Welcome to my stop for What a Lady Craves by Ashlyn Macnamara. Please be sure to read the excerpt and check out my review of the first book in this series, here. Don’t forget to check out the other tour stops, and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win a $25 eGift Card of Winner’s Choice Bookseller and Loveswept Mug & Tote
The second in her Eton Boys Trilogy, Ashlynn Macnamara again brings heart and heat to a story of redemption and reconnection all involving three estranged friends from Eton and their assorted connections of friends and family that bring them together.
Cecilia is the sister of Alexander, from the first book, and is in a bit of her own crisis. She and her brother had a falling out, and she isn’t comfortable staying with him. She also is dealing with a bit of a crisis of her own: a man took her virtue and is now hunting her down fearing she has information that will ruin him. When she takes a position as a governess at Lindenhurst’s estate, she thinks it will keep her safe.
Lindenhurst has returned wounded from the Napoleonic wars: gruff, brash and wholly ‘upper crust’ his mannerisms and behaviors are cold and calculated, hiding deep wounds and a bitterness that consumes him: the loss of his wife is spurring him to dark and dangerous places. He also is alternately frustrated and guilty about his son Jeremy’s disabilities: yet another element that brings his ‘stiff upper lip’ into play.
These two have a TON of obstacles to overcome, and Macnamara uses her skill in nuanced characterization to slowly develop a connection between them, allowing them to grow. From their own softening toward one another, first just recognizing the chemistry that pulses between them, to unguarded moments where both Lind and Cecilia find themselves longing for more, the deliberate and quiet forward motion as the two start to deal with their own issues alone and with the support and encouragement of the other is a lovely trajectory for this story.
Macnamara has a wonderful way of pairing the most unlikely and initially unlikable characters together: I had little hope for Lind early on, and Cecilia seemed a bit too laissez faire about the threats. I think there were times I was more worried for her: this is 19th century England where women were little more than chattel and judged entirely on behavior and reputation, and hers was mud. But her strength became the overriding factor: the unwillingness to cower to threats, admirable if somewhat foolhardy. Fortunately, Lind’s own honor and sense of right and wrong gave her a champion for that moment, and for evermore.
Title: What a Lady Demands
Author: Ashlyn Macnamara
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Loveswept
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound
Readers of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries will love Ashlyn Macnamara’s novel about a smoldering new love that is threatened by past betrayals.
Viscount Lindenhurst cannot seem to find a governess who meets his impossible standards—until Cecelia Sanford becomes the first woman to interrupt the widower’s brooding in years. Lind had returned home from the Napoleonic wars, broken in body and soul and longing for his wife’s embrace, only to find her changed. Before they could reconcile, an accident struck their son and claimed her life. Now enter Cecelia, with her soft curves and sharp tongue—a tempting distraction, it is true, but not a welcome one.
Past the usual marrying age and haunted by a scandal of her own, Cecelia soon finds herself caring for both the child and the man. The viscount is brittle and even abrupt at times, yet she cannot deny the attraction that stirs her body in his presence. Moved by the deep sense of abandonment that tortures his soul, Cecelia aches to fully awaken Lind’s heart from its rancorous slumber—if she can just keep their pasts from destroying a second chance at love.
See the series on GOODREADS
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.