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Left standing on the side while their contemporaries marry into society, four young ladies forge a bond to guard each other from a similar fate... Finishing school failed to make a proper lady of Penelope Arrington. But as a Wallflower of West Lane, Poppy has a far more vital role—she and her three best friends have made a pact to protect each other from the clutches o Left standing on the side while their contemporaries marry into society, four young ladies forge a bond to guard each other from a similar fate... Finishing school failed to make a proper lady of Penelope Arrington. But as a Wallflower of West Lane, Poppy has a far more vital role—she and her three best friends have made a pact to protect each other from the clutches of dangerous, disreputable men. So when one of them is about to be married off to a duke sight unseen, Poppy makes it her mission to divine the prospective husband’s true character. If only she didn’t require the aid of London’s most unsuitable rake. Rhys Draper, Earl of Marsden, has known the headstrong Poppy since she was a young girl naïve to the ways of men. To her eternal chagrin—and to his vague amusement—they have been at odds over the memory of their embarrassing first encounter all these years. Now, with his services in need, Rhys sees a chance to finally clear the air between them. Instead, he is surprised by the heat of their feelings. If the two do not tread carefully, they may end up in a most agreeably compromising position...


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Left standing on the side while their contemporaries marry into society, four young ladies forge a bond to guard each other from a similar fate... Finishing school failed to make a proper lady of Penelope Arrington. But as a Wallflower of West Lane, Poppy has a far more vital role—she and her three best friends have made a pact to protect each other from the clutches o Left standing on the side while their contemporaries marry into society, four young ladies forge a bond to guard each other from a similar fate... Finishing school failed to make a proper lady of Penelope Arrington. But as a Wallflower of West Lane, Poppy has a far more vital role—she and her three best friends have made a pact to protect each other from the clutches of dangerous, disreputable men. So when one of them is about to be married off to a duke sight unseen, Poppy makes it her mission to divine the prospective husband’s true character. If only she didn’t require the aid of London’s most unsuitable rake. Rhys Draper, Earl of Marsden, has known the headstrong Poppy since she was a young girl naïve to the ways of men. To her eternal chagrin—and to his vague amusement—they have been at odds over the memory of their embarrassing first encounter all these years. Now, with his services in need, Rhys sees a chance to finally clear the air between them. Instead, he is surprised by the heat of their feelings. If the two do not tread carefully, they may end up in a most agreeably compromising position...

30 review for The Earl Not Taken

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    THIS DIDN'T EXCITE ME IN ANY WAY... Actual rating: 1.5 ⭐ I am an absolute sucker for historical romance - they are my go to 'feel good' books - so I was really excited to get this ARC from Netgalley. However, all my hopes and expectations fell flat almost instantly. Sadly, there was hardly anything that I liked... 👍 WHAT I LIKED 👍 Poppy's curses: The female protagonist, Poppy, had a habit of issuing some very colourful curses, such as 'Hade's fire'. I enjoyed that. 👎 WHAT I DISLIKED 👎 Plot: Can you di THIS DIDN'T EXCITE ME IN ANY WAY... Actual rating: 1.5 ⭐ I am an absolute sucker for historical romance - they are my go to 'feel good' books - so I was really excited to get this ARC from Netgalley. However, all my hopes and expectations fell flat almost instantly. Sadly, there was hardly anything that I liked... 👍 WHAT I LIKED 👍 Poppy's curses: The female protagonist, Poppy, had a habit of issuing some very colourful curses, such as 'Hade's fire'. I enjoyed that. 👎 WHAT I DISLIKED 👎 Plot: Can you dislike a plot that is non-existing? Honestly, this plot reminded me of warm water being passed off as tea... Wallflowers: Poppy and her three friends constantly refer to themselves as 'The Wallflowers'... Even though one of them was recently widowed. It felt so childish and, honestly, I could only think of Lisa Kleypas' wallflower series. All I could do was compare the two and this one fell waaaay short. Writing: There were so many cringe moments when it came to the writing. It was clichéed an unoriginal. ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  2. 5 out of 5

    Olive

    Sent abroad to a finishing school, four self-proclaimed misfits bond over a shared desire not to follow society's strict conventions. But when one of the four, Aurora, is married off to, and, shortly thereafter, widowed by a brutal man, the young ladies take things a step further; they vow to never be married to someone they barely know simply because their parents set it up. This vow is put into effect when a different member of their group, Faith, has a engagement set up for her behind her back Sent abroad to a finishing school, four self-proclaimed misfits bond over a shared desire not to follow society's strict conventions. But when one of the four, Aurora, is married off to, and, shortly thereafter, widowed by a brutal man, the young ladies take things a step further; they vow to never be married to someone they barely know simply because their parents set it up. This vow is put into effect when a different member of their group, Faith, has a engagement set up for her behind her back. With the sassiest of the group, Penelope ("Poppy") Arrington at the forefront, the group aims to do a little digging on Faith's future husband, especially since he insists on being secretive about his past. An interesting premise, certainly. I can only wonder what the book would have been like if the book's pitch was actually representative of the majority of the content. Helping with the snooping efforts is Aurora's older brother Rhys, who has always had a contentious relationship with Poppy. She's unarguably the heroine of this book, although Aurora has just been widowed and Faith is the one who's engaged to be married. Rhys ostensibly assists Poppy in finding out more about Faith's betrothed, but the book ends up being an elaborate (and frankly annoying at times) dance between the two of them. The story was the author's excuse to play with these characters which I'm not entirely mad about - they're fun characters! But to claim this is a period piece when the two love interests are getting handsier than Gossip Girl characters? Careful you don't pull a muscle with that reach. This was a fun book, but basic and repetitive. Even the spicy scenes (yes, plural) repeated the same lusty language and the preview of the next book had me howling with laughter - this author loves saying that the female character will be the male character's "undoing." No one is undone at the end of this book, but I very well may be done with the series if it's going to be literally the same book over and over again.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katelynne

