Saturday, January 14, 2012

Review: The Rake and the Wallflower by Allison Lane (4.5 stars, traditional)

Full Description: Amazon

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Thoughts After Reading: The Rake and the Wallflower was another well-written traditional regency by Allison Lane (I just realized she was the author). The heroine is truly a wallflower for a change, a young woman who would rather hide out and sketch during a ball than having to put up with her horrid sister (a beautiful and initially popular girl who regularly acts like a spoiled child). The hero is hardly a rake, and is actually rather "sensitive" for a regency hero: he is kind, forgiving, hates hunting, saves animals from abuse, and can't really handle the sight of blood. Never fear, he is still an attractive and titled gentleman who can kiss the heroine senseless ;). He actually gained the label of "rake" due to the actions of his father and from scandal that was forced upon him. For example, one lady tried to pin her pregnancy and subsequent death on him in her suicide note. As a result, he has become somewhat ostracized from society. Another storyline that exists throughout the novel is that someone is trying to kill the hero. Meanwhile, the hero and heroine meet in some unexpected situations and quickly develop a friendship. When the heroine's sister tries to compromise the hero against his wishes, the heroine steps in and the hero and heroine end up getting engaged. There is some angst as the heroine feels she is not worthy of the hero (etc), but the open and truthful relationship between the couple keeps things from getting ridiculous. Eventually, all the conflicts are cleared up, including: the romance plot, the murder attempts, and society's view of the hero. I felt the book was paced very well, particularly for a traditional regency, and never lost interest in the story. It also had a surprising amount of sexual tension for a traditional regency, although nothing actually happens. My biggest problem with the book was this: the heroine's sister was a bitch. Now, I readily admit the author offered a realistic portrayal of how such a character would act and her interference definitely had an effect on the storyline (facilitating the engagement, etc). But I read romance for escapism, and the last thing I want included in my reading is a bitchy family member who causes the heroine frequent stress. So that part was a little iffy, but the book as a whole was a solid and enjoyable regency.

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