A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflower Series #5)

A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflower Series #5)

by Lisa Kleypas

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Overview

The Wallflowers are four young ladies in London who banded together in their wild and wickedly wonderful searches for true love. Now happily married, they join together once again to help one of the world's most notorious rogues realize that happiness might be right under the mistletoe.…

It's Christmastime in London and Rafe Bowman has arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie Blandford, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady in waiting and, if it weren't for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers 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.

Lisa Kleypas's A Wallflower Christmas takes a trip to Victorian London, under the mistletoe, and on a journey of the heart. With her trademark charm, sensuality, and unforgettable characters, there's no one like Lisa Kleypas to make you believe in the magic of Christmas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312360733
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 11/02/2010
Series: Lisa Kleypas's Wallflowers Series , #5
Pages: 214
Sales rank: 54,003
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Lisa Kleypas is the RITA Award-winning author of many contemporary and historical romance novels, including the Hathaways series, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor, and Love in the Afternoon. Her books are published in fourteen languages and are bestsellers all over the world. Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College and published her first novel at the age of 21. In 1985, she was named Miss Massachusetts in the Miss America competition. She lives in Washington with her husband and two children.

Read an Excerpt

A Wallflower Christmas


By Lisa Kleypas

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2008 Lisa Kleypas
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-4465-6


CHAPTER 1

London 1845


"It's official," Lillian, Lady Westcliff, said with satisfaction, setting aside the letter from her brother. "Rafe will reach London in precisely a fortnight. And the clipper's name is the Whirlwind, which I think is quite apt in light of his impending betrothal."

She glanced down at Annabelle and Evie, who were both on the parlor floor working on a massive circle of red velvet. They had gathered at Lillian's London house, Marsden Terrace, for an afternoon of tea and conversation.

At the moment Annabelle and Evie were making a tree skirt, or rather trying to salvage the fabric from Lillian's previous efforts. Evie was snipping at a piece of brocade ribbon that had been stitched unevenly on one side, while Annabelle was busy cutting a new edge of fabric and pinning it.

The only one missing was Lillian's younger sister, Daisy, who lived in Bristol with her new husband. Annabelle longed to see Daisy and find out how marriage suited her. Thankfully they would all be together soon for the Christmas holiday in Hampshire.

"Do you think your brother will have any difficulty convincing Lady Natalie to marry him?" Annabelle asked, frowning as she encountered a large, dark stain on the fabric.

"Oh, not at all," Lillian said breezily. "He's handsome, charming, and very rich. What could Lady Natalie possibly object to, aside from the fact that he's an American?"

"Well, Daisy said he's a rake. And some young women might not —"

"Nonsense!" Lillian exclaimed. "Rafe is not at all a rake. Oh, he's sown a few oats, but what red-blooded man hasn't?"

Annabelle regarded her doubtfully. Although Lillian's younger sister Daisy was generally regarded as a dreamer and a romantic, she had a streak of clear-eyed pragmatism that made her judgments quite reliable. If Daisy had said their oldest brother was a rake, there was undoubtedly strong evidence to support the assertion.

"Does he drink and gamble?" Annabelle asked Lillian.

A wary frown. "On occasion."

"Does he behave in rude or improper ways?"

"He's a Bowman. We don't know any better."

"Does he pursue women?"

"Of course."

"Has he ever been faithful to one woman? Has he ever fallen in love?"

Lillian frowned at her. "Not that I'm aware of."

Annabelle glanced at Evie with raised brows. "What do you think, Evie?"

"Rake," came the succinct reply.

"Oh, all right," Lillian grumbled. "I suppose he is a rake. But that may not be an impediment to his courtship of Lady Natalie. Some women like rakes. Look at Evie."

Evie continued to snip doggedly through the brocade ribbon, while a smile curved her lips. "I don't l-like all rakes," she said, her gaze on her work. "Just one."

Evie, the gentlest and most soft-spoken of them all, had been the one least likely to capture the heart of the notorious Lord St. Vincent, who had been the definitive rake. Although Evie, with her round blue eyes and blazing red hair, possessed a rare and unconventional beauty, she was unbearably shy. And there was the stammer. But Evie also had a reserve of quiet strength and a gallant spirit that seemed to have seduced her husband utterly.

"And that former rake obviously adores you beyond reason," Annabelle said. She paused, studying Evie intently before asking softly, "Is St. Vincent pleased about the baby, dear?"

