The Perks of Loving a Wallflower by: Erica Ridley

” As a master of disguise, Thomasina Wynchester can be a polite young lady–or a bawdy old man. She’ll do whatever it takes to solve the cases her family takes on. But when Tommy’s beautiful new client turns out to be the highborn lady she’s secretly smitten with, more than her mission is at stake . . .

Bluestocking Miss Philippa York doesn’t believe in love. Her heart didn’t pitter-patter when she was betrothed to a duke, nor did it break when he married someone else. All Philippa desires is to decode a centuries-old manuscript to keep a modern-day villain from claiming credit for work that wasn’t his. She hates that she needs a man’s help to do it–so she’s delighted to discover the clever, charming baron at her side is in fact a woman. But as she and Tommy grow closer and the stakes of their discovery higher, more than just their hearts are at risk. “

bookshop.org

***** I received an ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *****

When I stumbled onto the summary of this book I knew I needed to read it. Before I put in my request for the arc I devoured “The Duke Heist” which is the first book in the Wild Wynchesters series. The world Erica has written us is full of found family, love, understanding, and acceptance for who one truly is. If you love stories about finding out who you are and who you want to be…this is a book for you!

If you read “The Duke Heist” you’ll have already met Miss Phillipa York as well as Thomasina “Tommy” Wynchester. In TPoLaW we get to understand Phillipa and her mannerisms more. We also get to see how Phillipa discovers that it isn’t that she lacks passion or sexual attraction to others it’s merely that she requires an emotional connection and feelings of trust before she’s able to feel a physical/sexual attraction to someone else.

In Tommy, we see someone who’s had a lifetime of loved ones leaving. Although happy now in the found Wynchester family Tommy still feels all the pain, and fear, of future abandonment. Tommy has had a lifetime of fun putting on countless personalities and costumes in order to assist in family projects and shenanigans but longs to find someone, outside her family, to love them for who they are.

If set in modern times we would say that Phillipa is demisexual and Tommy is nonbinary but as those words weren’t around in those historical times I love the way Erica writes the way in which Phillipa and Tommy see themselves and each other. Erica lets us see Phillipa’s slow discovery of connection and attraction as well as how Tommy doesn’t see themselves as male or female just themselves.

This book was such a fun read that had me giggling and smiling along with Tommy’s antics as well as Phillipa’s growing confidence. The way in which Tommy and Phillipa fall for each other, trust one another and choose each other had me swooning.

I do wish the cover better portrayed Phillipa and Tommy. The entire book we know that Phillipa lives and breathes lace gowns. We also know, when not disguised, Tommy naturally has short brown hair and prefers shirts and comfortable pants as opposed to dresses.

If you’re looking for a sweet sapphic romance full of found family, exposing a fraud, and finding who you truly are and who you want to be…look no further!

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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