Series: Bareknuckle Bastards #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Setting: London, England
Source: ARC, Edelweiss
Also in this series: Brazen and the Beast, Daring and the Duke
Also by this author: The Rogue Not Taken, A Scot in the Dark, The Day of the Duchess, Brazen and the Beast, Daring and the Duke
When Wicked Comes Calling...
When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She's seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won't accept a marriage without it.
The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain...
Bastard son of a duke and king of London's dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.
For the Promise of Passion...
But there's nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she'd rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil's carefully laid plans are in chaos, and he must choose between everything he's ever wanted...and the only thing he's ever desired.
Wicked and the Wallflower is a spin off of sorts from Maclean’s previous series, Scandal and Scoundrels, but its not necessary to read those books before starting. Felicity, our heroine was featured in The Day of the Duchess, as one of the ladies in a reality tv type competition to be the new wife of a duke. She doesn’t win, and returns to her life in the ton as a spinster. However, she wants love more than anything. She wants a man who wants her desperately! Its so sweet of her really and it made me adore her as a character.
Devil’s backstory is only partially revealed. It involves his siblings, so more of the story will presumably be revealed in their stories. But, you know he is the illegitimate son of a duke who, with one brother, runs an illegal rookery in Covent Gardens. He is planning to use Felicity in a plot to destroy another brother’s plans of marriage and producing heirs.
Obviously Felicity sees Devil as the means to get her married to a duke, with money that could save her family. However, as she spends more time with him, she realizes its not the duke she wants (she never really did WANT him-she needed him and he needed her) but Devil. Devil is attracted to Felicity but he is so hell bent on his plan of revenge he pushes her away.
Felicity is NOT a wallflower at all. She is smart and sweet and so lost. She doesn’t understand why her ‘friends’ turned on her, she doesn’t understand why her family is so desperate to marry her off, she doesn’t want just any marriage, but one filled with love and desire. She is so incredibly relatable in those ways! While she is 27 in the story, her struggles with friends, family, and love I think resonate with lots of girls of all ages!
Devil was a tougher character to like. His backstory (what we get of it) certainly pulls at your heart strings. But, his need for revenge above all else is difficult. He is willing to ruin Felicity in order to get his revenge. And, since you don’t know the entire backstory, you aren’t even sure what his brother did that was so bad to bring on this level of hate from Devil.
Wicked and the Wallflower was an enjoyable read that took me by surprise because Felicity is so not a wallflower! She has become one of my favorite characters for sure.
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: marriage of convenience, secret identity
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
- HEA: View Spoiler »
The three were woven together long before they were aware, strands of spun, silken steel that could not be separated—not even when their fate insisted upon it.
Brothers, born on the same day, in the same hour, at the same minute to different women. The high-priced courtesan. The seamstress. The soldier’s widow. Born on the same day, in the same hour, at the same minute to the same man.
The duke, their father, whose arrogance and cruelty fate would punish without hesitation, stealing from him the only thing he wanted that his money and power could not buy—an heir.
It is the Ides of March the seers warn of, with its promise of betrayal and vengeance, of shifting fortune and inalienable providence. But for this sire—who was never more than that, never close to father—it was the Ides of June that would be his ruin.
Because on that same day, in that same hour, at that same minute, there was a fourth child, born to a fourth woman. To a duchess. And it was this birth—the birth all the world thought legitimate—that the duke attended, even as he knew the son who was to be his heir in name and fortune and future was not his own and still, somehow, was his only hope.
Except she was a daughter.
And with her first breath, she thieved future from them all, as powerful in her infancy as she would become in her womanhood. But hers is a story for another time.
This story begins with the boys.