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How to Woo a Wallflower (Romancing the Rules) Mass Market Paperback – December 26, 2017
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About the Author
Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, USA Today bestselling author Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.
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The only thing Clarissa Ruthven wants is an independent life, not the life her staid father thought women should have, that doesn’t include marriage. Clary’s independence often takes her to less than savory parts of London trying to improve the life of women. A place where she runs into a man she hasn’t been able to forget even though he acts as if she doesn’t exist. A man that she comes to know well and makes her question her decision to avoid marriage.
Christy Carlyle has once again drawn us into the world of the unconventional Ruthven family and taken us on a wild ride in the form of the always effervescent Clarissa. Well done m’lady, well done.
Clarissa "Clary" Ruthven is helping her friend Helen at the Fisk Academy for Girls, Clary firmly believes in helping others and wants to give these girls a chance at a better life. While fighting off an unwanted suitor of one of the students, she notices Gabe standing near by. The two have known each other for years and she can't stand him, he is so proper and perfect and gorgeous (not that she is looking). Once the attacker is sent on his way, Clary invites Gabe in to see the school. And when he says he must leave, she suggests they share a cab.
On the ride back to town, they butt heads and Gabe has the cab stop and leaves. Clary follows him, she wants the feuding between them to be over and invites him to her birthday dinner. He refuses and leaves her to go home alone. After her dinner, she learns that her father did not leave her an inheritance like she thought - he left her a dowry. Upset with this information that ruins her plans for the Fisk Academy and an independent life, she tells her brother Kit that she wants to be more involved in the family business. The business that Gabe oversees. Kit encourages her to attend the board meeting.
Gabe is on the verge of quitting, he has been offered a job with an competitor who will pay him more and with his sister getting married, Gabe needs the extra money. He composes his letter of resignation and requests a meeting with Kit. Before he can say anything, Kit offers him a raise and a bonus if he will mentor Clary. The amount is too good to pass up, so he grudging agrees.
Clary is the complete opposite of Gabe in every way, she is warm, friendly, unconventional and overly sympathetic. Gabe is no nonsense, proper, by the book and somewhat grim. They are oil and water. But there is something there, they both feel it and try to ignore it. Gabe tries to ignore Clary, but she is impossible to ignore and when he learns she is planning to go to Whitechapel again, he intercepts her. He knows better than to try and stop her, so he offers her a quick lesson in self defense. Clary is touched that Gabe took the time to help her and begins to admit that her feelings for him confuse her. One minute he is stern and unyielding and the next he is kind and going out of his way to help her.
When a mishap at work leads to Clary being taken into his office to get cleaned up, she tries her hand at flirting with him, but they are interrupted by a visitor to see Gabe, Jane Martin. Gabe was close to her father and considers her a friend, even thought she and his sister hope for more.
When Gabe brings Jane as his guess to the Fisk Academy benefit ball - Clary is horrified to realize she is jealous. When she steals away to compose herself, Gabe finds her and explains that Jane is just a friend and he asks Clary to teach him to dance. They share a kiss before they are interrupted by her sister.
Gabe knows he should stay away from her, but he is drawn to her like a moth to a flame. Clary feels the same way and since she has begun working with him, she is even more impressed with him.
When Gabe is called to Whitechapel and ambushed, he ends up at the Fisk Academy, Clary cares for his wounds and things heat up between them, but when she asks about his scars, he immediately goes cold and leaves.
The next day, he gets bad news and is late to work, when he finally arrives, the building is dark and only Clary is there. The office is closed due to a gas problem and Gabe asks Clary to leave with him, determined to share his past with her.
Once his past is in the open, it seems like these two are headed to a HEA, but Gabe still has secrets and when ghosts from his past come calling, Gabe may have to give up the only woman he has ever loved.
This was a very well written story, it flowed well and it was a very intense, emotional story. Gabe and Clary are both extremely likable characters with strong personalities, there are secrets, passionate kisses, steamy love scenes, a great secondary cast, amusing moments, some heart breaking moments and a very rough road to their HEA.
This is the third book in the series, but I had no problems following the story, without reading the previous books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be looking for more by this author.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by the publisher*
This book by Ms. Christy Carlyle excited me because I usually like her stories and fall in love with her characters. Ms. Carlyle just knows how to pull me into the story and I usually seem to have a book hangover once the book is over until I reread it again or another of her amazing stories. Unfortunately this book was a little slow to start plus I kept waiting for the attraction between the male/female protagonists but it took so long for them to make their feelings known that I was beginning to question their relationship at all and the hero didn’t appeal to me. Yes the book did pick up but it took a while. I think what made me like the book had to be the enchanting cover it was beautifully done.
As I stated above the hero Gabe didn’t really appeal to me. It had nothing to do with his poor upbringing and the way he became successful but his outlook on life seemed so bitter. Gabe’s philosophy on everything including Clary just made me a little mad at his demeanor especially his behavior toward Clary that I seriously wanted to shake some sense into him. Sure he did get better as the book progressed but it sure did take me a while to warm up to him too much like Clary. Clary was okay I liked how she was so cheerful and could see things in a naïve innocent happy way. In fact she is what made the story for me that I wanted more about her. I am eager to read the next in the series and the other ones I have missed though and will read more of Ms. Carlyle’s work despite how I felt about this book.
Most recent customer reviews
Clarissa may be an adult but she doesn't have the freedom she wants or the funds she needs to help her...Read more
Cover: It is a good cover.Read more