Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Earl's Defiant Wallflower

The Earl's Defiant Wallflower

4.2 26
by Erica Ridley

See All Formats & Editions

Oliver York returns from war to find his father dead, his finances in arrears, and himself the new Earl of Carlisle. If he doesn't marry an heiress-and fast!-he and his tenants are going to be pitching tents down by the Thames. He definitely shouldn't be trading kisses with a penniless debutante... no matter how captivating she is!

Miss Grace Halton is


Oliver York returns from war to find his father dead, his finances in arrears, and himself the new Earl of Carlisle. If he doesn't marry an heiress-and fast!-he and his tenants are going to be pitching tents down by the Thames. He definitely shouldn't be trading kisses with a penniless debutante... no matter how captivating she is!

Miss Grace Halton is in England just long enough to satisfy the terms of her dowry. But a marriage of convenience isn't as easy as she'd hoped. Back in America, her ailing mother needs medicine only Grace's dowry can afford. Which means the dashing earl she can't get out of her mind is the one man she can't let into her heart.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The first in Ridley’s less than promising Dukes of War Regency series rushes a complex plot to an unbelievable climax. Grace Halton’s widowed mother, Clara, suffers from an unidentified illness that requires expensive treatment she can’t afford. Grace leaves their Pennsylvania home and travels to England to acquire the only cash to which she has any claim: she is inexplicably entitled to a substantial dowry, even though Clara’s unforgiving parents long ago disowned her. To collect it, Grace needs a husband who’s willing to marry immediately and wealthy enough to let her put the money toward Clara’s medical bills. Enter Lord Oliver York, the new Earl of Carlisle, who’s recently returned from war. He’s dirt-poor and looking for a rich bride. Naturally, they fall in love. A clumsy deus ex machina fixes all the problems caused by Grace and Oliver’s impractical romance, leaving no challenges for them to overcome themselves. (BookLife)

Product Details

Publication date:
Dukes of War , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.37(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.44(d)

