Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Book Obsessed Chicks Release Day Bliss: The Vixen (Wicked Wallflowers #2) by Christi Caldwell

USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell pits a fiercely independent beauty against a devilish investigator.

Set apart by her ethereal beauty and fearless demeanor, Ophelia Killoran has always been a mystery to those around her—and a woman they underestimated. No one would guess that she spends her nights protecting the street urchins of St. Giles. Ophelia knows what horrors these children face. As a young girl, she faced those horrors herself, and she would have died…if not for the orphan boy who saved her life.

A notorious investigator, Connor Steele never expected to encounter Ophelia Killoran on his latest case. It has been years since he sacrificed himself for her. Now, she hires orphans from the street to work in her brother's gaming hell. But where does she find the children…and what are her intentions?

Ophelia and Connor are at odds. After all, Connor now serves the nobility, and that is a class of people Ophelia knows firsthand not to trust. But if they can set aside their misgivings and work together, they may discover that their purposes—and their hearts—are perfectly aligned.

Amy's Review:
Goodness! My facial muscles got a real workout with this book! I think I pulled a muscle in my jaw from gasping in surprise so many times. And the back and forth motion of smiling, sobbing, and clenching my teeth in anger surely tightened something up. The Vixen, #2 in Christi Caldwell’s Wicked Wallflowers series will definitely shake up your emotions. If you’ve read Ms. Caldwell before, you know she has the uncanny ability to make the reader feel everything the characters are feeling. And this one has all the feels. What a beautiful story of dark secrets, betrayal, pain, perseverance, survival, and the healing power of love. This story is absolutely bewitching!
Connor and Ophelia’s story shook me to my core. I think seeing them first as children and knowing what they’d experienced made me even more absorbed in their story. Connor hadn’t been born on the streets, but that’s where he’d ended up after the murder of his parents. He’d lived on his own, dodging Mac Diggory. Ophelia had saved him from Diggory on more than one occasion. In return, he’d risked his life for hers. Thanks to the Earl of Mar, he’d been saved himself that day and escaped a life of misery on the streets. But he’d never forgotten where he came from and was determined to make the streets safer. Ophelia had only known the streets of St. Giles. She knew the dangers that lurked there. That’s why she put herself at risk to save children there. She’d hated Connor for escaping and at the same time cheered for the freedom he’d found. Though they’d not been enemies, neither had they been friends. When they meet years later, that hadn’t changed. There was still distrust there. But their desire to aid the children of St. Giles was one thing they had in common. And that need to keep the children safe was how they came to learn so much about each other and themselves. They both learned that their own view of the world wasn’t an accurate view. Everything isn’t black and white. There are shades of gray. Regardless of your station in life, there are good and bad people. And even people who fall somewhere in between. That was an especially hard lesson for Ophelia. She’d only known darkness. She trusted no one, especially not the nobility and especially not men. She knew first- hand the treachery lords were capable of. 
Connor had lived in both worlds. As Ophelia made her much unwanted entrance into society, he knew what it was to be new, to have to ignore the looks and insults. They had a kindred connection there, both moving among society yet haunted by the past. I think I fell in love with them during their first waltz. The way they mouthed messages across the room charmed me. They both hated ton events but each other’s presence lessened the tension of enduring them. A friendship formed and it didn’t take long before that friendship became more. But there were so many obstacles between them. The closer they grew, the greater the distance between them and their families seemed to grow. And there were still secrets between them. I have to admit, I was so blown away by the twists, turns, and revelations toward the end that I truly didn’t think they’d make it. 
This story left me reeling. Like Connor and Ophelia, I misjudged a lot of characters. There were characters I admired at the beginning of the story and despised at the end. Likewise, characters I thought were not to be trusted at first, I respected by the end. And I wasn’t prepared at all for the depth of emotion in this story. Be prepared to cry. A lot. It may be a cry of joy, a cry of empathy, or a cry of terror at the impossible cruelty of people, but you will cry. 
One of my favorite things about this book, other than Ophelia and Connor’s love story, was the Killoran family. I learned so much more about them in this book. I can’t wait for Gertrude’s story. She’s made of sterner stuff than people give her credit for. I worry for Stephen. There’s so much distrust and anger in him. And Broderick. No matter how angry he made me, I guarantee you’ll forgive him for all at the end of this story. I am in awe of how much he cares for his “family” and, though they may not realize it, the choices he makes are to secure a better future for them all. I don’t care whose story is next, I just want it now. These characters have captivated me and I can’t get enough of this heartbreaking, emotional, inspiring series.
 A Book Obsessed Chicks Review Team Selection

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