Monday, October 18, 2021

Review: The Perks of Loving a Wallflower by Erica Ridley

The Perks of Loving a Wallflower by Erica Ridley
Series: The Wild Wynchesters, Book 2
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Female/Non-Binary Historical Romance 
The Perks of Loving a Wallflower cover
ISBN: 9781538719541
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

As a master of disguise, Thomasina Wynchester can be a polite young lady—or a bawdy old man. She’ll do whatever it takes to solve the cases her family takes on. But when Tommy’s beautiful new client turns out to be the highborn lady she’s secretly smitten with, more than her mission is at stake…

Bluestocking Miss Philippa York doesn’t believe in love. Her heart didn’t pitter-patter when she was betrothed to a duke, nor did it break when he married someone else. All Philippa desires is to decode a centuries-old manuscript to keep a modern-day villain from claiming credit for work that wasn’t his. She hates that she needs a man’s help to do it—so she’s delighted to discover the clever, charming baron at her side is in fact a woman. But as she and Tommy grow closer and the stakes of their discovery higher, more than just their hearts are at risk.

A master of disguise who wants to be loved for their true self finds love with a bluestocking society miss who years for more in The Perks of Loving a Wallflower. I’ve been waiting for Tommy Wynchester to get the happily ever after they yearn for ever since they first gazed longingly at Philippa York in The Duke Heist and Erica Ridley delivered.

Philippa is a bluestocking who has never felt love or desire, so she is less than thrilled her mother is absolutely determined to see her married off. Her mother is so overbearing she takes up more page time than I would like but it definitely highlights what Philippa is up against. After turning down a duke her mother is threatening to disallow Philippa’s bluestocking club which is the only thing that brings her joy. Then a mystery falls into her lap and she and her friends need the help of the scandalous Wynchester family. Philippa has long envied the Wynchesters their freedom and adventures and I wanted her to have that for herself. Philippa is smart and determined but she has blind spots that cause her to not see the damage she can do. I liked that she was imperfect and I liked even more that she eventually learned from her mistakes.

Tommy can don any guise and enjoys getting lost in a character, but what they really long for is to be loved for their true self. Tommy is a rake who gave up their flirtatious ways the minute they first saw Philippa. Tommy is so head-over-heels for Phillipa they’ll do anything for her, but even so it broke my heart to think that Tommy would give up what they want for someone else. There is so much to love about Tommy, whose heart is as big as the ocean and who is clever, funny, and incredibly interesting. Tommy didn’t have as big a personal journey as Philippa but I liked that they learned to not accept less than they deserve.

The romance between Tommy and Philippa is slow burn but it worked exceptionally well. Philippa is demisexual and I liked how her passions slowly awakened as she fell for Tommy. And Tommy, who so easily flirts with women, struggles due to being so far gone over Philippa, eventually finds their footing. It’s not an easy road for the two of them between Mrs. York’s interference and Philippa being unwilling to see outside the roadmap of her life that was laid for her. Every obstacle in their path was worth fighting to overcome and I was rooting for Philippa and Tommy every step of the way.

The Perks of Loving a Wallflower is the second book in the Wild Wynchesters series but it can easily be read as a standalone. I adore the close-knit, wildly unique Wynchester family and how much they love one another. I also really enjoyed Philippa’s bluestocking friends and hope to see more of them. All in all, I greatly enjoyed Tommy and Philippa’s story and I cannot wait to see what Ridley has planned for Graham Wynchester!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.