"Oh, yes, he's —" Evie broke off and gave Annabelle a wide-eyed glance of surprise. "How did you know?"

Annabelle grinned. "I've noticed your new gowns all have front and back pleats that can be let out as your figure expands. It's an instant giveaway, dear."

"You're expecting?" Lillian asked, letting out a tomboyish whoop of delight. She launched off the settee and dropped beside Evie, throwing her long arms around her. "That is capital news! How are you feeling? Are you queasy yet?"

"Only when I saw what you had done to the tree skirt," Evie said, laughing at her friend's exuberance. It was often difficult to remember that Lillian was a countess. Her spontaneous nature had not been subdued one whit by her new social prominence.

"Oh, you should not be on the floor," Lillian exclaimed. "Here, give me the scissors, and I'll work on this dratted thing —"

"No," Evie and Annabelle said at the same time.

"Lillian, dear," Annabelle continued firmly, "you are not to come anywhere near this tree skirt. What you do with a needle and thread should be considered a criminal act."

"I do try," Lillian protested with a lopsided grin, settling back on her heels. "I start out with such good intentions, but then I get tired of making all those tiny stitches, and I start to hurry through it. But we must have a tree skirt, a very large one. Otherwise there will be nothing to catch the drips of wax when the tree candles are lit."

"Would you mind telling me what this stain is from?" Annabelle pointed to a dark ugly splotch on the velvet.

Lillian's grin turned sheepish. "I thought perhaps we could arrange that part in the back. I spilled a glass of wine on it."

"You were drinking while sewing?" Annabelle asked, thinking that explained quite a lot.

"I hoped it would help me to relax. Sewing makes me nervous."

Annabelle gave her a quizzical smile. "Why?"

"It reminds me of all the times my mother would stand over me while I worked on my sampler. And whenever I made a mistake, she rapped my knuckles with a ruler." Lillian gave a self-deprecating grin, but for once the amusement didn't reach her lively brown eyes. "I was a terrible child."

"You were a dear child, I'm sure," Annabelle said gently. She had never been quite certain how Lillian and Daisy Bowman had turned out so well, given their upbringing. Thomas and Mercedes Bowman somehow managed to be demanding, critical, and neglectful, which was quite a feat.

Three years earlier the Bowmans had brought their two daughters to London after discovering that even their great fortune could not induce anyone from the New York upper circles to marry the girls.

Through a combination of hard work, luck, and a necessary ruthlessness, Thomas Bowman had established one of the largest and fastest-growing soap companies in the world. Now that soap was becoming affordable for the masses, the Bowmans' manufactories in New York and Bristol could scarcely keep up with the demand.

It took more than money, however, to achieve a place in New York society. Heiresses of undistinguished bloodlines, such as Lillian and Daisy, were not at all desirable to their male counterparts, who also wanted to marry up. Therefore London, with its ever-growing pool of impoverished aristocrats, was fertile hunting ground for American nouveaux riches.

With Lillian, ironically, the Bowmans had reached their highest pinnacle in having married her to Marcus, Lord Westcliff. No one could have believed that the reserved and powerful earl would wed a headstrong girl like Lillian. But Westcliff had seen beneath Lillian's brash façade to the vulnerability and fiercely loving heart she tried so hard to conceal.

"I was a hellion," Lillian said frankly, "and so was Rafe. Our other brothers, Ransom and Rhys, were always a bit better behaved, although that's not saying much. And Daisy would take part in my troublemaking, but most of the time she daydreamed and lived in her books."

"Lillian," Annabelle asked, carefully rolling a length of ribbon, "why has your brother agreed to meet with Lady Natalie and the Blandfords? Is he truly ready to marry? Has he need of the money, or is he seeking to please your father?"

"I'm not certain," Lillian said. "I don't think it's the money. Rafe has made a fortune in Wall Street speculations, some of them a bit unscrupulous. I suspect he may finally have tired of being at loggerheads with Father. Or perhaps ..." She hesitated, a shadow crossing her face.

"Perhaps?" Evie prompted softly.

"Well, Rafe affects a carefree façade, but he has never been a terribly happy person. Mother and Father were abominable to him. To all of us, really. They would never let us play with anyone they thought was beneath us. And they thought everyone was beneath us. The twins had each other, and of course Daisy and I were always together. But Rafe was always alone. Father wanted him to be a serious-minded boy, so Rafe was kept isolated from other children. Rafe was never allowed to do anything that Father considered frivolous."

