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review 2018-07-12 18:56
A Curve in the Road by Julianne MacLean
A Curve in the Road - Julianne MacLean

 

Life can change on a dime. It's the tests that teach us how strong we can be. A Curve in the Road is a tale of heartache that breeds courage. Abbie is a woman that has it all, until one tragic moment changes everything. Will she weather the storm and reach that hard earned rainbow? MacLean takes a moment in time and turns it into an uplifting journey of hope. The pain has a realism that is heartbreaking as well as relatable, but it's the message beyond the pain that serves to inspire.

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text 2018-07-04 17:10
A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean $1.99
A Rogue by Any Other Name - Sarah MacLean

What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets. . .

 

A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London's most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

 

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to an unexplored world of pleasures.

Bourne may be a prince of London's illicit underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them . . . .even her heart.

 

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review 2018-06-27 00:00
Wicked and the Wallflower
Wicked and the Wallflower - Sarah MacLean


Wicked and the Wallflower is a spin off of sorts from Maclean's previous series, Scandal and Scoundrels, but its not necessary to read those books before starting. Felicity, our heroine was featured in The Day of the Duchess, as one of the ladies in a reality tv type competition to be the new wife of a duke. She doesn't win, and returns to her life in the ton as a spinster. However, she wants love more than anything. She wants a man who wants her desperately! Its so sweet of her really and it made me adore her as a character.

Devil's backstory is only partially revealed. It involves his siblings, so more of the story will presumably be revealed in their stories. But, you know he is the illegitimate son of a duke who, with one brother, runs an illegal rookery in Covent Gardens. He is planning to use Felicity in a plot to destroy another brother's plans of marriage and producing heirs.

Obviously Felicity sees Devil as the means to get her married to a duke, with money that could save her family. However, as she spends more time with him, she realizes its not the duke she wants (she never really did WANT him-she needed him and he needed her) but Devil. Devil is attracted to Felicity but he is so hell bent on his plan of revenge he pushes her away.

Felicity is NOT a wallflower at all. She is smart and sweet and so lost. She doesn't understand why her 'friends' turned on her, she doesn't understand why her family is so desperate to marry her off, she doesn't want just any marriage, but one filled with love and desire. She is so incredibly relatable in those ways! While she is 27 in the story, her struggles with friends, family, and love I think resonate with lots of girls of all ages!

Devil was a tougher character to like. His backstory (what we get of it) certainly pulls at your heart strings. But, his need for revenge above all else is difficult. He is willing to ruin Felicity in order to get his revenge. And, since you don't know the entire backstory, you aren't even sure what his brother did that was so bad to bring on this level of hate from Devil.

Wicked and the Wallflower was an enjoyable read that took me by surprise because Felicity is so not a wallflower! She has become one of my favorite characters for sure.

 
  • POV: 3rd
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: marriage of convenience, secret identity
  • Triggers: none
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes




Other amazing regency romances like those by Tessa Dare, Lisa Kleypas, Eliosa James, Vivienne Loret...then you will probably like Wicked and the Wallflower!

 


Wicked and the Wallflower


ibooks-icon amazon-icon-star

 





Prologue

The Past
The three were woven together long before they were aware, strands of spun, silken steel that could not be separated—not even when their fate insisted upon it.

Brothers, born on the same day, in the same hour, at the same minute to different women. The high-priced courtesan. The seamstress. The soldier’s widow. Born on the same day, in the same hour, at the same minute to the same man.

The duke, their father, whose arrogance and cruelty fate would punish without hesitation, stealing from him the only thing he wanted that his money and power could not buy—an heir.

It is the Ides of March the seers warn of, with its promise of betrayal and vengeance, of shifting fortune and inalienable providence. But for this sire—who was never more than that, never close to father—it was the Ides of June that would be his ruin.

Because on that same day, in that same hour, at that same minute, there was a fourth child, born to a fourth woman. To a duchess. And it was this birth—the birth all the world thought legitimate—that the duke attended, even as he knew the son who was to be his heir in name and fortune and future was not his own and still, somehow, was his only hope.

Except she was a daughter.

And with her first breath, she thieved future from them all, as powerful in her infancy as she would become in her womanhood. But hers is a story for another time.

