Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallfowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen. And winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants.
However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.
A Wallflower Christmas takes a trip to Victorian London, under the mistletoe, and on a journey of the heart.
Comment: This is the last book read for the 2016 TBR challenge. This month the theme is, as always, holidays and, as I think most participants do, I picked a Christmas read. I had this book saved precisely for this since a few months ago. I've read the other 4 books in 2014 and 2015 and now the end of it. I wasn't particularly eager only because I've read some not in depth comments here and there and it didn't seem this was such a strong add on to the series but...closure means something.
In this final installment, shorter than the other books, we have the story of Rafe Bowman, one of the brothers of Lilian and Daisy. Apparently, Rafe has come to England to meet Lady Natalie, a young lady who can probably become hos wife if all parts agree on what is already an expected deal. To get a first impression, Lady Natalie's parents send their poor cousin, Hannah Appleton, so she can have a more precise notion of the unconventional - but rich - man their daughter will be marrying.
Hannah's opinion doesn't seem to be very positive but when she leaves she can't say she didn't feel something. The only think to consider, however, is if he's suitable but as time goes by and Natalie starts to like the idea of marrying Rafe, Hannah feels sadder...can she be the one falling in love with him instead of Natalie?
Like I said, I wasn't especially eager to read this story because Rafe never really intrigued me but I admit it was exciting to think I'd have scenes with the characters I liked in the series, Lillian in particular because she was my favorite heroine.
This isn't a long story, things develop quite fast but it did fit the Holiday theme because all characters reunite to celebrate Christmas and, hopefully, Rafe's engagement. In terms of creating a good environment and atmosphere to imagine the characters spending the occasion together, it was quite fun, and I guess well done, although for the title used, the story really could be longer to better have the romance and more domestic scenes with everyone, which would suit the Christmas spirit a lot more.
There's a romance in this book, obviously. Rafe and Hannah don't start the best way, she is not impressed by him but as it happens often with romances, it's clear they will fall in love. Their relationship wasn't as weak as one could think of in a short story but yes, with more pages it would have certainly been better done, even more so when I think about all the interesting dilemmas and dramas surrounding it, like the fact Hannah is Natalie's friend but at the end, a sort of servant and that Rafe doesn't need but secretly wishes for his father's approval. It was interesting to see how they dealt with this but I think the story had great ingredients to be a good romantic drama.
I liked there wasn't much time dedicated to intimacy and thank God, otherwise this would look ridiculous (as so many short stories do when most of them are sex descriptions) but sadly, I'd require a bit more substance to both Rafe and Hannah together to be convinced they were in love. I know it's very difficult to actually portray this, more so in a story with less pages, but it wasn't so. Still, too bad we couldn't have more things happening before they both realized they were at the same pages in terms of what they wanted from the other...it was great to see them get an HEA but yes, it could have been so much more romantic or sweeter.
I think this wasn't a bad attempt, it wasn't the author's best but the glimpse of all the wallflowers being happy with their husbands and families and seeing them all together again... it just made me smile and at the end of everything, it was entertaining.