Meet the Author

Erica Ridley learned to read when she was three, which was about the same time she decided to be a writer when she grew up. Now, she's a USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels. Her latest series, The Dukes of War, features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England. When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Earl's Defiant Wallflower 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
Erica Ridley is an author that I stumbled upon a couple of months ago. The Viscount's Christmas Temptation by Erica Ridley a prequel in her Dukes of War series was free on one Amazon. I snapped it up and fell in love with this author. Her way of story telling draws you in wholeheartedly. Her style of writing is similar to Jane Austen, Vanessa Kelly, Julia Quinn Etc. The Earl's Defiant Wallflower is a book 1 in The Dukes of War Series is a beautiful story. Questions if love or money is more important. A Must Read.
celticmaggie More than 1 year ago
I love to read Erica's books. She melds the happy sections and the problem sections into the best books to read. This is the beginning of the series and is a short read. Oliver has returned from war with missing one friend who won't return with his other 2 friends. Oliver literally runs into Grace at a ball. He learns his father , an Earl, and his brother who inherited from him have bankrupted the Estate. Now he has to figure out where to get money on the marriage mart. Grace is American and needs money and medicine to cure her sick mother in Philly. There is a super big spoiler near the end. We all know these stories end with a HEA but you must read the book to see how it is accomplished. I hope you like it as much as I did.  I have this book for an honest review for NetGalley.
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
I had completely fallen in love with Erica Ridley’s writing with The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation, the prequel to this book, and THE EARL’S DEFIANT WALLFLOWER is even better, if it’s possible! So romantic, so tender; it made my heart ache. Outstanding! It is so extraordinarily beautifully written, it’s simply magical! Every sentence is perfect, the characters are just lovely. Already I cannot wait for the next book! Fantastic! The Dukes of War series promises to be the best Regency Romance series ever! Do not miss this!
Anonymous 2 days ago
Enjoyed it
Anonymous 4 days ago
For those of us who like a nice sit outside day read. Interested in the next book.
Anonymous 18 days ago
While qualifying a novella, this was a satisfying, fun read. Wish it was longer but definitely worth giving this author another read
Anonymous 19 days ago
Vicki_Goodwin More than 1 year ago
This is a historical romance that is well written. It has the loveliness of the eighteen hundreds, with the dress, the mannerisms and those lovely balls. When Oliver York, Earl of Carlisle comes back from the war he comes back with his wounded and broken friends and to find his father has unexpectedly died. He died in a manner that caused many rumors among the Ton. He also died with some unexpected surprises for his son the heir. When Oliver goes to his first ball after his return, he is attracted to the wallflower that seems to not quite fit in with the others. When he learns that she is pretty much shunned due to her American accent and her merchant grandparents, Oliver still makes his presence know to her. He is immediately put in his place with her words. He is a little startled at her open and honest response to his questions. Grace Halton has come from America with a plan in mind and that plan is the only thing she can think of. She can’t be bothered with good looking Earl’s that she can’t stop thinking about. She can’t be bothered with an Earl that might have financial problems and she certainly can’t be interested in an Earl that she just might be developing feelings for. Nope, she has a plan and she intends on carrying the plan through. She also has horrible relatives that make life in England terrible for her. The Grandmother is constantly making accusations and snide remarks to her that are meant to hurt. She needs to get back to her mother who is sick and needing medical care in America. I really enjoyed this book. I liked the clever words and actions of the gentleman Earl, Oliver. He was so lovable. I really liked how he dealt with people and how he was always willing to help out, even when it is not appreciated or wanted. He is such a giving person. Grace is also a sweet and loving woman. She has her head and heart set on helping her mother and so her actions are forgivable because she is making these decisions out of love. I can telly you it becomes hard knowing what she plans to do. Erica Ridley has written about the Dukes of War before and the first book that I read by her was equally as likable. This is the second in the series and it is another 5 star read for me. It can be read as a stand alone. The series is about men returning home from the Napoleonic war. I personally like how she doesn’t make the heroine snarky just to have her be snarky. I like how her characters have heart, both male and female.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved it. So sweet and I just loved the characters Grace and Oliver. Sweet ending but I sure can read more with these characters. Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good old fashioned happily everafter romance. Makes you smile with the knowledge that there will be a happy ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. I read it in one sitting ! I could not wait to find out how it ended ! I was pleasantly surprised! I am ready to read the next book in this series !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this author! I'm new to the team of her readers. I really enjoy that she writes about real feelings, most especially from the men's standpoint. There so far is none of that idiotic behavior that you read in so many romance novels. The hero is some kind of ego maniac, or would never own up to how much he cares for someone and just outright wants to be loved and cared about as Lord Carlises character wanted in this book. It was refreshing. I think you will enjoy this read, give it a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Oliver & Grace story. Had suspence & mystery which I love. Couldn'd put it down.
Bewitching_Bibliophile More than 1 year ago
