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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Drea's Review: The Earl's Defiant Wallflower

Title: The Earl's Defiant Wallflower
Author: Erica Ridley
Series: The Dukes of War, #1
Format: e-book
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Length: Novel (250 pages)
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Netgalley
Buy: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Rating: 4-stars 

Drea's Review:

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Grace needs money to help her mother recover from an illness that has her laid up in bed. She sails to England, hoping her rich grandparents there will help. But they believe their estranged daughter has sent her child to weasel money out of them. They’ll set Grace up with a dowry but that’s all she’ll get. Now Grace needs a husband her awful grandparents will approve of…a husband who won’t mind if his wife disappears on the wedding day with half her dowry.

Newly home from the war, Oliver discovers his father is dead and he’s now Earl of an estate in dire straits. He needs cash fast and has no property he can sell. An heiress with a hefty dowry is needed. Too bad the only woman he’s interested in is an American whose dowry will hardly make a dent in his debts.

The Earl's Defiant Wallflower was an enjoyable, quick historical romance—exactly what I needed. It’s written in the third-person point-of-view from both Grace and Oliver’s POV’s. There weren’t any times when I was jarred out of the story because of historical inaccuracies. And the characters behaved in understandable ways. These are two important factors for me these days when reading historical romance.

From a few pages into the story you know that both characters are attracted to one another and that they’re well suited. There’s very little in the way of the verbal fireworks I love, and that’s okay in this instance because there’s plenty of other drama to keep me interested. The conflict is largely external rather than internal. On Grace’s side it’s her beastly grandmother’s failure to help the sick mother. She needs a husband who won’t care if she disappears. She can tell Oliver would care (*swoon*). On Oliver’s side it’s the fallout of his father’s poor estate handling. He needs a wife whose dowry will pay for the staff and settle debts. As the story goes on there are several realizations that change their perceptions. There’s also the beginning of a few sub plots that pave the way for other books in the series.

One of my favorite aspects of the story was how the hero regularly tries to save the day and only ends up making the situation worse. In the end, what seemed like a worse situation turns into the best thing that could have happened for all. *cheers*

My only criticism of The Earl's Defiant Wallflower is that the ending is tied up too easily, giving it a Deus ex machina feel. That said, it’s not bad enough that I’d knock off more than a star.

If you’re looking for a light, enjoyable historical romance about a plucky Yankee and an unlucky Earl, grab this one!

Challenges Update: This is the first book toward the 2015 Historical Romance reading challenge and because this author is new to me, I think it also counts on the New To Me 2015 challenge (this makes two New To Me books this year. I'm starting off with a goal of six in both, but hope to do more!

New to You Reading Challenge


  1. LOL totally counts :) I was just looking at another one from her and thinking I might need to try her. Shame about the ending but still sounds really good.

    1. Yay for counting lol
      I've got a review of her second book coming soon. It was pretty good as well :)

  2. LOL too bad they don't have money. I confess I'm curious to see how everything ends up now. thanks for the review!

    1. Money would have fixed it all. Still, the author ties it up anyway.

  3. I've got the prequel and should be reading it in the coming weeks, yay !

    1. I think I might have it, too, and I do need to read it. I always drag my feet on prequels before and after having read the book they're before.

  4. I need to read another one for my challenge... The hero having good intentions but messing up things further sounds funny.

    1. I like that her stories are quick but fairly satisfying. It's so annoying to have to slog through 300 pages only to have it end kind of meh, you know?

    2. Oh yeah. And you can tell midway if the book is meh. I'm usually tempted to DNF, but out of deference I read on!

    3. I've been DNF'ing more lately (audio and book) because most of the places that will run my reviews don't want to see anything lower than a 3*.
      That and omg I have so much else I'd rather be doing than reading annoying stuff :D
      But you go girl. You're taking one for the whole team :D