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Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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What a Lady Craves - Ashlyn Macnamara

What a Lady Craves - Ashlyn MacNamara
Series: The Eton Boys Trilogy #1
Published by: Loveswept, on 19 August 2014
Genres: AdultHistoricalRomance
Pages: 288, Format: eARC
Source: ARC Netgalley
 4 Stars

Ashlyn Macnamara weaves a delicious tale of two souls torn apart by circumstance and reunited by fate—perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries.

Henrietta Upperton is about to marry Alexander Sanford, when he rushes off to India to salvage his family’s fortune. Then comes the devastating news that he has wed another. Eight agonizing years later, a storm washes Alexander ashore—injured, widowed, and hunted—and one glimpse of his ruggedly handsome face reawakens the desire Henrietta thought she had buried deep inside. Her body still yearns for his touch, but she’s determined not let him wound her again . . . not this time.

For Alexander, honor always comes first. But only now does he realize that when given the choice between two virtuous deeds, he picked the wrong one. On the run with his life in tatters and a pair of daughters in tow, Alexander burns for Henrietta. He knows he does not deserve forgiveness. And yet he longs to wrap his arms around her warm body once again. What’s more, he is sure the lady craves the same.

*I received a free ARC of What a Lady Craves from Loveswept via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

 

Welcome to my stop on Loveswept’s What a Lady Craves Blogtour. I have my review to share with you, as well as an excerpt and a tour-wide giveaway.

 

My What a Lady Craves review:

Henrietta is the kind of heroine I really love reading about in historical romance novels, and in What a Lady Craves, she is working hard to maintain her façade, especially when her ex-fiancée shows up unexpectedly – hurt, wet and almost drowned. At first, she decides she has to leave her employment as Lady Epperley’s paid companion. She quickly finds herself involved with helping Alexander, though, and soon she is no longer a companion, but governess to his two daughters.

 

The longing and anguish both Alexander and Henrietta feel in What a Lady Craves is masterfully shown, and it was very refreshing to have a historical heroine who actually knows what she wants, even when she doesn’t want to want it. The fact that Alexander and Henrietta were engaged to be married before Alexander left for India to restore his family’s fortune made their romance and longing very believable. They both still harbored feelings for one another, and it was very easy to understand both their love and their reticence towards each other.

 

What a Lady Craves also has a great mystery, and while one part of it was not too hard to get, the other part had me completely caught off guard. So between the mystery and the strong romance, I was properly entertained for a few hours. I enjoyed both Henrietta and Alexander as characters, and even if their story isn’t very long, I felt like I got to know them quite well. I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next books in this trilogy, as I am very curious to see what is up between Alexander’s two friends who stayed in England while he was in India.

 

If you are looking for a historical romance that covers both the romance and the mystery aspect, you should pick up your copy of What a Lady Craves as soon as possible!  A strong heroine is always a plus, and the fact that she is not ashamed of her cravings made me love her all the more. There are some very nice steamy scenes, as well as funny repartee, and lots of complications.

 

Get your copy of WHAT A LADY CRAVES

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What a Lady Craves giveaway:

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About Ashlyn MacNamara:

Ashlyn MacNamara - (un)Conventional Bookviews

 

Ashlyn Macnamara is the author of A Most Scandalous Proposal. She lives in the wilds of suburbia outside of Montreal with her husband and two teenage daughters. When not writing, she looks for other excuses to neglect the housework, among them knitting, reading, and wasting time on the Internet in the guise of doing research.

Connect with Ashlyn
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What a Lady Craves excerpt:

EXCERPT 1

(Chapter One)

 

“I never did understand women making a second rush to the altar,” Lady Epperley went on, “when widowhood affords one so much liberty.”

Henrietta studied the effect of pale blue muslin poking between her knuckles. The last thing she wanted was to encourage this conversation. Not when she suspected the liberty Lady Epperley referred to was of a physical nature. Henrietta could well dispense with even the suggestion of the old lady engaged in any manner of amorous activity.

At any rate, Lady Epperley did not seem to require a reply, for she went on. “But you cannot enjoy the advantages of widowhood without first acquiring a husband.”

