I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Temptations of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh
Series: The Wicked Quills of London #3
Published by HarperCollins on April 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Historical, General, Regency
Purchase Links: Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | IndieBound
ADD TO GOODREADS:
Eva Leigh’s deliciously sexy Wicked Quills of London series continues as a Lady’s secret career writing erotic fiction is jeopardized by real-life romance . . .
In society circles she’s known as the Watching Wallflower—shy, quiet, and certainly never scandalous. Yet beneath Lady Sarah Frampton’s demure façade hides the mind of The Lady of Dubious Quality, author of the most titillating erotic fiction the ton has ever seen. Sarah knows discovery would lead to her ruin, but marriage—to a vicar, no less—could help protect her from slander. An especially tempting option when the clergyman in question is the handsome, intriguing Jeremy Cleland.
Tasked with unmasking London’s most scandalous author by his powerful family, Jeremy has no idea that his beautiful, innocent bride is the very woman he seeks to destroy. His mission must remain a secret, even from the new wife who stirs his deepest longings. Yet when the truth comes to light, Sarah and Jeremy’s newfound love will be tested. Will Sarah’s secret identity tear them apart or will the temptations of his wallflower wife prove too wicked to resist?
Also in this series: Forever Your Earl, Scandal Takes the Stage
Also by this author: Forever Your Earl, Scandal Takes the Stage
Author Eva Leigh continues to impress. Each novel in her Wicked Quills of London series is better than the last (a hard feat considering how impressive the first book is!). The series revolves around female writers in the early nineteenth century: first a newspaperwoman, next a playwright and now, in Temptations of a Wallflower, a novelist.
Our heroine, Lady Sarah Frampton, isn’t just any sort of novelist, mind you. Sarah is the author of a series of very popular—and very naughty—erotic novels, under her nom de plume, “The Lady of Dubious Quality.” A virginal wallflower, Sarah has an incredible imagination and is dedicated to reading research for her work. 😉 While many enjoy her salacious works, there is a vocal minority who wish to squash the publication of Sarah’s books and out the author for public scorn. Since Sarah is the daughter of a duke, discovery would mean ruin and shame for her family, and the very real possibly of being shunned by her parents.
Chief among The Lady of Dubious Quality’s detractors is the Earl of Hutton. The earl summons his youngest son Jeremy from his parsonage in Devonshire and tasks him with outing The Lady’s identity.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think Regency era vicar, I think more Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice …
and less, I don’t know — Tom Hiddleston.
Well, Rev. Jeremy Cleland is definitely more Mr. Hiddleston than Parson Collins. In fact, I’d wager the only things Jeremy and Collins have in common are their simple black clerical clothing and vocation (although Jeremy seems a heck of a lot better suited for it than Collins). With his bright blue eyes, curly blond hair, and intelligent wit, Jeremy quickly catches Lady Sarah’s attention (the fact that he’s hiding a muscular swimmer’s body under those stuffy black clericals is a nice bonus).
Obviously Sarah’s secret a danger to her potential happiness with Jeremy, but the larger impediment is the difference in their social classes. In a refreshing twist on the usual situation, it is Sarah who above Jeremy in rank. Duke’s daughters simply don’t marry vicars, not matter how kind, funny, intelligent and sexy they are. [Please note: Jeremy is NOT perfect. He may be close, but his inability/unwillingness to free himself from his autocratic father’s grasp is troublesome]
Jeremy enjoys his role as a vicar (at least the helping people part) but being held to his father, and his parish’s, exacting standards create inner turmoil for him, as his is a healthy young man with a lusty appetite—especially for a certain wallflower. Combined with Sarah’s own sexual curiosity, these two are a powder keg of sexual tension ready to explode at any moment.
Their easy friendship, mutual admiration and, undeniable sexual attraction combine to form a perfect storm of circumstances that would result in a love match but for the societal obstacles. However, circumstances, and a fair bit of recklessness, lead to marriage between the two. Phew! Only after their happiness is established does Jeremy’s mission for his father—and Sarah’s writing—threaten what they are building together.
Author Eva Leigh’s handling of societal and sexual exceptions of women in the Regency is handled with intelligence and realism. In Jeremy and Sarah, the author has created a beautiful couple whose mutual respect leads to some wonderfully open moments of emotional honesty and physical intimacy. [GAH! The wedding night!] Even though I knew Sarah’s writing would be an issue for her and Jeremy, the way it was handled was unexpected and very touching.
Temptations of a Wallflower is a rare treat, one to be savored and enjoyed over and over again.
About Author Eva Leigh
EVA LEIGH is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the ‘80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.