"So he eventually rebelled," Annabelle said.

Lillian grinned briefly. "Oh, yes." Her amusement faded. "But now I wonder ... what happens when a young man is tired of being serious, and also tired of rebelling? What's left after that?"

"Apparently we'll find out."

"I want him to be happy," Lillian said. "To find someone he could care about."

Evie regarded them both thoughtfully. "Has anyone actually met Lady Natalie? Do we know anyth-thing about her character?"

"I haven't met her," Lillian admitted, "but she has a wonderful reputation. She's a sheltered girl who came out in society last year and was quite sought after. I've heard she is lovely and exceedingly well bred." She paused and made a face. "Rafe will frighten her to death. God knows why the Blandfords are advocating the marriage. It must be that they need the money. Father would pay anything to pump more blue blood into the family."

"I wish we could speak with s-someone who is acquainted with her," Evie mused. "Someone who might advise your brother, give him little hints about things she likes, her f-favorite flowers, that sort of thing."

"She has a companion," Lillian volunteered. "A poor cousin named Hannah-something. I wonder if we could invite her to tea before Rafe meets Lady Natalie?"

"I think that's a splendid idea," Annabelle exclaimed. "If she's even a little forthcoming about Lady Natalie, it could help Rafe's case immensely."


"Yes, you must go," Lord Blandford said decisively.

Hannah stood before him in the parlor of the Blandford home in Mayfair. It was one of the smaller, older houses in the fashionable residential district, tucked in a little enclave near Hyde Park on the west.

Comprised of handsome squares and broad thoroughfares, Mayfair was home to many privileged aristocratic families. But in the past decade there had been new development in the area, oversized mansions and towering Gothic-style houses cropping up in the north, where the recently moneyed class was establishing itself.

"Do anything you can," Blandford continued, "to help facilitate an attachment between my daughter and Mr. Bowman."

Hannah stared at him in disbelief. Lord Blandford had always been a man of discernment and taste. She could scarcely believe that he would want Natalie, his only child, to be married off to a crass American manufacturer's son. Natalie was beautiful, polished, and mature beyond her twenty years. She could have any man she chose.

"Uncle," Hannah said carefully, "I would never dream of questioning your judgment, but —"

"But you want to know if I've taken leave of my senses?" he asked, and chuckled as she nodded. He gestured to the upholstered armchair on the other side of the hearth. "Have a seat, my dear."

They did not often have the opportunity to speak privately. But Lady Blandford and Natalie were visiting a cousin who had taken ill, and it had been decided that Hannah would remain in London to prepare Natalie's clothes and personal items for the upcoming holiday in Hampshire.

Staring into the wise, kind face of the man who had been so generous to her, Hannah asked, "May I speak frankly, Uncle?"

His eyes twinkled at that. "I have never known you to speak otherwise, Hannah."

"Yes, well ... I showed you Lady Westcliff's invitation to tea as a courtesy, but I had not intended to accept it."

"Why not?"

"Because the only reason they would want to invite me is to ferret out information about Natalie, and also to impress me with all the supposed virtues of Mr. Bowman. And Uncle, it is obvious that Lady Westcliff's brother is not nearly good enough for Natalie!"

"It appears he has been tried and convicted already," Lord Blandford said mildly. "Are you so severe upon Americans, Hannah?"

"It's not that he's American," Hannah protested. "Or at least, that's not his fault. But his culture, his values, his appetites are entirely foreign to someone like Natalie. She could never be happy with him."

"Appetites?" Blandford asked, raising his brows.

"Yes, for money and power. And although he is a person of consequence in New York, he has no rank here. Natalie isn't used to that. It's an awkward match."

"You're right, of course," Blandford surprised her by saying. He settled back in his chair, weaving his fingers together. Blandford was a pleasant, placid-faced man, his head large and well shaped, the bald skin hugging his skull tightly and then draping in more relaxed folds around his eyes, cheeks, and jowls. The substantial framework of his body was lank and bony, as if nature had forgotten to weave the necessary amount of muscle to support his skeleton.

