The Spitfire (Wicked Wallflowers, #5)
Her dream is to open a music hall. Only one thing stands in her way—the man she loves. The final Wicked Wallflowers novel from USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell.Leaving behind her life as a courtesan and madam, Clara Winters is moving far from the sinful life to which she was accustomed in the gaming hell the Devil’s Den. Her more reputable and fulfilling endeavor is a music hall for the masses. One night, when she sees a man injured on the streets of East London, she rushes to his aid and brings him home. It’s then that she discovers he’s Henry March, Earl of Waterson, and a member of Parliament. No good can come from playing nursemaid to a nobleman.When Henry rouses to meet his savior in blonde curls, he is dazzled. This smart and loving spitfire challenges his every notion of the lower classes—and every moment together is a thrill. But after Henry returns to his well-ordered existence, he strikes a political compromise that has unintended consequences. Will his vision for London mean dashing the dreams of his lovely guardian angel?

The Spitfire (Wicked Wallflowers, #5) Details

TitleThe Spitfire (Wicked Wallflowers, #5)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 17th, 2019
PublisherMontlake Romance
Rating
GenreRomance, Historical Romance, Historical

The Spitfire (Wicked Wallflowers, #5) Review

  • Maureen Carden
    January 1, 1970
    Hooray! Brava, Congratulations! In The Spitfire I have finally read a book where the woman has the past as a courtesan/madam while the hero is NOT a man-ho. I repeat, not a man-ho. Let’s see what else, well he is the requisite close to ten years older than the heroine, but this time he’s actually in his forties and she is in her thirties. She is determined to make her own way out from underneath her past, no man need apply. He is determined to make life better and safer for the lower classes without hav Hooray! Brava, Congratulations! In The Spitfire I have finally read a book where the woman has the past as a courtesan/madam while the hero is NOT a man-ho. I repeat, not a man-ho. Let’s see what else, well he is the requisite close to ten years older than the heroine, but this time he’s actually in his forties and she is in her thirties. She is determined to make her own way out from underneath her past, no man need apply. He is determined to make life better and safer for the lower classes without having the faintest idea of what their lives are really like.Henry March, Lord Waterson is stabbed and almost beaten to death in London’s St Giles slum. He is rescued by Clara Winters, the aforementioned fallen woman. Clara is involved in an endeavor with Reggie Broderick to open a music hall, The Muses, that in no way will resemble a sinful establishment. Instead it will offer a chance for women to lead a respectable life.Taking care of a lord and realizing he could die while under Clara’s care is not a part of her life’s plan. But Clara’s heart is as big as her plans and she can not leave him to die.Waterson is known as Lord Proper, a stuffy, uninteresting man. He cares only for his family and his duties as a member of parliament. He leads a proper stultifying life, everything in is place, a place for everything. Clara Winters definitely does not have a place in his life, even though he is beyond grateful to her for saving his life.Henry repays Clara by signing a cease and desist letter for shutting down Clara’s dream, the Muses. Signing the letter was part of a house of cards that Henry constructed to get support for starting a national police force. He didn’t know it was Clara’s establishment. Clara doesn't take the betrayal lying down and comes out swinging. Unfortunately it turns out that Henry can embrace “honor, be damned” and betray Clara again, while falling in love with her. Neat trick.I’ve spent a lot of time writing about Clara and Henry. Caldwell is an accomplished writer, and her characters are one of her main strengths. She loves writing about the dark side of English society as evidenced by the Wicked Wallflower series of which The Spitfire is the final book, a very satisfying ending.The Spitfire also demonstrates Caldwell’s freshness and originality. My one caveat, Clara is too quick to forgive Henry’s betrayal. I guess if someone takes a bullet for you…oh come on, there is almost always a bullet or fever or both in a HR.Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review..
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  • Tanya Sridhar
    January 1, 1970
    Christi Caldwell needs to learn the art of not rushing her endings.
  • Elodie
    January 1, 1970
    “Lord Proper comes undone,”Can two persons from both sides of the fences find a love together when forces are at stake to trash them.First I would say I preordered this book because of the cover, the gaze of the model was scorchingly calling, one to not cower.After I had my doubts about the heroine, I might be prudish but in too many books prostitutes are painted as being beyond redemption, with their jaded soul so shattered it is impossible to mend the pieces back “Lord Proper comes undone,”Can two persons from both sides of the fences find a love together when forces are at stake to trash them.First I would say I preordered this book because of the cover, the gaze of the model was scorchingly calling, one to not cower.After I had my doubts about the heroine, I might be prudish but in too many books prostitutes are painted as being beyond redemption, with their jaded soul so shattered it is impossible to mend the pieces back together, or they turned resentful harpies, filled by venom.I have only read the Bluestocking in this series as I am a newbies to Mrs Christi Caldwell work, so I did know nothing about Clara and how she appeared first.But I might say Mrs Caldwell got me wrong, by crafting a searing masterpiece of salvation, with the redeeming of the too prim and proper hero while the heroine keeps her head held high.Clara has always wanted to rely only on herself and always herself, why she is so adamant against accepting help.She has a past and at time she was robbed of her future by a cunning man. And now she has a way out of her former profession, she is devoted to it as who’s better to understand why these women called fallen need protection and a goal than a woman who lived among them.« Everything in the world came down to survival, and where women were given little power and even less influence, she’d employ whatever tactics she could to survive. »Henry has taken the mantle left by her father and became the ruthless peer and very involved MP expected for a man of his position. Driven by guilt, he will do anything to ensure his project receives the right audience.But when found a breath away from death by a very secret woman, his view of the world in her short contact begins to move on.During the few days she nursed him back to life, she left a deep imprint in his soul.But when they meet again, will their society’s station make a difference?It was such a moving tale, about a woman finding a love that sees past her scars and values her for whom she is really from the inside and a man who really began to live once he meets the one who shatters everything he thought the norm.« you speak of yourself as if you’re somehow second to anyone, when not even the damned sun could compare with you in brightness. »The fact the heroes were older added to the thoroughness of this magnificent story of second chance, Henry always so organized and predictable while Clara is figurative boldness. I do fell in love with Henry as never at any moment did he thought of Clara as deserving any less than him. He made mistakes and lied to her but never did he saw her for her former profession, only for the strong woman life has shaped her.« “Loving someone isn’t about controlling them. It is about loving them and supporting them.” »A big fat 5 stars for this emotional story which immersed me in some unknown historical events from me and the way of the political world.I was granted an advance copy through Netgalley by the author but also ordered my own copy. Here is my true and unbiased opinion.
