"A Wallflower Christmas takes a trip to Victorian London, under the mistletoe, and on a journey of the heart. With her trademark charm, sensuality, and unforgettable characters..."
Pages: 213 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published: October, 2008
Form: Paperback (received through "My Bookworm Santa" as a gift!)
Series: Wallflower #5
Genre: Historical Romance
Amazon: Buy / $6.79
The Book Depository: Buy / €4.45
Barnes and Noble: Buy / $6.99
Excerpt: A Sample
Rafe Bowman comes to London to marry so that he can get rights to his estranged father's European market. The deal is to marry Lady Natalie, but as an American there is much to learn about courting an English Rose, so when his sister and her three friends begin matchmaking they contact Lady Natalie's companion and cousin Hannah Appleton to learn more about Lady Natalie.
Hannah arrives for tea and is met by a rough, rude and unsophisticated Rafe Bowman who is supposed to marry her cousin, and she leaves with one stolen kiss that kindles a fire inside her and stout determination that he's a Rake and should not marry her cousin. As both families travel to the country to spend Christmas and hope for an engagement, Hannah vows she'll try her hardest not to let Natalie fall for Rafe's pretend charms.
Rafe has never in his life met a woman like Hannah, and the more he spend time with her and speaks with her the more he can't understand why she holds something that ties his attention only to her. Sure he's to marry Lady Natalie, a decent enough marriage, but he can't seem to keep away from Hannah, her smile and determination to dislike him. But it's not a game lost yet because to every kiss he’s stolen she’s responded to.
Bowman caught her wrist easily, running a finger lightly over her whitened knuckles. His soft, mocking laugh scalded her ears. "Here," he said, forcibly crooking her thumb and tucking it across her fingers. "Don't ever try to hit someone with your thumb extended - you'll break it that way."
"Let go," she cried, yanking hard at her imprisoned wrist.
"You wouldn't be so angry if I hadn't struck a nerve," he taunted. "Poor Hannah, always standing in the corner, waiting for your turn. I'll tell you something you're moore than Natalie's equal, blue blood or no. You were meant for something far better than this."
"A wife for convenience and a mistress for pleasure. Isn't that how the peerage does it?"
Hannah stiffened all over, gasping, as Bowman brought her against his large, powerful form. She stopped struggling, recognizing that such efforts were useless against his strength. Her face turned from him, and she jerked as she felt his warm mouth brush the curve of her ear.
"I should make you my mistress," Bowman whispered. "Beautiful Hannah. If you were mine, I'd lay you on silk sheets and wrap you up in ropes of pearls, and feed you honey from a silver spoon. Of course, you wouldn't be able to make all your high-minded judgments if you were a fallen woman . . . but you wouldn't care. Because I would pleasure you, Hannah, every night, all night, until you forgot your own name. Until you were willing to do things that would shock you in the light of day. I would debauch you from your head down to your innocent little toes"
I absolutely loved this book, couldn't but it down! From the very beginning this book was charming, intriguing and deliciously proper and passionate at the same time. I loved Kleypas's writing, she's superbly talented in creating characters that are sophisticated, proper and have so many passions boiling just underneath the surface.
Rafe, I think I have a little crush, he comes to London to marry an upper class girl because of a deal with his father and falls for the charms of the lady's poor cousin and can't seem to get his head right between what's expected and how he absolutely doesn't want to do anything that is expected of him. He's charming, little rude but in a delicious way that makes a girl swoon.
Hannah is a wonderful character, she's smart, headstrong and tries to be practical to fault, but whenever she's around Rafe she loses some of her cool and picks up on his fire for life, his passion initiating hers.
She's the perfect Victorian heroine, not too modern but modern enough for her time to be little out of place, even though she tries her hardest to be proper and practical she's sporting quite the temper when flared.
If you love historical Romance this is for you! And if you love Christmas you'll love reading this! But on some classical baroque or waltz Christmas music and thoroughly enjoy this novel. I did.
I will be re-reading this every Christmas from now on, I loved it!