    I was surprised how much I loved this one. While it didn’t keep me rooted to the spot, forced to turn the pages, the characters won me over. Poppy’s group of friends is vibrant and full of personality. And her romance with Rhys is on point. The main love scene in this book is one of the most feminist sex scenes I’ve read with an excellent discussion about consent. Thank you to the publisher, author, NetGalley, and Pump Up Your Book for sending me a copy! Read my full review at bitchbookshelf.com I was surprised how much I loved this one. While it didn’t keep me rooted to the spot, forced to turn the pages, the characters won me over. Poppy’s group of friends is vibrant and full of personality. And her romance with Rhys is on point. The main love scene in this book is one of the most feminist sex scenes I’ve read with an excellent discussion about consent. Thank you to the publisher, author, NetGalley, and Pump Up Your Book for sending me a copy! Read my full review at bitchbookshelf.com on May 7!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    A short and sweet period romance, which I found to be a fun read. However, I did have some hangups. Firstly, I feel like these character have been done before.... they had preconceived judgments of one another that one might refer to as prejudices and an overall sense of pride. Getting over all this, they fall in love. Unfortunately, it is hard to live up to Austen. Secondly, some of the story seemed trivial and silly. For example, why are these adult women in a club that they must constantly re A short and sweet period romance, which I found to be a fun read. However, I did have some hangups. Firstly, I feel like these character have been done before.... they had preconceived judgments of one another that one might refer to as prejudices and an overall sense of pride. Getting over all this, they fall in love. Unfortunately, it is hard to live up to Austen. Secondly, some of the story seemed trivial and silly. For example, why are these adult women in a club that they must constantly refer to? I get it you are a Wallflower! I must say I love the cover art!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!

    “The Earl Not Taken” was a charming debut but not a standout. This historical romance novel tells the tale of Pobby, who swore off marriage due to the ‘extracurricular activities’ of her father and a duke, Rhys, who is trying to redeem himself in the light of his sister's best friend after an awkward encounter years prior. Their journey begins with secret meetings and kisses, heated moments, and a plan to reveal the true intentions of a well off man who is betrothed to a Wallflow “The Earl Not Taken” was a charming debut but not a standout. This historical romance novel tells the tale of Pobby, who swore off marriage due to the ‘extracurricular activities’ of her father and a duke, Rhys, who is trying to redeem himself in the light of his sister's best friend after an awkward encounter years prior. Their journey begins with secret meetings and kisses, heated moments, and a plan to reveal the true intentions of a well off man who is betrothed to a Wallflower. It was an overall pleasant read but it did have tiring back and forth with the couple that got old quick yet… I did enjoy most of their encounters and the process of how they became enemies to lovers. This was an enjoyable read all around.

  6. 4 out of 5

    *The Angry Reader*

    Goodness gracious. There was nothing objectionable about this book. And nothing particularly interesting. Imagine that an 8th grader has been assigned “historical romance” as her class project. Voila. Painfully historically inaccurate. Overly simple. Silly. Bumbling writing. And a quick easy read soon to be lost in the shuffle. I won’t read this author again. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to offer my honest opinion. Goodness gracious. There was nothing objectionable about this book. And nothing particularly interesting. Imagine that an 8th grader has been assigned “historical romance” as her class project. Voila. Painfully historically inaccurate. Overly simple. Silly. Bumbling writing. And a quick easy read soon to be lost in the shuffle. I won’t read this author again. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to offer my honest opinion.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lana (Bibliomedico)

    For more Reviews , Recommendations and everything bookish related , Visit my Blog : https://bibliomedico.wordpress.com/ ” We each have our own truths . One might believe he can run as fast as a lion .Perhaps he can , But if he believes the lion is faster then that is his truth “ From time to time , I love to read a historical romance novel , getting all the ” Jane Austin ” Books feelings and reading about a different period with different cultures , rules , people and stories . I’ve requested ” For more Reviews , Recommendations and everything bookish related , Visit my Blog : https://bibliomedico.wordpress.com/ ” We each have our own truths . One might believe he can run as fast as a lion .Perhaps he can , But if he believes the lion is faster then that is his truth “ From time to time , I love to read a historical romance novel , getting all the ” Jane Austin ” Books feelings and reading about a different period with different cultures , rules , people and stories . I’ve requested ” The Earl Not taken ” as the blurb was really intriguing , enemies to lovers story ?! Why not !! But unfortunately , the story was too fast-paced for my liking . Poppy and Rhys love story was promising . But there was no ( Realistic ) Development at all , despite their unresolved issues and complicated feelings , their relationship was rushed . I had a problem with their romantic scenes , there was no passion , reading them felt like reading a manual 😛 And Poppy – As mentioned – was a virgin which made reading the ” Sex scenes ” super confusing . There were a lot of repeated conversations that didn’t add anything new to the story . Personally, I loved the side characters wayyyy more and I’m actually really excited for their stories , especially Arora. In General , my three stars rating is for the wonderful writing style and not this story . That’s why I will for sure read another book by this author.

  8. 4 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Hesitations and investigations in the husband-mart! Four wallflowers, who'd been "hell-bent on embarrassing [their] families", school friends who'd met when they'd been sent to school in Lucerne to have their behaviour moderated, band together to discover the hidden characters of prospective partners their families might fling them at. One of their number, Lady Faith Landon, is to be married to an unknown duke. Their union having been arranged via letters between her mother and the Duke. Well!! T Hesitations and investigations in the husband-mart! Four wallflowers, who'd been "hell-bent on embarrassing [their] families", school friends who'd met when they'd been sent to school in Lucerne to have their behaviour moderated, band together to discover the hidden characters of prospective partners their families might fling them at. One of their number, Lady Faith Landon, is to be married to an unknown duke. Their union having been arranged via letters between her mother and the Duke. Well!! The wallflowers aren't going to take this lying down. After one of their member, Aurora's abusive marriage, the husband now fortunately demised, the sensible plan is to discover all they can about the Duke. Lady Penelope Arrington decides to consult Aurora's brother and longtime family friend for his insights on the proposed bridegroom. The non romance between wallflower Poppy and rake Rhys Draper, Earl of Marsden should have been sublimely hilarious and fraught. It was fraught to the point of annoyance. Rocks kept being thrown into their path, many self induced by the confused, stubborn and frustrating Poppy. I loved Rhys though. He took the star rating up for me. The story had a great basis for being so much more enthralling than it was. Although the four wall flowers, each in their own way, are interesting the writing seemed to surge and fade away at times. I hope the next in the series is stronger. A Kensington ARC via NetGalley

