A dedicated painter, Miss Sophia Hastings is far more concerned with finding the right slant of light than in finding Mr. Right. But when an overhead conversation hints at danger for another local artist, Sophia is determined to get involved. Even it means accepting help from an impossibly good-looking vicar who insists on joining her investigation—and threatens to capture her heart…
Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle knows that Sophia is no damsel in distress. But he won’t allow her to venture into peril alone, either. . .especially since he finds Sophia’s curious, free-spirited nature so alluring. But protecting her from harm is becoming more difficult than the vicar could have expected as he and Sophia confront their fiery mutual passion. Who could have known that the art of love would prove so irresistible?
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Wallflower Most Wanted: A Studies in Scandal Novel
Lord Benedick Lisle, the handsome, unmarried vicar of Little Seaford has had to get used to the young ladies of his parish trying to attract his interest. But he’s never had one fall at his feet. Until now. As he’s strolling on the shore, Miss Sophia Hastings, who had been painting on a cliff above, was startled, and took a tumble. Fortunately, the cliff was not extremely high, and Sophia fell in such a way that she only suffered a sprained ankle. Still, the injury is serious enough that she can’t walk, and Ben carries her back to her home. Before leaving, they overhear an ominous conversation from above. The voices that so startled Sophia seem to be discussing a murder.
As they head back to Beauchamp House, Sophia and Ben declare that they will investigate the conversation they overheard, and share their findings. Prior to today’s mishap, Ben and Sophia had been introduced, but didn’t know each other well at all. Interestingly enough, they had the same opinion of the other. Each thinks the other is nice enough, but far too attractive with too many admirers, and totally unsuited for each other.
Sophia is one of four bluestockings who were selected by the late Lady Beauchamp to live in, and be a possible inheritor of Beauchamp House. Each of the four ladies has a decided artistic or intellectual talent. Rather than becoming competitors with each other, the four have become fast friends and seem to be in agreement to share the house. Sophia’s talent is art, and she’s a gifted painter. Though she’s extremely beautiful, she’s not vain, and barely registers how the men of the town are always flocking around her. She’s very kind, though she sometimes is abrupt in blurting things out, but she’s also quick to apologize when she’s made a mistake. She also has a strong sense of right and wrong, thus, her intense desire to investigate what she overheard by the cliff.
Ben is a duke’s son, but he doesn’t let that fact give him airs. I absolutely love the fact that he was not forced to become a vicar, but chose to because it was the calling of his heart. He’s kind, compassionate, and loves to help people. He genuinely desires to accomplish good things, and doesn’t care at all about church politics, or advancing his own career.
As Ben and Sophia investigate, the trail leads to forgery, murder, and even the involvement of the late Lady Beauchamp. This couple also discovers that they are compatible in ways they never could have imagined. Their blossoming romance is absolutely beautiful and passionate. Though Ben initially had doubts about Sophia’s suitability to be the wife of a vicar, he soon comes to realize that everything else takes second place to his love. Sophia, herself, had doubts about her ability to fit in to Ben’s life, but is also willing to put their love first.
I loved reading WALLFLOWER MOST WANTED so much! The pacing of their romance was just perfect and believable. The secondary characters of her fellow wallflowers and his family were delightful and their relationships were lighthearted and fun. Though Ben was a vicar, he was human, with a man’s temper, feelings, and desires. He was written in such a way to perfectly mesh his stellar character and his human wants and needs so that he wouldn’t dishonor his vocation. WALLFLOWER MOST WANTED is Book 3 of the STUDIES IN SCANDAL series, and is a warm, romantic, engaging, and, yes, sexy, read that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend. ~Rose