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  • Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks
    January 1, 1970
    As many who know me well, especially those in my book club and author friends, I normally do not read romances where the heroine is a courtesan. It’s my personal preference, I’m just not into them. Once in a long while, comes a story that really moves me. The Spitfire by Christi Caldwell is one of those tales that has me all happy inside.Those of us who have read Christi Caldwell’s Wicked Wallflowers Series have met Clara Winters before. The former courtesan/madam is Reggie’s best friend a As many who know me well, especially those in my book club and author friends, I normally do not read romances where the heroine is a courtesan. It’s my personal preference, I’m just not into them. Once in a long while, comes a story that really moves me. The Spitfire by Christi Caldwell is one of those tales that has me all happy inside.Those of us who have read Christi Caldwell’s Wicked Wallflowers Series have met Clara Winters before. The former courtesan/madam is Reggie’s best friend and has moved on from the Devil’s Den. Her dream of opening her music hall, the Muses is just so close. Aside from a few construction setbacks, she and Reggie are on their way to being professional business owners and for a woman, that is quite a feat.Henry Waterson, an MP and an Earl, has quite a few enemies in his repertoire… The staid gentlemen has ruffled more than a few feathers in his day with his legislation. It would seem that a few people even want him dead. When Clara comes upon two hoodlums beating a gentleman to a pulp, she steps in and saves his life. Clara’s mistrust of men is completely understandable, but her insistence in aiding the broken man is shocking, but just like her. When Clara discovers that the man she has saved is a member of the ton, an Earl to boot, she is terrified but resolute in the fact that she could not let him die.Henry has never been in a situation like this. Being cared for in the apartments of this fascinating woman has perplexed him beyond belief. Instead of calling for assistance from family or friends, he begs Clara “with no surname” to keep him in her apartments until he is well enough to travel home. His ins in fear of frightening his mother and sisters with his injuries. Clara reluctantly allows Henry to stay, but she also has much business to attend to, with the impending opening of her club.The few days Henry stays at Clara’s apartments, the two come to realize that many of their prejudices about each other’s stations and ways of life are not all they appear to be. Henry has a few revelations about how, as member of the ton, he always took advantage of the creature comforts of his wealth, but never thought if those outside of his level were even able to keep warm. When he realizes that he must return home, he slips out while Clara is out. When she returns to an empty apartment, she is relieved but also saddened, as Henry was unlike any man she had ever met in her lifetime.Trouble begins when Clara receives a cease and desist order for the Muses, stating that her establishment is immoral and illegal. When she discovers that Henry is behind the order, in a fury, she bounds into his home to confront him. Henry never thought he would see his savior again, but Clara is not as happy to see him as he is her. Unfortunately, the dealing with her Music Hall are not something that can be undone and Henry has to fix the wrong he has done. Henry’s younger sister, who was hurt in an uprising several years prior has been a recluse since the tragedy, but hearing Henry and Clara go at it, she is awakened and seeks Clara out to assist her. With Clara and Henry’s sister working together, she and Henry also spend more time together, inevitably becoming closer and more attracted to one another, but can these two people from completely different worlds build something lasting? You know I am not going to tell you! Read The Spitfire yourself to find out!Ok, so notice that I did NOT delve deeply into the fact that Clara was a courtesan? That fact is actually irrelevant to this story. Clara is a woman who was used and abused and one day said enough. Her hopes and dreams started to become a reality for her.I really must thank author Christi Caldwell for taking me out of my comfort zone, but making me smile and make my heart full. The Spitfire is a fabulous read!
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  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: The SpitfireSeries: Wicked Wallflowers #5Author: Christi CaldwellRelease date: September 17, 2019Cliffhanger: NoGenre: historical romanceIt's a little bittersweet to see this series come to an end. I only started reading Ms. Caldwell less than a year ago and I've already binged all of the Sinful Brides and read every one of the Wicked Wallflowers. I was hoping that Stephen, the youngest of the Killorans, would be getting a book, but maybe we'll be gifted with that later in the Lost Lords of London series. The Spitfire is about Clara (Broderick's former madam and Reggie's businessNo2019CaldwellRelease#5Spitfire Title: The SpitfireSeries: Wicked Wallflowers #5Author: Christi CaldwellRelease date: September 17, 2019Cliffhanger: NoGenre: historical romanceIt's a little bittersweet to see this series come to an end. I only started reading Ms. Caldwell less than a year ago and I've already binged all of the Sinful Brides and read every one of the Wicked Wallflowers. I was hoping that Stephen, the youngest of the Killorans, would be getting a book, but maybe we'll be gifted with that later in the Lost Lords of London series. The Spitfire is about Clara (Broderick's former madam and Reggie's business partner) and Henry March, Earl of Waterson. Henry is friends with the Marquess of Waverly from To Love a Lord. So if you're a fan of the couple from that novel, they do make a minor appearance! It's always nice to get some bonus time after the HEA to catch up on how things are going. We got to know Clara Winters a little bit in The Governess when she became Reggie's business partner and close friend. After years of being used by men during her years as a prostitute and madam, the only thing she wants from them is her freedom. The music hall venture she's planning is her chance to not only start a new independent life, but to give a respectable living to others in St. Giles. One that would enable them to entertain on stage and do what makes them happy when no one else is willing to provide the opportunity. She has a true passion for music, and a determination to succeed no matter what the cost. Because of that single-minded drive, they've been able to overcome every obstacle thrown in their path. One of Clara's faults is probably her stubborn pride, and her inability to share her burdens with her friends. She finds it hard to confide in Reggie, or agree to any assistance from Broderick, but I understand where she's coming from. Even though her pride gets in the way sometimes, I can understand her wanting to achieve her goals without any outside help. To feel as if she has accomplished her dreams without giving up any of the power she's trying to reclaim. Her life plan is to own her own business with Reggie, and marriage and children have no part in that. She's not afraid to let her feelings be known on that either, or anything else for that matter. If words didn't get the message across, she wouldn't hesitate to make her point with her fist. I enjoyed her fire and spirit which I think balanced out Henry's calm, cool demeanor really nicely. Henry is an MP who spends his entire waking existence creating laws and networking with other politicians in order to reach his end goal. He's a man who has built his life around family, duty, and honor, and that doesn't leave any time for any distractions in his personal life. Believing that he failed his sister years ago when a traumatic event occurred, his heart and soul is poured into enacting legislation that would establish a police force to protect the public. He has the best of intentions, but in working so hard for the benefit of his family and the rest of the general public, he has lost sight of what's important. Finding joy in the every day, making time for his mother and sisters, and finding a woman to share his life with. There is a small amount of guilt on his part for neglecting his duties in begetting an heir, but he comforts himself in the knowledge that he's provided for everyone financially. That is, until Clara steps into his life and makes him reexamine his priorities and opens his eyes to things his privileged life has shielded him from. Henry has always been stuffy, proper, and pompous his entire life, but after being rescued by Clara during a vicious attack, she has an immediate effect on him. Suddenly he's loosening up, making jokes, and becoming someone his family almost doesn't recognize anymore. Is that . . . truly what the world thought of him? Nay, worse . . . his own mother? That he was so stodgy that any hint of mirth on his part must be a mark of madness?In turn, he helps Clara to see that not all men are out to harm or dishonor. However, just as she's starting to build a fragile trust in him, he has an impossible choice to make. Fulfill his promise to save the music hall, or finally have his legislation passed that he's been fighting so long for. He's torn between family and his budding feelings for this woman he greatly admires. I did enjoy these two together, but I felt that there was something missing. I would've liked to have seen them spend more quality time together and building their feelings for one another. They didn't see each other for much of the book, and their relationship felt somewhat rushed at the end in my opinion. It caused me to feel a bit of a disconnect to their romance, but I did appreciate this opposites attract couple overall. Henry's skill in instantly pleasing Clara when they became physical was an issue for me. After reaching the advanced age of forty-one and remaining celibate, I would expect Clara to have to give him some advice in that department. In fact, I would have enjoyed seeing that! Oddly, he knew exactly what to do and she didn't even realize his inexperience until he told her after their first time. That's just not plausible when you have zero experience to learn from. I was also hoping to see more of the Killorans since this was the last book in the series, but Reggie was the only established character to get page time. One of my favorite things in the book was Henry's sweet relationship with his sister Lila. I'm really hoping we get to see her find her own healing and HEA in the future. I feel like she was developed exceptionally well with an intriguing backstory, and her story could be a beautiful addition in a future series. In summary, this wasn't my favorite in the series, but it was still an enjoyable read. Christi Caldwell's books are always a must read for me now, and her books are added to my TBR. No synopsis needed. “You have tucked yourself into a drawer, like Schubert’s music; you speak of yourself as if you’re somehow second to anyone, when not even the damned sun could compare with you in brightness. The same way Schubert underestimated himself is what you’ve done, and you are, you are,” he repeated, caressing his palms down her arms, “superior to all, Clara Winters."FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book so much!!! I loved that the heroine was a former prostitute. I loved that the hero was a stuffy earl. I loved that they were both older and my very favorite part was that the hero was a VIRGIN!!!! The only thing missing was an epilogue.
