Tag: The Wallflowers

Joint Review: A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas

Posted December 13, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 12 Comments

Joint Review: A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Casee, Holly and Rowena
A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Wallflowers #5
Also in this series: Again The Magic, The Devil in Winter, Scandal in Spring
Published by Macmillan
Publication Date: November 2nd 2010
Pages: 224
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas invites you to spend the holidays with the Wallflowers—four young London ladies who finally found the men of their dreams...and will join together once more to help the world's most notorious rogue meet his match.
The magic of Christmas
Rafe Bowman has just arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady-in-waiting, and if it weren't for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen...
BEGINS under the mistletoeWinning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants. However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic...and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.
"Splendid romance."—Booklist

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.*****

Holly: The three of us haven’t done a review together in awhile. I remember how much I loved this series. Getting this novella was such an lovely bonus.

This post was originally published October 14, 2008

 

It’s been awhile since we did a joint review here at Book Binge, but when Rowena, Casee, and I realized we’d all read A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas, we decided to do one. Please note: There will be spoilers below.

Holly: It was great seeing the Wallflowers again, though I’m glad the story wasn’t totally focused on them. I adored Hannah and Rafe both. There was something very real about them and their relationship. I think Hannah’s understanding of her situation was very well done. I really didn’t like Lady Natalie, though. I’m not sure if LK meant for her to be a sympathetic character, but I didn’t buy it. Especially the way she treated Hannah when she didn’t get her way.

Rowena: I KNOW! I am not a fan of Natalie’s. I hated the way that she treated Hannah, especially when she wanted to spend time alone with Rafe. The way she talked down to Hannah in front of Rafe as if that made her cooler to Rafe seriously pissed me off and sealed her fate for me as the tramp I didn’t like at all.

But, I LOVED THIS BOOK! I thought it was such a fast and cute holiday read. I loved how The Wallflowers were all reunited and happily married. It was fun to see them all band together to help Hannah and I loved the whole Cinderella theme as well.

Rafe was a hottie of a hero, loved him! I loved his personality and I loved his hotness and I just effing loved him! The way he was with Hannah and the way that he was with his sisters and the kids. He was an all around great hero.

Hannah was great too! I loved how we saw her change her mind about Rafe. I loved how smart she was and how she wasn’t afraid to show how smart she was and I loved how easy it was for her to befriend the Wallflowers and fit in with them. She was great, great, great.

Casee: I couldn’t stand Lady Natalie. The way she treated Hannah was just awful, especially in front of Rafe. I thought I would like her b/c of how amused she was when Hannah told her about meeting Rafe. But then she just seemed spiteful and petty.

I loved the first meeting between them. The way Hannah was so apalled by Rafe’s manners was freaking funny.

Like Rowena said, it was a fast and cute holiday read. I really enjoyed it.

H: Natalie was very much the spoiled child. I’m still not clear if LK meant for her to be likable or not. I mean, were we supposed to want her to end up happy, just not with Rafe? I certainly didn’t feel that way in the end. I wanted her to get her comeuppance. I loved that the Wallflowers kind of jumped in and took Hannah under their wing. The scene where they find the letter from Rafe and are examining it is hilarious. It starts with one and then another pops her head in and they all said the same thing, “Hannah found a letter. It’s a secret. Come in.” Adorable. I liked Rafe, too. He was very chivalrous. The way he joked and teased them was great. I definitely loved the intimacy he and Hannah established right in the beginning. How they talked to each other about things and really listened to each other. Oh! How about that first kiss? Scorching! One thing that really bothered me was Lilian. Why in the world would she think Westcliff was cheating on her? That really didn’t ring true for me at all. She was always self-assured and confident and having her question herself and Marcus just..didn’t work. Is that just me?

R: I hope she wasn’t meant to be likeable because I didn’t like that little tramp at all. So crosses fingers not meant to be likeable.