"It is an awkward match in some regards," Blandford continued. "But it may be the saving of future generations of the family. My dear, you are very nearly a daughter to me, so I will speak bluntly. There is no son to inherit the title after me, and I will not leave Natalie and Lady Blandford to the questionable generosity of the next Lord Blandford. They must be provided for. To my profound regret, I will not be able to leave a satisfactory income for them, as most of the Blandford monies and lands are entailed."

"But there are Englishmen of means who would dearly love to marry Natalie. Lord Travers, for example. He and Natalie share a great affinity, and he has generous means at his disposal —"

"Acceptable means," Blandford corrected quietly. "Not generous. And nothing close to what Bowman has now, not to mention his future inheritance."

Hannah was bewildered. In all the years she had known Lord Blandford, he had never displayed an outward concern for wealth. It was not done among men of his station, who disdained conversations about finance as bourgeois and far beneath them. What had prompted this worry over money?

Reading her expression, Blandford smiled morosely. "Ah, Hannah. How can I explain adequately? The world is moving altogether too fast for men like me. Too many new ways of doing things. Before I can adjust to the way something changes, it changes yet again. They say before long the railway will cover every green acre of England. The masses will all have soap and tinned food and ready-made clothing, and the distance between us and them will grow quite narrow."

Hannah listened intently, aware that she, with her lack of fortune and undistinguished birth, straddled the line between Blandford's own class and "the masses."

"Is that a bad thing, Uncle?"

"Not entirely," Blandford said after a long hesitation. "Though I do regret that blood and gentility are coming to mean so little. The future is upon us, and it belongs to climbers like the Bowmans. And to men like Lord Westcliff, who are willing to sacrifice what they must to keep pace with it."

The earl of Westcliff was Raphael Bowman's brother-in-law. He had arguably the most distinguished lineage in England, with blood more blue than the Queen's. And yet he was known as a progressive, both politically and financially. Among his many investments, Westcliff had garnered a fortune from the development of the locomotive industry, and he was said to take a keen interest in mercantile matters. All this while most of the peerage was still content to garner its profits from the centuries-old tradition of maintaining tenants on its private lands.

"Then you desire the connection to Lord Westcliff, as well as the Bowmans," Hannah said.

"Of course. It will put my daughter in a unique position, marrying a wealthy American and having a brother-in-law such as Westcliff. As the wife of a Bowman, she will be seated at the lower end of the table ... but it will be Westcliff's table, and that is no small consideration."

"I see," she said pensively.

"But you don't agree?"

No. Hannah was far from persuaded that her beloved Natalie should have to make do with an ill-mannered boor as a husband, merely to have Lord Westcliff as a brother-in-law. However, she was certainly not going to impugn Lord Blandford's judgment. At least not aloud.