Another Wonderful Addition to this Series: I read this one right after reading book 1. And I really enjoyed myself, I ended up reading this in one sitting and not even noticing the time going.  Oliver ( I kept wanting to call him Ollie like Oliver McQueen from Arrow), makes a habit of rescuing people, and sometimes this works and sometimes he makes the situation worse.  In this case when Oliver first rescues Grace it helps her achieve what she wants which is for eligible bachelors to seek her out. She's got to save her mother who is so ill she was on her deathbed when Grace left for England.  Grace is stuck with her unloving and unforgiving Grandparents, who don't believe that their daughter is really ill and are punishing Grace for her mother's actions 22 years prior.  As the story progresses we see that Grace has a scheme all set up to allow her to get back home to her mother.  I totally understood her desire to save her mother, but I was surprised she was so clueless as to how society operated and she thought she was really going to be able to make her plan work. Like chile What?? Naww, you can't tell me she really thought the inheritance would work that way.  As the story progresses Oliver and Grace who are well suited but all wrong for each other continue to orbit each other throughout the Season.  Oliver who once thought he was an eligible bachelor is dealt a terrible blow in learning that his father never planned for him to live after the war and therefore didn't plan money to help the Earldom survive.  Now poor Oliver is left to fend for his people and himself and unlike most of the ton, he doesn't let his pride stand in his way.  His resolution was beautiful and even brought tears to my eyes a couple of times as I read. As ball and soiree pull these two together and their social circumstances force them apart we get a great story about the time period and about two wonderful people stuck in their station.  I loved how the story unfolded and the characters from the other stories that we got to meet and the funny situations these two found themselves in.  I never thought of library having so much action.   While I liked Grace, I did however think she was being a bit selfish and adamant, especially considering what her Grandfather told her.  She has one plan and she isn't willing to see another way around that plan working. I did love their romance, and felt so much emotion for Oliver as he was standing at the ceremony, as much as I liked Grace, she at times made me want to shake her. I really enjoyed the ending, and the way in which the main plot was resolved.    In the end we get a good resolution and even a wonderful surprise and of course a few new characters as well who seem to be very intriguing, I can't wait until their book comes around.  ¿¿¿¿¿ Happy Reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As short as it was i enjoyed it very much. All 129 pages of it. Very cute ending althoough somewhat quickly done......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the way the author took the time to develop the connection and show real feelings between Oliver and Grace. I do feel the situation with Grace's mother could have been resolved much earlier with a few well-placed conversations. Very adept at portraying an intelligent young woman from America, and how out-of-place she felt in the drawing rooms of England. Overall, a compelling story. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC provided for my honest review.
gaele More than 1 year ago
An interesting first full-length novel in the Dukes of War series, I loved the prequel to this series and had high hopes that Erica Ridley could deliver a full-length romance with all the bells and whistles.  For the most part, the  story was engaging and intriguing, mixing in elements that readers can enjoy, even if there are hiccups.  Oliver returns from the war to find himself now the Earl of Carlisle, and with it the enormous debt incurred by his  father.  Struggling to take his place in society again after the tumult of war, Oliver knows that his only option is to  marry a woman with a hefty dowry, to avoid bankruptcy and the loss of his title and lands.  Oliver was not a difficult character to like: his determination to rest his lands from debt even as he is struggling  with the aftermath of his return to polite company. The war has left him with scars, few are physical, and the sudden change of venue doesn’t help with the trauma. It was hard not to feel for his losses and occasional moments of depression, but his resolve and desire to find the ‘right’ wife, not just any with a dowry was commendable.  Grace is an American, born in Philadelphia to an English mother in ill health, and she is desperate to secure the means to take care of her mother. Marriage is the most logical option, but Grace must find an Englishman  that her grandparents approve of to secure her dowry. In London for the season, Grace is ostracized by the other women: while Americans marrying titled men is not unusual at this time, Grace’s status and lack of  apparent family concern to provide her with introduction and proper chaperones leave her one step removed  from the properly presented girls.  Add to that her plain ways of speaking, her “American-ness” and the rumors of an unsecured dowry, and Grace’s suitors are many, but few have good intentions.  When Oliver is able to secure Grace’s acceptance for a waltz, he is instantly enamored, even as she is not what  he needs at the moment.  These two are so sweet together, well matched in their realization and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good, as well as their loyalties. And, Grace is not a simpering miss: she is intelligent and, to the dismay and ridicule of many of the other girls in the marriage mart, unafraid of speaking her mind.   Theirs was more of a two halves of the same coin relationship, they could speak honestly and openly and be understood: with no great burning passion, their connection felt very solid and real.   And when they finally step into the fray and marry, I had hoped to see some sort of time for them to work out ways to work out the overwhelming issues: Grace’s determination to return to Philadelphia to care for her  mother and Oliver’s need to pay down the debts.  But, in what has to be the quickest and most abrupt wrap up  ever, the two issues are sorted with one person’s change of opinion and the story ends.  Without those all too  convenient solutions, this story would have developed more depth and provided readers with an opportunity to enjoy the two as a couple working to solve issues, instead I feel a bit disappointed in how things ended.   While this was a lovely story that provided a slow but steady development of the characters as they came to know and love one another, the quick ending left me wanting just a bit more. All in all a sweet romance that had many qualities to recommend it, even as the ending felt convenient.  I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the first one for free, was a good one.I had to read the next one. This this as good as the first. Very good. Can't wait for the next one!!!
