BOOK: THE EARL’S DEFIANT WALLFLOWER
AUTHOR: ERICA RIDLEY
His lips brushed hers. Light. Feathery. Still giving her a chance to say no, to turn away.
She would not. She would have this moment, every bit of this moment, because it would have to carry her through the rest of her life. This was Oliver. In her heart, he was hers. If only for this moment.
5 fantastic stars!
I finished this book with a satisfied sigh and a smile. Erica Ridley can write a story! I was captured within the first few pages and before I knew it, the book had ended. I just wish it was longer. These characters are lively and amazing!
One of my favorite parts of the book takes place at a ball when Grace and Oliver are in the library making out. The only other person there is one of Oliver’s close friends named Xavier. The only thing is that Xavier hasn’t spoken a word since they returned home from the war and Grace and Oliver are making out heavily among the bookshelves without giving him much thought.
And then they are caught:
The creak of hinges sounded a scant second before the library door flew open and two fingers strode right into the sight with Grace and Lord Carlisle.
“Oh dear,” said Miss Downing with a startled look. “Are Isaac and I interrupting something?”
“Nonsense!” Grace dropped to the floor with one hand to her chest, feeling blindly for the fallen scrap of lace that was supposed to be covering her swollen bosom. “Just… You know. Euripides. I adore Greek playwrights.”
Oliver was flush against the closest bookshelf, attempting to adjust his breeches without appearing to be doing so. He was failing miserably.
“Carlisle, is that you?” Mr. Downing stormed closer, his hands on his hips. “What exactly is going on in here?”
“I believe Oliver was kissing Miss Halton just prior to your arrival,” came a drowsy murmur from somewhere near the fire.
All four of them bent to stare at Captain Grey in astonishment.
“Xavier!” Oliver rushed to his side and gave him a fierce hug. “You’re back!”
“And you’ve been kissing,” Mr. Downing reminded him. “In the library!”
Oliver winced, and rubbed a hand over his face. “Honestly, Xavier? This is the moment you choose to awaken from a two-month fugue?”
Mr. Downing poked his finger at Oliver’s chest. “The precise moment actually seems to be when your rakish mouth touched Miss Halton’s innocent lips!”
“And her breast,” Captain Grey mused drowsily. “Something about…. ‘succulent.'”
“Succulent breasts!” Miss Downing gasped.
Mr. Downing grabbed Grace’s arm just as she finished shoving the lace fichu more or less back into place. “Miss Halton, this is very serious indeed. You have been well and truly compromised. Your reputation-”
“-will not suffer one whit,” Oliver interrupted, his tone commanding and imperial. “I was overcome with passion because this lovely, virginal young lady has just agreed to be my wife.”
“What?” Grace choked out in horror, her limbs draining of all feeling. His estate… Her mother…
Oliver elbowed her in the shoulder. “Act blissful, damn it. This time we both need rescuing. If you don’t marry me, you’ll never marry anyone, and I shall not abandon you to such a fate.”
“It’s true,” Miss Downing stage-whispered. “You have to say yes. Captain Grey saw your breast.”
Grace glared at her. “Nobody saw anything! We were behind that bookshelf and-”
“…something about ‘eating’ Miss Halton…” Captain Grey murmured. “I didn’t quite catch…”
Oliver coughed and tossed a worried glance toward Grace. “I meant it…non-passionately?”
Mr. Downing’s intractable gaze speared them both.
“Huzzah!” Grace managed with a bleak smile. “I’m to be married. There has never been a more blissful bride than I.”
Oliver put his arm around her shoulders and cuddled her to him. “It is official. You have made me the happiest of men.”
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good historical romance. The characters stole my heart. The hero and heroine are selfless and grow to care about each other. This story made my heart smile.
**ARC graciously provided by Intrepid Reads via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**