Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Daisy Pickings: She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

The last and final Wallflower book, Scandal in the Spring. A good way to wrap up the series, it's Lillian's younger sister, Daisy's turn for her happily ever after. As stated in previous novels, the Bowman sisters are in England to find titled husbands to match their American money. However, for Daisy, that husband doesn't turn out to be titled after all...

Daisy might not be the shyest wallflower, for that title goes to Evie, but she's the one who likes to keep to herself. She'd rather be in the company of the library and her novels instead of attending gatherings and balls. But she knows that she needs to find a husband, she's just not in a hurry. So when her father tells her that she has to marry his business partner, Matthew Swift, she remembers the gangly young man who occasionally had dinner with the family and quickly dismisses the idea. 

Matthew is hiding a secret. A family secret that will surely ruin all that he worked for. So after the initial shock of finding out that Daisy's father wants him to marry his youngest daughter wears off, Matthew tries his best to find a replacement. It's not that Matthew doesn't want Daisy, no, that's certainly not the case. Matthew's spent years longing for the quiet Bowman daughter and if his circumstances were changed, he'd jumped at the opportunity to make Daisy his. But the secret will undoubtedly rip them apart. For Daisy, he lets go of the idea of being together and puts a wall between them, hoping to find another man for Daisy during his stay at Westcliff's home. 

Slowly, one clue after another, it becomes apparent to Daisy that perhaps Matthew isn't the ogre that she once thought. Even more so, it seems that he might be in love with her. So why on earth is he pushing her towards another man but glowering at them at the same time? Daisy takes things into her own hands. She's got to seduce Matthew Swift into confessing his feelings. Once they finally get together, Matthew will do all that he can to hold onto her and not let his secret tear them apart. 

I felt that Daisy and Matthew's story was a great way to bookend the series. It was sweet and funny with a bit of a plot twist towards the end. The dynamics between the hero/heroine was definite chemistry especially since Daisy has no idea Matthew feels anything towards her in the beginning. They have a lot of fun back and forth scenes where they antagonize each other for separate reasons. At first, Daisy annoys Matthew because she doesn't like him and Matthew does so in turn to keep her at bay. What really made the story for me was the fact that Matthew has secretly longed for Daisy for quite a while. The scene with Lillian's labor and Daisy's discovery that Matthew has been keeping a lock her her hair encased in an old button was definitely sweet enough to make the reader want to melt into a puddle of mush. While the secret wasn't all that fantastic, the twist at the end with what happens to Matthew was well done. It pulled enough heart strings for the reader to really wonder about the fates of the characters.

4 out of 5: Great way to end the series. Daisy's character is witty and Matthew's quiet but constant love of her is enough to make it a reread kind of book. Definite keeper copy. 

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