Outside, rain lashed at the windows. Somewhere a loose shutter knocked against an ancient stone wall. Bang, bang, bang . . . bang. Like a succession of far-off cannon shots that had gone on all day and threatened to continue throughout the night.

“My lady, it sounds as if you’re suggesting I entrap some poor man and do him in. And that could not possibly be the case.”

Lady Epperley opened her mouth, no doubt to deliver a scathing reply, but the sound of a throat clearing stopped her cold. She scowled through her lorgnette at the intruder. “Hirsch, how many times must I repeat? I loathe interruptions, most especially when I’m instructing an impressionable young lady on the merits of the conjugal life.”

Hirsch set a hand to his chest and bowed from the waist. The man was surprisingly fresh-faced for a butler. Dress his broad shoulders and sculpted form in eveningwear and he would have turned heads at any society function. But perhaps Lady Epperley had hired him for his youthful mind—yes, that must be it—the better to instruct him in his role.

“Forgive me, my lady.” His dulcet tone raised the hairs on Henrietta’s nape. Smooth as well-aged wine, that voice. “You have indeed reprimanded me on any number of occasions. Only I dared your wrath for good reason.”

“Good reason,” Lady Epperley spluttered, her jowls shaking along with her ostrich feathers, her gimlet gaze steady. “Last time you merely informed me the vicar had come to call. As if I wanted to listen to that pompous old windbag.”

And why should she attend the vicar when she could listen to herself natter on at length? Henrietta stopped herself before she expressed the thought aloud.

“I fear it’s rather more than that,” the butler said.

“Has the apothecary’s wife lost her cat again, then? But why would she need to consult me on such a matter when clearly she’d be better off without the scrawny beast? She ought to have drowned it as a kitten and saved us all the bother.”

At that pronouncement, Albemarle opened one baleful amber eye before yawning and tucking herself more tightly into a ball.

“My lady—”

“Oh, do get on with it, Hirsch. You said the matter was serious. Pray stop your dramatics and tell me.”

To Hirsch’s credit, he did not even blink, much less roll his eyes. “There is someone at the door. Someone who claims—”

Lady Epperley cut him short with a wave of her hand. “Callers? At this hour? Preposterous.”

“If you please, my lady.”

Without a sound to announce his presence, a dark-skinned man appeared on the threshold. Their caller, apparently, could not wait for an invitation.

Henrietta caught her breath. She’d never seen such a deep brown face, nor such perfectly black hair and eyes. When new, his tattered garments must have been white, but what remained of them were a dull gray and currently dripping water about his bare feet. Hardly surprising, given the storm that had howled most of the day.

Lady Epperley glanced at the man. “You are no acquaintance of mine. I cannot imagine why a perfect stranger would choose as inconvenient an hour as this to pay his respects. Such a time is only appropriate for relatives.”

Relatives? A shiver passed down Henrietta’s spine. But no, Lady Epperley had many relatives. Why would that particular relation show up after all these years, just to spite her? But how else could this stranger have turned up on the threshold to the sitting room, an ever-widening puddle forming at his feet.

“No, indeed, memsahib.” The newcomer folded his hands in front of him in a prayerful attitude and bowed his head. The front of his shirt gaped to reveal a knotted tangle of darker scar tissue on his upper chest. His accent suggested hot, sultry days, spicy food, and a land far more colorful than England.

India. Henrietta knew little of the place, other than Alexander’s last letter had come from that land.

No. Alexander was not here. He could not be. But her heart insisted on beating all the faster.

“But I come in the name of one of your relations,” the stranger finished.

“Whose name?” Henrietta blurted.

“Mr. Sanford.”

Damnation. Bugger. Bollocks. Hellfire. Henrietta curled her fingers into a fist to stop their shaking.

 

Some of my favorite What a Lady Craves quotes:

Henrietta studied the effect of pale blue muslin poking between her knuckles. The last thing she wanted was to encourage this conversation. Not when she suspected the liberty Lady Epperley referred to was of a physical nature. Henrietta could well dispense with even the suggestion of the old lady engaged in any manner of amorous activity.

 

Lovers and mistresses, certainly husbands and wives. Never mere friends. If tonight had proven anything, it showed simple friendship between the two of them was an impossibility.

 

Thanks for stopping by today! Good luck in the giveaway.

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