Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoy MacLean's historical romances! This one is sent in 1837 London.
This is the first in a series (The Bareknuckle Bastards) but has characters introduced in earlier books and series. That said, you don't have to read any of the other books -- these stand alone. In point of fact, I had forgotten the character (Felicity) who was in an earlier book. And it was A-OK.
Felicity is unmarried, and a bit of an outcast in the social circles. It bothers her, because she used to be in, but well, for one reason and another her former friends are her current enemies.
Devil is the illegitimate son of a Duke. As the introduction tells us, the Duke had three illegitimate sons, and one legitimate daughter (born to his wife, but not his child), born on the same day. The series is named for these children: The Bareknuckle Bastards. Because in one way or another, they have had to fight: for life, for a place, for safety, for money.
Devil has revenge on his mind; and Felicity wants a marriage to bring her status and love. She's seen love, and won't settle for anything else. Devil promises her he can get an eligible Duke to propose and to fall in love -- Felicity accepts, not realizing that it's part of Devil's revenge and he has no intention of meeting his promises.
It's a romance -- of course they fall in love! And Devil is keeping secrets and thinks his birth status as well as his income sources (not entirely legal) makes Felicity out of his reach. Felicity still has a bit of wanting social acceptance, and other reasons drive her choices, but most importantly she wants love.
I eagerly look forward to the next book!
(that said, what I would also like are books about Victoria and Valerie, the sisters of Penelope from A Rogue by Any Other Name. All their siblings got love, and they didn't, and I am haunted and fascinated by them.)
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