The Wicked Wallflower
by Tracy Sumner
I just finished reading the “The Wicked Wallflower”, a Regency romance by author Tracy Sumner. It’s the third book in her series, ‘The Duchess Society’. I think I’m going to refer to her now as ‘The Wicked Writer’ – which she is, because every time I read one of her books in this series, she makes me throw over my last book boyfriend in favor of her newest hero. The beautifully written story of Lady Phillipa Darlington and Xander Macauley is a slow-burn, best friend’s little sister romance that actually began being foreshadowed in book two of this series. Don’t worry if you didn’t read that one yet because you’ll absolutely enjoy this one anyway.
Pippa is a young woman who knows her worth – and that’s not even referring to her huge dowry. She knows her worth as a human being and wants to make a mark upon the world in a meaningful way. She also desperately wants her brother’s friend Xander. Pippa doesn’t care that he’s lowborn, or that he’s had to do who knows what to survive. The aristocracy scorns him for many reasons, one of which being he uses his own hard work to prosper; she respects and admires him tremendously for that … but it isn’t as important as how he makes her feel. Xander can’t seem to shake his interest in Pippa, which has been there for a long while already. He knows he isn’t good enough for her. He knows his friend, her brother, would kill him for even showing interest in her. But Xander is tormented by the way being around or even thinking about Pippa makes him feel.
The tension and the chemistry between Pippa and Xander shimmers off the page like sunlight and moonlight dance over water. I enjoyed that she always figured out ways to go after what she wanted – including Xander. Both lead characters had wonderful depth to them, which remained true right up through the excellent ending that suited them so well. There are excellent secondary characters in this story, one of whom is going to be the focus of the next book in the series. When you read this book, I think you’ll be looking forward to that next story as much as I am.