Series: Never A Wallflower #1
Publication Date: 2/9/21
Number of Pages: 400
This was the first book I’ve read by Eva Devon and it was an absolutely marvelous introduction to her. The writing was excellent, the story was excellently plotted and delivered, and the characters were absolutely perfect. I totally adored our flawed hero who did everything in his power to change himself, to make himself ‘acceptable’ for his lady. We definitely see his life-long struggle with fitting in and coping with what definitely has to be Asperger’s/autism.
Edward Stanhope, the Duke of Thornfield, is known for being icy and uncaring. That isn’t exactly the case – he just doesn’t pick up on subtle social cues such as facial expressions, he is hypersensitive to sounds and crowds, and likes things in a certain order. Luckily, he had loving parents – and then a loving aunt – who helped him develop coping mechanisms. I loved watching him learn to cope with his very unexpected new wife. He was such a lovely man.
Edward’s Aunt Agatha knows it is time for him to marry and she has arranged a house party filled with eligible debutantes to see if any pique his interest. (NOTE: For a loving understanding aunt, this seems like a really bad thing to do to him.) After one of those debutantes makes a particularly blatant attempt to trap him into marriage, he escapes to his ‘special’ room with his ‘special’ chair in order to calm himself before having to deal with the crowded ballroom that evening. He has to have the time to himself or he won’t be able to function at the ball. Yet, when he arrives in HIS room, someone is sitting in HIS chair. He has to make her leave – he has to have his time. He orders her to leave and, mistaking him for a servant, she refuses. He tells her he’ll kiss her if she doesn’t leave – and she dares him. He thinks the threat will scare her away – and she thinks no servant would do such a thing. They were both wrong. And the kiss – OMGoodness – sparks flew. Unfortunately, the door also opened and the kiss was witnessed. They don’t even know each other’s names – and now they are to marry.
Miss Georgiana Bly is a spinster – and intends to remain one. Her family is genteel, but only just barely. She isn’t comfortable dancing and has a terrible tendency to say exactly what she thinks. She is much, much more comfortable in a library – among books wherever they are. So, when she finds a small nook of a room filled with so many lovely books – and the most comfortable chair ever – she settles in for a nice evening of reading while her parents and sisters are dancing at the ball. Imagine the impertinence of a servant coming in and actually ordering her to leave! Well, she won’t have it. How dare he threaten her with a kiss! Then he does – kiss her.
I loved seeing the growth of the two main characters. He was the most honorable man and did his best to make his marriage work. I loved watching him go from believing she had deliberately trapped him into marriage to loving her beyond measure. I also loved watching her move from the hurt his seeming indifference caused her – to learning about and understanding his difficulties. Then, to put the icing on the cake, there is the most delightful epilogue.
I can definitely recommend this book and I do so look forward to my next read by this new-to-me author.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.