My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wendy Lyn Watson’s Once Upon A Wallflower is a gem of a book with captivating characters, dry wit and subtle humor. I love all books that has a similar thread to the Beauty and The Beast and oft late, I have been reading quite a few of them. Once Upon A Wallflower has a hero who is rumored to be a murderer as of course he’s weird, spending all his time inside the tower room and he’s also an artist who loves walking along the moors. The author introduces Nicholas Ellerby in a low-key fashion and it is obvious that underneath that tough exterior, there’s a gentle and loving man who is equally fascinated by the woman he’s forced to marry.
Mirabelle Fitzhenry is on the shelf and left with no prospects, her uncle has to pay off his debts and thus Mira the dependent orphan becomes the sacrificial goat so that the other “Mirabelle Fitzhenry, Belle” their own daughter is saved. The story of 2 women, cousins and similar in age sharing the same name was one of cracking wit that I had a hard time keeping my smiles in.
Nicholas and Mira’s love blossoms slowly and Mira comes across as a genuine, caring and kind person who sees thru the mask of Nicholas and waits for him to bail out of the engagement. Nicholas, haunted by nightmares of his mother’s suicide, is himself charmed by the slip of a girl who doesn’t see herself to be anything good but has a heart of a gold trusting him and promising herself to prove that Nicholas is not a murderer. The identity of the murderer can be guessed early but it doesn’t spoil the fun.
In between all the evil family members who are out to gain things for themselves, help comes via Mira’s maid and Nicholas’ valet who are charming characters themselves. I loved the atmospheric feel of the story with the cliffs and crashing waves, it adds to the gothic element of the story.
This is my first book by this author and surely looking forward to reading more.
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A Perennial Wallflower…
When Mira Fitzhenry’s guardian arranges her engagement to one of the most scandalous lords to ever grace the peerage, all of society is abuzz. After all, the man has left a trio of dead young women in his wake, including his first fiancée. But Mira doesn’t see a killer in Nicholas’s moonlight eyes, and she resolves to find the real murderer before the wedding.
A Gothic Villain…
Expecting to scare the chit away within five minutes of meeting him, scarred and brooding Nicholas, the Viscount Ashfield, is intrigued by Mira’s tenacious resolve to prove his innocence. She’s not put off by his imposing appearance, but his family’s dark secrets mean he cannot let her get close.
As the wedding approaches, Nicholas and Mira grow ever closer, yet so does the danger.Will the truth bring Nicholas and Mira together or tear their love apart?