Review: Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins

Reviewed by Jen

I struggled to get into this book. It wasn’t bad, but it was very slow and it took a really long time before I was even remotely interested in either main character, much less a romance between them.

I picked this up because the hero was a vicar and the blurb promised that he and the heroine would “confront their fiery mutual passion.” I mistakenly thought this would be perhaps a forbidden romance, or at a minimum a gentle reserved hero who would be tempted by a passionate woman. Not so much.

This is the third book in Manda Collins’ Studies in Scandal series and I did not read the first two books. Sometimes with historical romance series, that doesn’t matter. Often, they stand alone very well and you barely notice that there may have been stories that came before. Not here. I wasn’t lost, necessarily, but there were plenty of references to the earlier books and with the struggles I already had to care about the main couple, this only made my problem worse.

Anyway, Sophia is one of four women who apparently were bequeathed a house based on skills each of them possessed. Each of the four women get their own book and have their own gifts. One is really smart. One is a math whiz. Sophia is a talented artist. As the story begins, she is painting at the top of a cliff when she is startled by male voices and falls. Obviously, she does not plummet to her death, but she does twist her ankle and lands on Ben the vicar. They overhear two men talking about possibly killing an artist and realize they have a mystery to solve.

Of course, Ben does not want to endanger a fragile lady with what could be a dangerous investigation. Especially once his brother brings word that he needs to help the crown bust a forgery ring, which he realizes is tied into what they overheard. But Sophia is stubborn and forces him to keep his word and work as a team. The story follows their effort to unravel the scheme as they end up falling in love.

I was decidedly underwhelmed. This was a superficial read. It made me feel nothing. In fact, in the first third, I was flat out bored. There was nothing overt that turned me off, I just could not muster any enthusiasm to want to keep reading. I did finish and the ending is largely as you would expect, though with one small twist in the murder mystery. But overall, I found it flat and I do not see myself revisiting the series.

PS — How could Ben keep calling Sophia a wallflower when she had a horde of suitors? Makes no sense.

Rating: C

*ARC provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon

Wallflower Most Wanted
by Manda Collins
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

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