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  • Lady Heather
    January 1, 1970
    "5 - Loving someone isn't about controlling them, but supporting them - Stars!"Wonderful story!I love Christi Caldwell's imperfect, strong, smart, independent heroines.Clara was an amazing character!I also love how she tortures her protagonist, giving the reader "just the right amount" of angst before they finally get their Happily-Ever-After.
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  • Lubnaa (Romance Library)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Spitfire is the fifth and final installment in Christi Caldwell’s Wicked Wallflowers series and it is an absolutely delicious treat! And guess what? It can totally be read as a standalone! I know this comes as a surprise because most of Caldwell’s books are so intricately connected with one another that they usually can’t be read as standalone. But this one can definitely be read as a standalone! And you’re lucky because, in my humble opinion I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Spitfire is the fifth and final installment in Christi Caldwell’s Wicked Wallflowers series and it is an absolutely delicious treat! And guess what? It can totally be read as a standalone! I know this comes as a surprise because most of Caldwell’s books are so intricately connected with one another that they usually can’t be read as standalone. But this one can definitely be read as a standalone! And you’re lucky because, in my humble opinion, The Spitfire is by far the best book in this series. In fact, I will go so far as to declare that The Spitfire is probably my favourite historical romance released in 2019 and that’s saying a lot coming from me. The Spitfire is one of the most emotionally intense books I’ve read, but it is not devoid of humour. In fact, Caldwell masters the perfect blend of emotional intensity, humour, and steam in The Spitfire. This book is steamier than the previous books in the series and it also carries the kind of emotional intensity that I usually only find in Meredith Duran and Sherry Thomas books, maybe a few Lisa Kleypas and Kerrigan Byrne books. And by emotional intensity, I don’t necessarily mean angst. I mean, the kind of love story that punches you in the gut, sweeps you off your feet, and consumes your every thought and emotion. The kind of book that you don’t want to finish reading because you don’t want to let go of the characters. The kind of love story that you love with every fibre of your being. Well, at least, that's how it was for me.Clara is a former courtesan and madam who has worked hard to start anew and build a theatre in the Dials, along with her business partner (the heroine from The Governess, which I wasn't a fan of, unfortunately). Her life is temporarily thrown upside down when she saves an injured man from the streets and nurses him back to health. The two connect with each other in an authentic way and strike up an unlikely friendship, even though the man, Henry, is a nobleman. Months later, Clara receives a cease and desist weeks before her theatre's opening. Imagine her fury and disappointment when she finds out that Henry, the Earl of Waterson, is the one who’s directly responsible for the cease and desist. And Henry is about to learn that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I know that my little summary here is making Henry seem like the enemy, but there’s a lot more to the story that I’m keeping out because I don’t want to ruin it for everyone. My God. The anticipation level in this book was just off the charts. I was literally dying for Clara and Henry to meet again after she saved his life. The fucking chemistry was electrifying. Clara and Henry are such vivid characters – they leaped off the pages and grabbed hold of my heart and haven’t quite let go of me. Henry is by all means a stuffy, prim, and proper lord (she calls him Lord Proper lol). Meanwhile, Clara is a passionate, fierce, and unstoppable woman. When these two clash, Clara is determined to make the proper lord lose his cool and the tension between them is just sizzling. And the best thing about Henry and Clara is that they are both so darn likable. They are also pretty unconventional for a historical romance hero and heroine: Henry is almost 42 years old, while Clara herself is not only a former courtesan, but 33 years old at that. Henry is genuinely honourable and I empathized when he found himself in a difficult and impossible political situation, even if he did make some wrong choices. Clara is such an admirable heroine and I couldn’t help but appreciate her strength and determination to achieve her dreams. If you read a lot historical romance like I do, then you know that the businesswoman trope that has taken over this genre is not always well executed. But this trope works so damn well in The Spitfire. The author authentically depicts the struggles and challenges women like Clara face when they try to rise and lead a different path in life. These challenges are true to Clara’s station, to the women who are just like her, and to her time period. This is no 21st century woman wearing period clothes who’s stuck in a wallpaper historical romance. I loved everything about this book. Caldwell did a fantastic job bringing these two characters together, no matter how unconventional it is to pair up a former courtesan with a proper Earl. The ending is a bit rushed and the mystery is rather conveniently solved, but the romance in itself is satisfying. An epilogue is not needed, but I would love one regardless because I just love Henry and Clara so much. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to move on to another book.
