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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Waltzing With The Wallflower by Rachel Van Dyken & Leah Sanders

Waltzing With The Wallflower by Rachel Van Dyken and Leah Sanders
Publisher: Astraea Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (92 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

The Season has only just begun, but already Ambrose Benson Earl of Hawthorne is bored. That is, until his brother offers him a challenge. Something worthy of his particular talents.

The object: The girl hiding behind the potted plants: the one in the horrible dress.

The Goal: Turn her into the envy of the ton. A lady suitable for a duke.

But there is just something about the lady. In spite of all her social misgivings, something inexplicably draws him in, making him want to waltz with the wallflower.

An entertaining glimpse of London’s Season during the Regency Period, Waltzing With The Wallflower races along with humor, shallowness, and boredom of young noblemen who don’t consider the damage they may do when they make a bet involving a misfit “too-old” debutante.

Cordelia, with disgraced parents, is sponsored for a Season by an aunt and uncle, but her reputation, not of her own doing, makes her prospects of finding a husband slim to none. She hates the whole process.

Ambrose, Earl of Hawthorne, with a plan to make Cordelia a person of interest to the men in order to win a bet, asks to court Cordelia. He suggests clothing style, manners, etc. and then sees to it that she gets invitations to all the “right” places. He, his twin brother Anthony, and friend Colin Wilde see that her dance card is always full, with Ambrose dancing all the waltzes with her. Soon all the eligible men are showing her attention.

As Cordelia’s true personality, her quick wit, and her natural beauty emerge, Ambrose’s plan works almost too well. The fallout from a thoughtless bet and the price to be paid are predictable. The locations and events of the Season are the standards in Regency novels, but the creative way the plot unfolds with a sparkling humor keeps the reader turning pages.

Waltzing With The Wallflower, a seven-two page novella, is brief but it is well written with characters who hold one’s attention—a delightful escape from the mundane world.

At the end of the story, there are several pages of excerpts from other works by Ms. Van Dyken and Ms. Sanders to whet a reader’s interest as well.