Studies in Scandal #3
by Manda Collins
Published on January 30, 2018 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
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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?
This book was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley). This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Another scholarly sort. Another murder mystery to solve. Wallflower Most Wanted returns to Beauchamp heiresses with Sophia’s story. A painter, her work tends to cause a bit of a stir and she finds herself in the midst of a art forgery ring that she intends to stop with the help of the local vicar, Benedick.
Having read the first two books already (Ready Set Rogue and Duke with Benefits), I have to say that this one was a bit disappointing. It lacked that certain extra something to keep me hooked from beginning to end. Perhaps it’s because the plot has become predictable for these books or the fact that the characters fell flat. Or both.
Sophia wasn’t a badly written heroine so much as a boring one. I liked that she was an artist but that’s all that she really had going for her. And the vicar would call her “Wallflower” all the time which I didn’t get either because she definitely didn’t strike me as such (which also left a disconnect with the title). Ben wasn’t really Mr. Personality either. He and Sophia have known each other for a while now and suddenly he’s lusting after her and it just felt a bit sudden and wasn’t working for me. On that note, the romance was bland. I don’t need explicit scenes in a romance to feel the chemistry between characters but there was nothing between these two. The most I got was a mutual respect which is great and all but not what’s going to make me ship these characters. It is a romance, after all.
I did like the twist with the antagonist of this story. I had a few guesses but thought that the execution leading up to the big reveal played out well and felt both believable from the stance of a reader following this story but also surprising in the good way.
The whole potential murder and forgery ring storyline was pretty bland for me. Which is sad because when you hear those two phrases I doubt you’d think “boring” but it felt like background noise to the romance that wasn’t really happening on the page. Honestly, I felt more chemistry between Gemma and Cam (who you’ll briefly meet in this one) and really hope he’s the one in the next book with Gemma because I want to read that one.
Wallflower Most Wanted left me wanted a LOT more. Disappointing since the previous two books were decent and I love the idea of a house full of “bluestockings” in this day and age. Good premise and plenty of potential but the execution this time around wasn’t up to par unfortunately.