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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
70%
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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text 2018-05-18 19:06
Reading Update: 20%
Wicked and the Wallflower - Sarah MacLean

"Oh, yes,” she scoffed. “Friendly is the very first word I would use to describe you.”
“If I were going to kidnap you and carry you off to my lair, I would have done it by now.”
“You have a lair?”
“As a matter of fact, I do, but I’ve no intention of bringing you there. Not tonight.”
She would be lying if she said the additional qualifier was not exciting."

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text 2018-05-04 18:05
Cover Reveal #2 - Finding Wicked

 

 

Today we have the gorgeous cover for Finding Wicked by Kathryn L. James! This sexy contemporary romance is releasing June 6th. Check it out and grab your copy on release day!

 

Title: Finding Wicked

Author: Kathryn L.  James

Release Date: June 6th

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

About Finding Wicked:

 

Brooke Sheridan has the weight of the world on her shoulders—her mother’s terminal illness, financial woes. When she’s offered a promotion as Executive Assistant to the cocky arrogant and sexy Garrett Mitchell, CEO, she accepts without second thought. Together on a business trip, Garrett an avid pilot must make an emergency crash landing on a deserted island. With no satellite service, no phone signal, or any means of rescue on the horizon, they are forced to find ways of survival. But that’s not all they find—sizzling chemistry, undeniable attraction, and HOT passionate sex explode. But amidst paradise, there are also secrets that threaten to tear them apart.  

 

Add on Goodreads!

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

 

“Before signing the acceptance offer, you’ll need to know some of the obligations. There will be traveling, often on short notice. I expect you to always be available. There will be numerous meetings, including after-hours board sessions. Late nights are common, and you may have to arrive before dawn. Some Saturdays are expected. Sundays are off limits. The job is salaried. With successful completion, you’ll be awarded a bonus. Are these things you can live with?”

 

I nodded. “Yes.”

 

“Cordelia, prepare the personnel action forms for my signature. Also, give her an elevator key card. She’ll also need appropriate digital access to administrative files.”

 

He turned his attention toward me.

 

“After lunch, move your things up and familiarize yourself with the top floor. You won’t have time tomorrow.”

 

After a few clicks on her computer, Cordelia pulled the forms from the printer and handed them to Mr. Mitchell. He scrawled his signature along the line on the bottom of the page before moving around the desk toward me.

 

“Read over it before signing. I’ll see you in a couple of hours, Ms. Sheridan.”

 

“Thank you for this opportunity, Mr. Mitchell.”

 

“We’ll see if you feel that way after a week of working for me.” He raised an eyebrow, wearing a sexy smirk.

 

“After a week, you might find it’s me who’s two steps ahead of you.” The words flew out of my mouth before I could stop my snarky thoughts from rolling off my tongue.  

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

 

Kathryn James lives in a southern small town with her husband and a very sweet and spoiled poodle named Macy. Being a hopeless romantic, she loves to read and write about bad-boy sexy alpha males and strong heroines. The beach is one of her favorite places to hangout, relax, and write. She debuted her first novel, Crazy Beautiful Lies and released a short Crazy Beautiful Kiss which was published in A Story of a Kiss anthology. She plans to release it again as a novella by the end of summer.   For information about Kathryn L. James or to stay updated on upcoming releases, please drop by:  

 

Facebook | Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

Enter Kathryn’s Giveaway:

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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review 2018-05-01 22:30
WICKED RIVER by Jenny Milchman
Wicked River - Jenny Milchman

 

Books like this are the reason I don't go camping. Read it, and you might not be willing to go either!

 

Natalie and her brand new husband Doug have decided to spend their honeymoon camping in the forested mountains of the Adirondacks. At least, she tells herself they've decided. Mostly, it seems Doug has decided and she went along with it. Unable to read a map, Natalie's misgivings become even more bothersome when their GPS is lost and then they turn to outright terror when they come across a dead body. Little does she know that their adventure has really just begun. What happened to the dead man they found? Will Natalie and Doug make it out alive? You'll have to read WICKED RIVER to find out!

 

At first, I didn't think I would enjoy this story. Natalie is wishy-washy and what kind of woman doesn't stand up and say she doesn't want to sleep on the damn ground on her honeymoon? That's the thing though, all of the characters change and grow throughout the story and that had me rapidly turning these pages.

 

The only real problem I had with this book was with Natalie's 13 year old niece Mia. I think her sections only served to slow down the pacing. Also, many of her actions were just not believable. Everything else about this story rang true to me-the award winning couch sitter and non-camping extraordinaire that I am. Books like these only prove to show me that I'm correct in staying far away from the wilderness. I've read too many horror books for that.

 

I am so glad I tried something a bit out of my wheelhouse because WICKED RIVER was, (mostly), fast paced and WICKED fun!

 

Recommended to fans of mystery/suspense and thrillers.

 

*Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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