Posts tagged ‘scandal in spring’

May 18, 2013

Wallflowers #4

Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

As I had guessed, this one turned out to be my favorite in the Wallflower series. It is an sweet love story with great characters and a small mystery (which wasn’t really hard to guess). Every ingredient for a good (not great) historical romance novel was equally balanced and, with the addition of Daisy Bowman, turned out to be a wonderful read to cure your blue mood.

All excerpts from the book © Lisa Kleypas All rights reserved

Daisy clearly owns the book. First of all, let me just say that I love her. She’s certainly one of my favorite historical romance heroines. I’m sorta like her in some ways: I love daisies, she also enjoys reading romances, I’m “five foot and one debatable inch” too, her story is set in my favorite season, and I got Daisy when I took the Wallflowers personality test on Lisa Kleypas’ website. But that’s not the real reason I’m so fond of her. Daisy is a peculiar child whose mind works in a completely different, but adorable manner. Her character is very difficult to explain in plain adjectives, but the author does an excellent job with metaphors:

She was the most provoking, beguiling woman he had ever met. Thunderstorms and rainbows wrapped together in a convenient pocket-sized parcel.

Did I mention that the writing of he book is excellent, by the way? It is.

One of my favorite passages depicting Daisy is by Westcliff whose role in this book is unnecessarily big, if you ask me. But my impression of him increased by ten fold after this:

“Daisy is a charming little scamp, not to mention lovely. Had she a bit more confidence, and far less sensitivity, she would have learned by now to attract the opposite sex with ease. But to her credit, she doesn’t have the temperament to treat love as a game. And few men have the wits to appreciate sincerity in a woman.” 

This statement (especially the last sentence) is so true in so many different respects that I can’t begin to recite all of them.

On a negative note on Daisy, I think she falls in love rather too unexpectedly. One minute she can’t stand Matthew’s presence, the next she is plotting to make him jealous and confess his feelings (which, by the way, was rather uncharacteristic of her). But in the meantime, the two share some very good moments, like when they play lawn bowling for hours at end and when Matthew comes to her rescue during the silly drawing room games. Those were very well-written scenes. As for Matthew’s feelings–oh, I’m bubbling with glee just thinking about it–he has always loved Daisy since the first time he laid eyes on her.

“Over the years I’ve collected a thousand memories of you, every glimpse, every word you’ve ever said to me. All those visits to your family’s home, those dinners and holidays—I could hardly wait to walk through the front door and see you.” The corners of his mouth quirked with reminiscent amusement. “You, in the middle of that brash, bull-headed lot…I love watching you deal with your family. You’ve always been everything I thought a woman should be. And I have wanted you every second of my life since we first met.”

Isn’t that my favorite kind of hero? Well, no. Matthew had this similar I’m-no-good-for-her-so-I-can’t-have-her thing going on like Kev in Seduce Me at Sunrise, but it wasn’t that plausible. For one thing, his resolve literally crumbled when Daisy took off her chemise (See, I like that bold quality in her) and that made it appear sort of weak. We knew that it was weak but couldn’t he have pretended otherwise and done something? It was as if he was just looking for an excuse (One can’t blame him, can he?). In other words, he didn’t reach the “miserable enough” threshold. Yes, you wouldn’t want to be a character in a romance I would write. I would probably make you go through hell.

But Matthew is a great hero. He’s a moral, self-made man who is trying to escape the clutches of the world order which has no mercy on those without means. tI goes without saying that he is the completely opposite of what Daisy is. Practical and hardened by the world. Hence, I think, his immense attraction to our little pixie.

She let a teasing tone enter her voice. “Is there any emergency for which you are not prepared, Mr. Swift?”

“Miss Bowman, if I had enough pockets I could save the world.”

Although it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Daisy’s unique qualities are not always embraced by her family, especially by her father, who doesn’t seem to know how to deal with her.

One of the servants had reported that Daisy had been sneaking around the house at night, deliberately tripping all the traps to keep the mice from being killed.

“Is this true, daughter?” Thomas Bowman had rumbled, his gaze filled with ire as he stared at Daisy.

“It could be,” she had allowed. “But there is another explanation.”

“And what is that?” Bowman had asked sourly.

Her tone turned congratulatory. “I think we are hosting the most intelligent mice in New York!”

I can’t stop grinning now…

If I’m to comment on other aspects of the book, there is one bit towards the beginning of the book that I absolutely adored. Daisy’s thoughts linger on Cam Rohan, (the hero of Mine Till Midnight, the first book of the Hathaway series) who had stolen a kiss from her in the previous book. She asks Evie in a rather shy manner about his past wondering if perhaps he might be a “long lost Irish lord or something.” Little does she know that he actually is! Well played Ms. Kleypas…

As for some other random comments, I could really kill Lilian for showing such hostility towards Matthew without any real cause, but I guess the fact that the book delved into the Bowman sisters’ relationship was a good thing. The drama at the end, too, was okay, I guess. At least it wasn’t ridiculous or irrelevant.

And finally, the love scenes were weak again. Unfortunately, this is a general quality of the Wallflower series. But this time, I was irritated all the more by the characters’ incessant chatter! I’m sorry, but they are both very verbal during the act and it takes away the magic of it. The scene was supposed to be a crucial one, overshadowed by agony, because Matthew finally gives up his defenses and decides to make Daisy his and marry her afterwards. There shouldn’t have been any words, but just feeling and utter abandon. I’m thinking too dramatically again…

On the whole the Hathaway series were much better than the Wallflowers, in my opinion. In terms of characters, drama, plot, feelings and yes, love scenes, the author has improved herself a lot. But the Wallflowers are a good distraction and easy reads, if not memorable ones. I recommend it to all romance readers who are not looking for anything too specific.

Sensuality rating: Hot (according to All About Romance)