Me too. I thought that adding the Wallflowers into the story would kind of take away from my enjoyment of Rafe and Hannah but that wasn’t the case at all. I think LK did a fantastic job of writing them into the story without them stealing the thunder away from Hannah and Rafe. I loved the scene that you mentioned because it showed us just how close each of the Wallflowers are and even after all this time and then all the time spent apart to see them all together again and acting as if they had spent everyday together was great to see and I was glad that they all came together to help Hannah, it was cute, adorable and oh so right.

That first kiss was…wow. I loved it, it was right then that I fell like a rock for Rafe. So confident and cocky and sexy he was and I ate it all up.

One of my favorite scenes was the one where Hannah gets roped into helping the little kid get the toupee back….oh how frickin’ hilarious that was.

As for the whole Lillian thing, she’s never been a favorite of mine but I do agree that her insecurities about Marcus threw me off a bit because of the Lillian we all knew from the other books. I didn’t think anything of it though, it was just a fleeting thought, one I didn’t dwell on at all so all of that was, BLAH.

C: I really thought Natalie was going to end up being a heroine in a novella with one of the Bowman twin brothers. That was at the beginning when she seemed likeable. After reading the book, though, I’m not interested in reading about her at all.

The scene about Rafe’s letter and all the Wallflowers coming in was probably my favorite scene in the whole book. I just really thought that it really highlighted why these four women became the best of friends in the most unlikely of circumstances. Hannah fit right in and I loved how they took her under their collective wing.

I agree to a certain point about the Lillian thing. I think that LK was trying to show that even a woman as strong as Lillian can have insecurities. Lillian was never a favorite of mine, either, but I really felt bad for her. The part for me that was totally un-Lillian like was when she asked Marcus to be discreet. The Lillian we knew would have bashed his head with whatever heavy object was at hand.

H: You know, at first I didn’t realize there was even an outside story involved (when we first heard the title, but had no synopses, I mean). I thought it was just going to be a reunion of the Wallflowers. I’m glad we got a glimpse of each of them (St. Vincent is effing hot!), but you’re right, they balanced the story rather than taking it over. Oh, that scene when she got stuck on the ledge was wonderful! I really liked not only Rafe rescuing her, but also the scene after, where they decorated the tree as a family. The wager they made and the forfeit Rafe had to give up made me all melty inside. I heart him.

R: Oh yes! I know what you mean, I loved the little forfeit thing, I got all gooey inside, it was great. I’m telling you, this story was another fantastic LK book and I really, really enjoyed it.

The only thing that I was miffed about was that I didn’t think we got enough Simon and Annabelle. I feel like after their story, they were done. They’re mentioned and they’re around but we don’t get to see as much of them as we do of the others, the same with Matthew and Daisy. Those two couples are my favorite in the series and we either hear about how they’re doing or they’re in the background whereas Lillian and Marcus are always around and have parts in other books as well as Seb and Evie, and as much as I love them, I want to see more of the others.

Is that too much to ask for? Maybe but it doesn’t stop me from wanting more sexy Simon and magnificent Matthew…=)

C: I wished there was more of Simon and Anabelle, too! Am I the only one that thought it was weird that Anabelle refers to Simon as “Mr. Hunt” to the Wallflowers? I’ve always thought that seemed so impersonal.

I’m re-reading Devil in Winter right now. I loved getting the small glimpse back into St. Vincent and Evie. Those two…sigh

I thought it was just going to be a Wallflower reunion book, too. I’m glad that we got a little of everything. Getting a new love story along w/ reading more about the Wallflowers, what could be better?

H: You know, it’s funny, but I think Lilian and Marcus are the least favorite Wallflowers by pretty much everyone, but they’re the ones that crop up most often. Even Evie and Seb take a backseat to them. Do you think LK is playing favorites? LOL

Overall I’d say this is a total winner. The main romance between Hannah and Rafe is very well done and the Wallflowers really enhanced the story. I had a couple gripes, but it goes in the keeper pile and I know I’ll pick it up again. 4 out of 5 You?

R: I agree, overall the story was completely well done. The romance between Rafe and Hannah was great and easy to fall into. Great characters, great storyline makes for a winner for me and I think LK did a fab job!

