'I loved it' Eloisa James
'Smart, sexy, and always romantic' Julia Quinn
'For a smart, witty and passionate historical romance, I recommend anything by Sarah MacLean' Lisa Kleypas
When Wicked Comes Calling . . .
When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees - on one condition. She's seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won't accept a marriage without it.
The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain . . .
Bastard son of a duke and king of London's dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap and destroy his enemy.
For the Promise of Passion . . .
But there's nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she'd rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil's carefully laid plans are in chaos and he must choose between everything he's ever wanted . . . and the only thing he's ever desired.
Praise for Sarah MacLean:
'My absolute go-to author for clever, sexy and fun historical romances' Jennifer L. Armentrout
'Sarah MacLean has reignited the romance genre with a bolder edge' The New Yorker
'Funny, smart, feminist and roastingly hot' BookRiot.com
'Do yourself a favor and discover the compelling magic of Sarah MacLean' Amanda Quick
'MacLean writes with an entirely unique blend of elegance and ferocity that bursts from every page' Entertainment Weekly
THE BAREKNUCKLE BASTARDS
Three brothers, bound by a secret they cannot escape . . .
The Devil, all vengeance and vice
The Beast, all fists and fury
The Duke, all power and past
. . . and the women who bring them to their knees.
The devil is in the delightful details for MacLean's first Bareknuckle Bastards Regency romance. Felicity Faircloth was once one of the crown jewels of society. Now she's consigned to spinster wallflower status by gossiping matrons and fickle friends, but her family's social and financial survival depends on her marrying well. During her escape from the harsh world of the ballroom, her singular skill with lock picks a response to all the doors that patriarchal society closes in women's faces lands her directly in the path of one of Covent Garden's most notorious criminals, a man known as Devil. He's obsessed with the complete and utter ruination of the newly surfaced Duke of Marwick and thinks that Felicity's desperate need for a husband might make her the perfect pawn for his game. He offers to help set her up with the duke, but doesn't count on falling in love with her himself. MacLean (The Day of the Duchess) intersperses hints of mystery and intrigue with plentiful humor, crafting a touching story filled with charming characters readers will be eager to meet again.
4 “Dukes don’t grow on trees, you know.” Stars
This has had me well and truly stumped for a review—when a book goes from almost being a DNF to outstanding then it’s no easy task. I think the most important point to get over is that Wicked and the Wallflower was worth the perseverance, because whilst the first half was a little drawn out, what it leads to was exceptional.
“Felicity Faircloth, you are not what I expected.”
I’ve only read one other Sarah MacLean novel, The Day of the Duchess, and having loved it along with being introduced to Lady Felicity and passing mentions of The Bareknuckle Bastards—the pair of brothers running the dark streets of Covent Garden—my interest in this spin-off series was well and truly piqued. Ousted by her friends for her single status, Felicity finds herself telling a bit of a fib and one that sees her making the acquaintance of a man whose name is befitting of his character.
“Are you certain you wish a favor from the Devil?”
Spirited and a fighter, I loved Felicity with her quick wit, sharp retorts and honesty, and Devil soon discovers there is far more to her than he could have anticipated. And underneath the tough exterior and bravado is a loveable rogue who has fought his way through life but firmly believes himself unworthy of a woman like Felicity.
“He would never be good enough to stand in her sunlight, but he could absolutely protect her from the darkness.”
Sarah MacLean has a wonderful writing voice—there is a definite acknowledgement to todays important issues in her gender portrayal and consent which I appreciated—and whilst I maintain the opinion that the storyline lacked the grab factor early on to the point of stalling, at the same time she displays skill when it comes to character development and that’s what kept me reading. And I’m glad for that as when the momentum did gather pace, I suddenly found myself wholly immersed in the atmosphere, the romance and the emotion which at times made my heart ache.
“I want to stay in your world. In the darkness. Beneath the stars.”
The potential for this series is huge with Dev’s brother Whit (Beast) and sister, Grace featuring throughout and I’m looking forward to seeing how their stories play out. All that’s left is to try and remember that patience is a virtue as Brazen and the Beast isn’t scheduled until June 2019.