"I defer to your wisdom, Uncle. However, I do hope that the advantages — or disadvantages — of this match will reveal themselves quickly."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas. Copyright © 2008 Lisa Kleypas. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflower Series #5) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 210 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rafe has come from America to meet with Lady Natalie Blandford, a beautiful young woman with very blue blood, and one whom his demanding and overbearing father wants to align their family with. However, Lady Natalie's cousin and companion Hannah knows deep in her heart that Rafe is definitely not the right woman for her cousin. The Wallflowers recognize this also, though it could be that Rafe is just perfect for Hannah!
As a Kleypas fan from the beginning of her career, I buy anything with her name on it and I am happy to report, Lisa has never failed to entertain me with likeable characters and lovely sensual romances. While this book was short as well as lively and witty, the author did do a very thorough job of fleshing out the character of Rafe and a reasonable job with Hannah. If you are new to the series, you can gauge enough of the other Wallflowers characters to have some idea of what their stories would be like and these glimpses will be enough to whet your appetite for the previous books in this series. I confess to having all of the Kleypas Wallflower books in by TBR stack and after reading this novella, I am definitely going to make it a point to read them sooner rather than later. Not only did I fall in love with Hannah and Rafe's characters, and the trials they needed to overcome in order to achieve happiness, I found myself totally intrigued with the rest of the Wallflowers and know their stories must be equally fabulous as well.
NiinaCs_Blog More than 1 year ago
Rafe Bowman comes to London to marry so that he can get rights to his estranged father's European market. The deal is to marry Lady Natalie, but as an American there is much to learn about courting an English Rose, so when his sister and her three friends begin matchmaking they contact Lady Natalie's companion and cousin Hannah Appleton to learn more about Lady Natalie. Hannah arrives for tea and is met by a rough, rude and unsophisticated Rafe Bowman who is supposed to marry her cousin, and she leaves with one stolen kiss that kindles a fire inside her and stout determination that he's a Rake and should not marry her cousin. As both families travel to the country to spend Christmas and hope for an engagement, Hannah vows she'll try her hardest not to let Natalie fall for Rafe's pretend charms. Rafe has never in his life met a woman like Hannah, and the more he spend time with her and speaks with her the more he can't understand why she holds something that ties his attention only to her. Sure he's to marry Lady Natalie, a decent enough marriage, but he can't seem to keep away from Hannah, her smile and determination to dislike him. But it's not a game lost yet because to every kiss he¿s stolen she¿s responded to. ~*~ I absolutely loved this book, couldn't but it down! From the very beginning this book was charming, intriguing and deliciously proper and passionate at the same time. I loved Kleypas's writing, she's superbly talented in creating characters that are sophisticated, proper and have so many passions boiling just underneath the surface. Rafe, I think I have a little crush, he comes to London to marry an upper class girl because of a deal with his father and falls for the charms of the lady's poor cousin and can't seem to get his head right between what's expected and how he absolutely doesn't want to do anything that is expected of him. He's charming, little rude but in a delicious way that makes a girl swoon. Hannah is a wonderful character, she's smart, headstrong and tries to be practical to fault, but whenever she's around Rafe she loses some of her cool and picks up on his fire for life, his passion initiating hers. She's the perfect Victorian heroine, not too modern but modern enough for her time to be little out of place, even though she tries her hardest to be proper and practical she's sporting quite the temper when flared. If you love historical Romance this is for you! And if you love Christmas you'll love reading this! But on some classical baroque or waltz Christmas music and thoroughly enjoy this novel. I did. I will be re-reading this every Christmas from now on, I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
All of Kleypas's Wallflower series had made me laugh head over heels and I think this one will do the same. I love the way Lillian and Daisy make joke oevr each other and humor over each others tactics. Annabelle and Eve are also best with their freinds. Kleyps likes to humor her readers and herself. I keep on loving her books with the humor she awakes from her readers with her humoreous tone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wild_caffeinated_woman More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge fan of the Wallflower books, and this novella truly is a delightful addition to the ongoing story. The interaction of the Bowmans, the wallflowers, assorted spouses, and an errant toupe make for a very entertaining read. The plot involving Rafe Bowman and Hannah was tender and funny at the same time, and if my husband would write a love letter to me that even came close to what Rafe wrote his beloved, I'd quit nagging him about picking up his socks. Or at least I'd settle for the stink eye and keeping silent.

It was wonderful to see how Annabelle, Lillian, Evie, and Daisy had settled into their marriages, and I fell in love all over again with their husbands. The entire narrative truly captured the Christmas spirit, and A Wallflower Christmas is a keeper.

In response to the fact that it's short, why yes, it is, and by the time one uses their B&N discount, it's about the same as a paperback. It's also intended to be a novella.

