Monday, February 20, 2023

Review: The Wolf and the Wildflower by Stacy Reid

The Wolf and the Wildflower by Stacy Reid
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Genre: Historical Romance 
The Wolf and the Wildflower cover
ISBN: 9781649372611
Release Date: February 27, 2023
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Entangled
Stacy Reid Reading Order

London is buzzing with the news that James Winters, the Duke of Wulverton—thought lost at sea a decade ago—survived in the harsh wilderness of the Yukon. Now he’s been returned to his family, his responsibilities, and a nightmarish world of artifice and noise. He has three weeks to become a refined, elegant duke for the Queen…or doom the entire family to ruin and scandal.

Promising psychologist Jules Southby knows a lot about disguises. She’s secretly been living as a boy since birth, enjoying the freedoms of men and knowing little about how to behave like a woman. When she meets the alluring duke, she’s unprepared for his raw, masculine beauty and icy intelligence…or that he can see through her darkest secret.

Jules has very little time to transform the duke into a true semblance of an English gentleman. Yet his very presence seems to unravel her in every way. Their attraction is stark and achingly real—and forbidden. But loving the lost duke would mean losing every sacrifice she’s made to earn her freedom…

A duke newly returned from being lost in the Yukon for a decade and a psychologist who has lived her entire life disguised as a male are an unlikely yet perfect match in The Wolf and the Wildflower. Stacy Reid leans into the type of far-fetched premise found in old-school historical romances but are far less common nowadays. The result is an entertaining, dramatic ride.

All of London – and most of his own family – believes James Winters, the Duke of Wulverton, to be feral after his rescue and return to England. James has survived nearly impossible conditions and has come out remarkably well. The things everyone is scandalized by are perfectly logical given what he’s been through, as Jules sees from the first. Jules Southby has been disguised as a boy since birth. At twenty-three, there are things she yearns for that she cannot have without risking revealing herself. But she also enjoys the freedoms of men and the ability to study and become a psychologist. James sees through her disguise from the first and she too is able to see beyond what others perceive of him. The two of them strike an agreement to be honest with each other and I thoroughly enjoyed watching both James and Jules peel back each other’s walls.

The attraction between James and Jules is instantaneous but the romance builds as they learn to know one another. There’s mutual respect and understanding that goes with the passion. I enjoyed watching them fall in love and seeing their mutual attraction build into heated encounters. I also really liked that Reid kept me guessing how things would work out for the wolf-like duke and his wildflower. James’s mother wants him to find a woman of his station to marry and be his duchess. Jules doesn’t want to leave the freedom and opportunities she has living as a man. Both clearly want one another and have a deep pull they cannot ignore. The result is high drama and emotion that leads to a satisfying happily ever after.

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.