The Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas

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Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.
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OVERALL SERIES RATING: 4.5 stars.

Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5) rating: 3 stars
Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1) rating: 4 stars
It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2) rating: 4.5 stars
Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3) rating: 5 stars
Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4) rating: 5 stars
A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #5): 4.5 stars

A review for a different type of book today! A historical romance! I’ve done a review of The Prize by Julie Garwood in the past and, not going to lie, I felt rather embarrassed about having read these types of books. You know historical romance with a high amount of erotica. But now I’ve realised “stuff it! I can review what ever the hell I want on my blog” and that is what I will do. Expect more of these types of reviews in the future.

Now on to the Wallflower series. Honestly, I was a little apprehensive going into this series. The only historical romances I had ever read were medieval ones and I was a little bored with books set in the 19th century. I picked up the first book in this series on a whim really because a lot of my friends on Goodreads had given books in the series 5 out of 5 stars and they were raving about them. Although I didn’t storm through the books one after another in the space of a week like many, I took my time and read them over the space of about 4 months. Its safe to say, I really enjoyed them. A lot. I’ve even gone back and reread passages over and over again.

One thing that really captured me in this series was Lisa Kleypas’ writing style. It was engaging and consistent throughout. I found that when I started to read a book I would find myself looking up from the book an hour later and not realising how much time has passed. It was a nice experience as over the past few months I had been going through a horrible phase of starting books but taking weeks to finish them. I also really enjoyed Kleypas’ characterisation. Everyone of the characters in these books are original and intriguing. I especially loved Evie and Daisy, and Sebastian and Matthew. Such great characters and I always wanted to know more about them. Even now as I make my way through Her other series The Hathaways I am hoping for more little scenes with wallflower gang.

Obviously there are aspects of the books that are not for everyone. There are things that appeal to different people and everyone will find something that they dislike whether it’s something that happens in the plot or a character. For me, I wasn’t fond of Lillian, I loved her book BUT when she appeared in any of the other books I hated her. I really disliked her in Devil in Winter and Scandal in Spring. Although this is just my personal taste and she had some traits that I dislike immensely in people.
Other than that, there wasn’t much in these that were badly done, the main reason for giving a few of the books a lower rating that the others was because of how much I enjoyed the book. There wasn’t anything wrong with them really, I just wasn’t as connected with the story, I preferred some of the stories over others.

Overall, if you’re looking to read a few light historical romances, look no further than Lisa Kleypas. I can’t express how much I recommend her. I’ve read quite a lot of historical romance over the past year and these were some of the top books I’ve read. So enjoyable and the characters are just divine. I’ve just started The Hathaways series and although I didn’t enjoy the first book as much as the Wallflowers, I will certainly be carrying on with the series.

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The Prize by Julie Garwood

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In the resplendence of William the Conqueror’s London court, the lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. A resourceful, rebellious and utterly naive, Nicholaa vowed to bend Royce to her will despite the whirlwind of feelings he aroused in her. Ferocious in battle, seasoned in passion, Royce was surprised by the depth of his emotion whenever he caressed his charming bride.
In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders, Royce and Nicholaa revelled in their precious new love … a fervent bond soon to be disrupted by the call of blood, kin and country!

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Rating: 2 stars.

I came across this months and months ago and its been on my TBR list since. I was kind of putting it off because I was rather embarrassed that I wanted to read this. Despite being an archaeologist/historian I usually can’t stand reading historical fiction because I would be just facepalming the entire time. I have studied the Medieval period in great detail over the past few years and therefore I am a little apprehensive to read fictional books about that period, because of the tendency for the author to make it ridiculously unrealistic and well… wrong. 
This is exactly what happened here. Not only was there a lack of any detail in where this was set, but we are given very little information about the circumstances the characters are in. Yeah, we’re told its set just after the Norman invasion and its alluded to that it starts off a few weeks after the Battle of Hastings but that is it. We barely get any impression at all that there had just been an invasion. Its sort of relevant in the first quarter of the book when Nicholaa is hiding in the monastery after her home has been taken. But it goes out the window pretty quickly. The aftermath of the invasion would have been huge. William the Conqueror most likely would NOT be sitting having various banquets and competitions so soon after becoming King of England. I should think he would have been dealing with rebellions and generally trying to keep his hands on the crown.
ANYWAY, on another note. I went into this book with the hope of liking it, and I did in one respect. The romance was satisfying and lovely and everything I wanted. But my god, Nicholaa pissed me off after a while. The main reason for me in reading this book was because it seemed like the heroine was somewhat badass. What. A. Let. Down. As soon as she got married to Royce she basically completely forgot about being Saxon (technically Anglo-Saxons, Garwood could have used the right terminology) and just basically devoted herself to being a good wife despite the fact that Royce was an ass. The feminist in me was screaming.
The writing in this book was easy and quick to read. However, the shifting perspectives were frustrating. There were times when in one paragraph the perspectives would shift 3-4 times and the way it was done wasn’t all that great. Especially with the Justin bits. It was unnecessary. 
However, I did enjoy the book. I wouldn’t read it again, but it was gripping and fun to read.