2_PMVH More than 1 year ago
An American needs a hubby who doesn't need her & an impoverished Earl needs a heiress, but their bodies CRAVE each other! Miss Grace Hilton is an American who left her deathly ill mom to travel to grandparents, she has never met & walked into a hostile house with her "can never please grandparents. All they care about is Grace not embarrassing them & getting a rich titled hubby, since her mom created a scandal & fleed to America. Grace has be pinned, measured & stuffed into the latest "too small" fashions, only let out to go to soirée & balls with a disappearing maid & holds up the wall. Grace just wants to find a pushover hubby with mega bucks, so she can take her £1,000 dowry, to get her mom & return after she is better, that isn't ask too much for a wallflower. Oliver York is home from the war feeling like a murderer & has brought his comatose friend, Xavier, in tow. He has lost so many friend & he learns his father is dead, so now he is the Earl of Carlisle. His father never trained him how to be the Earl, so he is flying blind, but knows he can make it with his inheritance. Oliver gets a wake-up call when his father's banker tells him that his father closed the bank account because there is no money. Now he has tenants & servants to provide for, so he must find a heiress ASAP! Soon we have an American Wallflower who needs a wealth hubby who doesn't need her dowry & isn't going to want her around, but we also have a poor Earl who needs a heiress. So at their 1st ball together, Oliver comes with comatose Xavier, parks him in the library & he sees this gorgeous dark haired beauty, all the males idiots want her in their beds, as long as she doesn't talk, & makes a beeline for Grace. Grace is excited because this yummy man wants her to dance & it's her 1st dance EVER! There is instant snap, crackle & KABOOM, but as they dance they actually talk about real stuff, not the stupid weather. Oliver learns she needs a stupid hubby & Grace learns he needs a heiress, so their brains say NO, but their bodies say, COME TO POPPA/MOMMA! For the next couple of weeks, she has quickie hubby interviews during dances & Oliver starts decking any male who insults her, which causes her to be popular for invitations, but not for a hubby. In a library during 1 of the last balls, they necking in the stacks are busted by her only friend, Jane, her brother (so not a hubby candidate now) & comatose Xavier says, "kiss & succulent breast." Will they be forced to marriage? Can Grace get to her mom before it's too late? Does Oliver find the heiress he desperate needs? Are they both able to get what they want? Most importantly, can I please have 5 minutes alone with her crabby grandparents? This is book #1 of the Dukes of War series & Ms. Ridley has hilariousness galore, grandparents from HADES & too cute h/h. I love me some spunky & feisty American heroine & Grace was a great heroine, but she allowed her true AmericanISH to be dimmed with all the hate in her life. Poor Oliver was a knight-in-shiny-amour & that amour had been dented all over. No hero should have shiny amour because the dents make the man & when Oliver was born, his baddie father had a bashing party on his amour. Ms. Ridley made both of her h/h scarred from an early age, Oliver by his father & Grace by not remember her dad, but she & her mom were a carbon copy of my own daughter & I, we cling for that never ending support that only grows stronger. They joined forces, so she clings to his strength & he clings to her & that my peeps makes a super match that can weather any storm, so bring the winds & rain. Her grandparents I totally reach thru my Kindle & BEOTCH SLAPED them both for all their cruelty! I lives how Oliver's servants aka family were insulted that he wanted them to have their freedom from no wages, but they only STAYED with his dad & no pay to WAIT for him to return & YES, my peeps, I had an ugly cry! I love me some PASSIONS & Ms. Ridley had a toe curling kisses & exposed some girlie parts, but the HELLO moments was after the I DOs. My only complaint were I personal craved some more NAUGHTINESS, but the ending does have many unexpected surprises & that totally saved the ending for me. I loved that comatose Xavier only woke up to get Oliver in trouble for his roaming mouth & love that spinster Jane & Xavier will be the next 2 to discover some great sex & hopefully some love, too! I give Ms. Ridley my score of 3 fingers up & 6 toes for this heart warming romance filled with scarred, on the inside, h/h & some slight sizzle, but I can't wait to read Xavier's story next! NetGalley ARC given for my honest review.
WolfFaerie17 More than 1 year ago
~LibraryThing Book Review~ Oliver York, Earl of Carlisle, never expected to inherit the title and yet he has. For Oliver war was much more simple than being a titled man with no fortune to speak of and now way to pay his servants. Grace Halton recently came from America to seek her grandparents help for her ailing mother which they refuse to believe. Grace is now stuck attending events and fetes in search for a husband. Unfortunately for Grace no one wants to fill her dance card because they can't understand her much less call her by her right name either. Oliver notices Grace and moves to rescue her only to find himself smitten with her. Grace is getting desperate to know how her mother is faring but only to find out her mother has never received her letters. Will either of them admit their mutual attraction? How is Grace's mother? Your answers await you in The Earl's Defiant Wallflower. I don't know what it is about time period books but they get me hooked fast and hungry for more. Erica Ridley has a knack for writing in this genre. I love the writing and characters! The characters are flawed, real, honest, interesting, and smart. The story is compelling, interesting, complex, and witty. I look forward to my next adventure with this author.
kronan1 More than 1 year ago
