The Wicked Wallflower

The Duchess Society Series, Book Three

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Pub Date 21 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 31 May 2022

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In this sizzling Regency romance by award-winning author Tracy Sumner, an unconventional lady of the ton and an untitled businessman need to risk something in order to gain everything.

An Incorrigible Hellion

Independent, impulsive Lady Philippa Darlington guarantees her freedom by playing the role of wallflower for two miserable seasons in the ton. With the guidance of the most feared feminist enterprise in London—the Duchess Society—Pippa vows never to marry. But a madcap misadventure throws her plan off course and puts her face-to-face with the only man she’s ever wanted. A man who doesn’t want her.

A Rule-Breaking, Rookery Titan

Prince of the streets, Xander Macauley crawled from the slums to rule an empire. He has secrets—and fierce desires. One being that he’s smitten with his best friend’s little sister. Although reckless Little Darlington is the last woman in England he’d risk his heart over. When he has to rescue her from a masquerade ball gone awry, Xander finds he will go to lengths greater than he’d imagined to possess her.

The risks are undeniable.

But so is true, devastating love.

In this sizzling Regency romance by award-winning author Tracy Sumner, an unconventional lady of the ton and an untitled businessman need to risk something in order to gain everything.

An Incorrigible...

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Average rating from 137 members

Featured Reviews

Have you ever wondered where these talented authors get their ideas? Tracy Sumner always has
a great story. She tells an amazing story all the time. You just open page one, and you are immersed in a wonderful Book.

This is the tale of two people, who are from the wrong side of the tracks. She was lifted when her brother was told he was a Duke. It changed their circumstances. It just happened that she became Lady Philippa Darlington. She did not want to marry, she had met no one that floated her boat, except him.

Xander Macauley had made his money by Smuggling, and gambling. He felt he did not need to get
married. He felt it was a bother. He was a handsome man and had never had to look for a woman.
He had risen from the slums from nothing to being rich. He was also friends with her brother, the Duke of Leighton. Xander knew her brother would kill him.

Everyone had gone out of town and left Pippa sort of alone. She was trying to help the Duchesses Society. He had to go save her, he was always rescuing her from some mishap. This would ruin her reputation and that of her half-sister and her family. This novel had so much going for it, excitement, shooting, cutting, fires, and love. If I find one of her books I haven't read, I must have it.

I received this ARC from Net Galley and voluntarily reviewed it.

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Lady Philippa Darlington is playing the role of wallflower to keep suitors away and to secretly gather information for her friends at the Duchess Society. In truth, the only man she wants is the one who pretends he wants nothing to do with her: Xander Macauley. He's built an empire from nothing, and Macauley refuses to succumb to love...especially for his friend's little sister! But when he has to rescue her from a scandalous masquerade, he realizes how much she's gotten under his skin.

This is the third book in The Duchess Society series (plus a prequel novella). I recommend reading the books in order as there is a lot of world-building. The previous couples are mentioned and/or make appearances, Pippa and Macauley had an encounter in the last book, and there are clear breadcrumbs for the coming stories.

Pippa's brother unexpectedly inherited a dukedom and she was thrust unwillingly into society. She's a bit impetuous, but just wants her life to have meaning and refuses to settle for an empty ton marriage. Macauley worked his way up from the streets and is about to launch his own gaming hell/social club. He has plenty of baggage from his past and Pippa present a problem he doesn't need, but desperately wants! I felt like the book really took off and held my interest after their first kiss, and their chemistry was a raging fire after that! I really, really hope Sumner "keeps the stove on high heat" for the rest of the series because, not only were the intimate scenes great but, it allowed the characters to open up and be vulnerable with each other. (4.5 stars rounded to 5).

Tropes: (Fake) Wallflower, Class Difference, Age Gap, Secret Crush, Brother's Friend/Friend's Sister

Steam: 5

* I received an ARC and this is my honest review. #TheWickedWallflower #NetGalley

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What can I say but WOW, what a story, full of unbridled and explosive passion, steam level super hot with a fantastic story, my perfect book!

Xander and Pippa’s story for me was perfect. Xander a business man brought up on the street now runs an amazing empire with his friends as backers two of whom are Dukes. Pippa the sister of one of those Duke’s has decided she’s had enough of the ton and has to decided to disguise herself and become a wallflower all the while working under cover with the ‘Duchess Society’.

Pippa being Pippa just wanted Xander but Xander didn’t think he was good enough for Pippa and didn’t think her brother the Duke even though one of his closest friends would accept him until the night they couldn’t resist each other and things changed!

I won’t spoil any more of the story but it’s a definite must read if you love lots of passion, sex and a happy ever after this book is for you. I can’t wait to read Tracy’s next book about the Earl of Stanford.