4.5 out of 5 for me.

C: I was completely happy when I closed this book. I thought it was a perfect Christmas read. The only thing that would have made it better was an appearance by Derek Craven. Heh.

4.25 out of 5.

Grades:
Casee: 4.25 out of 5
Holly: 4. out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

The Series:

  

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here.

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Posted June 13, 2013 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Scandal in Spring by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Holly
Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Wallflowers #4
Also in this series: Again The Magic, The Devil in Winter, A Wallflower Christmas
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: March 17th 2009
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Quirky and fun-loving American heiress Daisy Bowman is the last unmarried Wallflower. Her exasperated father has informed her that if she can’t find a husband by the end of her third London season, she will be forced to marry a man she hates—the ruthless entrepreneur Matthew Swift.
Daisy is horrified. A Bowman never admits defeat, so she decides to do whatever it takes to marry someone . . . anyone . . . other than Matthew. What she doesn’t count on, however, is Matthew’s unexpected charm, or the blazing sensuality that soon flares beyond both their control. And Daisy discovers that the man she has always hated just might turn out to be the man of her dreams.
But when a scandalous secret is uncovered, it could destroy both Matthew and a love more passionate and irresistible than Daisy’s wildest fantasies.

Scandal in Spring is the fourth and final book in Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series. I was very anxious to read it, because though I didn’t really care for It Happened One Autumn, I loved Devil In Winter and was curious about Daisy. Plus, something happens with Daisy and Cam Rohan in DIW, and I wondered if it would go anywhere. It didn’t, but that worked for me, because I ended up really liking this hero for Daisy.

Daisy’s been out for a couple of seasons but doesn’t have any marriage prospects lined up and her father is upset about it. He tells her she either has to bring someone up to scratch within a certain amount of time, or he’s setting her up. Daisy is horrified when her father tells her who he’s chosen. None other than the scrawny, cold, machine-like Matthew Swift, whom she hasn’t seen in years.

Matthew isn’t the same scrawny, cold guy anymore, however. Now he’s all man, built and muscular and charming and…perfect for Daisy. Only, she refuses to see that at first. Matthew has wanted Daisy since he first laid eyes on her ten years ago, but he’s harboring a secret that could destroy his life, so he knows he can’t risk being with Daisy.

Though I enjoyed this one, it doesn’t come close to Devil in Winter (my favorite of the series). I never really got a feel for Matthew. I just never felt connected to him like I did with Sebastion.

Daisy was a great heroine. I had some issues with the way she was constantly referred to as elfish, but that’s a personal issue and doesn’t have much to do with the story itself. Though she TRIED to dislike Matthew, she couldn’t, and I loved that once she committed she stuck with it.

The character development was kind of weak. Though I got a great feel for Daisy, I didn’t get hardly anything for Matthew. He just didn’t seem…alive to me. Plus, his “secret” was just silly. I mean, the secret itself wasn’t, but the way it played into the story was. In the end, it was solved way too easily. It didn’t make one lick of sense that Kleypas added this element in and didn’t expand upon it. Besides, it seems to me that she already played this storyline out in Stranger In My Arms.

I’m not a fan of Lillian Bowman. She drove me crazy.. Bitch had her own book, she didn’t need to star in this one, too. Though she bugged a little in her own story, she was downright obnoxious in this one. I hated her. Flat out. She drove me to distraction the way she constantly meddled and told Daisy what to do and refused to listen to anyone but her overblown self. She didn’t seem strong and independent at all, but needy, controlling and bitchy. Very bad form, IMO.

Overall the story was good, but not amazing. I enjoyed Daisy and liked how once she made a decision she stuck with it, but I wasn’t super impressed with this last installment in the series.

3.5 out of 5 (mostly for Daisy)

The Series:

  

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

*This review was originally published at Sanctuary’s Finest

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Book Club: Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas.