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  • romancejunkie
    January 1, 1970
    Clara Winters is finally coming close to getting her dream of having a music hall done, when one day she stumbles across an injured man and decides to help him recover. As the days pass she discovers he is an important man; Henry March, The Earl of Waterson. She then decides to wait until he is better and let him go. Months later she receives an order that she is to close her new establishment and that Henry is behind it, she gets furious and goes to confront him, and them truly begins their w Clara Winters is finally coming close to getting her dream of having a music hall done, when one day she stumbles across an injured man and decides to help him recover. As the days pass she discovers he is an important man; Henry March, The Earl of Waterson. She then decides to wait until he is better and let him go. Months later she receives an order that she is to close her new establishment and that Henry is behind it, she gets furious and goes to confront him, and them truly begins their wonderful love story. I loved their story, it was delightful to see Henry and Clara as they found true love, and the way Clara finally understood that she wasn't any less as a person because of her past was emotional and beautiful. I received a free arc copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, all opinions here are my own.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    I love a story that features a strong woman and Clara Winters was certainly strong and determined to make her way without the help of any man. Clara hadn’t had an easy life and a man had made life even more difficult for her. When she helps Henry March, Earl of Waterson, little did they realise what affect it would have on both their lives. Henry hadn’t met a woman quite like Clara and she rarely leaves his thoughts. Henry had always been known as stodgy, he does take his familiar responsibiliti I love a story that features a strong woman and Clara Winters was certainly strong and determined to make her way without the help of any man. Clara hadn’t had an easy life and a man had made life even more difficult for her. When she helps Henry March, Earl of Waterson, little did they realise what affect it would have on both their lives. Henry hadn’t met a woman quite like Clara and she rarely leaves his thoughts. Henry had always been known as stodgy, he does take his familiar responsibilities very seriously. He is especially concerned about his younger sister Lila, who is recovering from a traumatic event. I enjoyed how opposite Clara and Henry were and yet they had an influence upon each other and couldn’t forget about things the other and said. This was a captivating story, I just couldn’t put it down. An excellent read. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Barbara Rogers
    January 1, 1970
    Series: Wicked Wallflowers #5Publication Date: 9/17/19Number of Pages: 327This was a thoroughly enjoyable read with an improbable, slow-burn romance and a villain of whom you are happy to see the end. It was also nice to visit with Reggie Killoran again. I never really loved Henry, but I was so very happy that he wasn’t a man ‘ho. I thoroughly appreciated Clara as a heroine because she had overcome so much in her life, yet she wasn’t hard and cold – even though she tried Series: Wicked Wallflowers #5Publication Date: 9/17/19Number of Pages: 327This was a thoroughly enjoyable read with an improbable, slow-burn romance and a villain of whom you are happy to see the end. It was also nice to visit with Reggie Killoran again. I never really loved Henry, but I was so very happy that he wasn’t a man ‘ho. I thoroughly appreciated Clara as a heroine because she had overcome so much in her life, yet she wasn’t hard and cold – even though she tried to be. I also loved that the book wasn’t filled with angst. There was a bit of repetitive introspection, but not page after page after page of angst.The book gets right into the action and excitement with Henry being attacked with the intention to murder him in St. Giles. He doesn’t make it easy for his assailants – he just keeps refusing to die. When he is totally unconscious and being dragged down an alleyway, a savior appears. Henry March, the Earl of Waterson, is a prig of a man – uptight, regimented, fully focused on his role in parliament and totally unaware of how those who are less fortunate than he lives their lives. His parent’s marriage was a cold one – totally a business affair. Henry fully intended to follow along the same lines. Henry is also full to overflowing with guilt. Unjustified guilt, but he feels it anyway. His younger sister was caught in the riots at Peterloo and she’s been traumatized and withdrawn from the world since then. Henry blames himself for not getting her out of there sooner.Clara Winters, former actress, whore, and madam finally has a future to which she looks forward. She and her friend Reggie Killoran are building a music hall in St. Giles. Clara will have a secure future and will be able to provide jobs for others who don’t want to have to sell their bodies in order to survive. She’s worked so very hard – and overcome so much – and she’s still almost afraid to hope that it will all work.I loved the way Clara pulled at Henry – and Henry pulled at Clara even though neither of them wanted that. Henry began to learn what it was like for those less fortunate than himself and it was good to watch his growth as a person. Though this a very highly unlikely match, I still enjoyed the story.I would have liked to learn what happened with the villain – and to see his punishment. That ending felt a little rushed to me. I know that Henry got his licks in, but – did he kill the villain? I don’t think so – but I didn’t really learn. The perfect thing, in my humble opinion, would have been for the villain to have been tried and convicted – transported would have been good given that he was a slaver – AND – I would have loved for his association with Lord Peerson to have been made public so Peerson could have some punishment as well. Something I didn’t understand was Henry’s older sister. Was her husband a peer? If so, why wasn’t she living in their home awaiting the birth of the child that would become the heir to that title if it was a boy? It just seemed odd that she was living with her brother rather than her deceased husband’s family.I hope you’ll read and enjoy this book as much as I did.I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Jayslin
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsAbsolutely loved the book. I have been a fan of the author’s books for a few years now and never thought strait-laced Henry would be paired with Spitfire Clara. Though they seemed like oil and water, Christi was able to bring them together in such a way that they seemed more like jigsaw pieces falling in place. The love story was sweet and sensual but what I liked the most was their unlikely friendship. The only thing missing for me was an epilogue. But all in all, a definite read 4.5 starsAbsolutely loved the book. I have been a fan of the author’s books for a few years now and never thought strait-laced Henry would be paired with Spitfire Clara. Though they seemed like oil and water, Christi was able to bring them together in such a way that they seemed more like jigsaw pieces falling in place. The love story was sweet and sensual but what I liked the most was their unlikely friendship. The only thing missing for me was an epilogue. But all in all, a definite read for historical regency lovers.Received an ARC from Netgally for an honest opinion.
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  • Rose
    January 1, 1970
    The Spitfire is the fifth and final book in author Christi Caldwell’s “Wicked Wallflowers” series. I do believe this story could easily work as a standalone, but Ms. Caldwell’s books are a joy to read and I highly recommend you read the entire series! :-)Henry March the Earl of Waterson is known to be rather stodgy and always proper. At nearly forty-two years old he lives a well-ordered existence until he almost dies on the streets of St. Giles. Waking up in an unknown apartment he r The Spitfire is the fifth and final book in author Christi Caldwell’s “Wicked Wallflowers” series. I do believe this story could easily work as a standalone, but Ms. Caldwell’s books are a joy to read and I highly recommend you read the entire series! :-)Henry March the Earl of Waterson is known to be rather stodgy and always proper. At nearly forty-two years old he lives a well-ordered existence until he almost dies on the streets of St. Giles. Waking up in an unknown apartment he realizes he has been rescued and taken care of by an unexpected angel, Clara Winters.Clara Winters is no angel! She’s the daughter of a famed actress who angered the wrong man and found herself without options long ago. After spending her young life as a courtesan and then a madam, she now has left the business and is working to rebuild her life and help young women like herself.What a fantastic couple! I absolutely adored these two, they are total opposites but yet absolutely perfect for each other. Clara brought out a side of Henry that was missing and I loved the banter and the chemistry between them. Clara has not had an easy life, but I respected and admired her for trying to make a better life for herself and for the women who also found themselves in similar situations. She was a fabulous heroine, strong, determined and intelligent but yet there’s still a vulnerability to her that thinks she’s not worthy of someone like Henry. As for Henry, Oh my! He’s so serious, focused, and driven that he lives a black and white only life, with no shades in between, until Clara. I loved his devotion to his family and that he never treated Clara differently because of her past, he treated her as an equal. The relationship between Henry and his family was fun to watch as they notice the changes in him. There were some wonderful secondary characters in this story and the writing was as always excellent! Although this series is now coming to an end, I do hope we get to see these characters again in some of Ms. Caldwell’s future books. This was a fabulous read and one I highly recommend!
