April 7, 2017
Oh no doctor! We have a case of Lastbookitus
Scandal in Spring, the last book in the Wallflower series (sort of.) Being the last book in the series it suffers from that dread disease called Lastbookitus. There are no known cures.
The only one I know of is if the author would slow down and not be in a hurry to start their next book, or in this case turn to the dark side and write a contemporary romance. It may also suffer in comparison because it follows Devil in Winter. In this case the hero, Matthew, isn't as strong of a character as Daisy. And, I have come to believe that the heroes have to be as strong, if not stronger, than the heroines for the book to work and for the couple to balance each other out.
Poor Daisy. Daisy was such a wonderful secondary character in the previous Wallflower books. She was whimsical, funny and charming, but she loses what made her great in this story. Maybe some of the reason she seems weak to me in this story is that there may be too many of the other Wallflowers hanging around the pages. Yes, yes, I know that everyone wants to see what their favorite Wallflower is doing before the series ends - but hey, that's what short stories are for. Because we have so much wallflower catching up to do in this story, the romance between Matthew and Daisy suffers - this story has a rushed feel to it.
Matthew has a secret. Yes, our hero has a secret. First of all Matthew has been in luv with Daisy forever; he is almost a member of the family. He's at their dinner table a lot. The Bowman's horrible father has favored Matthew over his own children, so it's only fitting that the Bowman siblings should resent Matthew. He has been taken under Mr. Bowman's wing, eaten at their table and he seems to be exactly like Mr. Bowman - a cold, domineering man. But it's all a facade. As I said before Matthew's got a secret, actually he's got more than one secret. He has always loved Daisy, but has hidden that behind a cold facade. Because of the Kleypas male hormone thing that's been quite a struggle for him. But there is another secret! A horrible secret! He's not worthy! He's not worthy! It's so bad that when the reveal happens, you have to backtrack and read it over again because you miss it. You will find yourself scratching your head and asking, "This was the horrible secret?" I know I did. One paragraph - the secret is revealed, second paragraph - the Wallflowers help, third paragraph - the secret is solved. Another plotline which was supposed to add conflict but was handled so quickly that there wasn't any. So, why was it there?
Bottom line, this was almost the weakest book in the series. I was extremely disappointed that a great secondary character like Daisy didn't get her fantastic book. And, I wish Matthew had been just a little stronger. I also still want to know just what makes the entire Bowman family tick.
Time/Place: 1840s England