What a great start to the " Wicked Wallflower Series " - I adored spunky Cleopatra with her unpretentious rules to live and love by - Adair, a little uptight in his new life of as "friends with toffs" but I loved his character switching between his street talk and toffs talk depending on his emotions - the plot was outstanding with Cleopatra's brother wanting a "ton" marriage to help his family be accepted but the rest of the family not really in line with that idea - can't wait for the next novel in the series! And who is Broderick, really?
Adair Thorne was orphaned approximately 20 years ago after a fire that consumed his father’s bakery. He now remembers that loss keenly. He is devastated and at a loss. The Hell & Sin was the only thing he ever wanted and strived for. It gave him shelter and stability-things he did not have much of after losing his parents. Adair is also feeling rage, he knows the fire at the Hell & Sin was deliberately set, he even knows by whom-Killoran. Killoran is the owner of a rival Club and someone they owe a debt to. To repay this debt, Adair’s family was to sponsor a Season for one of Killoran’s sisters. The truce is almost voided but since Adair and his brothers have no proof they must follow-through.
Cleopatra is jaded from a life lived on the streets and has a tough outer shell. There is no love loss between her and the nobility. Knowing her brother Killoran wants an “in” to the nobility via marriage to one of his sister’s, Cleo volunteers. She does not like it but will do anything in her power to keep her sisters safe.
When Cleo and Adair first meet, sparks fly! They hate and mistrust each other from the get-go but underneath it all there is attraction on both sides. During her stay at Ryker’s house, Adair is to be Cleo’s guard and jailer. As time goes by, Cleo and Adair come to be tentative friends. He learns that she is smart and resilient while Cleo learns how kind and caring Adair really is.
What can go wrong while harnessing an explosive secret as well as living with and being attracted to the enemy?
This story, told in dual POV, reeled me in from the very beginning. It is written extremely well and the flow is perfect. This book was exciting and engaging. The battle between Adair and Cleo was entertaining.
I loved how Cleopatra, all but five feet tall, got under Adair’s skin so easily. She may have a petite stature, but her presence more than makes up for it. She is strong, fearless, brazen and opinionated. She stands up for her family and would do anything to keep them from harm.
I felt for Adair, he had so much tragedy in his life and had nothing permanent or lasting. The way he slowly wins over Cleo with small steps is beautiful.
There is no insta-love here, these characters have to work for what they want. And what they come to want and need is stability, trust, constancy and love. They find this together against all odds.
The only problem I had was it seemed both Adair and Cleo were classist. Although I understand and agree with their distrust of the Ton, I would have like to see the characters come to terms with this and move on from their hatred and distrust.
Christi definitely won me over with this book. It’s a touching and heartfelt read. I would recommend this to those who love fun and engaging verbal sparring between their main characters as well as a wonderfully written historical romance.
Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for the ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The words I want to use to describe The Hellion by Christi Caldwell, are gripping and emotional. The book started off strong, and finished even stronger. The writing was excellent, brimming with emotion, and I loved it! First I just have to say, when I first seen that the heroine's name was Cleopatra I legit groaned out loud, I hated it! Hated, being the operative word. I was about 3 chapters in and I was kicking myself because now I love it! A more perfect and fitting name I could not pick for the heroine. The story came together so beautifully and it wasn't predictable. I loved the characters! I loved how Adair and Cleopatra grew as characters. Their relationship was intense and they had amazing chemistry. Love, love, loved the storyline. I give this story a resounding 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Whenever I read a Christi Caldwell novel, it never ceases to amaze me the talent this author has at writing! This was a very different story from what I've ever read, both the hero and heroine grew up on the streets and their world consists of gaming hells and two feuding "families". I really enjoyed how Adair and Cleopatra kept butting heads and yet the sexual tension was always present. They really did deserve their HEA after everything they had both gone through in their lives!
I have read many books written by talented author Christi Caldwell, and she never disappoints me! Again, she has done it again! I really enjoyed her 1st book, The Hellion, of her new Wicked Wallflowers series. Her two main characters Adair and Cleo do share a beautiful chemistry. Their story had every element to please me.