himself in debauchery.
Taking his cue from the private bachelor journal of Viscount Maddox, he presses forward in his quest to become the most notorious rake the ton has ever seen.
Prim and proper Lady Gemma isn’t about to let him soil his reputation, especially over a misunderstanding. In spite of the propriety ingrained in her since birth, she throws convention to the wind and sets about to do the impossible… seduce a rake and tame Wilde.
Review: I don’t read historical romances often but I have a few go-to authors I rely on to serve up a good story and Rachel Van Dyken and Leah Sanders have just made the list. So let’s take this trilogy story by story…
In Waltzing with the Wallflower I just loved that Cordelia hid behind the potted plants to avoid the party. This is me – sitting at the edge, trying not to be noticed. Cordelia, however, has the luck of being the subject of a bet between Ambrose and his twin brother Anthony. Today, most women would be angered at the idea of being the object of a wager but the ploy works well in historical fiction – especially with a man like Ambrose being the male half of the wager.
In Beguiling Bridget, the titled heroine dreams of following wherever her dreams lead her – art, literature, politics, writing – and that does not include being shackled to a man for the rest of her life. What I liked about Anthony is that he becomes befuddled and klutzy in the presence of Bridget. What I liked about Bridget is that she makes fun of him for it – and he takes it, which makes him a dream man.
Taming Wilde is a bit different in that Colin is doing his best to become a rake and rid himself of the memory of Gemma, the one who got away. He follows the advice of Anthony, now a reformed rake to disastrous – and yet hilarious – results. Gemma lives under the thumb of her older brother who seeks to marry her off to a titled gentleman. Unfortunately, Gemma loves poor, untitled Colin, who strives to repulse her by becoming a rake. And comedy ensues.
All three women are redheads, each woman with her own quirk, and all three men are strong-willed and stubborn. Enchantingly, each story begins with the hero drunk (foxed, as they say in the books) and readying for a duel, then goes back in time to explain how they got to that point. It was a fun way to start each story and lead us up to the romantic ending.