Truly fun, engaging, and best enjoyed with a cup of caramel coffee and a snickerdoodle cookie.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a bit boring and too reliant on previous books in the series. The "hero" was disturbingly pushy and overbearing at first - he seems the sort of guy who'd come very close to crossing the line with an uncooperative woman when drunk...
mom2lnb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Much like a couple of the other books in the Wallflower series, I thought that A Wallflower Christmas started a little weak, but by the end, I was completely hooked. What primarily made me skeptical at the beginning was the love/hate relationship and love at first sight themes, neither of which I'm really a fan. I guess I just don't get the love/hate scenario, how a person can one minute strongly dislike someone, often for no particularly good reason, and the next be melting into a passionate embrace with them. I also admit that the short length of the book itself made for a very quick romance that all takes place over a matter of just days, but once again, Lisa Kleypas pulled out all the stops toward the end and made me totally believe that Rafe and Hannah were completely in love with one another and truly would have an HEA.I wasn't entirely sure about Rafe at first either. The first two kisses he stole from Hannah left me a little cold. At the time, he just seemed arrogant and spoiled, used to getting whatever he wanted, and he wanted Hannah. Once they got to Stony Cross Park (the place where so many magical moments have been born in Lisa Kleypas's stories), he started to show more vulnerability. The conversation with his father was very revealing, because it showed just how much Rafe (like his sisters, Lillian and Daisy) had been trying to gain his father's approval all his life and never got it. He seemed to have realized this years ago when he broke ties with his sire, but in hopes of still inheriting the family fortune, he's back and considering marrying his father's choice of a bride for him. I was so glad to see Rafe stand up to Thomas Bowman once and for all, no matter the consequences. It showed he had a great strength of character. Because of this, I think he might have been subconsciously testing Hannah, who was quite disapproving of him when they first met, to see if she would still care for him in spite of his bad boy persona. Also, the part about the toy soldier was sweet and heartbreaking. Ms. Kleypas has always been very good at making some small memento important to the character development. I just wish that she had found a way for Rafe to tell the story to Hannah himself rather than it coming from Lillian. I've always thought that secondary characters relating information about the past generally takes away good opportunities to build intimacy between the hero and heroine, but I'll admit that this element wasn't as annoying in this book as it has been in others I've read. Best of all, his love letter to Hannah was utterly swoon-worthy. Besides setting the pages on fire, I thought it proved beyond a shadow of a doubt how deeply he had come to love her.I can't say that I entirely understood Hannah's initial dislike of Rafe. She kind of seemed to have it in for him before she ever met him, and then his uncouth American ways, and worse yet him accosting her in the hallway with a passionate kiss, only added fuel to the fire. Again, once Hannah arrived at the house party, she started showing a softer side. She slowly became more willing to spend time with Rafe which in turn, helped her get to know the man underneath the facade. Hannah turned out to be a very gentle and sensitive young woman. I loved how she read A Christmas Carol to the children each night, and Rafe couldn't resist listening as well. I thought something might come of Rafe's assertion that Hannah was tired of being in Natalie's shadow, but it never really went any further. Hannah perhaps could have been a bit more developed than she was, but overall, I found her to be a likable heroine.It was really nice seeing all the wallflowers and their husbands again. I thought it was really sweet how they banded together to help Hannah and made her an unofficial member of their group. Fans of Sebastian and Evie and Marcus and Lillian will be happy to know that both couples get their own brief love scenes. I was a little disappointed that
Vidalia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Delightful fluff and a quick read. An airy pick-me-up after too much reality and a dreary winter. Will Rafe Bowman, wealthy American cad, marry the beautiful, charming Lady Natalie or her poor cousin Hannah? You know from the beginning who his choice will be, but the short trip to the end is so much fun!
dianaleez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The major strength of Lisa Kleypas 'A Wallflower Christmas' is the likeability of the protagonists. Uncivilized American rake Rafe Bowman is at heart a charmer who can't help being drawn not to the wealthy English lady he's supposed to be courting, but to her penniless cousin/companion, Hannah. Both Hannah and Rafe are drawn as essentially good people who have had difficult lives. But it's their biting wit and strong sexual draw that make the sparks fly. The major question, will Rafe and Hannah get together, is of course answered by the genre, and there's really little plot or character development, yet it's a pleasant read. 'A Wallflower Christmas' will, of course, be of interest to those who have read the earlier books in the series, but this novella stands alone. I haven't read the others and enjoyed this one. My major complaint is one of marketing: $16.95 for 213 pages is a bit steep.
phyllis2779 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Part of wallflower series. Lilian's brother. One of those instant love between opposites scenarios that are trulty annoying and lack credibility. No clue as to what attracts them to each other except lust.
eljabo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this cute little addition to the Wallflower series. It was a perfect Christmas time read! It felt warm and cozy, like catching up with old friends or sipping hot chocolate in front of the fireplace. Definitely not a deep, inspiring read by any means, but I adore the Wallflowers and Natalie, the newest addition, isn't bad herself!
