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Maya Rodale

Author of The Wicked Wallflower

36+ Works 1,983 Members 135 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Photo by Paul Brissman.


Works by Maya Rodale

The Wicked Wallflower (2013) 167 copies
A Groom of One's Own (2010) 141 copies
Lady Bridget's Diary (2016) 123 copies
What a Wallflower Wants (2014) 121 copies
The Heir and the Spare (2007) 108 copies
Wallflower Gone Wild (2014) 103 copies
The Tattooed Duke (2012) 101 copies
A Tale of Two Lovers (2011) 100 copies
Lady Claire Is All That (2016) 89 copies
Chasing Lady Amelia (2016) 89 copies
Duchess by Design (2018) 81 copies
The Rogue and the Rival (2008) 78 copies
Seducing Mr. Knightly (2012) 76 copies

Associated Works


Common Knowledge



To paraphrase several of the characters in this book: you can't hide behind honor to mask your flaws. Nearly everyone points this out to the hero, and now I'm pointing it out to Rodale (I'm sure you're a lovely person, but it's true). The hero Brandon repeats at least 3 times a chapter that he can't run off with the heroine because of "honor and duty," and if I hear that one more time, I'll scream. In an attempt to create a character that was as honorable and stalwart as Captain America, she ended up creating cardboard characters against a flimsy backdrop of a story that should've ended around the 50% mark.

The premise itself was intriguing: Sophie Harlow hates weddings because she was jilted at her own. In ironic twist of fate, not only does she write about weddings for a newspaper but she also falls for an engaged man. However, this is where she stops being interesting. All she does is complain complain complain! She complains about how Brandon won't admit he loves her and just strings her along. She complains about how he won't kiss her and then complains he spends time with her instead of his fiancé. She complains about how honorable he is. And she complains about how her friends won't support her. She complains about her job and then about almost losing her job (and the moment where she almost loses it is such a blip it wasn't even worth fretting over). By the end of the book, I was exhausted from hearing her repeat herself over and over again without any actual consequences that I almost threw my kindle at the wall.

If you think Sophie is repetitive, just wait until you hear about the double duke hero. Readers have said this before, but those titles are wasted on him. Brandon has a sickeningly high opinion of himself. He even admits to thinking England will plunge into chaos if he self-indulges for one afternoon. Now, I'll admit there's a fine line between making him a total cad who cheats on his fiancé and making him a boring boy scout, but Rodale didn't manage that skillfully enough. As a result, there are only a couple kiss scenes and a very rushed sex scene right at the end, so there's nothing steamy about this whatsoever.

But the crux of the matter is that Brandon spends the entire book waffling between Sophie and Clarissa while hinting at some Great Matter that would make the contract null and void, but Rodale won't tell us what this is for dramatic effect. In reality, this just felt like dragging a dead horse for miles. Just tell us what it is already! It was really obvious too, so the big hold up wasn't even worth it.

And then everything is resolved almost instantly when a richer and higher ranked prince comes along and offers for his fiancé, Brandon refuses. He says it's to protect her, but it's more out of pride. Because of this, there shouldn't have been an issue! Just let Clarissa marry who she wants and then you marry who you want! Simple! Really, this book would've ended 100 pages sooner if Brandon stopped holding everyone up for no good reason.

The only redeeming qualities for this book was the secondary romance stealing the show and having much higher stakes and the fact that Sophie and Brandon had some pretty decent banter. But there really isn't anything here to tempt anyone, so please, for your sake, avoid this. I'm not sure if all of Rodale's books are so flat, but I'm definitely going to think twice before I pick one of hers up again.
… (more)
readerbug2 | 9 other reviews | Nov 16, 2023 |
I did not see the unmasking of the hero as a fraud coming, although I should have.
msmattoon | 7 other reviews | Aug 24, 2023 |
i liked it even if some of the character's quirks make me want to tear my hair out
aeryn0 | 11 other reviews | Jul 23, 2023 |
aeryn0 | 7 other reviews | Jul 23, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Katharine Ashe Contributor
Miranda Neville Contributor
Caroline Linden Contributor
James Griffin Cover artist


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½ 3.6

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