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The Wicked Wallflower is the fourth book in The Duchess Society series by Tracy Sumner. Macauley has a gruff exterior with a heart of gold. Pippa is an independent lady who knows what she wants, and she wants Mac. This book is a slow burn, but it fits the story perfectly. There is no shortage of adventure and humor along with some secrets revealed. I adore a good frenemies to lovers, age difference romance!

I really enjoyed Pippa’s determination to be her own woman and to find her own purpose outside of what the Ton thought she should do as a duke’s sister. I loved the way Mac was written, allowing us a window into his soul to understand his need to protect what and whom he cares about.

Next up: the Earl of Stanford. I’m hopeful he’ll end up with Necessity Byrne. Dash and Theo’s story is up after the Earl’s. I can’t wait!

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The Wicked Wallflower is the third book (plus a prequel novella) in the Duchess Society series. It can be read as a stand alone but you should just go ahead and read the entire series because it is fabulous! The primary characters in the rest of the series are regulars in this book. It's great being able to get more insight into how the other relationships are progressing.

Xander Macauley worked his way up from the streets to be a self made entrepreneur and gaming hell owner. He has never felt a need to settle down but seeing all of his best friends finding their soulmates has made him see it's possible to have a happy marriage. Phillipa Darlington pretends to be a wallflower so suitors will leave her along. She has had a crush on her brother's best friend, Xander, since he gave the the perfect birthday gift; a bejeweled knife. It becomes harder and harder to deny their attraction and similarities.

Tracy Sumner writes my favorite rough around the edges heroes. Xander is formidable but can't seem to control the situation whenever Pippa is in the room. They are instantly drawn to each other whenever they are near. I love when the hero convinces himself he just needs to get a girl out of his system. As a reader, we know he'll just want her even more. Every time he called her Pip I found myself even more smitten. Pippa does a lot of the pursuing but Xander gives her the upper hand by allowing her breathing room to decide what she wants for her life without pressure.

The set ups for the next two books have me so excited. I don't even read the descriptions for Tracy's books anymore. They are an absolute "one click" for me. Best friend's sister is might just be my favorite trope and Tracy did not disappoint. She is such a phenomenal author who writes interesting, complex, and steamy stories that are sure to make you swoon.

Thank you to Tracy Sumner, NetGalley, and Wolf Publishing for this eARC. All opinions expressed are my own. #netgalley #tracysumner #wolfpublishing #thewickedwallflower

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Tracy Sumner is one of the most versatile authors I have had the pleasure to read.
I was fortunate to receive an ARC of " The Wicked Wallflower" from Wolf Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This is the third book in the Duchess Society series. The story revolves around the lives of Lady Philippa Darlington, a witty outspoken Duke's sister and Xander McCauley, one of the richest, but titleless prince of the city. They are both dfferent in so many ways, all the superficial obvious differences of class and status, but alike in all the ways that truly matter, their personalities of loving and giving, and taking care of others. This is by far my favorite story by Tracy Sumn

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Tracy Sumner has done it again! I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Duchess Society books so far, and The Wicked Wallflower is a worthy addition to the series. I absolutely love Philippa (Pippa) Darlington and Xander Macauley! And, once again, she has given us peaks into those whose love stories are coming up in the series. I can't wait to see where Tracy takes us next!

#netgalley #TheWickedWallflower

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The characters really make this book and the series! After enjoying the other books, I am so glad that Pippa and Xander got their own book.

What I really like about all the characters is how likeable they are. All characters regardless of level in society have some sort of redeeming quality even if labeled as a rake/rogue. Xander is a great example of this with his giving back to help those out of tough situations like he grew up in.

The romance in this book felt like it was at a good pace. Pippa and Xander kept struggling with if they could fit into eachothers lives, but kept sneaking around to see eachother. That suspense added some definite heat and kept me wanting to read more.

This book could be read as a stand-alone, but really benefited from the other books since I was able to focus on the main characters more.

I can't wait for the next books in the series for a couple more siblings!

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this ARC for my honest review.

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Pip, a wild hoiden, has always been attracted to her brother’s rogue friend Xander. When Xander tries to save her from her many dangerous exploits, he finally decides he cannot deny the feelings he has for Pip. I cannot wait to read the next in this series. I received an ARC from NetGalley and Wolf Publishing for my honest review.

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I am rarely blown away when I come across a new to me Author and I adore their work. This book was exactly that. Amazing read. Enjoyed it immensely and will be watching for future work while I catch up on previously released ones.

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

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England 1824

She was the sister of a Duke. Granted, their beginnings were not grand.
He was a man born in the rookeries, a confirmed bachelor, a scoundrel, rake and so why would he ever want her?

