Review: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

Reviewed by Jen

Man, I really enjoyed this book. To be fair, Sarah McLean is an auto by author for me at this point. But that isn’t what made me love it… The story featured some of my favorite tropes, done to perfection, along with two main characters who I simply adored, both together and apart.

Felicity is a 27-year-old wallflower, who actually used to be a darling of the ton. I liked her in The Day of the Duchess, as one of the ladies who was “trying out” to be that hero’s new wife. Obviously, she was not meant to be the heroine of that tale. Still, her family is pushing hard for her to have a good match because they are in dire financial straits and they need a rich husband for her to solve their problems. Unfortunately, since she has fallen out of favor with those who were once her friends, it is a task that is growing increasingly difficult.

Those “friends” have actually grown quite cool. As the story begins they are teasing and pushing her too far, so far in fact that she declares that she is engaged to the duke who threw the ball they were attending. With that pronouncement, she unknowingly threw herself into a battle between two brothers with a deep grudge against each other.

Devon, who goes as “Devil” in the streets of Convent Garden, was only at the ball on the fringes. He is one of three bastard sons of the late duke. One of his brothers is now posing as a legitimate heir. Dev allowed it only under the condition his brother would never continue the family line. Now that the man is searching for a bride, Dev is there to put a stop to it.

He decides to ingratiate himself with Felicity to teach his brother a lesson. Of course, he had no idea he would end up falling for the fierce and feisty woman who can pick a lock faster than anyone he’s ever known. She thinks nothing of speaking her mind or standing her ground. And as the underworld he has built is slowly unveiled to her, she doesn’t look at him as a criminal, but as a man. The kind of man he never thought he could be.

I adore the whole trope where the hero feels himself beneath the heroine. Especially when the heroine, herself, refuses to see him that way. What I especially love here is that through his eyes she grows to see herself as beautiful, powerful, and strong. And through her eyes, at long last, he sees some worth in himself. And that is the kind of emotional journey I am down for every single time.

Oh yeah, and did I mention he has a scar? One with an awesome backstory.

There is phenomenal sexual tension here and fantastic payoff when these two come together. Lots of enthusiastic consent too.

Add to that, intriguing secondary characters like Whit… and the inevitable love story between Ewan and Grace… and I am already dying to read more.

As much of the story takes place in the seedy elements of the rookery is as in ball rooms and sitting rooms. And I loved it all the more for that. In fact, I can’t think of anything I didn’t love about this book. Would definitely recommend.

Rating: A

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Wicked and the Wallflower
by Sarah MacLean
Release Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: Avon


  1. You do such great reviews of historical romance but it is mostly not my thing. Anne – Books of My Heart

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