The Wolf and the Wildflower by Stacy Reid

The Wolf and the WildflowerThe Wolf and the Wildflower by Stacy Reid

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Release Date: February 27, 2023

Until she was 12 years old, Jules Southby had no idea she was a girl, as she was raised as a boy since birth, a deception put forth by her mother and one Jules continues to uphold. Her mother suffered greatly giving birth to their first daughter and was warned not to have more children, but Jules’ father, a respected psychologist and the younger son of a viscount, desperately wanted a son and pressed his wife to try again. When Jules was born, her mother mistakenly thought she was a boy and told her father as much, only to learn the truth once he left the room. The midwife suggested that she pretend that the baby was a boy for a few years until she healed enough to try again. Her mother agreed, but as time passed, it became harder to admit her deception and she decided not to reveal it, forcing Jules to continue the deception. As time passes, Jules begins to appreciate the freedom being a man affords her and she follows in her father’s footsteps studying psychology. She is thrilled when her father suggests that she join him on an unusual case. A man who was lost in the Yukon and missing for ten years has returned to his family, but he is not the same man his family remembers and Dr. Southby is to meet with him and determine if he is sane.

That man is James Winters, the new Duke of Wulverton. He was mountain climbing in Canada when he fell and was lost. For ten years he survived the harsh Yukon territory with nothing but his wits. It was another fall that lead to him returning to his family, but sadly his father passed away before James returned. James is not insane, but neither is he the same genteel man this mother recalls. She insists that he needs to return to society and find a wife, she has decided that she will host a ball in a month and expects him to find a wife by that time. She contacts Dr. Southby to examine him and help ease him back into society. But it is not Dr. Southby that captures James’ attention, it is Jules. Because despite fooling everyone she has ever met – including her family, James immediately knows Jules is a woman and agrees to share his experiences with her, on the condition she does the same for him. What starts as an exchange of information, transforms into a love affair that could destroy everything Jules has worked for and potentially ruin her family. Walking away is the logical thing to do, but when was love ever logical?

I will be honest, to really enjoy this story, you will have to turn a blind eye to certain facts and just accept that he was not declared dead after being lost for ten years and that he can just take up his father’s title with no opposition, you will also have to accept that he can “smell” Jules through doors and crowded ballrooms and you will so have to believe that in 23 years no one figured out that Jules was a woman. If you can do that, you will be treated to a story, unlike any historical romance you have ever read. This was a bit of a “Tarzan” meets “Just One of the Guys” story and as corny as that sounds, it works – I was completely drawn into this book and invested in their HEA. I loved the chemistry between James and Jules and I was awed by the depth of emotion that Ms. Reid was able to evoke through her words. I devoured this book, reveling in the bond they formed, and dreading the moment that they would inevitably have to part. This book was so emotional, yet it wasn’t depressing, and did I mention the steamy love scenes or the sigh-worthy declaration? This was a unique and satisfying story that I am happy to recommend and hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*

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Avid reader (and reviewer) of historical romance.

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