Review | Wicked and the Wallflower
Author: Sarah MacLean
Genre: Romance, Fiction
Series: The Bareknuckle Bastards #1
Trigger Warning - Controlling Parents, Nudeness
Disclaimer - This book contains erotic content for ages 18+ that may be mentioned below and should be read with discretion. Do not read further if you would like to avoid any discussion on those topics.
The first book in a romantic trilogy with characters who never dreamed of finding love. Felicity desires passion and with Devil being the only person who can gift it to her, they strike up a deal. He must find her a husband that will fulfill her desire before she becomes a spinster in their society. It doesn't take long for Devil to learn that Felicity isn't as plain as everyone, herself included, claims her to be. Now, he must decide whether to prioritize his clever plan of revenge, unbeknownst to Felicity, or to keep her for himself.
In-Depth Review (contains spoilers)
This was a very pleasant romance about a couple who would have never met if fate hadn't intervened and Devil hadn't made a deal. It is such a quick story to get into, by page 10 you are invested. Then even more so when she announces her engagement to the Duke of Marwick. Having read plenty of romance novels, I knew that was going to be the event that propelled Felicity and Devil together.
Felicity is smart but very naïve, which could be dangerous in Devil's line of work. She may have figured out the secret behind his trade, but she didn't have the sense to not traverse Covent Garden without an escort. This makes it understandable, that Devil would be reserved to bring her into his world but I think it'll be worth it. She balances him so well and he gives her the undivided passion that she craves. As I stated before, she is smart and is capable of adjusting to his lifestyle. We quickly learn that she'll do so happily in order to stay with him.
Devil originally thought that her way of seeing the world was due to her naivety, but I believe that Felicity's sight is what Devil needed for a long time. He cared for his people but lost sight of the beauty in the world and how he can add to it. Felicity helps him with that. She also shows him how to see past what others believe. Others thought her to be simple and plain with no knowledge or awareness of the world. Instead, she is quick-witted, dazzling, and a skilled lockpick. All of these lead her directly to him because she may appear as a weak wallflower, she's actually an intelligent woman that just required someone in her corner to believe in her.
I did feel bad for Felicity at points, knowing that the Duke and Devil were both using her to play into their own plots. She didn't deserve that treatment but it was needed in order to help Devil realize his own need for her. Like any romance, it propels you through the story knowing that some way, somehow, they will end up together in the end.
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