"Since Aaron was only a handful of steps away in his approach, he now received the full effect of Miss Young's bottomless blue eyes. If he were to be honest, his knees felt a little wobbly, which was certainly ridiculous. Young girls swooned, not full-grown men."
This trio of stories focuses on the wallflowers of the regency era. It's for those of us who may be a little shy and reserved. As someone who literally sat on the floor and read in between classes in high school, I absolutely loved seeing these girls get a moment in the fiction world. I loved seeing the shy ones find their courage and happily ever after's.
thoughts & feelings
I know we're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover or title but let's be honest we all do. The second I heard the title of this anthology I knew I needed it in my collection. Then I saw the line up of authors and crossed my fingers for an advanced copy. You guys! The stars aligned and I found myself in possession of an advanced readers copy! Dreams do come true!
The first novella in this collection is The Wallflower's Dance by Jen Geigle Johnson, and it is fab-u-lous. I honestly cannot gush about this story enough. You know a story is amazing when your husband walks into the room and says "judging by the smile on your face that must be a great book." To say the least I read about half of the story that night and finished it the following day. This novella has my heart for so many reasons. The most endearing part of this story was the honesty written into our main man and leading lady. We get glimpses into both of their thoughts and struggles and it's just so honest that it gives you all the feels. I want to expand and tell you so much more but I refuse to ruin the story for you. For that reason I am going to seal my lips and just tell you that you're going to absolutely love this novella.
Believe it or not the second novella, Letters to a Wallflower by Heather B. Moore is just as amazing. I lucked out and started reading on a rainy day which means I had quite a bit of reading time...and finished it in a single day. This story had me very intrigued from the get-go when cousins Ella and Dinah make a wager. I should begin by stating that Dinah is about 30 years old, has a unibrow, plays cards with the men, and can hold her own in talking politics. Basically, I love her character and you will too. Ella has been dubbed a "diamond of the first water" by the society pages but really just wants to marry a simple country gentlemen so she can avoid the pressures of society and spend time with her flowers. One evening the pair makes a wager that finds Ella in a plain oversized ballgown hiding in a corner with the wallflowers of society. Are you intrigued? Add to it that Aaron has also made a wager with his mother in the hopes of returning to his own country estate for a single week. Now I ask, what could possibly happen to two people with separate wagers when thrown into a ballroom together? A lot my friends, a lot. Heather B. Moore has done an amazing job weaving this story simply yet beautifully. You'll even get the giggles a few times.
Last, but certainly not least, is To Marry a Wallflower by Anneka R. Walker. At the rate that I was devouring this book I held off starting this last novella until my kids had not only gone to bed but had fallen asleep. I began the book a little after 9:00 pm and read the entire thing in one sitting. To Marry a Wallflower is all about deception (for a good cause) and mistaken identity. The best part? We, the readers, know what is going on! It's so much fun to watch the main characters throughout this story, knowing what is really going on and who everyone really is. I giggled quite a few times at some of the thoughts of both the main man and leading lady. To say the least it is a very entertaining story that will keep you hooked from the very first line.
All in all, I cannot gush enough about this anthology. In all honesty it is exactly the book that I needed right now. Stories short enough that you can dive into them and not come up for air until the story is completed. Yet, each of them are written beautifully and simply. I was not left with any questions or feeling like something was missing. I do hope we get to see these characters more but am completely satisfied with each of the novellas. If your looking for a good anthology, a book you can dive into, or a quick read make sure to add this one to your list.
Steam Level: clean, kissing
Content Warnings: none
Trigger Warnings: none
Title: The Wallflower's Dance
Author: Jen Geigle Johnson
Title: Letters to a Wallflower
Author: Heather B. Moore
Title: To Marry a Wallflower
Author: Anneka R. Walker