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    I might as well just make my entire Goodreads profile an enemies-to-lovers trope stan account, because the delightful novel The Earl Not Taken is my third such book in as many days. I know, I have a problem. I need to go read some dark 'n' twisty literary fiction about a depressing and uninteresting white dude writer or pick up a long ass Ron Chernow biography as a palate cleanser. A.S. Fenichel's The Earl Not Taken is a quick and cute historical romance, and it was a breeze to get through. The t I might as well just make my entire Goodreads profile an enemies-to-lovers trope stan account, because the delightful novel The Earl Not Taken is my third such book in as many days. I know, I have a problem. I need to go read some dark 'n' twisty literary fiction about a depressing and uninteresting white dude writer or pick up a long ass Ron Chernow biography as a palate cleanser. A.S. Fenichel's The Earl Not Taken is a quick and cute historical romance, and it was a breeze to get through. The tension was sizzling, the romance was steamy, and the characters were solid. Admittedly I found some of the dialogue a liiiiil cringe and mushy towards the end, and the book got quite repetitive in the back half (We get it! Poppy hates marriage! Rhys is somehow feminist as fuck!), but overall this was a fun one. Fenichel also left on a real cliffhanger leading into the next book in the series, which I'm absolutely 100% picking up. Inject! that! Nicholas! intrigue! into! my! veins! (Content warning: This book includes discussions of domestic violence.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Ther were so many things swirling around in my mind after reading this book that I had to take a day to collect all my thoughts before I could write a review for The Earl Not Taken. First off let me say that I enjoyed this book immensely. Secondly, I think this needs to be on everyone's must-read list. The beauty of this book, I feel, is that is dives into so many social and mental issues all while wrapping it up beautifully in a historical romance. As we live in an ever-changing world where wom Ther were so many things swirling around in my mind after reading this book that I had to take a day to collect all my thoughts before I could write a review for The Earl Not Taken. First off let me say that I enjoyed this book immensely. Secondly, I think this needs to be on everyone's must-read list. The beauty of this book, I feel, is that is dives into so many social and mental issues all while wrapping it up beautifully in a historical romance. As we live in an ever-changing world where women are finally starting to have a voice, this book speaks to the issues of a abuse and of a woman having control of her sexuality. I don't know how Fenichel was able to tackle these deep subjects and still make this book a delightful read, but she absolutely did it! Poppy has dreams of living her life unmarried. Her opinion of men has been shaped by her father and the dominating men she sees around her. Can she learn to overcome her prejudice against marriage and realize that not all men can be grouped into the same box? This story is full of second chances and self-awareness. The Earl Not Taken is the first in a new series called Wall Flowers of West Lane. I could not put this book down! I literally was having to force myself to put it down during the day to get anything done. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the ARC. All opinions are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: The Wallflowers of West Lane #1 Publication Date: 3/17/20 Number of Pages: 304 A.S. Fenichel introduces us to the four ladies who make up the Wallflowers of West Lane in this first book of her new series. These ladies became fast friends when they were each shipped off to Miss Agatha Wormbattle’s School for Young Ladies in Lucerne, Switzerland. Their parents viewed this as punishment, but the girls were all deliriously happy to be away from their misbegotten parents and the mistreatment the Series: The Wallflowers of West Lane #1 Publication Date: 3/17/20 Number of Pages: 304 A.S. Fenichel introduces us to the four ladies who make up the Wallflowers of West Lane in this first book of her new series. These ladies became fast friends when they were each shipped off to Miss Agatha Wormbattle’s School for Young Ladies in Lucerne, Switzerland. Their parents viewed this as punishment, but the girls were all deliriously happy to be away from their misbegotten parents and the mistreatment they endured at home. The set-up for the series and introduction of the ladies who will be featured in future books was nicely done. I came to like each of them and began to root for them to find their HEA. I do have to say though, I was not enamored of Lady Penelope (Poppy) Arrington – the heroine in this book. She just got on my very last nerve and I would have been just as happy if Rhys has just walked away from her. Her ‘issues’ just went on way, way too long for me. Poppy gives a whole new meaning to the word stubborn. Aurora Draper – now Aurora Sherbourn, new widow of the Earl of Radcliff – was forced into marriage by her parents. It was a miserable, abusive three-year marriage and her three best friends had suffered through all of it with her. None of them were sad at the earl’s passing and Poppy said as much just after the funeral. Rhys Draper, Earl of Marsden, and Aurora’s brother frowned at Poppy when she made her statement. At least he did until he learned what that blackguard had put his much-loved sister through – then he felt guilt – so much guilt – because he hadn’t known and hadn’t protected her. Poppy and Rhys had met several years ago – just before the girls left for Switzerland and they had bickered and fought ever since then. That certainly hasn’t changed since they have become adults but since Poppy, Mercy, and Faith have come to stay with Aurora to help her in her mourning, Rhys and Poppy are thrown together more and more often. When another of their group is betrothed to a stranger, they all vow – Rhys included – to find out more about the man and to assess whether he is of good character. If he isn’t, they’ll get Faith out of that betrothal one way or another. As Rhys and Poppy spend time investigating, they find that between the bickering, they actually like each other. Poppy has some very strong views on marriage and men – and they are not favorable to either marriage or men. All she has ever seen are unhappy marriages with domineering, uncaring men who treat their wives and daughters as the chattel they are lawfully considered to be. On top of that, she nursed her friend Aurora back to health each time she was raped, beaten and often left at death’s door and that certainly didn’t endear any male to Poppy’s heart. Rhys certainly had his work cut out for him once he realized he wanted Poppy for his own. She was unyielding in her opinion of men – even when she could see the evidence that not all men were cut from the same cloth – he was right before her eyes. I enjoyed this read and am looking forward to the next book in the series – which will feature Faith and Nicholas. I really liked both of them in this book and can’t wait to read their story. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elodie

