Stacey is Sassy received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided was not the final version and may be subject to edits and changes
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on January 30th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
THE PICTURE OF ROMANCE
A dedicated painter, Miss Sophia Hastings is far more concerned with finding the right slant of light than in finding Mr. Right. But when an overhead conversation hints at danger for another local artist, Sophia is determined to get involved. Even it means accepting help from an impossibly good-looking vicar who insists on joining her investigation—and threatens to capture her heart…
Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle knows that Sophia is no damsel in distress. But he won’t allow her to venture into peril alone, either. . .especially since he finds Sophia’s curious, free-spirited nature so alluring. But protecting her from harm is becoming more difficult than the vicar could have expected as he and Sophia confront their fiery mutual passion. Who could have known that the art of love would prove so irresistible?
Wallflower Most Wanted
(Studies in Scandal #3)
By Manda Collins
My preconceived notions made me hesitate…
I admit I was hesitant to start Wallflower Most Wanted. See, I’m Catholic and priests are seen and treated differently than vicars. Sure, they are looked to for guidance, support and help but they are definitely not looked at desirably or as a marriage prospect. I don’t have an opinion on which is right or wrong, or more precisely, I’m not going to share my thoughts on the subject. It’s just that I struggled to look at a man of the cloth in a sexy or desirable way.
So, I started off a little leery. I got to know Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle and realised that I had to take my Catholic blinkers off and look at the man. Admiring and finding a man of the cloth “sexy” was a little discombobulating. Realising that the man could be serving his community, spreading the good word AND fall in love, be a family man and have desires, was different. I did have a few moments of WHAT THE HECK is he doing having lustful thoughts? But, eventually, I got over it.
I have really enjoyed this series and getting to know the Beauchamp heiresses. It has been interesting to know each of the ladies’ talents and the mountains they must climb for their skills to be acknowledged. I think as ladies of this time, we struggle to understand the extent women were judged, ostracised and condemned for having a brain and using it.
There are times we, as women, face prejudice and sexist judgement even now, but this was extreme. I was gobsmacked that Sophia’s battle was the subject matter she painted. My first thought was that she must be painting nudes or blood and gore. Would you believe a child in his sick bed was considered a dark and disturbing subject matter to paint? The other topic I could maybe (MAYBE) grant as a little more controversial but hardly as bad as they made out.
As like the previous instalments in the series, Sophia is tasked with solving a mystery. I admit I had my suspects picked out and I was convinced I couldn’t be wrong. Once all the puzzle pieces had been laid, I was surprised.
The love story between Sophia and Ben was sweet and very satisfying. Both have to fend off unwanted advances by the ladies and gentlemen of Little Seaford. They are unwanted because these ladies and gentlemen seem only interested in Ben and Sophia’s outward beauty and not the people that they are inside. There is an attraction from the start, but when Sophia accidentally falls at Ben’s feet, the attraction blossoms into more.
Another great instalment of the series and I can’t wait for Gemma’s love story to be dug out.