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  • Niki
    January 1, 1970
    Clara Winters is finally able to move beyond her life as a courtesan and madam and back to her love of theatre. She and her only friend in the world, Regina Killoran, are opening a respectable, vice free music hall. But when Clara rescues an injured man from the streets of St. Giles and brings him home, she quickly discovers him to be Henry March, the Earl of Waterson, and realizes no good can come of her nursing a powerful nobleman.Henry is dazzled by his angelic savior and the chal Clara Winters is finally able to move beyond her life as a courtesan and madam and back to her love of theatre. She and her only friend in the world, Regina Killoran, are opening a respectable, vice free music hall. But when Clara rescues an injured man from the streets of St. Giles and brings him home, she quickly discovers him to be Henry March, the Earl of Waterson, and realizes no good can come of her nursing a powerful nobleman.Henry is dazzled by his angelic savior and the challenges she throws at his views about the lower classes. Henry soon returns to his staid, dutiful existence only to discover, two months after his rescue, that a political bargain he's entered into has unforeseen consequences for Clara and her livelihood. Now Henry must decide if his dreams of establishing a unified police force are worth the harm their realization will bring to Clara, especially when her music instruction begins to breathe new life into Henry's reclusive, traumatized sister.Poor Henry was a good man, looking out for the well-being of others in most all of his doings, but he was utterly clueless. I've never been a huge fan of Clara as a secondary character in other books, but I was still looking forward to her story. I didn't much care for her brash manner, but it did make sense given her past and her current motivations. All that also made her character development, as well as Henry's, all the more enjoyable. It was great to see them both change their perceptions of the world and each other and choose each other despite all the factors that could keep them apart. This was a slower burn than I've grown accustomed to in this series, but it worked for these characters. Christi has done it again and I wound up loving it. Also, I now need Lila to have her own book.I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • eyes.2c
    January 1, 1970
    A victim's journey!A well tuned story about a young woman's strength and ability to reverse her role from that of victim to entrepreneur.Having rebuffed the advances of a wealthy patron Clara Winters, daughter of a famous London actress, had subsequently been refused employment as an actress or singer. Clara's only way forward was to become a courtesan then a Madame. Now she's part owner of a proposed music hall where maltreated women could regain there self respect. Her partne A victim's journey!A well tuned story about a young woman's strength and ability to reverse her role from that of victim to entrepreneur.Having rebuffed the advances of a wealthy patron Clara Winters, daughter of a famous London actress, had subsequently been refused employment as an actress or singer. Clara's only way forward was to become a courtesan then a Madame. Now she's part owner of a proposed music hall where maltreated women could regain there self respect. Her partner is Regina (Reggie) Killoran whom we met in The Governess.A chance witness to a stranger being beaten and stabbed in an alley in St. Giles has Clara tending the injured man, only to discover he's a peer, Henry March, the Earl of Waterson. Henry is a, "leading MP, determined to see a universal constable force throughout the whole of England." He has been researching some of the more dangerous parts of London. But for Clara, he'd have end his days face down in a puddle in such a place.Well lines of course are crossed and recrossed. When the Music Hall is deemed to be in violation of the Morality Act, Clara finds herself assisting Henry's sister Lilia, a victim of the Peterloo Massacres, in exchange for his political help to ensure the opening of the venue. However nothing runs smoothly.An enjoyable addition to series that does keep one guessing, although I had trouble seeing Clara as a Wallflower. A Phoenix maybe! Meanwhile, I feel there's more to come from Lila some day.A Montlake Romance ARC via NetGalley
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  • Lori D
    January 1, 1970
    Two imperfect people meet in an unexpected circumstance and find out there are possibilites in life not know before. Christi Caldwell, with her masterful writing, takes us on a journey into the attraction of two people from different classes, who learn a lot about the other and how wrong some of their assumptions had been.Growing up with few choices, Clara had been forced to survice the best way she knew how. But now she wants more and still had her dreams. Fate seems to step in when she f Two imperfect people meet in an unexpected circumstance and find out there are possibilites in life not know before. Christi Caldwell, with her masterful writing, takes us on a journey into the attraction of two people from different classes, who learn a lot about the other and how wrong some of their assumptions had been.Growing up with few choices, Clara had been forced to survice the best way she knew how. But now she wants more and still had her dreams. Fate seems to step in when she finds a man beaten and she steps in to help him heal.Henry, Lord Waterson and a leader in Parliment, has been beaten and almost dies but Clara nurses him back to him. But he had experienced some terrible times himself and as he got to know Clara got to know each other, both of their worlds seemed to open up!Such a brilliant emotional story and the end to this spellbinding series that has held me in its grip since the first book. Romance, sadness, fierce determination, dreams coming true and finding true love will pull you into this story and wrap around your heart. Thank you Christie for giving your readers everything we need to have stories that takes us away but bring us back to wait for the next one.
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  • Traci
    January 1, 1970
    This was another great book in the Wicked Wallflowers series. I have to admit it was not my favorite book in the series but it was still a good book and I enjoyed reading it. Clara Winters a former courtesan/madam was introduced in a previous book of the series. It was nice to see she gave up the life of being a courtesan and got her HEA. She and her friend Reggie (also in a previous book) have worked hard to open the Muses, a music hall. It has been a dream of hers to help provide women with a This was another great book in the Wicked Wallflowers series. I have to admit it was not my favorite book in the series but it was still a good book and I enjoyed reading it. Clara Winters a former courtesan/madam was introduced in a previous book of the series. It was nice to see she gave up the life of being a courtesan and got her HEA. She and her friend Reggie (also in a previous book) have worked hard to open the Muses, a music hall. It has been a dream of hers to help provide women with a job other than being a courtesan. She rescues Henry, the Earl of Waterson, one night as he is on the verge of being killed. Reluctantly, she lets him stay with her instead of going to his home to recover. Months later she discovers he is behind a political "cease and desist" order for her music hall. He has helped the bill for "indecent plans" to go through so he could get help to back up his bill for a police force. The book was well written, the characters and story line well developed. I hope to see Lila get a story of her own and a chance at happiness.
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  • Whitney
    January 1, 1970
    4 starsWell, I went in to this one blind. I've read other Caldwell books and I've liked them. This one was good. I wasn't too lost and I understood what was going on even though this is the 5th in the series. Clara and Henry's interactions were constant and they had good chemistry and dialogue.The overall story line was pretty entertaining. But, *spoiler-ish* that ending! We were really on a roll with a LOT thrown at you all at once and then BAM, turn the page, and that w 4 starsWell, I went in to this one blind. I've read other Caldwell books and I've liked them. This one was good. I wasn't too lost and I understood what was going on even though this is the 5th in the series. Clara and Henry's interactions were constant and they had good chemistry and dialogue.The overall story line was pretty entertaining. But, *spoiler-ish* that ending! We were really on a roll with a LOT thrown at you all at once and then BAM, turn the page, and that was it. That was the ending. No epilogue and a mad dash to it's conclusion. *** A copy of this book was provided through NetGalley for an honest review***
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  • Saynab
    January 1, 1970
    This is by far my favorite in the series!
  • Sissy's Romance Book Review
    January 1, 1970
    The Spitfire by Christi Caldwell is book 5 in the Wicked Wallflowers Series. This is the story of Clara Winters and Henry March, Earl of Waterson. I have read (and Loved) the previous books but feel you could make this a standalone book if you wish to do so. Clara has had to pull herself up from nothing to become a Madam and a Courtesan but now in her current time she plans to have a Music Hall in St. Giles to help others like her move forward with their lives without have just the option to sel The Spitfire by Christi Caldwell is book 5 in the Wicked Wallflowers Series. This is the story of Clara Winters and Henry March, Earl of Waterson. I have read (and Loved) the previous books but feel you could make this a standalone book if you wish to do so. Clara has had to pull herself up from nothing to become a Madam and a Courtesan but now in her current time she plans to have a Music Hall in St. Giles to help others like her move forward with their lives without have just the option to sell themselves or do worse. One day Clara happens upon a injured man who she doesn't know but goes forward to help him recover but she soon learns he is Henry March the Earl of Waterson a very important nobleman, which she knows is not a good thing. Henry parts from his blond angel to return to his life and that of the Parliament. Henry grew up with parents that married as most noblemen do to make a advance marriage...not a love on. In addition to not seeing the love between his parents he also felt guilt for not being their for his sister when she suffered through a traumatic situation. So these feelings he is having toward Clara who is a Spitfire when she is trying to fight for her cause is unsettling and unknown. I am such a fan of Ms. Caldwell's writing I couldn't put enough into words about her books. If you want a story that takes you through different emotions and puts you in to the story she is your author for sure.
