About the Book:
Title: How to Win a Wallflower
Author: Samara Parish
Series: Rebels With a Cause #3
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: Dec. 13, 2022
Synopsis: When John Barnesworth is forced to take his brother’s place as viscount, he discovers that not only are the estates bankrupt, he’s been contracted into an engagement with a cruel debutante. Now he’s looking for a way out—some way to save the estates and the people who work on them without shackling himself to a lady who sees him for what he is—broken, defective, and unworthy of being the viscount.
Lady Charlotte Stirling has been in love with her brother’s best friend since they were children. But his return to London was not what she’d hoped. Not only is he betrothed to her mortal enemy, he’s determined to return to America. So, she sucks up her feelings and sets out to find him an American heiress whose dowry can pay off his debts and who would be happy to have a life in America. But the more time they spend together on the marriage mart, the more it becomes clear that the only bride he needs is the one who’s been by his side all along.
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How to Win a Wallflower is the third book in Samara Parish’s Rebels with a Cause historical romance series. This is Charlotte’s story, and it’s a lovely opposites-attract romance between her and her brother’s friend John, who has recently returned to England after several years away. During that time, Charlotte has received and declined two marriage proposals.
When John inherits his brother’s title and returns from Canada to clean up the financial mess his brother made, he realizes he is in worse financial straights than he imagined. Luckily, Charlotte, who has cared for John for many years, sees this as an opportunity to help him. Charlotte is a fixer, ad she proposes a risky plan to help John. As the pair enters the gambling arena to win enough money to pay John’s debt, they also resist their growing but forbidden feelings for each other.
John and charlotte have a lovely opposites attract, brother’s best friend romance. Charlotte has loved John for so long, and John is now seeing Charlotte in a new light. She’s no longer the little sister of his best friend, but a beautiful, vivacious woman, and he finds her hard to resist. It’s lovely to see his feelings change and grow. They have such a great connection, and even though they’re opposite in many ways, they fit.
John helps Charlotte see certain things about herself. He gives her the confidence to seek her own happiness. Charlotte is so helpful and giving and altruistic, and she always puts her own feelings and wants behind others. It’s nice to see her assert her own wishes, and I love that John encourages her. He is a man who sees Charlotte for who she is not what she can do for him, and that’s unusual for her. There’s a scene in the book where it shows how perfect they are for each other and says, “Where she was weak, he was strong. What he lacked, she had in abundance,” and I just love that. They are so different in many ways, yet they complement each other well.
I enjoyed the book and thought the story had a lot of layers. Ultimately, it’s about the relationship between John and Charlotte, but it’s also about family and friendship, taking risks, and fighting for those you love. The characters struggle with addictions, expectations, peril, and PTSD. It definitely highlights many of the issues that were prevalent at the time, and many that continue to plague people today. I’m eager to read the next book in the series, especially after seeing the pain and suffering Charlotte’s brother has endured since the first book. I have a feeling his story will be really moving.
Thanks to NetGalley and Forever for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
When she smiled, the entire room fell away, as thou whoever she was smiling at was the only person who existed. When that smile reached him, his heart pounded.
There is no point on dwelling on what might be, no matter how pleasant the dream.
I would recommend How to Win a Wallflower to readers who enjoy:
- historical romance
- brother’s best friend
- great friendships