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review 2018-01-29 18:16
A very strong heroine!
Wallflower Most Wanted - Manda Collins
This isn't my preferred genre, but I think I went in with an open mind. I do enjoy historicals and it was a nice change of pace for me. I also learned several new words!
The thing I liked most about Wallflower Most Wanted had to be the heroine. She, as well as the other heiresses in the book, was an in control, take charge, brilliant, not to be put down woman. She knew what she was about, what she wanted and that no one was going to get in her way. That's why it was so charming when Sophie injured herself and the vicar, Ben, swept her up into his arms and carried her back to the house. Just as charming, was the fact that Ben was quite out of breath from the exertion and his muscles were later very fatigued.
This book had mystery, murder, romance, sex and love, patrons of the arts and just an overall fun relationship between the man and woman. I really enjoyed it!
I received this book via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


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review 2018-01-22 01:14
It's All in the Brushstrokes!
Wallflower Most Wanted - Manda Collins

Add a beautiful young painter and a handsome vicar who's a duke's son, throw in a dash of murder, and a sprinkle of art forgery, a Trumpian faux populist character, and there you have it.

This was enjoyable with clever writing and likable characters, but I felt like I had to keep putting it down. Could be me, with everything going on. I am looking forward to Gemma's story.

Overall rating: 3.5/5.0 stars.

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine: http://affairedecoeur.com.

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review 2018-01-20 02:59
Wallflower Most Wanted
Wallflower Most Wanted - Manda Collins

I was hoping this book would distract me from what is going on in my life but in the time it took me to read this my life became more interesting than the book. This book follows Sophia and Ben as they try to solve the mystery as to who is behind paintings that turn out to be forgeries created in their area. 


I don't feel like Sophia and Ben had any real chemistry or heat between them. In the beginning they seemed pretty shy to me and then all of a sudden they supposedly couldn't keep their hands off of each other. Well I wasn't buying it. They were pretty boring together to me. 


What I did like about this book was the action and twist that occurs towards the end. I actually became pretty interested once the twist happened and the action started. It ended up saving the book a bit for me.


Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the galley.

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review 2018-01-12 13:04
The Earl's Defiant Wallflower - Erica Ridley

The Earl's Defiant Wallflower by Erica Ridley
Have read other works by this author and have enjoyed the reads.
This one starts out in 1816 London and we find Lord Carlisle, Oliver York and he's glad to be back home, in charge of the family estate.
His father is dead by an allergic reaction to seafood from his new mistress. He needs to have a wife and very soon...
Story also follows Grace Halton and she's in charge of her mothers health and they travel to London and she needs to save her home.
She needs to find a rich husband as Oliver asks her for a dance....
Loved learning new words and finding out what they mean that are no longer used in today's world.
They confide in one another, he learning about her money woes and her learning of his estate woes. He may have a scheme that will help his best friends pregnant girlfriend that will solve all their money woes.
Oliver offers Grace his address so she can correspond with her mother without her grandparents burning them...
Lots of action, scheming and how can things turn out good?
Next book in the series is excerpted at the end. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.
Author bio at the end.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

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text 2017-12-27 12:30
Char's Horror Corner: Top Ten Novellas of 2017
Spungunion - John Boden
Of Foster Homes and Flies - Chad Lutzke
Mapping the Interior - Stephen Graham Jones
Mystery Road - Kevin Lucia
Wallflower - Chad Lutzke
Just Add Water - Hunter Shea
Hoodoo Harry (Bibliomysteries) - Joe R. Lansdale
Soles - Kay Brandt
Money Back Guarantee - Hunter Shea
Sweet Aswang - Anthony Hains

I ADORE dark fiction novellas. I think that novella length is the perfect form in which to tell a lean and powerful horror story. Every word has to count, anything that isn't important is left out. Because I love them so much, I tend to read a lot of novellas. This year, I decided to give them their own category and so without further ado, here are my top ten of the year. (Please click the book covers below, if you'd like to see my original review.)


1Spungunion - John Boden  by John Boden. Spungunion is poignant, powerful and lyrically written at times. In my humble opinion, John Boden, (along with Chad Lutzke, see below), are the REAL DEAL. I will, with pleasure,  continue to read anything they write.





2Of Foster Homes and Flies - Chad Lutzke  by Chad Lutzke. Two parents gone and an upcoming spelling bee. It doesn't sound like much, but in the hands of Chad Lutzke it IS much. Almost too much at times. This novella touched me and I related to this poor kid in just about every way. As I said above, I believe Chad is an author to watch.


3Mapping the Interior - Stephen Graham Jones   by Stephen Graham Jones. This man is so prolific and thus far, I've only managed to read a few things by him. Mapping the Interior was another poignant story on this list, involving lost parents and life as a Native American in today's harsh world. Much like the two stories above, I'm finding it very difficult to describe why this tale affected me so much, but it did. Perhaps it will affect you in the same way?



4. Mystery Road - Kevin Lucia  by Kevin Lucia. This is yet another poignant tale about a man caring for his dying father, an area where I have some personal experience. Perhaps, that's why this novella hit me so hard? Or maybe it's just that it was brilliantly and beautifully written. 


5. Wallflower - Chad Lutzke  by Chad Lutzke. This is a powerful novella about addiction. Never, ever underestimate the power of drugs or alcohol. People often do just that and end up in dire straits. This was so well written that as I was reading I thought for sure that Chad had personal experience with drug addiction. It turns out he doesn't, but that should give you an idea of how real-feeling this novella was. 


6. Just Add Water - Hunter Shea  by Hunter Shea. Amazing sea monkeys! YAY! No poignancy here, (You're probably saying YAY too!), just good clean horror FUN. Simple as that!


7. Hoodoo Harry (Bibliomysteries) - Joe R. Lansdaleby the Champion Mojo Storyteller himself: Mr. Joe Lansdale. He's probably the biggest, most well known name on this list. Author of the popular Hap & Leonard series, he writes in all genres and he's always funny as hell. This was a mystery involving Hap & Leonard, and it made me chuckle. Plus, it's a story about a bookmobile-how could I not love that?


8. Soles - Kay Brandt  by Kay Brandt. As far as I know this is the only novella written by this author. It had a very cool premise and I think she pulled it off. Ms. Brandt has an interesting career going for herself, but I think if she chose to pursue dark fiction, she might do very well. 


9. Money Back Guarantee - Hunter Shea  by Hunter Shea. This is Mr. Shea's second entry on this list. Both of these novellas were part of a series titled "Mail Order Massacres" and were based upon things you could order through the mail via the ads in the backs of comics. Though JUST ADD WATER was my favorite of the three, MONEY BACK GUARANTEE placed a close second. Never mess with a mom who spent some of her hard earned money on a product that nearly killed her kid. Pure F U N!!


10. Sweet Aswang - Anthony Hains  by Anthony Hains. I admit to not knowing what an Aswang was when I started this tale. Now that I do know, I wonder why Aswangs are not the subject of more horror stories-because have no doubt: Aswangs are freaking SCARY! I had quite a few novellas ranked 4 stars this year, but I chose to include this one because of the sheer originality and fun of it.  


If you've stayed with me this far, I thank and appreciate you! I hope that you'll join me in 2018 as I seek out and hopefully discover more great dark fiction novellas! 

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