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  • Diane K. Peterson
    January 1, 1970
    Another very good book by Christi Caldwell. Clara Winters is a woman struggling to overcome her past and build a good life for her and other similar men and women. A former courtesan and madam, she is determined to build a music hall in the worst area of London. One night she rescues an injured man and her life is irrevocably changed. Henry March, Earl of Waterson, is hard-working Member of Parliament, determined to create a national police force. Little did they both know, their goals would be Another very good book by Christi Caldwell. Clara Winters is a woman struggling to overcome her past and build a good life for her and other similar men and women. A former courtesan and madam, she is determined to build a music hall in the worst area of London. One night she rescues an injured man and her life is irrevocably changed. Henry March, Earl of Waterson, is hard-working Member of Parliament, determined to create a national police force. Little did they both know, their goals would be in direct conflict. The main characters had a lot to overcome in this story. Henry, in particular, was required to reevaluate his thinking about his personal life and the status of classes of people. Clara needed to open her eyes and her heart to new possibilities.I thoroughly enjoyed their story and I enjoyed reconnecting with other "Wicked Wallflowers." A solid historical romance.ARC provided through Netgalley.
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  • Vikki Vaught
    January 1, 1970
    The Spitfire by Christi Caldwell is book 5 of the Wicked Wildflowers series. I’ve read the other novels and enjoyed them, so when I received an invitation from the publisher, via Net-Galley, to read and review, I quickly accepted. My opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.Wow, just wow! My attention was grabbed from the first page, and I remained enthralled until the end. Ms. Caldwell brings us a very unique heroine in Clara Winters. Then add a beta male hero, and you The Spitfire by Christi Caldwell is book 5 of the Wicked Wildflowers series. I’ve read the other novels and enjoyed them, so when I received an invitation from the publisher, via Net-Galley, to read and review, I quickly accepted. My opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.Wow, just wow! My attention was grabbed from the first page, and I remained enthralled until the end. Ms. Caldwell brings us a very unique heroine in Clara Winters. Then add a beta male hero, and you end up with a fascinating reading experience. Lots of emotional writing in The Spitfire!Clara Winters is such an interesting and unusual heroine. She lost sight of her great love for music when a man convinces her she has no talent, other than as a courtesan. Now, she has a chance to return to her passion. Her insecurities are real and emotional, and they pulled at my heartstrings. I could understand why she feels she would be unworthy of true love.Henry Marsh, the Earl of Waterson, is a man driven by events that happened during the Peterloo Massacre, which left his youngest sister changed forever. I could understand his drive to create a police force, but it caused him to sacrifice a few of his principles to accomplish his goal, believing that justified the means. He is not ruthless, but just unable to see anything but his goal. Until he meets Clara.When she saves his life, he’s astonished by her willingness to put her own life in harm’s way for a stranger. He’s so mystified and drawn to her, even though he knows she was a courtesan. When his sister shows interest in music and wants Clara to give her lessons, he is so desperate to get her to agree, he lies to gain he cooperation. However, his conscience digs at him, especially after they become lovers.The romance between Clara and Henry is tantalizing and fierce, with each having their own reasons as to why they believe it can never work. I loved the sexual tension between them. Ms. Caldwell is a master at creating that tension. Although, it seems impossible for lasting love, I truly wanted them to find their happy ending.If you enjoy historical romance with plenty of deep emotion and characters that you’ll fall in love with, then you will love this novel as much as I. While it’s not necessary to read the other books in this series to understand The Spitfire, I do recommend reading them. They are all outstanding, and some of the secondary characters are from the previous books. Happy reading!
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  • Amy ~ Love At 1st Read
    January 1, 1970
    I read recently that “romance novels provide a unique reminder that we share a common humanity”. This entire Wicked Wallflower series has been a testament to that. As a reader, I have become so deeply immersed in these characters. Some of them I didn’t always agree with or approve of their choices. But Christi Caldwell has written each character so exquisitely that I can’t help but identify with them, feel everything they’re feeling, and delight when they find the love and happiness they deserv I read recently that “romance novels provide a unique reminder that we share a common humanity”. This entire Wicked Wallflower series has been a testament to that. As a reader, I have become so deeply immersed in these characters. Some of them I didn’t always agree with or approve of their choices. But Christi Caldwell has written each character so exquisitely that I can’t help but identify with them, feel everything they’re feeling, and delight when they find the love and happiness they deserve. Historical romance is my favorite genre but sometimes the same old tropes get old. I get tired of squeaky clean, innocent heroines. Or, if they’re “experienced”, they’re widows. Christi Caldwell doesn’t fall into that virgin romance trap with The Spitfire. I think that’s why Clara’s character appealed to me so much. No woman chooses the life Clara led. She was a victim of circumstances out of her control. She did what she had to do to survive. Many readers may have an aversion to a character like Clara but as her story is revealed, you can’t help but empathize with her. Those life experiences make her such a rich character. She wore a protective shell but she was still vulnerable beneath it. She was still a woman who dreamed of a happy ever after. And one who deserved that. Henry led a charmed life compared to Clara’s but he still had tragic events in his life that shaped him. After the death of his father, he’d gone straight from University to responsibilities of the estate and his family. He’d focused on a staid, proper, and dutiful life. After the attack on his sister, Lila, he’d been even more focused on his work. All his efforts centered on his work as an MP, enacting legislation that would spare others the fate of his sister. He’d had no control in the death of his father, nor any control in the events affecting his family. His work as MP was the one thing he could control. Much like Clara’s club was her way to finally have control of her life. They both were such emotionally intense characters, I couldn’t help but become invested in their shame, their fears, their hopes. Though from completely different worlds, neither was immune to darkness. Clara had only been surviving. Henry had only been focused on duty. Neither was truly living. With each other’s help, they learned love wasn’t about control. It was about supporting each other through the struggles life throws at you. As in all the books from this series, this story is intense and deeply emotional. I love the way Christi Caldwell keeps readers from dissolving into tears by adding lighter, more humorous moments. Henry’s mother was one character that made me chuckle. The spin she could put on events to keep them from appearing scandalous was amusing. The banter and teasing between Clara and Henry was delightful. Their true personalities sparkled when together and it made them even more loveable to me. They were completely different people when together. The entire disparity between Clara’s and Henry’s classes would have seemed insurmountable had it not been for how beautifully Ms Caldwell gifted me with glimpses of both sides. Henry had never given thought to his privilege or the lack of privilege others had. He’d rather distrusted the working class. Clara opened his eyes to the narrow view he’d held of the world. And he did the same for her. She’d painted all the nobility with the same brush. And as she became hardened by all she’d endured, she’d grown to paint all men with the same brush as well. But Henry didn’t treat her as other men had. He didn’t throw her past in her face. And he didn’t expect her to use her body as repayment for his help. Through him, Clara saw that there were men of honor, convictions, and integrity. If you’ve followed this series, you will be thrilled with this last installment. And if you’ve not read the series yet, what are you waiting for? This entire series is about as close to pure romance perfection as you can get.
