Review: The Vixen

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The VixenThe Vixen (Wicked Wallflowers, #2) by Christi Caldwell
Series: Wicked Wallflowers #2
Published by Montlake Romance on August 7, 2018
Genres: Historical
Pages: 366
Goodreads
four-stars

 

FINAL DECISION: Enjoyable historical romance with interesting characters. This story has been done before but the characters make this a lively story. I wish there was more emotional connection between the characters early on because the last twenty-five percent of the book was wonderful.

THE STORY: Investigator Connor Steele is hunting for a child who might have been kidnapped. His work takes him back to St. Giles from from which Connor escaped. But St. Giles cannot be rubbed off so easily and his investigation reunites him with Ophelia Killoran. As children, each had saved one another. Now Ophelia has taken onto herself the job of protecting the children, but Connor’s investigation brings into question exactly what Ophelia is doing and where are the children coming from. The two share a past and are suspicious of one another in the present.

OPINION: I liked this book, but I never got emotionally engaged enough to love it. The story is well constructed and the characters are interesting.

Both Connor and Ophelia struggle with the line between the criminal and poor elements and the aristocracy. Ophelia’s brother wants to marry her off to an aristocrat to help drag their family from the lower classes. Connor was adopted by an aristocrat but still has the muck of his past with him.

The characters have a good journey, but — for me – there was something missing. Intensity or emotional connection. Something that would pull me through the pages, pull at my heart and make me love the book.

Fans of Caldwell will find much to love here. The class conflicts are better developed here than in the last book. I enjoyed these characters together. The reading was easy and not particularly deep until the last quarter of the book.

The last quarter of the book was amazing. The intensity, the connection, the passion was wonderful. The rest of the book felt like a setup for the end, but the end definitely paid off.

WORTH MENTIONING: Trigger warning: sexual assault.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE VIXEN is the second book in the Wicked Wallflowers series. The book can be read as a standalone although the characters are overlapping between the books.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to assist with preparing this review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

 

four-stars

Review: The Hellion

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The HellionThe Hellion (Wicked Wallflowers, #1) by Christi Caldwell
Series: Wicked Wallflowers #1
Published by Montlake on April 3rd 2018
Genres: Historical
Pages: 295
Goodreads
three-half-stars

 

FINAL DECISION: This story was serviceable and solid, but I wanted more from the romance. There could have been more angst or more sexy romance. Instead, I just ended up wanting more from a decent book.

THE STORY: Cleopatra Killoran has agreed to sacrifice herself to a marriage to a man of the ton in order to protect her family. She has even agreed to be sponsored by her family’s enemies in order to find a husband who is willing to accept a woman of questionable background who can bring only a fortune. Adair Thorne doesn’t trust this woman who is one of his family’s enemies. He intends to watch her closely while she is embedded with his family. But soon her finds himself watching this complicated woman for other reasons, but a reason for which might bring betrayal down on his family.

OPINION: This was an enjoyable read, but lacked something in its drama and intensity based on the way the story developed. I liked the book, but wanted more.

Adair is a hero that I wanted to know more about. Although we get his story recited, I never felt connected with him on a emotional basis. His inner life remains a mystery in this story and thus I felt the story lacked some of the intense connection between him and Cleo that the story really wanted.

I loved the setup. I loved that Cleo is a woman who was raised on the streets and has become strong and a dangerous character in her own right. Too much of the book, however, explains rather than engaging the reader in the deep emotions between these characters. This might have been an extraordinary book rather than just a good read.

What is here, however, is good. I enjoyed the story and the potential of this story was immense. The characters are interesting in concept and the story has some great possibilities from the beginning.

It is a compliment to the potential of this book that I wanted more intensity and emotion from the story than I got. I enjoyed the book and it is an essential part of the Sinful Brides world.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book sets up the series which now focuses on the Killoran family.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE HELLION is the first book in the Wicked Wallflowers series. This series is, however, connected with the Sinful Brides series. There are overlapping characters, especially in this book which operates as a bridge between the two series as both these characters appeared in the Sinful Brides series. I think this book fits better as part of the prior series in order that all the relationships can be understood.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to prepare a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

 

three-half-stars