    The Earl Not Taken The Wallflowers of West Lane Series #1 A.S. Fenichel https://www.facebook.com/A.S.Fenichel/ Release date 03/17/2020 Publisher Kensington Lyrica Blurb : Left standing on the side while their contemporaries marry into society, four young ladies forge a bond to guard each other from a similar fate . . .   Finishing school failed to make a proper lady of Penelope Arrington. But as a Wallflower of West Lane, Poppy has a far more vital role—she and her three best friends have made a pact to The Earl Not Taken The Wallflowers of West Lane Series #1 A.S. Fenichel https://www.facebook.com/A.S.Fenichel/ Release date 03/17/2020 Publisher Kensington Lyrica Blurb : Left standing on the side while their contemporaries marry into society, four young ladies forge a bond to guard each other from a similar fate . . .   Finishing school failed to make a proper lady of Penelope Arrington. But as a Wallflower of West Lane, Poppy has a far more vital role—she and her three best friends have made a pact to protect each other from the clutches of dangerous, disreputable men. So when one of them is about to be married off to a duke sight unseen, Poppy makes it her mission to divine the prospective husband’s true character. If only she didn’t require the aid of London’s most unsuitable rake.    Rhys Draper, Earl of Marsden, has known the headstrong Poppy since she was a young girl, naïve to the ways of men. To her eternal chagrin—and to his vague amusement—they have been at odds over the memory of their embarrassing first encounter all these years. Now, with his services in need, Rhys sees a chance to finally clear the air between them. Instead, he is surprised by the heat of their feelings. If the two do not tread carefully, they may end up in a most agreeably compromising position . . . My review : Will a woman choose to run away and let her fears decide her future or will she faces them ... The blurb with this new style trendy cover caught immediately my eyes, so I was eager to read this first in a series. But I must say I have had a problem with the heroine. Her will to have a different future than the one expected for her is very understandable and louable but her blindness to everything else that might sway her way of thinking had me upset. She hold a grudge for years about an event which had occurred when she and Rhys were only youths, just out of the schoolroom. That she swore to herself to never marry because of her father’s debauched way, why not but she uses her father’s behavior as a shield to draw all men as the same. I can understand when she was a teenager as she has no other view of men but painting Rhys on the same colors because he was young and wild is rather a proof of a closed mind than a clever one. The more the plot advanced, the more I distanced myself from Poppy, I understand her plea about women’s fate and lack of rights, but Rhys despite his past and present mistakes never treated her badly not threatened her security. Her strong will seems more like an awkwardness among society. As is her clumsiness. She plays a long game of cat and mouse with Rhys, always running away instead of confronting her doubts and thoughts, she is so set on her course, she refuses to budge. At a time I felt quite bored with the one step forward then two backward because of Poppy inability to trust, her distrust at Rhys’ every move and word. I was very sorry for him and wondered if she in fact deserved to win him for all the pain and hurt she caused him. Her epiphany arrives very late in the story. Rhys has the patience of a saint, and if not for him, I might have gave up this book. 4 stars as it introduces a group of friends I want to get to know and a very devoted hero only aiming to please. I was granted an advance copy by the author, I had my own previously preordered. Here is my true and unbiased opinion. https://www.facebook.com/429830134272...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Niki

    2.5 stars rounded up Three years at a Swiss finishing school didn't exactly turn Lady Penelope Arrington into a proper debutante, but she did make three strong friendships. The four ladies call themselves the Wallflowers of West Lane and are determined to protect each other from dangerous men after the marriage of one of their own turned out to be a violent disaster. Now another of their number is set to marry a duke she's never met and Poppy is determined to learn his character. Unfortunately, t 2.5 stars rounded up Three years at a Swiss finishing school didn't exactly turn Lady Penelope Arrington into a proper debutante, but she did make three strong friendships. The four ladies call themselves the Wallflowers of West Lane and are determined to protect each other from dangerous men after the marriage of one of their own turned out to be a violent disaster. Now another of their number is set to marry a duke she's never met and Poppy is determined to learn his character. Unfortunately, to be successful she needs the help of her friend's rakish brother. Rhys Draper, the Earl of Marsden, has always been at odds with Poppy since he met her when she was just a girl. Now she needs him and Rhys is determined to figure out why he inspires her ire and disdain. But as they spend more time together, Rhys is shocked by the true depth of his feelings for her. But Poppy never wishes to marry and she and Rhys are soon at risk of being discovered in a compromising position and having their decisions made for them. I was excited for this series and a little light-hearted girl power, but this book had a lot of issues for me. Firstly, the general book factors. Beware, there is some venting ahead. This is a pet peeve of mine that most probably won't notice, but I'm a horse person so for me it is glaringly obvious: horses do NOT bray, ever, no matter how spooked they are. This is only donkeys and some mules. Besides that slight annoyance, there were also several issues with forms of address and characters who should've had the title of lord but never did. Aside from all that, perhaps most importantly is the fact that this book is modern in the extreme. I expected much of this from the cover (which I really do like), but this is truly just a modern novel set in a time with carriages. Technical issues aside, what really killed this one for me was the heroine. She was extremely immature, even for age 21, not to mention judgmental, arrogant and rigid in her thinking. She seemed to believe no one else could possibly know more than she and even when met with new information, she insisted on maintaining her beliefs and assumptions, even knowing she was wrong. This to me is not strong-willed or independent, it is simply being hateful and willfully ignorant. Also Poppy's use of odd and annoying curses involving Greek and Norse mythology (though she only acknowledged Greek) just didn't fit the situations and settings they were used in and sounded awkward, though perhaps this made them fitting of her character. As for the hero, Rhys underwent a good bit of growth and development, which only served to show the lack thereof in Poppy. After Poppy's anger was vented at him (one of many times) for his failure to prove his true feelings for her, Rhys set out to do just that, and then Poppy couldn't understand what the fuss was about and I just wanted to shake her for her hypocrisy. More background on Poppy might've helped but her behavior just showed a lack of character to me, independent of her very understandable lack of self-esteem. Many times she seemed to make up reasons to blow up at Rhys and I even went back and reread and couldn't understand what he had said that made her so angry. In fact, the majority of the book is Poppy storming off and running away and this along with her incessant and repetitive vitriolic diatribes against all men, regardless of whether she knew them and their character or not, struck me as a highly hypocritical judgment since most of her annoyance stems from women being treated this same way. Rhys wasn't bad, I just really don't know why he thought Poppy was so sweet, wonderful and intelligent because I never saw her demonstrate any of these qualities and he wasn't enough to carry this book for me. Any development we saw from Poppy came in the last 15% or so of the book and for me it was too abrupt and too little too late and her lack of growth was a huge turn off. This particular heroine killed the whole book for me, but Nicholas (not so much Faith) interested me enough that I'll likely check out the next book and hope it jives better with me. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. https://mustreadalltheromance.blogspo...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    Review excerpted from my blog post over at FanSciHist (https://fanscihist.wordpress.com/2020...) My Rating: 2 stars Library recommendation: Not recommended for public library historical romance collections. Warning: Hereafter, you chance spoilers. I will try never to reveal major plot points, but to review any book, you must reveal some parts of the story. ________________ Number of titles I have read by this author: 2 Love story speed: Slowish burn Relationship dynamics: The Rakish Earl (H) / The K Review excerpted from my blog post over at FanSciHist (https://fanscihist.wordpress.com/2020...) My Rating: 2 stars Library recommendation: Not recommended for public library historical romance collections. Warning: Hereafter, you chance spoilers. I will try never to reveal major plot points, but to review any book, you must reveal some parts of the story. ________________ Number of titles I have read by this author: 2 Love story speed: Slowish burn Relationship dynamics: The Rakish Earl (H) / The Klutzy Lady (h); elements of the love triangle Sexual content: Some; “on-screen” and explicit Triggers: Recounted spousal abuse; misandry Grammar/Editing: My ARC had a number of typos and misplaced or missing punctuation. Review: I will preface this review with the statement that this author had a lot to live up to with the “wallflowers” trope, as it has been done as a series, and done very well, by other authors. The first issue I took with this book is that the girls that will be featured in the series are not truly wallflowers. It’s true that they are “undesirable” due to their anachronistic modernity, but they do not lack for dance partners at balls, which is a central tenet of the wallflower trope. Of course, I say that this is anachronistic, but the historical time period is not specified – Regency is my best guess. Poppy and Rhys are the central characters of this novel. Poppy is an incredibly unlikable heroine. She goes back and forth, page to page, about whether Rhys has changed or not. She is incredibly changeable and fickle. Her development as a character is almost like the flip of a light switch, although that flip was too late in coming to save Poppy as a heroine that a reader can really root for. Rhys is a much more likable character, and his dogged determination to have Poppy is really the only reason their relationship happens at all (although his insistence to be shackled to a woman like Poppy, who has been genuinely terrible to him for years, beggars belief). In terms of supporting characters, I didn’t find any of the ladies appealing in character. The male characters were more tolerable, but I didn’t feel any particular affinity for any of them. Even the preview for the next book did not sway me to consider reading the next book in the series because it sounds just like this one, but with the roles reversed. Alternative Reads version: I would recommend reading a different Wallflowers series, like that of Lisa Kleypas – give this one a miss. Full disclosure: I received a free advance review copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessie Sedai of the Black Ajah🥀🐍

