The Wolf and the Wildflower by Stacy Reid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition: 286 pages
Published: February 27th, 2023 by Entangled Publishing
London is buzzing with the news that James Winters, the Duke of Wulverton—thought lost at sea a decade ago—survived in the harsh wilderness of the Yukon. Now he’s been returned to his family, his responsibilities, and a nightmarish world of artifice and noise. He has three weeks to become a refined, elegant duke for the Queen…or doom the entire family to ruin and scandal.
Promising psychologist Jules Southby knows a lot about disguises. She’s secretly been living as a boy since birth, enjoying the freedoms of men and knowing little about how to behave like a woman. When she meets the alluring duke, she’s unprepared for his raw, masculine beauty and icy intelligence…or that he can see through her darkest secret.
Jules has very little time to transform the duke into a true semblance of an English gentleman. Yet his very presence seems to unravel her in every way. Their attraction is stark and achingly real—and forbidden. But loving the lost duke would mean losing every sacrifice she’s made to earn her freedom…
An exquisite love story about seeing behind our masks
Reading this book felt like a lover’s breath on my neck, sensual and full of promises. Every time James leaned in and smelled along Jules’s neck, I was here for it!
I have always enjoyed Stacy Reid’s books but this story was on ANOTHER LEVEL. This reading experience has it all, the slow burn angst, the sensuality via the author’s employing all of our senses), the emotional tug of the main characters secrets, familial and societal expectations and most of all, passion!
I found many things about this story unique. First of all, Jules Southby’s backstory like was an interesting plot. I was on the edge of my seat anticipating how it was going to be exposed. In addition, Jules and father Dr. Southby were hired as psychologists to analyze to James Winters, The Duke of Wulverton, and the Earl of Lydon. James was recently reunited with his family after being lost in the wild for years. This family feared he was “not suitable” for the ton and would not be able interact respectably with people in the social standing.
We all know the ton is all about appearances and the Duke was freaking them out! I found Jules and James’s understanding and agreement with each other to be intriguing. This book really established with TRUST and GRACE looked liked in a working and later romantic relationship. I really appreciated the author letting their journey to play out without some villain outing them before they were ready. It didn’t cheapen the thrill of their discovery of each other. How I loved the author created the intimacy between Jules and James. It’s was so authentic and visceral that all around them noticed even when they thought they were being discreet.
This story was a juxtaposition of family expectations versus personal desires. What a battle of what’s more important and what a sexy journey to claiming one’s future. It was very angsty and intense, I just loved the energy. An amazing read.
Special Thanks to Amara Publishing and Entangled Publishing via Netgalley for the e-arc given in exchange for an honest review.