Barbara’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: Wicked Wallflowers #2
Publication Date: 8/7/18
Normally, I zip right through the books that I love – quite often finishing them in one sitting. I couldn’t do that with this one. The story is so intensely emotional that I had to keep taking breaks from reading and toward the end – I had to be sure the tissues were near. The book is excellently written, well plotted and the characters will just rip your heart out and then reassemble it for you – but it won’t be quite the same when they are through with you.
Ophelia Killoran didn’t even have a name for many of her years. She was just – Girl. She was the Devil’s daughter. Her father was Diggory, who raped, murdered, pillaged, stole children from parents – if it was nasty and vile, he was responsible for it. Now, Diggory is dead and she and her siblings are trying to make a life for themselves as owners of the Devil’s Den gaming hell. Ophelia is obsessed with saving children who are in the same desperate situation she and her siblings were in, so she trolls St. Giles – often dressed as a man – and rescues the children she finds. She sends them to the Devil’s Den where she then provides them with work and an education.
Ophelia’s brother, Broderick, was determined to marry one of his sisters into the aristocracy. He sees it as a way to cement their safety. They have money, but it can all disappear, so a tie to the aristocracy would help protect them. In the last book, Broderick sent his sister Cleo out to have a season and marry into the aristocracy and that didn’t work out too well. She ended up married to his biggest rival. So, now he is trying it with Ophelia. Ophelia is not a happy camper!
Connor O’Rourke was a young boy who had been forced into Diggory’s gang but had no intention of staying. So, he escaped and Diggory had everyone in the gang looking for him. He was saved – more than once – by a young girl from the gang. Then, he sacrificed himself to save her. Except, that sacrifice actually saved him much more than her.
Connor is now an investigator and his name is Connor Steele. He doesn’t have to work – as a matter of fact, his aristocratic foster father doesn’t want him to work. But Connor just has to and he has made his own fortune.
When Connor accepts a case from a Marquess who is generally accepted as mad, it brings Connor back into St. Giles and into the world of Ophelia Killoran. It turns out, Ophelia is the girl who saved him. He wants her help with his case, locating the ‘lost’ son of the mad Marquess. Ophelia doesn’t trust him and refuses to help him or to give him access to those children she has working at the club.
Connor and Ophelia are thrown together during her season and they get to know and trust each other more and more. Still – she can’t marry him because he doesn’t have a title – and he can’t marry her because he is expected to marry his foster father’s goddaughter.
When you see the betrayal and heartache in his book you’ll understand why I had to keep taking breaks from reading. Some tolerant and open-minded people are not nearly as tolerant and open-minded as they think they are.
I highly recommend the read – but – be sure to read something lighthearted and funny before this and probably afterward as well.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”