montano on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite romance authors. I really enjoyed the Wallflower series. This story felt like an afterthought. The story was interesting, the characters likable but the ending felt truncated and the asides into the other Wallflower stories took up precious space. I hope one day Kleypas decides to expand this story.
Deisy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book of "Walllflower Christmas"By lisa Kleypas.This book is about four london girls who were together to find true love. So they get married they see each other again to help one of the world's most notorious rogues realize that happines is under there mistletoe.It's Christmastime in London and Rafe Bowman has arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie Blandford, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady in waiting and, if it weren't for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers 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.? this book is interestin beacuse four friends join together to make another case possible.I say this book is about frienship and love that friends always stick together. .
Jenson_AKA_DL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you have read and enjoyed Kleypas' Wallflower books, then this is an absolute must read. If you haven't, well, we are given concise, somewhat stilted, descriptions of each of the Wallflowers and their respective men. Repeatedly, in some cases. Although I found the Wallflower, et al descriptions somewhat lack luster that would have to be the only complaint I have about the book although I'm sure they would be informational for the first time Kleypas reader.Insofar as the story itself goes, it is short, but it is packed with everything that customarily entrances me with this author's writings. The hero, Rafe Bowman, is at turns rakish, charming and oddly innocent for all that he is a self-proclaimed scoundrel. His heroine, Hannah, is a bit uptight but this is part of her charm and I really enjoyed the interactions between the two. In particular I love the letter (if you read it, you'll know what I mean). What makes this a bit different from most is that we also once again get glimpses into the lives of our Wallflowers which in this case are not intrusive, but actually part of the story themselves. In particular we get to suffer Lillian's concerns about Westcliff (silly as they are) and pine for St. Vincent with Evie. Daisy and Annabelle's parts aren't quite as illuminated, but they are there. I found the mixture of the romance of Rafe and Hannah a great counterpoint to the Wallflower parts and thought it rounded the book out rather well.I know that the length of the book may be disappointing to many who would have preferred a rather longer novel, but I really didn't find it lacking and am happy to have read it.
phyllisd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Wallflowers is a wonderful romance series and this book is a nice visit with old friends. Lillian's older brother is a good addition to the cast of characters. I hope the ladies adopt more honorary members.
onyx95 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stony Cross, Hampshire 1845Another arranged marriage brought Rafe Bowman to England. Trying to discover as much as possible about his intended, Rafe¿s sister, Lillian set up a tea with Lady Natalie¿s companion, Miss Hannah Appleton. From the start, Rafe¿s crass charms did not win over Miss Appleton, her honesty with him about it left him stunned and interested. He could not go against his fathers wishes and get everything he wanted, he wondered if any sacrifice be worth it, if his feelings were reciprocated, if it would or could last the test of time.Wonderful to see the Bowman family, the other Wallflowers and their significant others, again. The story was very predictable, but like all Wallflower stories, it was very enjoyable. I was a bit disappointed and sad to see Lillian doubting Marcus, although the resolution turned out to be ok, I didn`t feel the side story was needed for the progression of the main story. Great to have several love matches revisited and doing so well, the camaraderie of the girls and the inclusion of Hannah was so fun to watch. The mention of Charles Dickens `A Christmas Carol¿ was a nice touch for a timeline connection.
icedtea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable but quite short holiday-themed read for Wallflower fans. Lillian and Daisy¿s eldest brother Rafe meets Hannah Appleton, cousin/companion to Lady Natalie Blandford, Rafe¿s intended bride. The wallflower gang meets up at Stony Cross Park, where there's decorating for the holidays, the adventures of a misplaced toupee and a love letter.
jjmachshev on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fans of Lisa Kleypas' 'Wallflower' series will surely jump for joy when they pick up "A Wallflower Christmas". Even though the Wallflowers are secondary characters, they're still enough of a presence to provide quick vignettes on their current lives and loves. This is a fairly short book at only 213 pages, but still has plenty of steam.Lillian's brother Rafe is recently arrived from America and, of course, his father has selected his bride. Rafe doesn't really care, he'll marry the woman his father selected as this will finally get him the shares in his father's company that he's been fighting for. After all, one English woman is much like the next, right? Hannah is the poor relation 'companion' to the woman expected to marry Rafe. She's also got a sharp mind and isn't afraid to share her opinions. And in her opinion, any match between her beloved cousin and this rude, devilish American would be a travesty...regardless of what anyone, and apparently everyone, else thinks!!Merry and sparkling with a quick pace and just enough steam to keep you toasty warm for Christmas.
jdh2690 More than 1 year ago
I started this Wallflower series at the end and was so delighted that I have to go back to the beginning and finish the rest of the books—I could just tell that the entire series would be The Best Ever! Rafe is the brash American hero in search of a rich titled wife and Hannah is not titled but a companion accompanying the woman supposedly meant for Rafe. Ha! Everything goes topsy-turvy as Rafe and Hannah fall for each other in this cute holiday courtship!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very, very enjoyable series of novels. LORRAINE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the wallflower series and this one did not disappoint me.
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