    A charming series debut! A glint of modern feminism breathes life into a Victorian era romance archetype like none other. This story is beautifully reminiscent of a simpler time while still shining a light on issues that ring true today - what makes love a joint venture rather than a dictatorship? Is marriage inherently biased as an oppressive construct of the patriarchy? Does the madness of love transcend the relevance of these institutions? Poppy and her group of friends are known as a rebelli A charming series debut! A glint of modern feminism breathes life into a Victorian era romance archetype like none other. This story is beautifully reminiscent of a simpler time while still shining a light on issues that ring true today - what makes love a joint venture rather than a dictatorship? Is marriage inherently biased as an oppressive construct of the patriarchy? Does the madness of love transcend the relevance of these institutions? Poppy and her group of friends are known as a rebellious group of social upstarts called the Wallflowers of West Lane. After witnessing a friend get physically and emotionally abused by her late husband, the group decides that they will band together to ward off suitors and the oppressive regime of marriage altogether. When an arranged marriage proposal is set up by one of the friend's parents, it is up to the rest of the group to spy on her groom-to-be to make sure they approve of his intentions and character. Along the way, Poppy works with fellow Wallflower Aurora's older brother Rhys to gain intel, but ends up down a road she didn't expect to ever travel. She learns that perhaps her preconceived ideas of sex and marriage and her opinions of Rhys as a devilish womanizer, are antiquated and largely untrue. A heartwarming hate to love romance woven into an equally charming narrative of friendship and a dash of social exploration. I was touched by Rhys' modern interpretation of sex and marriage and his eternal patience for Poppy as a lover and friend. This was a quick read that warms the spirit and begs for a sequel. Thank you to Netgalley for providing a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Grace || BookNerdNative

