In the second in Maya Rodale's delightful Wallflower series, London's least likely to cause a scandal is taking society by storm...
Being good has worked out very badly for Lady Olivia Archer. All she has to show for four seasons on the marriage mart is the nickname Prissy Missy. Her prospects are so bleak that her parents have betrothed her to a stranger with a dire reputation. If Phinneas Cole - aka The Mad Baron - wants a biddable bride, perhaps Olivia can frighten him off by breaking every ladylike rule.
Phinn has admired Olivia's poise and refinement from afar...qualities that appear to have vanished now that they are officially engaged. This Olivia is flirtatious, provocative, and wickedly irresistible. She's not at all the woman he bargained for, yet she's the only one he wants.
He's determined to woo her. She's determined to resist. But Olivia is discovering there's nothing so appealing as a fiancé who's mad, bad, and dangerously seductive....
©2014 Maya Rodale (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers
I enjoy all my choices. Yes I would read all 3 again.
I enjoy these kind of novels.
Carolyn is a clear reader, makes the novel come to life.
When the girls got their true loves.
I love happy ever after.
"2nd listen to 2nd in the trilogy!"
Doesn't that say it all??? It's still a wonderful adventure the 2nd time around. Book #1 (i listened to it again just yesterday!) was wonderful and I loved really getting to know even more about the wallflowers in this book. Emma and her husband (name with held as to avoid a spoiler) are present as is Prudence. Olivia's story was much deeper than we knew and learning about her was entertaining. I will now go listen to #3 again....
NARRATOR : I truly enjoy Carolyn Morris's performance, I always do. Her characters are well defined. Even from book to book the voices are the same and you always know exactly who is speaking. There isn't anything negative to say.
CREDITWORTHY? : YES!
HEAT FACTOR: A very low simmer....
"I really liked it!"
I am really enjoying this series so far. The characters are great, The Hero and Heroine are strong with great chemistry and sexual tension. Lots of dialogue, (I like lots of dialogue in my books). Nice well written sex scenes and an enjoyable story.
All in all it has all the elements I enjoy in a book.
The narrator did a great job. everyone had their own voice and she did a great job on the men's voices.
"A bit of a disappointment"
After reading the first book in this series I rushed to get this one, anticipating the same enjoyment. Sadly, I was disappointed.
Olivia was annoying. Although not as totally annoying as her parents, she needed to grow up. Phinn, on the other hand, was adorable and his social ineptness, if you will, made for some not-so-helpful advice from a friend that made me smile.
The humor in the first book was lacking here. The audiobook had some production issues but, overall, the narration was quite good. Not my favorite in the series; I'm hoping Pru's story returns to the quality of Emma's in Book 1.
Setting: London, 1851
It will be the 100th anniversary of Lady Penelope's Finishing School, and in all that time, no girl has attended unmarried in her 4th season. But it looks likely to be a record broken by Lady Olivia Archer, AKA Prissy Missy, one of London's "Least Likely". In her case, Least Likely to Cause a Scandal. Her head is filled with "young ladies shouldn't" rules from her mother who, by the way, dogs her footsteps at every social event, trying to get her a husband. Phinn, having come to London to build a machine to show at the great exhibition and to find a wife, considers half of his mission complete when he sees Olivia. She is quiet, biddable, and totally opposite to his late wife. She won't, he surmises, interfere with his scientific work. He offers for Olivia without even a formal introduction, and she is horrified when her parents accept his suit. He is known as the Mad Baron, rumored to have killed his wife. Before meeting him, she decides to discourage him by taking part in scandalous behavior, which shocks him, but ends up actually engaging his interest. The plot revolves around the mystery of his past and their adjustment to one another. Olivia really comes into herself when she breaks out of the "young ladies shouldn't" mold.
I really WANT to like Maya Rodale's novels more, but I can't say any of them rate more (or less) than average. I get impatient with the whole misunderstanding/lack of communication trope. I know this is used as a plot device in many books, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Her characters are quite likable, so it's too bad they're caught in poorly executed plots.
Carolyn Morris is not in the list of my favorite narrators. There was nothing either terribly irritating, nor exceptional about her performance. Truly, I just finished the book, and I can't tell you whether or not she differentiated characters. I do know that, although Phinn was from Yorkshire, she did not give him a regional accent . That would have cranked her up to high average or even above.
Although this book was slightly disappointing, I'll get the next one just to find out what happens with Prudence, but probably on Kindle rather than using one of my Audible credits.
"Not a favorite. Not even close."
This is one of those books that suffers greatly by comparison, but even if it was a stand alone book, I would hate it.
I enjoyed the first and third books so much, that this one doesn't really feel like it belongs in the line-up. The only thing I enjoyed was the opportunity to keep the secondary storyline going as it concerns the other wallflowers. This is a very, very small compensation though.
Olivia, the second wallflower, has been raised to be the perfect lady, something her mother never fails to trumpet at every opportunity. Lady Archer is so vocal and obnoxious that she manages to make a mockery of her daughter, destroying any chance she has of attracting a marriage.
Tired of Olivia's failure, her parents decide to settle the matter themselves and betroth her to a Baron. Unfortunately, gossip has saddled him with a very bad reputation. In fact, the ton believes he murdered his first wife, and there is a salacious book that dramatizes all the unsavory details, so of course it must be true.
When Olivia discovers what her parents have done, she feels betrayed. She regrets all the years of obeying her parents wishes only to be given in marriage to a man she doesn't love, and one who could possibly murder her. Believing he only wants her because she is a perfect lady, Olivia sets out to destroy her own reputation to get out of the marriage. This is when the fun is supposed to start, but it never gets off the ground.
This book is written as a farce, but the repetitious dialogue and the over-the-top paper-thin hijinks really ruined it for me. I didn't find it charming or even amusing. About halfway through I realized that this was the HR equivalent of an episode of Lucy. Yes, it's that bad.
I especially hated that the wallflowers, who were themselves victims of gossip, were so credulous when it came to this man's reputation. Especially as Emma's husband was working with him on his project.
Rodale isn't a great writer, but she is an entertaining one. She wiffs this one badly, however.
Read it, don't read it -- I'm not sure it matters. Book 3, however, IS worthwhile. I loved that one, and it is the best of the bunch.
Skipping this but worried you might miss something? Read on.
SPOILER FOR THOSE WHO WON'T READ IT -- BUT WHO LIKE THE SERIES:
Phinneas Cole, the Mad Baron, is a reclusive engineering genius who is in London to work with Emma's husband, Ashford. They are partnered in building a prototype of the Difference Engine. He is also ready to take a new wife.
The crux of the gossip about Phinn is that he killed his first wife, Nadia. He didn't. Though why he married her in the first place is a mystery since she was his dead brother's fiance. His brother died in a fight over her infidelity with another man. She is described as a narcissist who is easily angered when she is ignored. This causes her to set fire to Phinn's workshop, and die in the fire when she can't get out.
Phinn's guilt over her death is way too contrived to be believed, as is his refusal to explain it. instead he allows the gossip to persist. He's also way too slow to understand that his reputation is connected to Olivia's behavior toward him, a woman who is clearly terrified of him, even as he does nothing to reassure her.
Phinn also has a moron for a friend, who we are supposed to think is funny, but his scenes just made me cringe.
There are two moments that can be considered romantic, but they do not save the book. As a love interest, Phinneas Cole is an empty suit.
I suppose there are some people who will like this one, but for me this is not a credit worthy purchase. The misunderstanding went on and on until I didn't care one way or the other how it would play out.
I won't reread this one. There are too many better books out there, and at least some of them are written by Maya Rodale.
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