Daring Miss Danvers (Wallflower Weddings #1)
By: Vivienne Lorret
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
It’s all fun and games . . . until someone falls in love.
Oliver Goswick, Viscount Rathburn, needs money—and soon. With time ticking away and his inheritance held hostage until he’s properly wed, Rathburn’s slim options point to a single solution: a faux engagement. In need of the perfect bride, he knows of only one candidate: his best friend’s wallflower sister. The plan seems flawless, except for one problem . . . He can’t help falling in love with her.
Poised, polished Emma Danvers knows nothing good can come of Rathburn’s scheme. Spending the next two months engaged in a mock courtship is not what she’d imagined for her final season. Yet, charmed by his roguish ways and the inexplicable hammering he causes in her heart, she accepts his challenge.
For Emma, keeping the secret seemed easy when it was just a game . . . But as Rathburn begins to see past her reserved exterior to the passionate woman within, the risk of losing her heart becomes all too real.
I believe I mentioned this in another review but I decided to pick up the first book in Vivenne Lorret’s Wallflower Weddings series because it features Rafe Danvers (of The Devilish Mr. Danvers (review))’s sister, Emma. The Danvers seem like quite a lovely family despite of their eccentricities (for the time) so yeah, I was looking forward to reading Emma’s story.
Daring Miss Danvers was a nice read. It follows the familiar romance trope of a faux engagement, namely to Oliver’s benefit to get his inheritance to finish the construction of his hospital project. I admit, the arrangement was a tad bit strange in that Emma doesn’t really benefit much out of the faux engagement–especially as it covered for much of the London season, to her dismay–but I think she partly went along with it because she already felt something for him (and didn’t realise it). And admittedly Oliver’s grandmother is quite a fearsome character to reckon with, and strangely enough she likes Emma, so okay, haha.
Despite the familiar tropes and Emma going along with things, it was enjoyable to read Emma and Oliver sort of circle each other and grapple with their growing feelings towards each other (Oliver’s gentle teasing of Emma whenever she appeared was quite cute). Communication also plays a major role in this story as both seem to not voice things out loud right away–Oliver with the change in plans, Emma and her own feelings hidden underneath her pragmatism and decorum–but it wasn’t frustrating or anything because in everything else they were quite lovely and everything just fell into place wonderfully (I thought it was cute how they went all xD when they overheard the other saying something lovely about them–if that makes any sense, oops).
I guess the reason I didn’t rate the story any higher was because I could see all of the elements–all of which moved the story along and which made her later Rakes of Fallow Hall quite easy to follown and enjoy–but here it felt like it didn’t quite gel as well as it could’ve. Emma’s friends were lovely but I wasn’t quite as enamoured by them as I was with the three blokes in the Fallow Hall series, and I wished the author had explored certain facets of Emma and Oliver’s respective personalities further. I wasn’t quite as convinced that Oliver’s completely over what happened to his father, and I wished a lot more was explored into Emma’s need to push down her own passions and creative nature. I thought that was really interesting but that facet of her personality wasn’t revealed until well after the halfway point. I could’ve used more of that.
Despite of this I liked Daring Miss Danvers. I think Emma and Oliver were lovely and I can see why Oliver was the way he was by The Devilish Mr. Danvers. It was also nice to see more of Emma’s parents, and a bit of Rafe Danvers himself. I’m not terribly interested in Emma’s friends though so I’m going to be skipping on the other two books of this series, but I am looking forward to Ms. Lorret’s next books, whatever the stories are about. She writes some very nice historical romances that are pretty well-placed with interesting characters. I highly recommend her books if you’re a reader of the genre!