Never Wager With a Wallflower, Virginia Heath’s third (and sadly, final) entry in her thoroughly gratifying Merriwell Sisters series, is an enemies-to-lovers romance full of delightful repartee between two complex lead characters.
Handsome Galahad “Gal” Sinclair is one step closer to fulfilling his dreams of opening a swank and luxurious gambling hall. After moving to England from America as a youngster due to woeful family circumstances, Gal applied all the lessons his grandfather taught him about the gambling business, and has finally saved enough to purchase a property in London’s notorious Covent Garden district, which was infamous in the Regency era for its crime and debauchery. While admiring his new acquisition, he bumps into Miss Venus “Vee” Merriwell and discovers that the aloof Vee, his cousin’s wife’s sister, volunteers at the orphanage next door. Realizing they will be seeing each other frequently, Gal tries to smooth over their previously adversarial relationship. But will Gal be able to drop his unflappable facade, and will Vee be able to move beyond her impression of him as a selfish playboy? Especially when she thinks the property he bought was basically stolen from the orphanage?
Gal and Vee are likable protagonists and worthy adversaries. They both have strong personalities, egos and visions for their futures, and each has misconceptions about the other that fuels their continued antipathy. Heath efficiently conveys their backstories: Vee’s through diary entries that explain her romantic disappointments and disdain for men; and Gal’s through Heath’s judicious third-person narration and Vee’s investigations into his past. This information lends context and nuance to Vee’s battle to keep the orphanage running and Gal’s desire to recreate his family’s fortune, which in turn makes their efforts to achieve their goals while not destroying their mutually blossoming love all the more enthralling. Heath’s stylish voice nimbly portrays Vee and Gal’s stormy and flirtatious courtship. Their witty conversations will keep readers engaged, with fingers firmly crossed for the couple to succeed in both work and love.
Blending charm, heartache and humor, Never Wager With a Wallflower is a glorious indulgence for lovers of Regency romance.