Dumb story......................................................... One of the worst books I've ever read.  Beyond stupid characters.   EG:  When the hero wants to send for the heroines mother who is sickly he sells off the last family heirloom to hire a PIRATE ship to go and get  her.  Would it not have been simpler to hire a nurse or companion and have her come over to England on a passenger ship.  The story is full of  stupid scenes like that.  Don't waste your time and money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the second book I've read from this author and I enjoyed it. It was such a sweet love story and a happy ending. A great book to read on a rainy day. I recommend this story and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Bookworm2Bookworm More than 1 year ago
January 1816, London Lord Oliver York, now the Earl of Carlisle, has returned from three years spent at war and must now face London soirees.  When he finds that his late father has left the family coffers nearly empty, he realizes that he must find a wealthy bride.  Having lost many of his friends in the war, he still feels guilt over it all.  He is doing all he can to care for his friend, Xavier Grey, who remains in a near-catatonic state. Miss Grace Halton is a beautiful American girl with black hair and green eyes.  She has come from Pennsylvania to stay with her rich English grandparents while she searches for a wealthy husband.  Her mother is ill and still in America.  Her grandparents will not do anything to help their daughter because she defied them by running away to America.  However, they have agreed to give Grace a small dowry when she marries.  Grace’s plan is to marry a man, take the dowry back to America and use it to get medical care for her mother.  Once she knows her mother is well, she will return to England and her husband.  Since Grace is American and it is known that her grandparents’ money has come from trade, she is looked down upon by most of her prospective suitors.  The fops ogle her and feel she only good for a “tup.” When Oliver and Grace meet at a dance, they are both intrigued by the other and find themselves being honest with one another as to their personal circumstances.  As they continue to meet at dances, Grace realizes that she is not interested in any of the other men.  They all come across as very dull. Oliver has been forced to sell most of the art work and furnishings in his home.  However, there is a 500-year-old family-owned portrait of The Black Prince, a.k.a., Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Prince of Aquitaine.  It is a treasure and he hopes to not have to part with it.  However, it is quickly coming to that with his need for money. Grace is watched very closely by her mean Grandmother Mayer.  The woman does not believe that her daughter is really ill.  She thinks it is just a scheme to take some of their money back to her.  However, Grace’s grandparents do want Grace to become the toast of the ton and have spared no expense to dress her beautifully. When Grace and Oliver are caught kissing in the library while attending a dance, Oliver immediately declares that they are betrothed. Will they marry and, if so, how will Oliver manage to support her?  Will Grace take the small dowry promised by her grandparents and give it to her mother?   I enjoyed this first novel of Erica’s new series  (The Duke’s of War - Book One) and look forward to reading more. 
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
This is book 1 in the Dukes of War series. Miss Grace Halton must find a husband that will let her take her dowry and go back to America to pay for the medicine that her mother desperately needs. Unfortunately, the man that she is attracted to needs her dowry just as bad as she does. Oliver York, the Earl of Carlisle, must marry an heiress to salvage his estates from the damage that his father did. As much as they fight it, Oliver and Grace can't stop their attraction for each other and find suitable spouses. What happens when they are caught in a compromising position? I love Erica Ridley's writing. The stories that I have read by her have been shorter than most, yet they pack a mighty punch. She draws you into their world and gets you invested in the H/H just as a longer story would. It takes a rare author to be able to pull this off. I loved reading about Grace and Oliver. From the first time they meet, they are drawn to each other and they know they can't marry the other. It's heartbreaking knowing that they are the perfect match for the other, yet it can't be. I'm definitely sold on this series and can't wait for the rest of the books to come out!! Thanks go to Intrepid Reads for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
greekgoddess422 More than 1 year ago
as always Erica Ridley stories are spell bounding. what Happens when 4 friends went to war and only 3 come back, this one is about the Earl. Oliver inherited the Title of Earl from his father , only thing is there was no money , no nothing , the estate was bankrupt. He wants to help his friend that came back from war totally mute but by choice so they go to a ball. There he sees a women that was trying to be a wall flower. He finds out from the men there that she is American and they all had unpleasant things to say about her. He couldn't understand why. some of the Lords say it was her accent. He decides to ask her to dance.. Meanwhile Grace is there at the ball so she can find a husband to claim her inheritance so she can go back to the States to try to save her sick Mother. Grace is looking to get married and leave her Husband so she is asking a lot of questions. While the 2 of them are dancing they are having a fantastic time and then the Duke comes along and asks her to dance , and Oliver hates it because now he has drawn attention to Grace. They seem to meet at different balls and Grace realizes that Oliver really sees her for herself . They start to have feelings for each other . While at a ball , they meet in the library and one thing leads to another and they have to get married. Graces grandparents meanwhile don't like it , because when they go to the estate they see that it has nothing , no furniture , Nothing. Graces Dowry is only a thousand pounds , which she knows wont save Oliver and she doesn't know what to do . They both have feelings for Each other. Oliver decides to sell the Black Prince ( Prince Edward) . He lets grace know that her dowry is suppose to be his but he opened a bank account in her name . She tries to save the Black Prince from the Pawn shop. But she is too late . Oliver has a surprise for her. You must buy the book to find out if Grace rescues her mother , do her grandparents come around and do Grace and Oliver find happiness