A delightful romantic story of an attraction that did not seem possible, but sometimes fate, or that arrow through the heart, just seems to come about!

Intrigue, an attraction that will not be denied and an amazing journey to finding true love! Sigh

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Will he let his hidden fears close his heart to love …

Like everyone having read this series from the first book, Macaulay’s downfall after his two friends was much awaited as the collapse of the big almighty Limehouse king.
For two years Xander has fought his attraction to the hoyden impersonating as is his friend’s quiet sister. Keeping at arm-length and deflating each of her attempts all the while drowning himself in work and women. Yet avoiding her is not always an option when the fearless chit jumps head first into scraps. But he won’t go down like his friends, love is a pledge only leading to weakness at best and betrayal at worst.

Philippa is too fighting her attraction, believing the man will only always see her as an annoyance, and is too wrong for the like of her, overprotective, as hardheaded as herself and shouting he will never get shackled. Still he is the only man who makes her heart beat faster. Why him, the most improper of them all. Yet the one fellow who seems to understand her too.
She hides behind a wallflower’s suit, certain it is her only means to avoid matrimony as she does not want of this life as a Duke’s sister

Theirs is not an easy journey but one needing time, for Philippa to find the right footing and determine which rules to follow or not and him to accept he could run away as far as he wants but she will always catch him up.
A wonderful tale of the ruination of a Titan hiding his teddy bear of a heart by a slip of a woman as stubborn and kindhearted as he is.
5 stars

𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 onscreen lovemaking scenes

I have been granted an advance copy by the publisher, here is my true and unbiased opinion.

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Ooooh I LOVE this series, it's so fun. And I have been waiting (patiently-ish) for Pip & Macauley's book which did not disappoint. It's well written, sweet and very funny in places ("and get your bloody hands of my brachiopod!").

The writing was really on the wall for poor Macauley, whose protestations in the last stories about getting infected with love/marriage were indeed the final struggles of a doomed man. Pippa is up to mischief from the start and it turns out Macauley is not able to leave her (or anyone else he cares about) to fend for herself as she gets in to scrapes. this soon spirals in to much more. Tracy Sumner writes passion really well - and doesn't focus too much on the usual 'insurmountable obstacle' that many historical romances rely on.

We also meet some characters who will be the focus of the next two books, and I am now resigned to wait (again, patiently-ish) for those to appear.

Very much enjoyed. I would say if you enjoy Sarah MacLean's books, there's a bit of a Bareknuckle Bastards sort of vibe to Macauley, which I strongly approve of!

Received an ARC from Netgalley.

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I thought this series couldn't get any better and then comes Macauley and Pippa to prove me wrong.
The plot is simple: Macauley and the Duke of Leighton are business associates and friends, they have known each other for years and have become a family. Lady Philippa Darlington is Leighton's sister who has been in love with Macauley since she can remember. She sees him as he truly is: Bad, a little lonely, loyal, protective and above else: madly in love with her.
Macauley knows where he comes from and understands that Leighton might not accept him as Pippa's husband. He tries hard to protect Pippa from the snooping and detective work she is doing for the Duchess Society and tries to maintain his distance from her alluring personality. But Pippa wants him and only him, and she will get him... Macauley doesn't have another choice but to accept her love and succumb to her tenderness.
Goodness, Ms. Sumner's writing is flawless. She captures you on the first page and doesn't let you go until her characters get their HEA. Macauley really deserved someone to love and understand him as Pippa does. I love how she just waits for him to make his own decisions, but she already knows what he will decide. Their relationship is special on all levels - physically, emotional, spiritual and intellectually.
The second best thing is that we get a glimpse of the next couples in the story! I literally can't wait for the Scarred Earl and Gardener Apprentice and Theo and her Student.

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*This ARC was sent in exchange for my honest review *
FINALLY!! Pippa and Macauley!!!!

I absolutely LOVED The Wicked Wallflower!! I’ve been waiting patiently for Pippa and Macauley’s story because their chemistry in the series was EVERYTHING AND MORE!! This is the very first historical romance series I’ve read and I can’t get enough! The way this author writes makes you feel as if you are escaping your own life and diving into the world of these characters.
Pippa is the sister of a Duke and as free spirited as they come! She wants nothing to do with marriage but is trying to play the role of a Lady for the sake of her brother and the Ton.
Macauley is a Prince of the streets.. he’s crawled his way out of the slums to rule an empire. He’s a man with a lot of secrets, including the biggest one his heart holds…he has a thing for his friends little sister and that’s a secret he’s kept locked tight for years.
One night changes everything though when Pippa gets herself into trouble, Macauley is there to rescue her and his plans of staying away from this vexing woman suddenly change as he realizes the lengths he will go to protect her.
The build up and chemistry between these two explodes on the pages and they soon realize that they can’t stay away from each other. Trust me when I say you will not regret reading this beautiful story! Macauley is stubborn and set in his ways but so is Pippa… When they finally give into temptation they have to decide if their both willing to risk it all or go their separate ways.

