Winning the Wallflower by Eloisa James

I don’t like short stories because they are too short, but I do like romance novellas because the length focuses the plot quite nicely and frees it up from all those extraneous elements (spies, machinations, supporting characters) that usually annoy me. Winning the Wallflower is just such a novella, but all I can really tell you about it is that it is by Eloisa James, an author I have previously rejected. Also, it was 99 cents. It may have been reasonably bantery and enjoyable. I’m not really sure because…

I decided to watch Archer while working from home this week. A lot of Archer. Twenty-three episodes (and counting) in three days, so when I read Winning the Wallflower everyone sounded like Sterling Archer: the hero, the heroine, the heroine’s friend, the omniscient narrator. As did my emails for work. It made for an interesting tonal shift, although with the vaguely florid romance writing style it did work strangely well. Not so much for the emails at work. A lot of careful proofreading required there. Plus the hero, Cyrus (I know, but I have to admit that I think Cyrus is actually a pretty cool name.), looks like Sterling Archer, if Archer weren’t a 21st century spy cartoon character and Cyrus wasn’t a fictional Regency Adonis.

At the beginning of Winning the Wallflower,  Cyrus (You think it’s cool, too. I won’t tell.) and a lovely young woman named Lucy, are engaged. She has recently come into an inheritance and is being forced to jilt his untitled tush so she can marry someone more suited to her newly be-lucred station. Lucy doesn’t know Cyrus, he has barely spoken to her despite the whole proposal thing, but she is very warm for his form because he is totally gorgeous. In the process of throwing him over, Lucy finds her strength and Cyrus discovers that, what?!, she’s actually charming and smart and speaks honestly to him. Not too shabby for a woman he proposed to because she fit into his master plan to rebuild his family’s reputation *cough* cursory revenge plot *cough*. So, she dumps him, he realises he’s an ass, and sets out to woo her. Quickly. It’s a novella.

The (Shameful) Tally

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