Originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/reviews/RRs/Nov08RR/AWallflowerChristmas.LK.html
Once upon a time, four young women who were always the wallflowers of London society’s social events banded together to help one another find love, happiness, and the perfect (or wickedly imperfect) man for them. Now it’s Christmas, and the Wallflowers are once again reunited to celebrate the holidays and, perhaps, welcome a new member to their ranks.
Raphael Bowman has come from America to meet and likely marry the aristocratic Lady Natalie. Lady Natalie is everything Rafe’s parents want for him, and his father isn’t above making Rafe’s marriage to her a condition to Rafe securing an interest in his father’s company. Though not enthusiastic about the idea, Rafe is agreeable, but upon arriving in England finds that his brash American ways may not lend themselves to wooing the perfect English rose. To help Rafe, his sisters and their friends decide to invite Lady Natalie’s companion to visit so that Rafe can learn the way to his proposed intended’s heart. There’s just one problem…
Once Rafe meets Miss Hannah Appleton, he can’t seem to get her out of his mind. Her good, proper, English demeanor makes the wicked American want to be very, very bad. She thinks he’s a cad. He thinks she’s irresistible. And Rafe’s father would definitely think a match between them is unacceptable. But with a little help from friends, perhaps the impossible can become possible, just in time for Christmas.
There is truly no better way to spend an afternoon than curled up with a Lisa Kleypas novel. Her books are always charming, entertaining, and bright from beginning to end, and A Wallflower Christmas is no exception. I was swept away by Hannah and Rafe’s love story; it’s filled with delightful characters, sparkling banter, and, at the center of it all, a sensual, heartwarming romance.
Rafe is a truly irresistible hero. He’s sexy, clever, and irreverent – a rogue to the core that I couldn’t help but fall in love with. In Hannah, Rafe meets his match. She’s intelligent and sweet, but with a spine of steel. She’s the kind of heroine you can’t help but feel close to, as if from the very start she is a friend. In other words, she fits in perfectly with her fellow Wallflower heroines as an endearing character who is easy to identify with and adore. And like her four predecessors, Hannah doesn’t fall for a rake’s usual tricks, even if that rake is a man she finds utterly irresistible. Her no-nonsense attitude makes her the perfect foil for Rafe and his careless charm, making their love story a joy to watch unfold. From their first meeting, sparks practically fly off the page, making A Wallflower Christmas impossible to put down.
I confess, though this book is Rafe and Hannah’s story, before “meeting” them, what I had been looking forward to the most was getting to revisit the characters I loved so much from the original Wallflower quartet. Ms. Kleypas did not disappoint. Annabelle, Lillian, Evie, Daisy, and, to a lesser extent, their husbands all played a large role in A Wallflower Christmas. While Hannah and Rafe were undeniably the center of the story, it was pure joy to see my favorite Wallflowers together again. Their cheerful, boisterous, teasing, caring presence added another wonderful layer to this story. Ms. Kleypas also provides a peek into each of the four’s lives after their happily ever after, a wonderful gift for any Wallflower fan. And for those who have yet to read Ms. Kleypas’s phenomenal Wallflower series, A Wallflower Christmas does stand on its own. Yet after finishing this enchanting tale, I am sure every new fan will be rushing to read Secrets of a Summer Night, It Happened One Autumn, Devil in Winter, and Scandal in Spring.
A Wallflower Christmas is everything I’ve come to expect from one of Ms. Kleypas’s novels. It’s sensual, witty, imaginative, and fun, with characters that are so full of life they seem to come right off the page. I cannot speak highly enough of Ms. Kleypas’s talent for writing engaging, entertaining love stories, and A Wallflower Christmas is a perfect example of why her books always end up on my list of favorite novels. I absolutely loved this book and hope that Ms. Kleypas will one day write stories for the remaining two Bowman brothers, Ransom and Rhys, for I cannot get enough of this incredible series. For now I’ll content myself with curling up with A Wallflower Christmas and falling in love with Rafe and Hannah all over again.