Eva Leigh is a favorite author of mine, and after loving The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes, I was excited to read the love story of Finn, the older brother to the hero Kieran in the aforementioned title. Finn and Tabitha’s love story in How the Wallflower was Won did not disappoint.
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The summary, from Amazon:
USA TODAY bestselling author Eva Leigh continues her Last Chance Scoundrels series with a steamy romance between two opposites—a rogue with a taste for wagers and a bookish wallflower—who marry for convenience… but neither bet on falling in love.
Finn Ransome is an expert on Lady Luck, which is why he refuses to take a chance on love. Experience has taught him that he’s happier at a gaming table than around people he will, inevitably, disappoint. However, the clock is ticking on his father’s matrimonial demands. But the only woman to catch his eye is a bluestocking who would never consider a rogue like him.
After a disastrous first Season, Tabitha Seaton decided to focus on books instead of ballrooms. She hopes to join the Sterling Society, a collective of the most brilliant, influential minds in London. Except, they will never admit an unmarried lady. Now Tabitha needs a husband, and a notorious, handsome gambler may be her best bet.
Finn and Tabitha are opposites who have no intention of wagering on a love match, and a calculated marriage of convenience solves all their problems—with no risk to their hearts. Once married, however, their potent attraction boils over into a deep passion that neither expected. When a painful mistake drives the new lovers apart, Finn will risk it all to prove a scoundrel and a wallflower are a winning pair…
Buy How the Wallflower was Won here.
And don’t miss Book 1 in the series, The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes. Read my review here.
A few months ago, Finn, Kieran, and their best friend Dominic were told by their fathers that unless they married within the year, they could not secure their inheritances. When Finn meets bluestocking wallflower Tabitha, he’s intent to set her up with Dom, who is too embroiled in his own emotional troubles to pay her much mind. Finn instead agrees to enter into a marriage of convenience with Tabitha. But Tabitha has been hurt in the past, and insists that this marriage is not emotional. While the chemistry between them is undeniable, leading to many steamy moments, the two struggle to admit their growing feelings towards one another for this reason.
Tabitha’s reasoning for wanting to marry is that she plans to join an intellectual society that previously has only opened its doors to white men. Tabitha knows that the society communicates with political figures and influences their decisions. She wants to join so she can influence votes as well and hopefully gain admission for her friends, none of which are white men. The society refuses to see her, but agrees that should she marry, it may be acceptable to permit her attendance.
The plot revolves around Tabitha’s possible admittance into the society and the aftermath of that. I loved the supportive relationship between Finn and Tabitha. Finn has a learning disability and was emotionally abused growing up because of it. He struggles to view himself as equal to Tabitha, despite the fact that his wife and friends all see how intelligent he is. I thought the representation was very well done and empowering.
Leigh always embraces a theme of those with privilege using their voices and influence to empower others. I appreciate this, though it was a little on the nose in How the Wallflower was Won. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – I’ve just felt she’s done it “better” in the past. I also am frustrated by poor communication between couples in romance novels. It made sense for this one, but it still annoyed me when it came up. Nonetheless, the plethora of steamy scenes really won me over, making this a 4 star read.
Find out more about how I rate books here.
How the Wallflower was Won by Eva Leigh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved this. There were times where the lack of communication between Finn and Tabitha frustrated me, but overall I just was so pleased – by the steaminess, by the cameos from Leigh’s other characters, by the representation of a hero with a learning disability, with the discussion of how emotional abuse/trauma impacts people. I’m so excited for Book 3 in the series and can’t wait to read the novels by this author I haven’t visited yet. Each and every one is a joy to read. I love that there is always a message that the person you love sees you for who you are & that people with privilege have a responsibility to empower others, and displays of male friendship that defy toxic masculinity.
Book Club Questions
- Explain the relationship dynamic between Finn and Tabitha.
- Why does Finn initially try to set Tabitha up with Dom?
- What do Finn and Tabitha have in common?
@daily.manifestationx Loving this series! Book 1 is available – The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes. #romancebooks #romancebooktok #booktok ♬ original sound – Marissa