Published by Piatkus Entice in November 2013
'It's official,' Lillian, Lady Westcliff, said with satisfaction, setting aside the letter from her brother. 'Rafe will reach London in precisely a fortnight. And the clipper's name is the Whirlwind, which I think is quite apt in light of his impending betrothal.'
It’s Christmastime in London and Rafe Bowman has arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie Blandford, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady in waiting and, if it weren’t for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen. And winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants. However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.
Lisa Kleypas is definitely one of my 'must read authors'; her contemporary Friday Harbour series has already found a special place in my heart. However, this was the first historical romance I had read by her. A Wallflower Christmas is the fifth and final book in the Wallflower series set around a group of young ladies searching for true love in a Victorian London. As you can see, I read the fifth book in the series and in no way did I feel I needed to read the other four to enjoy this series. Having said that by the time I had finished this book, it made me want to go back and read the previous four as I truly enjoyed this one, unleashing a new love in historical romance within me.
I would describe this book as a Victorian Christmas Cinderella, as the poor girl gets her Prince. Hannah is sweet, innocent and walked over by the superior members of her family, she cannot see herself rising very far in society and has resigned herself to a fairly decent marriage without love. Until she meets her cousin's betrothed, hot womanising, American stud Rafe, who needs an English wife to please his father, who will disinherit him if he doesn't marry into aristocracy. Rafe has other ideas of how he would like to live his life and I loved watching him pursue his choice of bride. He is the all American bad boy!
The four main women from the previous books all appear in this one and as you read on you realise they have happily moved on with their lives after finding the loves of their lives. Their husbands may be upper class members of society, but their is nothing cold about them, they are all full of heat and testorone (one of the main reasons I now want to go back and read the rest of the series!) I really liked all the Wallflowers straight away, these were not women to be walked over - head strong and determined, they would definitely have stood out in Victorian society.
The love is a little bit too instant for most people's liking, but hell I didn't give a damn!
The book is full of snippets of how the Victorian's celebrated Christmas which I found adorable and really added to the authenticity of this period drama. I would have loved to live during those times when they all came together for a couple of weeks and celebrated Christmas as a huge group, flitting off to balls and midnight sleigh rides. It was just so wonderfully written and absorbing. *sighs*
This book is rather steamy in parts but it fitted the story so well. Rafe is devilishly gorgeous , you will instantly fall for his boyish charms. Hannah glows with innocence which just adds to her beauty. A gorgeous festive book, that will make you glow inside.