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Never underestimate a determined woman!

In the last book, we got a glimpse of Pippa's attraction to Xander and his determination to ignore his own developing attraction to her. Now, two years later, he quickly realizes he's in way over his head with the spirited sister of one of his best friends, as Pippa gets into one harrowing situation after another. I loved how she slowly broke down his walls, convinced him that he was a better man than he thought, and pointed him toward the future they could share together.

I was captivated by Xander's backstory, his struggles, and his path to success, and I adored his reunion with the one person he shouldn't have had to leave behind. This opened up a whole new side to him that was never even hinted at in the earlier books, and I loved every bit of it.

What I loved most about this story is how it allowed Pippa to grow into the kind of woman she wanted to be long before she and her brother were swept up by Society. Her progressive goals were inspirational, and I simply adored the way she and Xander joined their two pet projects together to the benefit of all.

I loved the twenty pound bet, the enticing chapter headings that perfectly set the upcoming scenes, the intensity of their passion together, and the way that Pippa didn't let her love for Xander keep her from achieving her goals. I also enjoyed the hints of a couple more love stories yet to mature, and look forward to reading more in this engaging series. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.

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I absolutely LOVED this book! It’s packed full of steamy romance just the way I like it, and the story is compelling. I couldn’t put this one down!

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Philippa Darlington is always looking for adventure and getting into scrapes. Xander Macauley makes it his responsibility to have her followed. Inevitably he is the one who recues her before a scandal. Philippa is in love with Macauley. He thinks he is too old and has a reputation from growing up in the Limehouse Docks. He also happens to be her brother's best friend and business partner. Philippa isn't discouraged. Each encounter brings them closer together until it explodes. A difference in class does not matter when it comes to love. Could not put this book down.
Steamy encounters.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.

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Lady Phillips’s brother asks his friend and business partner, Xander Macauley to keep an eye on her. She has been in love with him for years. He is not appropriate for her because he isn’t nobility. She is being tutored by the Duchess Society, but she decides to be a wallflower. Macauley is constantly getting her out of trouble. She is very independent. He is fighting his attraction for her. She decides she wants him. There are secret meetings between them and hot love scenes. I love the Duchess Society books. They are independent women who marry on their own terms. Pip will do the same. Can’t wait for the next one.

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Xander Macauley and Lady Pippa have pined for each other for a good while and hidden their infatuation well until Pippa's schemes have Macauley interfering to protect her. She is determined to make her own way, and he is determined not to fall in love with his best friend's sister. After all, he might be king of an empire now, but the world he comes from is too dirty for a Duke's sister.

First of all, can we all just take a moment to relish when a man who declares he'll never settle down trips and falls on his ass in love? It's my favourite. It's a sure thing. Tracy Sumner gives us one heck of a slow burn with this one and if you enjoy being tortured with pining you'll find the frustration worth it with several deliciously spicy scenes. I enjoyed both Macauley's emotional turmoil and Pippa's spirited good intentions. I do wish Pippa would have fought for what she wanted a little harder in the final conflict, but I'm gluttonous when it comes to angst. He deserved to wait a little longer before she jumped back into his arms, but I genuinely liked these characters so much and was happy they got their perfect ending.

4.5/5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and for the ARC.

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Finally, Pippa's story!

I was expecting her story from the first sparkle that flew between her and Macauly. Because of him or of her, I don't even know.

And it was as wonderful as I hoped it would be!
Pippa is now a grown woman, who not only knows exactly what she wants, but who also goes for what she wants. She is courageous, witty and daring and everything Macauly needs. He is a kind soul wrapped in a rogue's attitude and hard life. Charming, tender and equally adventurous.

Their love story keeps you on you toes the whole time, as they are both creatures of action. There is not much drama but a lot of their actions that spark all kinds of scenes.

I loved their relationship, how wonderful they were to one another, as wonderful as the other supporting characters of their tribe. I loved how equally their powers emerged, no matter their age and status difference. And the deeper layers of the story, the search for meaning, a beautiful solution to make them both happy.

And I loved the glimpses for the next stories, can't wait to read them both! <3

I received a copy of this in order to offer my honest opinion on it.

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Pippa (a duke's sister) has an unhealthy attraction to her brother's friend Xander (a rogue and ex-smuggler). After running into each other enough times, they finally give in to the attraction, even though Xander is working through feelings of not being worthy and swearing off love. A fun adventure for Pippa and Xander, they just keep staring at each other and meeting up. Loved their undeniable chemistry in this one and the set up of future books.

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