In order to secure an interest in his father's company Rafe Bowman, eldest brother of Lillian and Daisy, has come to England for a Christmas holiday to meet the English lady his social climbing parents want him to wed. The independently wealthy Wall Street mogul is a typical American -brash, crude and downright improper. And its Miss Hannah Applegate's opinion that the brutish rogue would never make as acceptable husband for her gentle and beautiful charge. He's entirely too outspoken, direct and has no manners. So the stubborn companion blocks all his efforts in courtship. But Rafe is up for the challenge and no managing miss, no matter how tempting and beguiling she may be, is going to get in the way of his financial goals. And soon Hannah realizes that she might have been in fact wrong about Rafe. Beneath his uncivilized exterior lies a lonely and wounded child looking for happiness. Much to her dismay Hannah is falling in love with this imperfect man. But this handsome enigmatic man could never want a poor relation with no social ties such as herself, especially if it meant forfeiting his stakes in his father's company. Or could he?
After highly anticipating The Wallflower Christmas, I'm both happy and disappointed with the results. The book itself is *extremely short* merely 210 pages. So the romance, while excellent, reads more like those shorter anthology books (multiple stories by different authors) rather than a full blown historical romance. And while there's fair development of the delicious lovable rogue Rafe's character, Hannah's is sadly underdone. For example we find out barley anything about her family background. Happily though their romance is filled with the trademark Kleypas sexual tension with plenty of swoon worthy scenes. As far as the Wallflowers are concerned there are two very good parts with Sebastian & Evie The Devil in Winter (The Wallflowers, Book 3) and Marcus & Lillian It Happened One Autumn (The Wallflowers, Book 2), but they are very short (only a few pages each :( ). And Simon and Matthew might as well have been statues for all the attention they get.
So while I enjoyed the romance and the Wallflower update (technically not an update since the book takes place a few months after Daisy's book and well before Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, Book 1)) I hesitate to recommend this due to the steep price. Her novels normally run about 1/2 the price and this is nowhere near the caliber of novel Kleypas usually writes. And I feel like the publishers counted on the fact that the readers would fork over extra just to read updates about their beloved characters. OK -you can make me pay more BUT give me more! Thats just not the case here.
Really a nice Christmas romance with a small treat for die-hard Sebastian and Marcus fans. And although its a very good short romance and frankly anything with Sebastian (*sigh*) is a keeper IMHO, I suggest checking this one out throughly at the bookstore or library before you buy.
The reading order of Wallflower and Hathaway books-
Secrets of a Summer Night (The Wallflowers, Book 1)
It Happened One Autumn (The Wallflowers, Book 2)
The Devil in Winter (The Wallflowers, Book 3)
Scandal in Spring (The Wallflowers, Book 4)
A Wallflower Christmas
Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, Book 1)
Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, Book 2)