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    CW: mild content related to PTSD for side characterAh Clara and Henry! I love this couple and could not put this one down.Clara is a former courtesan, determined to build her own business and employ people who society has thrown away. Against her better judgement, she saves a man from attack and then learns he's an Earl. Henry is not the judgmental noble she anticipates but she still holds him at arms length. Clara is not what Henry expects either, but he knows he needs t CW: mild content related to PTSD for side characterAh Clara and Henry! I love this couple and could not put this one down.Clara is a former courtesan, determined to build her own business and employ people who society has thrown away. Against her better judgement, she saves a man from attack and then learns he's an Earl. Henry is not the judgmental noble she anticipates but she still holds him at arms length. Clara is not what Henry expects either, but he knows he needs to get back to his family and disappears from Clara's flat. It is months later when their work unexpectedly brings them together again, but neither has forgotten the other.The slow burn attraction between these two is immediate and perfectly done. Both are fighting the push-pull of their attraction. They both have preconceived notions about each other's worlds but somehow still see each other. They fight their chemistry until the finally know they cannot. Caldwell does a great job of building them up, letting them learn about each other, and then finally coming together.I also really loved the theme of not seeing people only as labels. Henry doesn't want Clara defining herself only by circumstances or as a courtesan. Clara recognizes that while Henry is nobility, he's not asserting privilege and looking down on anyone. His pompous behavior was a thing of the past, his behavior before his attack something that changes after meeting Clara. Both Clara and Henry see each other. Sometimes they need a little help from side characters, but they get there. We put a lot of labels and roles on, and we really should see past them. Caldwell deals with the roles of the sexes, the differences between the working class and nobility, the preconceived notions based on professions, among others, all deftly threaded throughout the story. Well done!Thematically Caldwell also works in discussion of some of the dirtiness of politics, the buying and selling of votes, when someone sells to get what they want. If you make a deal with the devil, aren't you the devil, too?. Clara understands this immediately, perhaps because of the course her life took prior to this story. When Clara refused to give in to one man's demands, he tried to break her down and stole her money. But she' has fought her way back. Henry was wrapped in his roles as family protector and member of parliament to such an extent, he stopped seeing people. He comes to learn the reality of what he thought was normal politics, and the costs associated. This is a very timely topic. It is well utilized to create the conflict Clara and Henry have to overcome on their way to HEA.Historical romance fans and fans of Caldwell will love this one. This worked great as a stand alone story. Sexy times are on the page, with one very hot scene. Highly recommend.
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  • Cathy Geha
    January 1, 1970
    The Spitfire by Christi CaldwellWicked Wallflowers #5Grabbed me...yes it did...right from the first page I was hooked and could not put this book down!Henry March, Earl of Waterson has a very bad disastrous evening and barely escapes with his life...and he would not have escaped if Clara Winters had not happened along. Getting him home to her place and beginning to patch him was something Clara did not believe was the smartest thing to do but she did it anyway. Then The Spitfire by Christi CaldwellWicked Wallflowers #5Grabbed me...yes it did...right from the first page I was hooked and could not put this book down!Henry March, Earl of Waterson has a very bad disastrous evening and barely escapes with his life...and he would not have escaped if Clara Winters had not happened along. Getting him home to her place and beginning to patch him was something Clara did not believe was the smartest thing to do but she did it anyway. Then...he disappeared back to his world of lords and ladies and she returned to the Seven Dials music house she and her friend Reggie are creating. This book was a romance that had flawed people who managed to find a way to be together even though there was so much against t hem. Watching this couple was a delight. There were some surprises I did not see coming and that increased my interest in the story. I loved the growth in Henry and the realizations that Clara made before the end of the book. I loved the supporting cast of characters and nThe Spitfire by Christi CaldwellWicked Wallflowers #5Grabbed me...yes it did...right from the first page I was hooked and could not put this book down!Henry March, Earl of Waterson has a very bad disastrous evening and barely escapes with his life...and he would not have escaped if Clara Winters had not happened along. Getting him home to her place and beginning to patch him was something Clara did not believe was the smartest thing to do but she did it anyway. Then...he disappeared back to his world of lords and ladies and she returned to the Seven Dials music house she and her friend Reggie are creating. This book was a romance that had flawed people who managed to find a way to be together even though there was so much against t hem. Watching this couple was a delight. There were some surprises I did not see coming and that increased my interest in the story. I loved the growth in Henry and the realizations that Clara made before the end of the book. I loved the supporting cast of characters and now wonder if perhaps Henry’s sisters will find true love in future books. I hope they will because I would love to read their stories. I was amazed to realize I have only read one other book in this series and that makes me sad. I hope to find the other three books at some point as I am sure they are just as good as this one was. Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Starsow wonder if perhaps Henry’s sisters will find true love in future books. I hope they will because I would love to read their stories. I was amazed to realize I have only read one other book in this series and that makes me sad. I hope to find the other three books at some point as I am sure they are just as good as this one was. Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars
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  • Rozzie
    January 1, 1970
    Henry March, the Earl of Waterson, was trying to put order into things at St. Giles was attacked by three men. Henry knew as he was fighting to stay awake that he probably would not live to see everything he had worked so hard for by bringing order and justice to St. Giles; of course Henry didn’t know that someone had seen him beaten and was trying to ignore everything that was going on. Miss. Clara Winters, had seen Henry attacked was just trying to go on her merry way but through the goodness Henry March, the Earl of Waterson, was trying to put order into things at St. Giles was attacked by three men. Henry knew as he was fighting to stay awake that he probably would not live to see everything he had worked so hard for by bringing order and justice to St. Giles; of course Henry didn’t know that someone had seen him beaten and was trying to ignore everything that was going on. Miss. Clara Winters, had seen Henry attacked was just trying to go on her merry way but through the goodness of her heart could not stand to see Henry die. So Clara takes him to her home and nurses him back to health. As Henry gets better he wonders who this angel really is that saved him but knows that he must get back to his life. As Henry leaves he promises never to forget whoever she is. Clara is actually a former madam attempting to build a music hall. There is lots of problems the biggest one being Henry the person she saved. Now it is an all out war to get what she wants the music hall but her heart isn’t playing fair because it also wants Henry too. Is it possible to have both?What a wonderful story of the slums and ton clashing from two unlikely characters that fight for everything including love! The story despite being part of a series can stand alone. The story just moves with an ease even with so many things happening and the author just takes you on journey isn’t altogether pleasant especially through some horrible tragic things but told with some care. The descriptions are carefully told with some accuracy that the author really paid attention to detail. The verbal banter is engaging and the sexual tension are high but able to hold us until the very end. Even the cover is so beautifully done that it truly is just a masterpiece to look at and love that much more. Clara is just the perfect description of a spitfire; she’s feisty, strong, caring and compassionate that of course she is easy to love so yes there was a little girl crush on her too. Henry despite being a lord, proper and stuffy is more than all that. He’s also loyal, loves his family, swoon worthy and is great as a book boyfriend can it get any better? It’s sad to see the end but this book is one to enjoy and a definite reread!
