Hello, lovelies! 🎄 I’m back with another throwback review, this is book 2 in the Wallflowers series by Lisa Kleypas, you can find the review for book one here. Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite writers, she wrote one of my favorites re-reads The Hathaways which I know by memory. The wonderful thing about The Wallflowers series is how we see them in other books, especially their lives and happily-ever-afters.
It happened at the ball... Where beautiful but bold Lillian Bowman quickly learned that her independent American ways weren't entirely "the thing." And the most disapproving of all was insufferable, snobbish, and impossible Marcus, Lord Westcliff, London's most eligible aristocrat. It happened in the garden... When Marcus shockingly—and dangerously—swept her into his arms. Lillian was overcome with a consuming passion for a man she didn't even like. Time stood still; it was as if no one else existed... thank goodness they weren't caught very nearly in the act! It happened one autumn... Marcus was a man in charge of his own emotions, a bedrock of stability. But with Lillian, every touch was exquisite torture, every kiss an enticement for more. Yet how could he consider taking a woman so blatantly unsuitable... as his bride?
What I loved;
Four young ladies enter London society with one necessary goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So they band together, and a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.
- We meet the four friends in book one starting with Annabelle. From Annabelle, we have sisters Lillian and Daisy and shy Evie.
- Now that Annabelle is happily married, it’s Lillian’s turn to find a husband from the peer and so we go back to the place where it all started: Lord Westcliff’s state.
- I really liked Lillian. Since book one she was fierce, loyal, and outspoken, though sometimes I wanted to strangle her.
- Lillian is strong-willed, independent, has an excellent nose (but that’s no talent says her mother), and says what she feels. She is American (which is not something that qualifies her to be a good wife for the peer), she rides her horses astride and doesn’t like when food stares back at her (which sucks as everything seems to do so). She’s also a bit cynical (which same as Marcus), lonely and vulnerable.
- Lillian was a fun character to read and relate to, she loves her sister, her friends and all she wants is … not to be Marcus’ (cough I meant Lord Westcliff) wife or anyone really. She’s also very unsuitable to be Marcus’ wife, but that doesn’t stop them from playing a dangerous game.
- Marcus is snobbish, manipulative (in a very lord-ish way), he’s controlling (not in a creepy, bad sense) and he likes when no one contradicts him (oh boy). He’s intelligent, handsome, and charming in his own way. Marcus is also the most desirable man to marry in the peer, he owns more than what he needs and is liked by everyone. He also has a very bad relationship with Ms. Lillian (cough but can’t get her image in undergarments from out of his head, again, not in a bad/creepy way).
- I liked their interactions, it was fun and challenging, the little moments where they couldn’t stand each other but their chemistry was too much and the attraction too strong – it was addicting to read and see what would happen next. Those moments where kisses were stolen, where glances said a bit more, and where Marcus cursed heaven because there was no way he would end with the little wild thing that was Ms. Lillian Bowman.
“There is nothing on earth more beautiful to me than your smile…no sound sweeter than your laughter…no pleasure greater than holding you in my arms. I realized today that I could never live without you, stubborn little hellion that you are. In this life and the next, you’re my only hope of happiness. Tell me, Lillian, dearest love…how can you have reached so far inside my heart?”
- As always we get a touch of entertainment from Lillian’s friend, such as Annabelle and her announcements, to Evie’s everlasting shyness and to Daisy’s love for fun and her fear of letting her sister go.
- I loved the relationship between these siblings, the way they interacted, there was no jealously between them, and their love and support for each other were amazing.
- You will think this is a happy-ever-after love story where there is no enemies /cough/ think again. When you think things are getting better boom! there is a malicious mother-in-law, a desperate rake willing to do unspeakable things (but he’s not bad, really), and kidnapping!
- Sebastian’s character (a side character who appears in all the books) was such a surprise. He’s a lady’s man, a playboy who is charming, gorgeous, and not afraid to just do things for the money his father doesn’t have. But he’s redeemable and has a good heart under all that sarcasm and skepticism.
- The plot is romantic, funny, easy to follow, not that predictable, with reasonable twists – that you don’t see coming – and characters that make the story enjoyable and easy to love.
- Lillian and Marcus were like water and oil – so different and yet so funny and perfect for each other. What I loved the most was reading about their lives together years later in The Hathaways series. They have children, they have a beautiful marriage, Marcus is still uptight and a bit of a prat but he’s lovely with Lillian and his children.
“In this life and the next, you’re my only hope at happiness.”
I loved reading about Lillian and Marcus’ love story, I think they deserve each other in the most wonderful ways. Marcus learns to be less snobbish, and more open when it comes to displaying emotions, and Lillian while she did not become sophisticated and elegant, she did managed to catch the biggest fish in the pond: with love and fierce determination.