Title: Temptations of a Wallflower
Author: Eva Leigh
Series: The Wicked Quills of London, book 3
Release Date: April 26 by Avon
Eva Leigh’s deliciously sexy Wicked Quills of London series continues as a Lady’s secret career writing erotic fiction is jeopardized by real-life romance . . .
In society circles she’s known as the Watching Wallflower—shy, quiet, and certainly never scandalous. Yet beneath Lady Sarah Frampton’s demure façade hides the mind of The Lady of Dubious Quality, author of the most titillating erotic fiction the ton has ever seen. Sarah knows discovery would lead to her ruin, but marriage—to a vicar, no less—could help protect her from slander. An especially tempting option when the clergyman in question is the handsome, intriguing Jeremy Cleland.
Tasked with unmasking London’s most scandalous author by his powerful family, Jeremy has no idea that his beautiful, innocent bride is the very woman he seeks to destroy. His mission must remain a secret, even from the new wife who stirs his deepest longings. Yet when the truth comes to light, Sarah and Jeremy’s newfound love will be tested. Will Sarah’s secret identity tear them apart or will the temptations of his wallflower wife prove too wicked to resist?
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*
Last year, I read and really liked the first book in this series, Forever Your Earl. The whole concept of women writers in the Victorian period intrigued me. Well, if I thought book one had an interesting heroine because she was a newspaperwoman, Temptations of a Wallflower took that to a whole new level. Upon reading the synopsis for it and discovering that the heroine wrote anonymous erotic novels, you bet I wanted to get my hands on this book. Thankfully, I was able to do just that, and I’m so glad for it.
The aforementioned erotica author was Sarah, a duke’s daughter. I was really happy that she had writing her stories to look forward to, because her social life was near to nonexistent. People called her the Watching Wallflower because she never participated in balls and dancing, only observed on the sidelines. They were missing out on such a smart woman, though. Sarah knew how to hide her identity as the Lady of Dubious Quality, and was just generally witty and fun to read about. Even though she wasn’t telling Jeremy everything about herself, I understood her. Sarah had to keep her secret, and the fact that the author made me agree with keeping it just shows how talented she is.
As for Jeremy himself, I admit his being a vicar made me even more intrigued to read this book. Especially once you consider that his heroine wrote erotic novels. I loved him. Very gentle and wanting only to help people, he was kind of a beta male, and we need more of those. Plus, he respected Sarah. It was just so nice to see a hero who thought about others, and didn’t hide it. As a bonus, Jeremy wasn’t a rake or very experienced with women. It was really fun having the whole dynamic switched, because he’d only been with one woman and Sarah, while having never been with a man, wrote erotic novels.
If that didn’t get you excited to read this novel, perhaps a brief description of the plot will. The book followed Jeremy and Sarah as they got to know each other. There was romance of course, but it was a bit complicated. This is because Sarah spent a great majority of this story trying to hide her identity as the Lady of Dubious Quality, and Jeremy was assigned by his father to find out who exactly this Lady was. I felt bad for both of them. For Sarah, writing was vital to her. It gave her an outlet for things, as well as a purpose in life. Jeremy’s plight was sympathetic because he had to do what his father said or lose his allowance. As a vicar, he didn’t make much, and so would do virtually anything to keep his income. It really helped that Jeremy was reluctant to find the author, since he liked her work. Of course, since the reader knows said author is Sarah, I spent a lot of time wondering how things would work out for them.
In conclusion, I really liked this book. The heroine was witty and sharp-minded, and the hero was kind and put others before himself. As I said, I loved that the whole dynamic was reversed, with Sarah knowing more about sexual things than Jeremy did. I mean, e used her books to learn stuff! How awesome is that? Anyway, this book had relatively low angst considering the secrets kept by the characters. It was fun to read, and for a few moments, I wasn’t even certain that Sarah and Jeremy would have their happily-ever-after. Of course, it’s a romance novel, so you know they will, but that’s a sign of a good author. I recommend you check this book out if you’re looking for a different sort of historical romance. I’m certainly eager to go back and read book two of this series, which I skipped. It’ll have a hard time competing with this one though.
Eva Leigh is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Southern California.
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