Posted April 4, 2013 by Rowena in Features | 12 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

This month we’ll be discussing Lisa Kleypas’ Scandal in Spring.  Scandal in Spring is part of the Wallflowers series. The series follows four very different young girls as they make their way from wallflower to married woman.

The group of girls consists of Annabelle Peyton, Lillian Bowman, Evangeline Jenner and Daisy Bowman.  Four young women that became friends while sitting together at the different balls of the season.  They united in an effort to get them all a happily ever after.

Scandal in Spring is Daisy Bowman’s story.

Here’s the summary of her story:

“I want you to do everything you’ve ever imagined doing with me . . .” With those scandalous words, Daisy Bowman, the sole “Wallflower” yet to be married, seals her fate with the last man she ever expected to tempt her.

After spending three London seasons searching for a husband, Daisy Bowman’s father has told her in no uncertain terms that she must find a husband. Now. And if Daisy can’t snare an appropriate suitor, she will marry the man he chooses—the ruthless and aloof Matthew Swift.

Daisy is horrified. A Bowman never admits defeat, and she decides to do whatever it takes to marry someone . . . anyone . . . other than Matthew. But she doesn’t count on Matthew’s unexpected charm . . . or the blazing sensuality that soon flares beyond both their control. And Daisy discovers that the man she has always hated just might turn out to be the man of her dreams.

But right at the moment of sweet surrender, a scandalous secret is uncovered . . . one that could destroy both Matthew and a love more passionate and irresistible than Daisy’s wildest fantasies.

When I first read this story years ago, I really connected with Daisy’s character and my heart hurt for her.  I adored this book.  It’s my favorite story of the bunch and there’s much to discuss.

This month we’ll be discussing the friendships in this book, the importance that family play in our lives and the secrets we find out about in this book.

First up, your thoughts on this book.  Did you like it? Love it? Hate it to pieces? What did you like and didn’t like about this book?

For me, I really enjoyed getting to know Daisy and watching her and Matthew fall in love.  The way that Matthew loved Daisy was so romantic and it made me cry because he saw her in ways that nobody else did and he loved her for who she was and who she didn’t think she was.  He thought she was so perfect the way that she was and was so mad at her father for not seeing the jewel that was right before his eyes.

And I loved that Daisy was a bookish heroine.  I thought Kleypas did a wonderful job of bringing Daisy from the other books out into the center of attention.  She really made this book entertaining and delightful, all at the same time.

Thoughts?

Scandal in Spring is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format. (The print version is currently on sale at Amazon for $5.39 and the Kindle format for $4.49!)


Tagged: , , , ,

Review: Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas.

Posted March 26, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments


Rowena’s review of Scandal in Spring (The Wallflowers, Book 4) by Lisa Kleypas.

Hero: Matthew Swift
Heroine: Daisy Bowman


After spending three London seasons searching for a husband, Daisy Bowman’s father has told her in no uncertain terms that she must find a husband. Now. And if Daisy can’t snare an appropriate suitor, she will marry the man he chooses—the ruthless and aloof Matthew Swift.

Daisy is horrified. A Bowman never admits defeat, and she decides to do whatever it takes to marry someone . . . anyone . . . other than Matthew. But she doesn’t count on Matthew’s unexpected charm . . . or the blazing sensuality that soon flares beyond both their control. And Daisy discovers that the man she has always hated just might turn out to be the man of her dreams.

But right at the moment of sweet surrender, a scandalous secret is uncovered . . . one that could destroy both Matthew and a love more passionate and irresistible than Daisy’s wildest fantasies.

Here’s a review that I wrote for my personal blog that I wanted to bring over here, just because I absolutely adore this series and realized I hadn’t reviewed it for this blog. I couldn’t rewrite it any better so I’m just going to re-post this here.

Check it out:

This is my favorite Wallflower book.

Which if you think about it, makes sense since Daisy is my favorite Wallflower. I connected with Daisy because there’s so much about Daisy that I see in myself. The feelings she has, the bookwormishness about her, the way she sees the good in most everything around her, her personality is one that I’m most familiar with. While reading this book, I felt as if I was reading my story, so engrossed in this story was I.

