If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: What a Lady Demands by Ashlyn Macnamara / @TastyBookTours @ashlyn_mac

Title: The Eton Boys Trilogy #2: What a Lady Demands
Author: Ashlyn Macnamara
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Genre: Historical, Romance
ARC Received From: NetGalley
Reviewed For: Tasty Book Tours

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.

Other books in this series

What I enjoyed the most about Lind and Cecelia's story is that they are examples of how adversity can effect a person. Both are broken, but Cecelia chose to rise above her past and live while Lind is literally drowning in hate, grief, and need for revenge.

There was a point in this story when I lost hope for them as a couple. Not because of their respective pasts but because of Lind's stubbornness. His first wife's affair with his friend resulted in a son whom Lind acknowledged as his heir but wanted nothing to do with. My heart broke at his son's desire for time with Lind, and my irritation rose with each slight Lind directed at him. Lind's life revolved around avoiding his son and destroying his former friend, his son's biological father. I didn't understand Cecelia's persistence or insistence on staying with Lind, before and after the got married. He was infuriating, annoying, and a fool.

Thank God he came to his senses before it was too late.

Cecelia was Lind's perfect mate in every sense of the word "perfect". She matched his temperament, set him straight when he needed to be, spoke her mind instead of playing the dutiful wife and staying quiet. But because of her own sordid past and the man who still haunted her, she understood the importance of rising above in order to move forward.

"...I woke up one day and decided he would no longer hold all that over me. I decided to make somethinig of myself. I decided I have worth as a person. I decided. Me. And no one can take that away from me, unless I allow him to." (ARC, Loc 3229 of 3777)

I really loved the laid back feel of this story. It moves along, no lulls or pages to skip, but nothing was rushed. Everything--Lind and Cecelia's relationship, Lind and his son's relationship--happened in its own time, and it was so nice to tag along and watch all of this develop naturally. This is an enjoyable story from beginning to end. It focuses on the characters, their relationships, and finding out what it means to let go of the past and live in the present.
Ashlyn Macnamara is the author of What a Lady Craves, A Most Devilish Rogue, and 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.

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