    I hate giving negative book reviews, but this story was just not at all what I was hoping for in a sweet historical romance. I love wallflower tropes, and I thought this one would really work for me but it didn't. The plot was essentially non-existent, The writing also felt very cliched, and the dialogue pretty cringe worthy. I don't know what else to say except to say that I was left wanting a bit more.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    DNF at 40%. I started reading this four months ago and at first I really enjoyed it. The idea of four young women, friends from school, looking out for each other is society is not a new one, think of Lisa Kleypas's Wallflowers series. Poppy Arrington is a bit of a modern woman shoved into a historical novel, she has been put off marriage by the bad examples she has seen and she is determined to remain single, when one of her friends is about to be married to a Duke that none of them know she det DNF at 40%. I started reading this four months ago and at first I really enjoyed it. The idea of four young women, friends from school, looking out for each other is society is not a new one, think of Lisa Kleypas's Wallflowers series. Poppy Arrington is a bit of a modern woman shoved into a historical novel, she has been put off marriage by the bad examples she has seen and she is determined to remain single, when one of her friends is about to be married to a Duke that none of them know she determines (in the best Nancy Drew tradition) to investigate on her friend's behalf. Poppy's nemesis is Rhys Draper, an early encounter where Poppy stumbled upon Rhys and a young woman indulging in some afternoon delight has coloured their entire relationship, added to which he is the older brother of one of her best friends. Rhys cannot believe that he was oblivious to his sister being abused by her husband, now he understands Poppy's desire to ensure that nothing similar happens to their other friends. Together the two of them will investigate whether this duke is hiding a secret. So far, so good. I love an enemies to lovers historical with a determined heroine and a strong, but mistaken hero. Poppy looks down on Rhys but when they meet again years after their first encounter Rhys starts to look at Poppy in a different way. Then it all went a bit off the rails for me. Poppy and Rhys go off into the country to investigate the Duke and end up having to stay the night with a mysterious Middle-Eastern gentleman. This jarred with the way in which young women had to behave at that time, then Poppy rescues the man's horses from a burning barn while all the men just stood around and watched. I could just about get over that, but then Poppy asks Rhys to teach her about sex, to make love to her just once so she understands what it is all about. From a promising start this just degenerated for me, then I started to find the characters' speech a bit false and forced and that was the final straw. Sorry, not for me. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    This series will featured four female protagonists: Poppy, Aurora,Mercy and Faith. The girls named themselves -The Wallflowers- and they said that a lot. After six in a school for ladies the protagonist-Poppy- return to London society to get her season. There are besties and the BFFs always protect each one of them. Faith is suposed to the Duke of Breckenridge-Nicholas Ellsworth. Suposedly they have corresponding without Faith knownledge.The girls are determined to discover what have brought Nick This series will featured four female protagonists: Poppy, Aurora,Mercy and Faith. The girls named themselves -The Wallflowers- and they said that a lot. After six in a school for ladies the protagonist-Poppy- return to London society to get her season. There are besties and the BFFs always protect each one of them. Faith is suposed to the Duke of Breckenridge-Nicholas Ellsworth. Suposedly they have corresponding without Faith knownledge.The girls are determined to discover what have brought Nick back to England even lying and making his friends betraying him. Because this is a war between man and woman, of course no man can have their own secrects and they are liars and cheaters. The narrative is not about Faith and Nick, but Rhys and Poppy's. Poppy is the feisty one who does no care about the rules, she can be arrogant,selfish and melodramatic. The one thing a woman can do is to marry and no one want to see her happy besides her friends. Rhys is the "rake" and after a event where he's seen with a woman, Popy cannot trust him and he only wants her to have sex. No problem because she gave to him, so why judge him and not her actions? Negative points: *Poppy is very bad with Rhys. She cannot trust and respect his feelings towards her. He was cleary in love with her why not try? *Every mom,dad or relative are streyoped. They are rude, they don't care about their children and society is a scam. *Rhys is the beta alpha like passive enough to let Poppy have him wrapped in her finger.Why not court her? That would have solved so many problems. *After Aurora has suffered in her late husband's hands the girls are in alert, yet they are willing to risk her friend's happiness. I try to continue but I could not. I hope that Nick and Faith's history are good and that her friends don't interfered with their retationship.

  19. 5 out of 5

    CrabbyPatty

    I'm always up for a good Regency romance and love to see how two people find love, despite the intricate rules of society. I like the premise of "The Earl Not Taken" with a group of four woman who bonded in a Swiss boarding school for difficult girls, and are now back in London society. One of the group, Aurora, has been widowed and had a horrible marriage and another, Faith, is engaged to Nicholas whom she knows nothing about and is understandably worried about his personality. Penelope (Poppy) I'm always up for a good Regency romance and love to see how two people find love, despite the intricate rules of society. I like the premise of "The Earl Not Taken" with a group of four woman who bonded in a Swiss boarding school for difficult girls, and are now back in London society. One of the group, Aurora, has been widowed and had a horrible marriage and another, Faith, is engaged to Nicholas whom she knows nothing about and is understandably worried about his personality. Penelope (Poppy) and Aurora's brother Rhys decide to find out what they can about Nicholas and the adventures begin. So far, so good. However, I think it's a fine line between creating an unconventional daring character who bucks societal norms .... and a character that just doesn't listen to reason and holds tight to preconceived ideas despite every indication that she is completely WRONG in her assumptions. I found Poppy incredibly irritating in her steadfast belief that all men are evil, marriage is only pure slavery for a woman, all men will cheat on their wives, all men lie - you get the idea. Since we don't really get a good sense of Poppy's unconventional character prior to the start of the story, it's far too easy to dwell on her thoroughly irritating stubborn adherence to these ideas, while Rhys comes off as a one-dimensional saint who has fallen in love with Poppy, and bends over backwards to placate her every concern and worry, which usually results in Poppy running away and hiding. Sigh. I wanted to enjoy this love story, but just found it had this dynamic until almost the very end of the book. 3 stars. I received an ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    On my blog. Rep: Egyptian side characters Galley provided by publisher I picked this book up on a total whim, intrigued by the blurb (I mean, best friend’s brother and hate to love?). And it was definitely an enjoyable read with a main relationship I absolutely loved. The Earl Not Taken follows Poppy, a woman sworn off marriage after seeing how her best friend has been abused and how her mother and father are to each other, and Rhys, the brother of said best friend. When another of Poppy’s frien On my blog. Rep: Egyptian side characters Galley provided by publisher I picked this book up on a total whim, intrigued by the blurb (I mean, best friend’s brother and hate to love?). And it was definitely an enjoyable read with a main relationship I absolutely loved. The Earl Not Taken follows Poppy, a woman sworn off marriage after seeing how her best friend has been abused and how her mother and father are to each other, and Rhys, the brother of said best friend. When another of Poppy’s friends is betrothed to a man she has never met, Poppy swears she will investigate him to ensure he is right for her, and Rhys offers his services in aid. Only they can hardly stand each other. It’s these two that are what I loved most about this book, particularly how Rhys treets Poppy. Because all too often in this genre I feel like I come across male characters who are domineering and want to somehow “possess” the woman. But not Rhys. Instead, he’s incredibly gentle with Poppy, even when they each still manage to frustrate each other. He’s gentle and he lets her choose and doesn’t pressure her. And also Poppy is a wonderful character too, who wants to be able to choose her own destiny, no matter what society says. They, and Poppy’s relationship with the other Wallflowers, were my favourite parts of the book. The weakness of this book, for me, was the writing style. At times it felt fairly clunky and the characterisation was inconsistent. One moment they would be perfectly happy, and the next, there would be some (truly) innocuous remark and they would be back at each others’ throats. I also felt like I was being told more about Poppy’s trauma that actually being shown it. I mean, it’s all very well someone saying “oh she has these ideas of marriage from her experiences”, but I sort of needed more from her own POV that supported that. Not necessarily showing the actual events, but maybe referencing some and her interpretations of them. As it was, it fell a little flat in that respect. However, overall it was an enjoyable read, and definitely a series I will be coming back to (particularly with the next book being about Nicholas and Faith…).

