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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Review: How to Woo a Wallflower by Christy Carlyle

Christy Carlyle is another one of those authors that immediately caught my attention and ended up on my favorites list.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: November 14, 2017

An Unconventional Wallflower…

Clarissa Ruthven was born to be a proper lady, but she’s never wanted to live up to the expectations her late father set. Determined to use her inheritance to help the less fortunate women of London, she’s devastated to learn that she won’t be inheriting anything until she marries, a fate she has no interest in. Unwilling to let go of her plans, Clary works at Ruthven Publishing for Gabriel Adamson, a man who’s always hated her. She’s always returned the feeling, but as she begins to turn her family’s publishing company upside down, she finds herself unable to forget her handsome boss.

Never Follows the Rules…

Gabriel Adamson believes in order. He certainly doesn’t believe Clary should be sticking her nose in the publishing company, and she definitely has no business invading his every thought. But Gabe soon finds he can’t resist Clary’s sense of freedom or her passionate kisses and he starts to crave everything she’s willing to give him.

Especially When It Comes to Love…

When Gabe’s dark past comes back to haunt him, he’ll do anything to make sure that Clary isn’t hurt…even if it means giving up the only woman he’s ever loved.

What’s it About? Clarissa Ruthven is determined to use her inheritance to help the less fortunate women of London, unfortunately per her late father’s wishes she won’t be inheriting anything unless she marries. Which she doesn’t want to do and she’s not about to give up easily either. So she decides to really dig in and work at her family’s publishing company, even if that means working for Gabriel Adamson who has always hated her and she him. Gabriel doesn’t exactly hate Clary, he just doesn’t like her disorderly way of doing things. He likes order and structure and thinks that she’s a disaster waiting to happen but with these two spending so much time together they go from arguing to wanting much more and when Gabe’s past comes back to haunt him he’s willing to do anything to keep Clary from getting hurt, even if it means giving her up for good.

Overall reaction to the story? How to Woo A Wallflower is the second book I’ve read by Christy Carlyle and I really am enchanted by her stories and her characters. She’s one of those authors who can write an independent, feisty female character without completely taking her out of her time period. Carlyle also manages to create an alpha male like Gabriel who can take charge of a dangerous situation without smothering Clarissa’s personality underneath all his testosterone. I loved the romance that built between two characters who on the surface didn’t seem to have anything in common.

Describe the hero in five words: Serious. Loyal. Caring. Intelligent. Stubborn.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? Despite his gruff exterior or perhaps because of it, Gabe was a great balance to Clary's more impulsive, "think later" personality. I loved that while he fought tooth and nail not to like Clary, he always looked out for her, albeit in a very stern, disapproving way. Gabe came from nothing and made something good of himself and for his sister but his violent past was always hanging over his head, giving him a no nonesense attitude. But as big, bad, and invincible as Gabe seemed, he had some interesting, emotional weaknesses. Overall, he was a big, surly guy on the outside but a softie on the inside and those are the best kinds of heroes.

Describe the heroine in five words: Spirited. Independent. Intelligent. Stubborn. Kind.
Did you like her? Yes.
Why? Clary is the type of character who doesn't wait around for her happiness to come around and she certainly doesn't wait for a dashing hero to save her, much less a grumpy one like Gabe. She was such a caring character but I really loved how fiesty she got whenever she was around Gabe, it showed her determination to control her own life as much as she could. She took the initiative to learn skills that were all but forbidden for women to learn in that time. She was, *gasp* well read too, can you imagine that? Clary could be so stubborn and sometimes that frustrated me. I admire a strong woman so long as she's smart and reasonable about it.

Let’s talk about the romance: Gabe and Clary didn't exaclty make each other smile at first. There was a mutual dislike with a touch of curiosity but with the circumstances of Clary's inheritence it constantly put these two within sniping distance of one another. I liked the sniping because it slowly gave way to a mutual respect and then an attraction that they couldn't escape from. At first glance they seemed like total opposites but those contrasts balanced them out as individuals. Gabe brought some order and calm while Clary brought fun and a touch of chaos. They worked well together.

How about that supporting cast? Clary's family is a bit odd in an endearing way which makes the scenes with them a treat but also gives a little insight to how Clary's life was growing up. Gabe's sister was a welcome addition to the story and I admit, she piqued my curiousity. She had the same rough start in life as Gabe so I'd like to know how that shaped and scarred her.

Click It or Skip It? Click it. Gabe and Clary's antagonistic beginning makes for a delicious romance later.

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