Wallflower Most Wanted is a historical romance novel written by Manda Collins. It is the third book in her Regency-era Studies in Scandal series. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because I have enjoyed the other two books in this series. There was a fleeting moment between Sophia and Benedick in the second book, and I knew that they would be perfect together. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I found out that they would really be paired to together.
Sophia is a talented painter, and has spent the last few months at Beauchamp House as one of the four heiresses who are to inherit the house after a year in residence. While painting, she inadvertently falls off a cliff and right into the path of Lord Benedick Lisle, the handsome young vicar. The pair overhear a tense and menacing exchange between two strangers, and while they are trying to puzzle out the meaning of that conversation, they learn that an art forgery ring that has been traced to their little seaside corner of the country.
Meanwhile, a local industrialist attempts to insert himself into the local art scene by declaring that Sophia’s paintings are indecent and should be barred from an upcoming competition. And then something happens that suggests that this is a much bigger problem than Sophia or Ben could have anticipated.
Sophia played a minor role in the first two books in this series, so it was such a pleasure to finally get to know her. The depth at which she sees everyday life is rather atypical for a young woman of her station, and it is perhaps this reflective nature that attracts Ben to her.
I’ve read a couple of books with vicar heroes recently, and I must say, there’s something appealing about the subgenre. Ben is a rather unique hero; he has chosen quite a different path than a life of dissolution, and uses his natural ability to help people. His daily life is quite different from his privileged background as the younger son of a duke, and he will only use his advantageous connections as a last resort.
I would absolutely recommend Wallflower Most Wanted. I think this book stands pretty well on its own, so you don’t have to read the other Studies in Scandal books before reading this one. You really ought to read them though because they are equally delightful, although I do think that this is my favorite of the bunch. As was the case with the other books, Collins does a wonderful job of setting up the pairing for the next book. I can’t wait to read about Gemma and her new chap- June seems entirely too long to wait!
I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.