  21. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    The Earl Not Taken by A.S. Fenichel was a lovely historical romance. The Wallflowers of West Lane, Penelope, Aurora, Faith and Mimi, are an amazing group of women who have been friends since they were all sent to finishing school. One of their own was married off by her father to a cruel and abusive man who was eventually killed. The women have vowed to not be forced into a marriage with an unknown man again. Penelope/Poppy is very strong willed and very forthright in her speech and attitude. So The Earl Not Taken by A.S. Fenichel was a lovely historical romance. The Wallflowers of West Lane, Penelope, Aurora, Faith and Mimi, are an amazing group of women who have been friends since they were all sent to finishing school. One of their own was married off by her father to a cruel and abusive man who was eventually killed. The women have vowed to not be forced into a marriage with an unknown man again. Penelope/Poppy is very strong willed and very forthright in her speech and attitude. So much so, that I can began to hate her frequent "men bashing". Rhys Draper, Aurora's brother, was arrogant at the beginning but began to grow throughout the book. His patience was infinite with Poppy. All in all it was an engaging read and I'm looking forward to the next one in the series as it is Faith's story with her mysterious Duke. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Lyrical Press via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lail

    The Earl Not Taken (The Wallflowers of West Lane) by A.S. Fenichel 4 Stars. A Fun and Delightful Read! Four young women met at finishing school where they were sent as punishment for not acting the proper ladies they were born to be. The four bonded having shared similar upbringing and negative experiences of arranged marriage. They moved in together and vowed to protect one another from being forced into an advantageous marriage arranged by their fathers and the men who were seeking to better t The Earl Not Taken (The Wallflowers of West Lane) by A.S. Fenichel 4 Stars. A Fun and Delightful Read! Four young women met at finishing school where they were sent as punishment for not acting the proper ladies they were born to be. The four bonded having shared similar upbringing and negative experiences of arranged marriage. They moved in together and vowed to protect one another from being forced into an advantageous marriage arranged by their fathers and the men who were seeking to better there status and bank accounts. These women would not be bought and sold as chattel, watching their belongings become their husbands property to do with what he wanted, all the while he’s out spending her dowery on his mistresses and such. Not these strong and intelligent women. Well, until the right man comes along! I loved the storyline. It opened up each one of the girls characters and how their lives were effected by arranged and bad marriages. Including parents who weren’t faithful, fathered other children, unkind parents who were devastatingly cruel. It was also uplifting to see some love matches and the love and support the girls had for each other. The slow burn romance between Poppy and her long time antagonist Rhys, who is the brother of her best friend and a sworn protector of all four of the women was pretty good too! This fast paced story is a fun read. Happy Reading ♥️ Content: Adult Romance 3 out of 5 flames 🔥🔥🔥

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lori D

    When I see a new book by this author, I can never wait to read it. I know it will be simply wonderful and this one proved delightful! Four girls who are friends (they call themselves the Wallflowers of West Lane) are sent to Switzerland to become proper young ladies. Each has been a trial to their parents and they look at it as an adventure! Once they are back this story picks up a few years later. One of the four, Aurora had married an Earl who had just passed away and all were together. Aurora' When I see a new book by this author, I can never wait to read it. I know it will be simply wonderful and this one proved delightful! Four girls who are friends (they call themselves the Wallflowers of West Lane) are sent to Switzerland to become proper young ladies. Each has been a trial to their parents and they look at it as an adventure! Once they are back this story picks up a few years later. One of the four, Aurora had married an Earl who had just passed away and all were together. Aurora's brother Rhys was with them and when he heard how horrible a person the Earl had been to his sister he was furious. Now their friend Faith announced her mother had arranged for her to marry a Duke, neither had met. That put our heroine and one of the four, Poppy, determined to find out about the man so that Faith would not get into a situation like Aurora. Rhys agreed to help her since she could not be snooping around on her own. Oh, but they had a history.... For years Rhys had tried to determine why Poppy held him in disdain. She just seemed to dislike him, even when he tried to be agreeable to her. "Poppy Arrington was a mess. She always said the wrong thing, had no sense of fashion, and was far too headstrong and opinionated." "She made him want to kiss her senseless!" I loved this story! Humor, intrigue, a headstrong heroine who spoke her mind and a hero who I loved. A delightful journey to their happy ever after and just had to sigh as I turned the last page! Cannot wait for more!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Overall about a 2.75 star read. I really enjoy historical romances, but unfortunately this one missed the mark for me. Rhys is the brother of one of Poppy's close friends, but due to a mishap when they were younger they have been at odds for most of their acquaintance. When one of the girls in the "Wallflower Club" becomes engaged to a man she doesn't know, Poppy and Rhys join forces to find out what they can make of his character. Unfortunately the plot didn't turn out to be as interesting as o Overall about a 2.75 star read. I really enjoy historical romances, but unfortunately this one missed the mark for me. Rhys is the brother of one of Poppy's close friends, but due to a mishap when they were younger they have been at odds for most of their acquaintance. When one of the girls in the "Wallflower Club" becomes engaged to a man she doesn't know, Poppy and Rhys join forces to find out what they can make of his character. Unfortunately the plot didn't turn out to be as interesting as outlined. There were no real capers happening, in fact nothing much seemed to happen at all. I was also not a fan of Poppy's character. While I understand her distrust of marriage after observing her parents, the man hating got a bit old. She didn't even have real character development until the very end. On the positive side I enjoyed Rhys's character and I thought he showed a lot of character development and growth. I just wish the plot had more substance to it, and that Poppy could have had a fuller development arc.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Norah Gibbons

