“I absolutely adored Wicked and the Wallflower.”
~ Under the Covers

Felicity Faircloth is used to haunting the edges of ballrooms, not that it was always that way. Although she wasn’t exactly a diamond of the first water, she was popular and had friends and suitors. Now her dance card is always empty and her former friends use her for verbal target practice. What she needs is a marriage. A spectacular marriage. To a Duke. So, when a mysterious, beautiful and wicked gentleman offers everything she has ever wished for…how is she to resist?

I hate to say this, but recently I had been falling out of love with Sarah MacLean’s books. But, I thought I would have one last effort and try her latest release and first in the Bareknuckle Bastards series; Wicked and the Wallflower. Could I finally recapture that magical feeling I had when I read Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake? In a word… yes. Although Nine Rules… will always be my favourite, I absolutely adored Wicked and the Wallflower.

What MacLean has been consistently good at is creating fantastic heroines, something that continues in this book. Felicity was a great heroine, brave, funny and clever. I loved that she was slightly unconventional and bold; that one of her best skills was lock picking. It makes her stand out from the countless other wallflowers that populate the historical romance genre. In comparison, although Devil ticked all the boxes for a smoulderingly hot hero, he was a little more conventional and more easily over looked. Also, the dramatics of calling yourself Devil made me cringe a little whenever I heard it. Devil is a bastard son of a duke and now ruler of Covent Garden (which was more of a slum in the 1800’s) and all its denizens with a very successful smuggling career. Regency bad boy to the bone.

They were an unlikely couple, but somehow they still worked. I liked the way she wrote this, the characters frequently makes references to this being like a fairy tale. And indeed Devil at times seeming like the fairy Godmother, the villain and the prince all at once. With Felicity being more of a modern day princess who takes her fate into her own hands.

This series has great potential and this was a good start, although it wasn’t perfect, I really liked the heroine and the writing style. I am also intrigued and can’t wait to learn more about the other Bareknuckled Bastards, especially as one of them is a woman.


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  1. Awesome review suzanne!!! Can’t wait to read!! Love this cover too!! Shared on all my socials!!

  2. Love that your reviews don’t include spoilers and are not another blurb of the book. Thanks for that!

  3. I’ve just finished “The day of the Duchess” and I absolutely loved it. I guess that this Miss Felicity Faircloth is the one we meet in that book (I don’t see there being many ladies that go by that name LOL), and just that makes me want to have this book asap.