Book Review: The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower by Erica Ridley

earls defiant wallflowerOliver York returns from war to find his father dead, his finances in arrears, and himself the new Earl of Carlisle. If he doesn’t marry an heiress—and fast!—he and his tenants are going to be pitching tents down by the Thames. He definitely shouldn’t be trading kisses with a penniless debutante… no matter how captivating she is!
Miss Grace Halton is in England just long enough to satisfy the terms of her dowry. But a marriage of convenience isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. Back in America, her ailing mother needs medicine only Grace’s dowry can afford. Which means the dashing earl she can’t get out of her mind is the one man she can’t let into her heart.

From netgalley in exchange for a review

This is in the same series as The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation and is really where things started. Oliver and 3 of his friends have just returned from war, all suffering side effects – Xavier is shellshocked, another has lost a leg, one died. Oliver has come back to find his father has died (having eaten shellfish whilst in the bed of his latest mistress) and has left Oliver penniless and the new Earl. He is need of a rich heiress to marry in order to get things back on track, and so has to contend with the meat market that is the season.

There he becomes aware of a beautiful wallflower (Grace) at one of the parties, trying to disappear into the wallpaper. However he soon finds out it’s not through choice – she is American, without a penny to her name, and in need of a rich husband, and is being shunned accordingly. Her grandmother is a fright – she never forgave her daughter for moving to America and be married to an American, and doesnt believe the excuse that she is dreadfully ill as the reason for not returning.

There is an instant attraction between Oliver and Grace , but as they get to know each other, they are honest with each other that a marriage between themselves would not help either of them. His attentions naturally bring on the attentions of others in the room, who decide that perhaps it is time to pay her attention. However, none of the men are what she needs and Oliver is no closer to finding someone.

Finally, the two of them are found in a rather compromising position in the library, so are rather railroaded into getting married. The ending is a little fast, with a resolution to the money issues coming from an unexpected source. It is rather a short book, so things arent necessarily explored as in depth as liked, but in the end it was an enjoyable story and a nice set up for other books in the series


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