Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blog Tour + Giveaway | WHAT A WALLFLOWER WANTS by Maya Rodale


In the third novel in Maya Rodale’s charming Wallflower series, London’s Least Likely to Be Caught in a Compromising Position finds temptation in a devilishly handsome stranger . . .

Miss Prudence Merryweather Payton has a secret.

Everyone knows that she’s the only graduate from her finishing school to remain unwed on her fourth season-but no one knows why. With her romantic illusions shattered after being compromised against her will, Prudence accepts a proposal even though her betrothed is not exactly a knight in shining armor. When he cowardly pushes her out of their stagecoach to divert a highwayman, she vows never to trust another man again.


John Roark, Viscount Castleton, is nobody’s hero.

He’s a blue-eyed charmer with a mysterious past and ambitious plans for his future-that do not include a wife. When he finds himself stranded at a country inn with a captivating young woman, a delicate dance of seduction ensues. He knows he should keep his distance. And he definitely shouldn’t start falling in love with her.

When Prudence’s dark past comes back to haunt her, John must protect her-even though he risks revealing his own secrets that could destroy his future.


MY THOUGHTS
After enduring a sexual assault by a so-called "gentleman" at a society party, Prudence buries the confrontation, feeling ashamed and damaged. All of her girlhood dreams of meeting a man at a ball, dancing in his arms and falling in love are obliterated in one fell swoop. No longer able to endure the touch of a man, Prudence builds both physical and mental barriers, shielding herself from the possibility of ever finding love. Her rape causes her to not only lose faith in God but in mankind as a whole.

And after all she's encountered. being shoved from a carriage by her fiance as a sacrifice to a highwayman, escaping through the woods and walking all alone in the middle of nowhere, in comes Castleton to turn her world upside down. As much as she is deeply attracted to him and enjoys being in his company, her history with men and her fear keep her from trusting him or allowing him too close. Even with everything she has already endured and lost, Prudence knows Castleton is someone she could lose her heart to if she isn't careful.

John Roark has secrets of his own that he keeps close to his chest. The last thing he needs when he's so close to achieving his dream and securing the future of his mother and sister, is to be distracted by the wounded, mysterious lady who consumes his every thought. He can see the pain in her eyes and knows he'll have to ease her into trusting him. What Prudence needs most is to know that someone has her back, that what happened to her does not reflect on her value as a person or as a woman.

Though Prudence believes society and most men would think of her as soiled or used goods, John couldn't care less about her lack of virginity. He gives her the reassurance and the confidence she needs to allow herself to step into the sunlight again, and bask in the pleasures that life has to offer. He makes her needs and feelings his priority. Though I love a good authoritative rogue, there's definitely something to be said for a sexy, protective man who doesn't conceal his desire for you while still allowing you set the pace. John and Prudence make taking baby steps so sweet and sensual. And although the story is incredibly emotional and moving, you definitely get the heat you're accustomed to in a Maya Rodale novel.

In the introduction to the novel, Maya Rodale states that WHAT A WALLFLOWER is a departure from her more lighthearted romances due to the graphic depiction of sexual violence in the Regency period. The increasingly frequent reports of sexual crimes on the news these days are appalling, but they are not a new occurrence. Even in the eras we love to romanticize and fantasize about, women endured and survived such atrocities. Rodale reminds us that the rules of the Ton were such that if caught, a woman would most likely have been made to marry the very man who violated her, and therefore have the act forced upon her again and again, as would be his legal right as her husband.

Though this is definitely a more somber novel in tone than the first two books in the series, and the heroine is burdened by an attack that clings to her soul like quicksand, the beauty of the understanding and connection shared in the love scenes is that much more brilliant for the darkness that preceded it. I was moved by Prudence's story and I think her emotions and thoughts felt genuine. She is a beacon of strength and an inspiration by publicly denouncing her attacker, putting her reputation at risk to keep what happened to her from happening to others.

WHAT A WALLFLOWER WANTS isn't just a romance novel. And it's not just a statement on the prevalence of sex crimes and violence against women. Or even a look at the thoughts of a victim and the barbed ball of emotions that stay with her long after the assault. It's the story of a woman, a survivor, and the man who loves her, proving that sometimes heroes do come to the rescue and happy endings do exist.

If you're looking for a historical romance that's just a bit more, definitely check out Maya Rodale's WHAT A WALLFLOWER WANTS.


Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.


















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AUTHOR INFO 

Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence and it wasn’t long before she was writing her own. Maya is now the author of multiple Regency historical romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

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Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a Print Set of THE BAD BOYS AND WALLFLOWERS Series! Enter below.

5 comments:

  1. Yay! I've been entering! This series looks really great and this book, especially, seems so much deeper than a lot of other historic romance books I've been reading recently. Thanks for the review!!

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    1. It is an amazing series as a whole. Who doesn't love a good wallflower? But yes, this novel was definitely deeper and more emotional than a lot of your typical historicals. If you do read it let me know what you thought!

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  2. I LERVED this book. I'm hosting a stop on the tour on Oct. 10 and it's been so much fun to read other readers' reactions to it. I agree it's much more somber in tone than her previous books in the series, but it's not overwhelmingly heavy.

    Great review!

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    1. Yes, it definitely wasn't oppressive in tone. I think that the sweet romance between the heroes definitely helped balance out the burdens of the past. Thanks for checking out my review!

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