It was a perfect ending to an almost perfect series, IMO. I know this wasn’t the best series in the whole universe, but I think Lisa Kleypas did an extraordinary job with this series. She wrote each book, reflecting on the personality of the heroine and I haven’t been touched by a series in quite a long time, the same way I was touched when reading this series. I fully escaped into Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower world and I’m so bummed that my journey through her books is over. I honestly felt a part of their world, I felt apart of the “in crowd” while reading this series. I connected with each Wallflower and saw a bit of myself in them, the characters were so warm and rich and so like people that I would surround myself in real life which is one of the big reasons I love this series so much. Great characters! I love really great characters! This series really rocks!

Every once in a while, a writer will write a book that captures every feeling that I’ve ever felt, every insecurity I’ve ever had and bring those feelings to life for me through stories. Daisy Bowman could have been ME, call me silly or whatever, but this book spoke to me on so many different levels. It was strange to see a lot of the things that I struggle with (privately, of course) in one character. Now, it’s easy to see a lot of yourself in MANY different characters, but to see so much of yourself and your feelings in one character makes their book all the more special to you.

And that’s how I felt with this book.

I was so in tune with this book and with Daisy, and even with Matthew that I know this will be one of my most favorite books of all time. Now, it’s not often that I’m so wrapped up in a book that I feel like this could very well be my story.

For me, there were so many things I loved about this book, the main thing, being the hero, Matthew Swift. He has taken Simon Hunt’s top spot as my favorite Wallflower Hero. The power behind his feelings for Daisy was just too sweet and unbearably poignant that I misted over quite a few times.

Here are some of them:

When Daisy locked him in the room with her and she’s telling him how she was flirting with Lord Llandrindon. His response:

“Daisy, you’re too damned innocent to understand the danger you’re in. It’s taking all the self-control I ‘ve got to keep my hands off you. Don’t play games with me, sweetheart. It’s too easy for you to torture me, and I’m at my limit. To put to rest any doubts you might have…I’m jealous of every man who comes within ten feet of you. I’m jealous of the clothes on your skin and the air you breathe. I’m jealous of every moment you spend out of my sight.”

Stunned, Daisy whispered, “You…you certainly haven’t shown any sign of it.”

“Over the years I’ve collected a thousand memories of you, every glimpse, every word you’ve ever said to me. Al those visits to your family’s home, those dinners and holidays-I could hardly wait to walk through the front doors and see you.” The corners of his mouth quirked with reminiscent amusement. “You, in the middle of that brash, bull-headed lot. I love watching you deal with your family. Yo’ve always been everything I thought a woman should be. And I have wanted you every second of my life since we met.”

This is one of those, I’ve loved you from afar storylines that I absolutely adore, and I’m so glad that Daisy got this kind of storyline because it’s my favorite and it suited the kind of story I wanted for my favorite wallflower.

But more then that sweet scene, there was another quote in which Matt tells Daisy about her Father. The Father that called her a parasite, he knew how hurt she was by her Father’s remarks and the way he set about trying to ease her mind on that, stole my breath and made my insides all gooey with joy.

…”Ironically,” she commented, “this will be the first time I’ve ever done anything to please my father.”

His reply:

“You,” he whispered in Daisy’s hair, “are the best thing he’s ever done. Someday he’ll realize that.”

Awwwww…I love how sure of her and his love for her that he was. I loved how he tried to do right by her, I loved how fiercely protective he was of her and I just hella loved him dammit. This book was just off the chains good for me, I loved it that much.

Grade: 5 out of 5

Reading Order:

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Saturday Song

Posted December 4, 2010 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

This week I read a book with one of the characters being named Josephine.  Something clicked in my head and I started singing the song Josephine by The Wallflowers’ Bringing Down the Horse album.  It took me a while to find the CD (hey, it came out in 96!) but I’ve listened to it quite a bit this week and still like it as much as I did then.  Here’s Josephine for your listening pleasure. 🙂


Tagged: ,