Wallflower Most Wanted is the third book in the Studies in Scandal series by Manda Collins. This one features young artistic scholar Sophia Hastings, who is one of the heiresses that inherited Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate. She overhears a conversation which makes her believe that another artist is in danger and she makes it her mission to make sure that this does not happen. Enter Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle, the new Vicar in the land. He is attracted to Sophia’s free spirited nature and doesn’t want her to enter danger by herself. Except he really didn’t expect his attraction to go so far and so deep.
Sophia’s artwork has a reputation of its own and it usually is not a good one. It has been called obscene and unfit for a lady of her stature. It makes others uncomfortable and forces them to think about things that they would rather ignore. Sophia is a woman who cares deeply about the various social issues within society. She uses her art to depict these and try to make people pay attention. I loved this characteristic about her. She is strong headed, fiery, and isn’t afraid to challenge the big wigs.
Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle has never met a force like Sophia before. He is drawn to her in ways he has never experienced and her art forces him to question things. One of the things that he begins to question is the sexism which is very much alive. Sophia’s art is deemed not appropriate to made or seen by a woman let alone anyone else in society. When a well to do industrialist comes to town and starts stirring up trouble for her, Ben refuses to aid his cause. This puts Ben in a perilous situation and threatens his future as a vicar.
Ben is a very sweet character. I enjoyed having a love interest that wasn’t a rogue who had been with multiple women. He and Sophia have chemistry together but their relationship is all founded on equal admiration and trust between them. Their romance is gradual but feels real. They make a good team together. The pacing of this story was a little slow at times but, the mystery and suspense of the art forgery made it enjoyable for me.
While Wallflower Most Wanted is the third book in this series, it can be read as a standalone. However, reading the other books in the series will give you more insight into the history of the other characters and the bonds between them. There is also still a strong connection of sisterhood between Sophia and the other three ladies of the home. I look forward to seeing this connection continue in the final book One for the Rogue.
Rating: 3.5 Stars