    I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Earl Not Taken by A.S. Fenichel is the first book in The Wallflowers of West Lane series. The series is about four young women who met as girls at a finishing school in Switzerland and formed a lifelong bond. This book involves Penelope Arrington (Poppy) and Rhys Draper, Earl of Marsden, the older brother of one of the wallflowers. Rhys and Poppy have been at odds since they were children, always sniping I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Earl Not Taken by A.S. Fenichel is the first book in The Wallflowers of West Lane series. The series is about four young women who met as girls at a finishing school in Switzerland and formed a lifelong bond. This book involves Penelope Arrington (Poppy) and Rhys Draper, Earl of Marsden, the older brother of one of the wallflowers. Rhys and Poppy have been at odds since they were children, always sniping at each other, with each taking delight in finding ways to annoy the other. A trip to the country and a storm forcing them to take shelter at someone’s house causes them to spend time together, and sparks of a different type fly between them. Poppy is damaged from her lousy upbringing and her parents' nasty marriage, and she has sworn never to marry. I did enjoy this story of true friendship but was not particularly fond of Poppy, as I felt she took too long to let the past go and remained angry and bitter for most of the book. Medium Steam. Publishing Date March 17, 2020. #NetGalley #KensingtonBooks #ASFenichal #HistoricalRomance #bookstagram

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I liked the character of Rhys very much, he was so considerate, kind and patient, handsome, a real gem of a man. Poppy was a different matter, I know she had a dreadful upbringing with her parents, but I felt like shaking her at times and saying , just look at the man Rhys is, rather than her preconceived perceptions. I also found her constant expressions annoying. I did enjoy the friendship that the four women had, and how they had each other’s best interests at heart. This was an engaging read I liked the character of Rhys very much, he was so considerate, kind and patient, handsome, a real gem of a man. Poppy was a different matter, I know she had a dreadful upbringing with her parents, but I felt like shaking her at times and saying , just look at the man Rhys is, rather than her preconceived perceptions. I also found her constant expressions annoying. I did enjoy the friendship that the four women had, and how they had each other’s best interests at heart. This was an engaging read with interesting characters and I look forward to reading the other women’s stories. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This book was delightful and has reaffirmed my love for historical fiction. Dukes, duchesses, societal expections, oh my, this book introduces us to a group of women that anyone would want to be a part of. Poppy, Aurora, Mercy, and Faith, are all miscreants but in the most perfect way. Sent to boarding school together to become "proper ladies" we learn quickly that didn't go as planned and that they're even more of a societal nightmare than before. Their love for each other knows no bounds, and This book was delightful and has reaffirmed my love for historical fiction. Dukes, duchesses, societal expections, oh my, this book introduces us to a group of women that anyone would want to be a part of. Poppy, Aurora, Mercy, and Faith, are all miscreants but in the most perfect way. Sent to boarding school together to become "proper ladies" we learn quickly that didn't go as planned and that they're even more of a societal nightmare than before. Their love for each other knows no bounds, and when Aurora's older brother Rhys challenges Poppy's expectations, her world flips upside down. Told in dual POVs, this book was enemies-to-lovers in the best way, and watching Rhys and Poppy go toe-to-toe was so much fun. I will say Poppy was INFURIATING and the book dragged out her insufferable stubbornness, but I still finished this entire book in a day; there was no stopping me. I am also 100% all in for the rest of this series, so hand them over, Fenichel, I'm ready. (That teaser at the end for the next book was just mean and I would like it now, please). This book was fun, sweet, and full of strong-headed women, and exactly what I like to read. I can't wait for the rest of them.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄️ ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Left standing on the side w When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄️ ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Left standing on the side while their contemporaries marry into society, four young ladies forge a bond to guard each other against a similar fate . . . Finishing school failed to make a proper lady of Penelope Arrington. But as a Wallflower of West Lane, Poppy has a far more vital role—she and her three best friends have made a pact to protect each other from the clutches of dangerous, disreputable men. So when one of them is about to be married off to a duke sight unseen, Poppy makes it her mission to divine the prospective husband’s true character. If only she didn’t require the aid of London’s most unsuitable rake. Rhys Draper, Earl of Marsden, has known the headstrong Poppy since she was a young girl naïve to the ways of men. To her eternal chagrin—and to his vague amusement—they have been at odds over the memory of embarrassing first encounter all these years. Now, with his services in need, Rhys sees a chance to finally clear the air between them. Instead, he is surprised by the heat of their feelings. If the two do not tread carefully, they may end up in a most agreeably compromising position . . . This is a cute little cosy romance/Regency romance/bodice ripper with a fit of feminism tossed in. The characters are interesting and well written and the story was not too treacly or sugary for a non-romance novel kind of reader like myself. I love that Poppy was slightly naughty for her times and that all I could think of when I read "Earl of Marsden" is James Marsden - yes, I admit he is yummy looking. An enjoyable read by an author who is new to me. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 💍💍💍💍

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey

    This book left me pleasantly surprised! Historical romance is not my go-to but this one sounded different and I’m so glad I gave it a chance! I loved every character and can’t wait to read the sequels about the other Wallflower girls. Somehow Fenichel also managed to include a host of important issues without getting too preachy. I loved it. What a fun, wonderful read from start to finish. Thank you NetGalley, author, and publisher for the ARC. #TheEarlNotTaken #NetGalley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Watkins

    Feisty Poppy Arrington's less than agreeable parents have turned her away from all thoughts of marriage and ever being “owned” by a man. Her nemesis, Rhys Draper and Earl of Marsden, has been a thorn in her side for years. However, when her friend needs intervention in an arranged marriage, Rhys realises that for Poppy's own good, he needs to join her in her endeavours. As Rhys and Poppy become embroiled in her friend's matters they learn a new respect for one another and soon find themselves fi Feisty Poppy Arrington's less than agreeable parents have turned her away from all thoughts of marriage and ever being “owned” by a man. Her nemesis, Rhys Draper and Earl of Marsden, has been a thorn in her side for years. However, when her friend needs intervention in an arranged marriage, Rhys realises that for Poppy's own good, he needs to join her in her endeavours. As Rhys and Poppy become embroiled in her friend's matters they learn a new respect for one another and soon find themselves fighting an attraction that cannot be denied. Rhys is more than willing to pursue their relationship, but Poppy has made her mind up and nothing can deter her from antagonism towards marriage. There is humour and wit in this novel, but also heartache and tense moments as Poppy has to endure the scorn of her father. It takes a dramatic turn of events to persuade Poppy that it is in fact in order for her to change her mind about her preconceived ideas. This novel is well written and leaves one with a warm romantic feeling. It is also a standalone and comes to an amusing and delightful close. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series. I received a copy of this book as a gift and this is my honest and voluntary review.

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