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsClara Winters was an actress until an unscrupulous slaver wanted her & when she refused he made sure all theatre doors were closed to her so she became a courtesan & then a madam. Now she’s into her thirties & is moving far from the sinful life to a more reputable and fulfilling endeavour a music hall for the masses. One night, when she sees a man injured on the streets of East London, she rushes to his aid and brings him home. It’s then that she discovers he’s Henry M 4.5 StarsClara Winters was an actress until an unscrupulous slaver wanted her & when she refused he made sure all theatre doors were closed to her so she became a courtesan & then a madam. Now she’s into her thirties & is moving far from the sinful life to a more reputable and fulfilling endeavour a music hall for the masses. One night, when she sees a man injured on the streets of East London, she rushes to his aid and brings him home. It’s then that she discovers he’s Henry March, Earl of Waterson, and a member of Parliament. When Henry rouses to meet his saviour in blonde curls, he is dazzled. This smart and loving spitfire challenges his every notion of the lower classes and every moment together is a thrill. But after Henry returns to his well-ordered existence, he strikes a political compromise that has unintended consequences. A truly lovely read that I was loathe to put down. I loved how Clara wasn’t bitter & how she had risen from the low points in her life. I didn't warm to Henry to begin with as he was a pompous, blinkered lord but as the book progressed he gradually changed & I did warm to him. I loved how their relationship developed & grew. This is the final book in the series & whilst there was much introspection there wasn't much angst so I wasn't pulled through the mill. The pace was good & flowed so well. I did feel the ending was rushed & would have loved for Lord Peerson to have gotten his comeuppance as well as learning what happened to Lowery a slow, slow boat to the Antipodes would have been just. I would also have loved an epilogue that tied up this wonderful seriesMy honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Christi Caldwell is one of my favor authors. I honestly don't know how she does it but, each and every book is fabulous, each new one is better than the last! In my 30+ years of reading romance I can't think of one, other than Ms. Caldwell, who hasn't had at least one dud book....and I don't think, at the rate she's going, that I'm ever going to read a dud from her.The Spitfire, latest in the Wicked Wallflower series, blew me away from the very beginning. The depth of the story and the fee Christi Caldwell is one of my favor authors. I honestly don't know how she does it but, each and every book is fabulous, each new one is better than the last! In my 30+ years of reading romance I can't think of one, other than Ms. Caldwell, who hasn't had at least one dud book....and I don't think, at the rate she's going, that I'm ever going to read a dud from her.The Spitfire, latest in the Wicked Wallflower series, blew me away from the very beginning. The depth of the story and the feeling she, Ms Caldwell, pulls from these two characters, Henry and Clara, is astounding. Each from very different worlds, the author manages to realistically bring them together and keep bringing them together, as she does with all her characters, until they reach their HEA. The Spitfire is well written with an easy flow that keeps the story from moving from one scene to another flawlessly. The characters, both primary and minor, are well fleshed out and given a depth that makes them feel real. You also get to revisit some of the other characters from the series (#1 The Hellion, #2 The Vixen, #3 The Governess & #4 The Bluestocking) and as an added bonus you get to catch up with Waverly and Jane from To Love A Lord (#5 in the Heart of a Duke series). I do have to say that The Spitfire can be read as a stand alone book because the story is strong enough but, in my opinion, if you find you want to get lost in the world of Christi Caldwell, it's so much better to read them all.I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a great romance told by a phenomenal writer/storyteller that , when you finish a book, has you smiling and wishing it could go on forever.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Christi Caldwell’s talent stuns me every time! Her characters are among the best, and the storylines always unique and amazing! And once again her newest work has exceeded all expectations! As a young girl, Clara Winters dreamed of being an actress, a singer. But that was not to be due to an evil and powerful man who wished to own her, and when rejected attempted to ruin her. For a decade it seemed her future would always be dependent upon the men in her world. But now older and wiser, and in a Christi Caldwell’s talent stuns me every time! Her characters are among the best, and the storylines always unique and amazing! And once again her newest work has exceeded all expectations! As a young girl, Clara Winters dreamed of being an actress, a singer. But that was not to be due to an evil and powerful man who wished to own her, and when rejected attempted to ruin her. For a decade it seemed her future would always be dependent upon the men in her world. But now older and wiser, and in a better situation, she’s determined to build a future for herself, accepting help from no man. Clara has been waiting in the shadows, inviting our attention and interest, and I’m thrilled to now learn who she truly is and what drives this strong, beautiful, and intelligent woman.Henry March, the most honorable of gentlemen, lives a controlled and organized life, focused solely on his responsibilities as Earl of Waterson and member of Parliament, and his duty to family. When attacked and beaten in the streets of St. Giles, Henry is forced to surrender control to another, specifically, a woman like no other he’s known. He will come to question his feelings and the ironclad plans for his future, and maybe even begin to feel things he has long avoided in his life.So where will it end as a friendship forms? Can trust grow? Love? Prepare to be entertained by this romantic, emotional and at times humorous tale of a stodgy, predictable lord and a beautiful, headstrong, and not-so-proper former courtesan. I received an arc for my honest opinion, and have also pre-ordered this book as part of my kindle library.
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  • Lindsay S
    January 1, 1970
    Carla Winters is a reformed madam trying to make an honest living for herself and other women with limited options. Along with her one friend, she has created the music hall, The Muses. Sadly, if Carla has any luck in life, it seems to be bad! While, walking home from he Muses a few weeks before opening, she comes across a lord being beaten and near death. Ever the softie, she pulls out her pistoling to rescue the hapless lord. Now, on top of readying her music hall to open its doors, it appears Carla Winters is a reformed madam trying to make an honest living for herself and other women with limited options. Along with her one friend, she has created the music hall, The Muses. Sadly, if Carla has any luck in life, it seems to be bad! While, walking home from he Muses a few weeks before opening, she comes across a lord being beaten and near death. Ever the softie, she pulls out her pistoling to rescue the hapless lord. Now, on top of readying her music hall to open its doors, it appears she will be playing nurse too. What has she gotten herself into!?In attempt to research the the very streets he is attempting to make safer, Lord Waterson finds himself on the verge of his own death… Ever proper and vigilant to the political cases to improve the safety of British citizens, Henry March, Earl of Waterson did not see this as the way he would go. And it appears it will not be, when he is rescued by the saucy and very improper Miss Winters… Will he ever be able to repay her for saving his life?This was a fun read. I really enjoyed the fact that the characters had been around the block a bit, so to speak. Not being “straight out of the schoolroom” these characters felt more rounded and their goals ambitions and goals more relatable. The characters were well written and the plot moves at a good pace.The fifth book in the Wicked Wallflowers series, The Spitfire by Christi Caldwell is due to release September 17th, 2019.I received a complimentary copy of this book from Montlake Romance through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.#TheSpitfire #ChristiCaldwell #NetGalley #pinkcowlandreads
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