“The Seduction of Molly O’Flaherty” (Book 0.5)
After meeting these characters in Simone’s Markham Hall series, I was intrigued enough to follow them to London for their romance saga. Like it says on the tin, this story is not necessary for the following books. However, it does an excellent job of introducing Molly and Silas to potential new readers in a perfect snapshot of their current state. It features both the emotional pain and intense sexiness I have come to expect from a Simone work.
Molly is the quintessential “strong, independent woman,” made even more difficult by her existence in a time that does not value such things. My heart breaks for her circumstances, and while I know Silas is not going to “save her,” I look forward to seeing them grow even stronger together.
The Persuasion of Molly O’Flaherty (Book 1)
This book picks up eight months after the first story in this series. I don’t think it’s necessary to have read that story, but it made Molly and Silas’s connection more visceral, and their heartbreak more real, for having done so.
Molly truly is in a terrible position regarding the board of her company, and my heart aches for her. The added complication, of course, is her gender and time in which this story takes place. Her falling out with Silas did not put her in this position, but the embattled emotions between them prevent an easy way out.
This is one of those stories where half the drama wouldn’t occur if only the main characters talked to each other about everything they knew and everything that was going on. But Molly is stubborn, and Silas is more manipulative than he lets on, so they continue to flay themselves with their emotions even while they could be fixing all their problems instead.
I adored the poignancy of the ending, but I don’t understand why this book was broken into two shorter novellas when it could have easily been published as a complete story.
The Wedding of Molly O’Flaherty (Book 2)
The conclusion to the London Lovers saga is at turns joyful and fraught and heart-wrenching. Molly and Silas more than deserve their happily ever after together, but this is still a work by Sierra Simone, which means that nothing is ever easy.
Simone resolves the subplot regarding the daughter of a potential shipping partner and the villain of this series well. Molly retained plenty of agency during the encounter, but I loved how she was able to accept help from Silas, Julian, and the Baron by the hand of the true friendship in which they offer it. I was initially less impressed with certain monetary assistance her friends try to lend behind the scenes. In retrospect, it was an appropriate gesture according to the gender and socioeconomic limitations of the time. Also, I always appreciate stories in which wealthy characters use their available wealth to handle problems.
As I mentioned previously, the dark moment in a work by Simone is going to be truly dark. I cried. When the spouse asked why “my porn” was making me cry, I responded with “Because Sierra freaking Simone!” and he was wise enough to nod and not ask further questions. As usual, Simone runs her characters through the wringer in the most painful and perfect ways possible, making the happily ever after all the more perfect for it.
Fans of this author will not regret tackling this short series, though I do stand by my initial assessment that it should have been a full-length novel rather than broken up into a short story and two novellas.