This story begins with the boys.
See full review on The Book Disciple

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review 2018-05-20 21:51
Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean
Wicked and the Wallflower - Sarah MacLean

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Felicity Faircloth is clinging to the edges of respectability and she is tired of it. Deciding to show her former friends that she is just as good, if not better than them, she tells a little white lie and claims she is betrothed to the Duke of Marwick.
Devil has never been respectable and doesn't care. What he does care for is a childhood pact, one the Duke of Marwick is looking to break.
Felicity gets caught up in a decades old feud and Devil finds himself in a trap of his own making.
 
“You are too late for the duke,” she repeated, knowing, even as she spoke, that she must stop the words from coming. Except they were a runaway horse—loosed and free and wild. “Because I’ve already landed him.” 
 
First in The Bareknuckle Bastards series, you will recognize Felicity from The Day of the Duchess but everything else is a fresh introduction to this world MacLean has created. The background that holds this series together is three bastard brothers, a girl they call their sister, and the monster father that tried to pit them against each other. There is a flashback to show how Devil (Devon) gets together with his brothers and father but any other past happenings are either inner monologue from Devil or some reminiscing/discussion with Whit (Beast), Ewan (Duke of Marwick), and Dahlia (Grace). I actually would have preferred more flashback scenes of them together as children to get a better feel for their relationships and what happened to them as children. I imagine since this is a series, the author wants to keep some mystery for the other characters and events and thus why we get more of an outline in this one, but it did hurt the emotional impact of Devil's background.
 
No heirs was the rule. The only rule. 
 
The plot is Devil threatening the Duke of Marwick to stop his search for a wife, which Marwick is only doing to get Devil and Whit to come out of the shadows and have them tell or reveal where Grace is. It is kept a bit shady but apparently Marwick threatened or is a danger to Grace. There is talk about how the children made a pact to never let their father win and they would never give him the heirs he was so desperate for to continue his line. By taking the title of Marwick, Ewan fought "for" his father and the other kids ran away to save themselves. There is talk about Grace and Ewan loving each other, more than a brother sister relationship Devil and Whit seem to have with her, but Devil seems to think he must keep Grace away from Ewan for her safety. Felicity walks into their battle when she declares to be betrothed to Marwick, giving Marwick more validity that he is willing to get married and heirs if they don't tell him where Grace is. Devil decides to create a plan where he seduces Felicity and get her to break the betrothal, showing Ewan he will always be there to ruin his plans.

He took a step away from her, rubbing the back of one hand over his lips. He shook his head. “Christ. You’ll burn me down.” 
 
Devil inevitably finds himself captivated by Felicity and falling in love with her but incessantly thinking he is not good enough for her. There is a lot of talk about how Devil is dark, from the darkness, dwells in the darkness, etc. but, as with a majority of the story, it is a lot of telling and not showing. Our couple meets up right away in the story and I kind of missed getting to know them outside of their developing relationship. Felicity was the stronger character for me and I liked her emerging, building of confidence, and self-actualization but her relationship with her family felt a bit whiffed on and she pretty much is all in with Devil right away. Devil begins to feel a bit silly and repetitive with his supposed darkness, lusting, and "I'm not good enough for her." They have fun banter in the beginning but I just never felt like I "knew" them and therefore their chemistry was lacking for me.
 
It was him. Here. In her bedchamber. As though it were perfectly normal. 
 
The set-up with MacLean’s characters and relationships is promising but the emotional impact, possibly because of a shallow look at their childhood here, was not really there. There is a little bit of cheese factor too, with the supposed darkness of Devil and how he and his brother run their rookery. Devil’s brother "Beast" does a lot, and I mean a lot, of grunting, it becomes rather silly after a while but he seems interesting with his underground fighting. Grace probably shined the most with her personality, ownership of a for women bordello, and only one to point out that holding onto a pact made in childhood may not be completely mature in adulthood; I do find myself very curious about her and Ewan's relationship. Overall, this started off as fun escapism with the good girl wanting to go rogue and the Devil encouraging her but losing his thought to be nonexistent heart. As it went on though, it never developed the depth and emotion I look for and ended up feeling like window dressing with not a lot to back up the pretty cover. 
 
“You should not have come.”
She swallowed, refusing to let him win. “Why not?”
“Because it is dangerous,” he said quietly, sending a shiver of belief through her. “Because the rookeries are no place for pretty girls with a breathless anticipation of adventure.”
 

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text 2018-05-19 17:35
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Wicked and the Wallflower - Sarah MacLean

“I will remember these pretty pink ribbons,” he said softly, to himself more than her as his warm fingers slid beneath along her thigh, beneath the fabric, “for the rest of my life.”

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