TO KISS A WALLFLOWER by Jen Geigle Johnson, Heather B. Moore & Anneka R. Walker
SERIES: Timeless Regency Collection #19
GENRE: Historical/Regency Romance (Clean & Wholesome)
PUBLISHER: Mirror Press
RELEASE DATE: June 21, 2022
To Kiss a Wallflower is the nineteenth book in the Timeless Regency Collection, a bestselling anthology series from Mirror Press. The book features three novellas from acclaimed historical romance authors whose stories reveal that eventually, all wallflowers will have their chance at love . . . This is where it begins.
“The Wallflower’s Dance,” by Jen Geigle Johnson
Lottie Hughes likes people, as long as they aren’t too close. Does it bother her that no one asks her to dance? Yes, but she’s not sure how to drum up dance partners when she has almost no dowry, no title, and freezes up when anyone tries to talk to her. When she suddenly inherits a huge amount and is the new center of attention all over London, her secret dreams might come true but also her worst nightmares. Suddenly everyone wants to talk to her. Men ask her to dance. And she is inundated with interested suitors. She fights to stay close to the few friends she knows are true. One man saw her before her life changed forever. But does she want to accept his help when he, too, might be insincere?
“Letters to a Wallflower,” by Heather B. Moore
Ellen might be beautiful and considered a diamond of the first water by Society, but she is so very tired of the pressure to marry a titled gentleman so that her beauty won’t go to waste. When her cousin Dinah dares Ellen to attend a ball with no frills and to stand with the wallflowers, Ellen takes on the dare. What’s in the wager for her? The prize cuttings of her aunt’s extraordinary roses. But what Ellen isn’t expecting is Lord Ravenshire to engage her in the most interesting conversation. When she confesses to him of her opposition in marrying for a title, he confesses his distaste of the London scene. They strike a bargain together, one which will either push them apart or lead to a future sweeter than either of them could have imagined.
“To Marry a Wallflower,” by Anneka R. Walker
Charlotte Winters is destined to spinsterhood until she turns down an unwanted proposal and everything changes. With gossip rampant, her father attempts to salvage her reputation by betrothing her to another. Soon she is sent off to her aunt’s to meet Lord Templeton, her intended. Anxiety-ridden, Charlotte begs her aunt to let her observe Lord Templeton from afar before their introduction. She never planned to pretend to be her fictional cousin to learn more about him, or to fall in love with Lord Templeton’s friend in the process. Lord Templeton dreads returning to the empty halls of Newcliff Manor. When his father’s old friend, Mr. Winters reaches out for assistance, Lord Templeton finds himself returning home engaged to a woman he has never met. Desperate to learn more about Miss Winters, he befriends her cousin. He wouldn’t have spoken to her, or lied about his identity, if he’d known the quiet woman would sneak into his heart.
Other Books In This Series
Since 2015, Mirror Press has been presenting the Timeless Regency Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories featuring bestselling authors from the contemporary and historical romance genres. The collection has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.
I am nearly always in the mood for a Timeless Regency Collection (or any of the Timeless collections, for that matter). The writing is always perfection and it often gives me a taste of authors I haven’t yet read… or gives me a very good excuse to binge read three always-enjoyed authors all at once.
The latter is the case in To Kiss a Wallflower by Jen Geigle Johnson, Heather B. Moore, and Anneka R. Walker. While I have read more of Johnson’s work than the others, I have also enjoyed the books by Moore & Walker that I’ve read. And I love a good wallflower romance, so I was super excited when I found out about this latest collection.
In Johnson’s The Wallflower’s Dance, we are treated to a delicious rendering of one of my fave romance tropes – best friends to more. I adored Lottie’s friendship with Denny & his sister Grace (though Grace was mostly a background character), and I loved Lottie’s banter and heartfelt conversations with Denny. I think one of the reasons that I enjoy this trope so much is that there are plenty of chances for those breath-stealing moments when suddenly your heart becomes abundantly clear. Especially when, like in Denny’s case, the hero (or heroine) realizes that the relationship will be forever changed once one party marries and then oh, how can your heart ever be full without this best friend with whom maybe you’ve fallen in love unawares. Needless to say, watching Denny & Lottie finally begin to recognize what their hearts have known all along is super swoony and full of smiles for the reader.
Moore’s Letters to a Wallflower portrays another fave trope of mine – fake relationship. We don’t often see this particular trope in Regency settings so it was fun to see how the author set it up. I thought the premise was very plausible and, after reading this delightful story, I’m not sure why we don’t see fake relationships written about more in Regency romances – it really does lend itself nicely to the era. Ellen and her cousin reminded me in all the best ways of young women you would find in a Jen Turano novel – independent, witty, caring, and prone to dismiss proper social etiquette as tiresome and inconvenient. Aaron is the perfect match for Ellen’s personality, and their fake-relationship-turned-friendship-turned-love was a pleasure to watch unfold through their exchanged letters as well as in person interactions.
Finally, To Marry a Wallflower by Walker delivers a positively swoonilicious mistaken/hidden identity story with a betrothal of convenience twist. I do believe that Luke is my favorite hero of the three stories – though it’s a very close race to be sure. He is exceedingly kind and compassionate, a man of integrity, and just good. He voluntarily steps in to marry the daughter of a family friend, sight unseen, after a rejected suitor has started an unfair smear campaign of her in the social pages. That ‘sight unseen’ part is where the mistaken/hidden identity trope comes in to play and, though I suspected it would happen, I giddily held my breath at every stolen glance & near-kiss between Luke & Charlotte as they are (to their respective struggle) drawn to each other long before their true identities are revealed.
Bottom Line: A Timeless Regency Romance collection. Jen Geigle Johnson. Heather B. Moore. Anneka R. Walker. How can you go wrong with that combination? Well, you can’t and these talented authors prove me right with each sweet & swoony story in this collection. All three stories are distinct in style and trope with well-developed plot & characters, despite the shorter word count. This gives readers a good feel for the authors’ respective voices while being thoroughly entertained at the same time. Relax this weekend in your favorite reading spot with the delightful banter, breath-stealing kisses, grin-inducing wit, relatable emotion, engaging heroines, and dreamy heroes of To Kiss a Wallflower!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received via Austenprose. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / fabulous!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
An award-winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy’s top award for Romance, Jen Geigle Johnson has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. History is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well.
She loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure.
Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestseller and award-winning author of more than seventy publications. She’s lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States, including Hawaii, and attended school abroad including the Cairo American College in Egypt, and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about anything in history and, as an author, is passionate about historical research.
Anneka Walker is an award-winning author raised by a librarian and an English teacher turned judge. After being fed a steady diet of books, she decided to learn about writing. The result was a bachelor’s degree in English and history. When she isn’t dreaming up a happy ending for a story, she is busy living her own with her husband and adorable children.
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What about you? What makes you want to read To Kiss a Wallflower by Jen Geigle Johnson, Heather B. Moore, and Anneka R. Walker?