Title: The Eton Boys Trilogy #3: What a Lady Requires
Author: Ashlyn Macnamara
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Genre: Historical, Romance
Perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries, Ashlyn Macnamara’s blazing hot novel tells the story of mismatched newlyweds who discover a simmering connection.
Unlike every other proper young lady, Miss Emma Jennings views marrying well as little more than a means to an end. Such a merger would provide her industrious father with social credibility, and Emma with a chunk of her vast inheritance. Emma’s practical views are shattered, however, when her father ties her to the fabulously handsome ne’er-do-well Rowan Battencliffe, a man she loathes on sight—from the smile that promises all manner of wickedness to the way he ogles her with those striking blue eyes.
Deep in debt, especially to his wine merchant, Rowan figures the sooner he gets his finances in order, the sooner he can go back to doing what he does best: burning through ridiculous sums of cash. Which is why Rowan agrees to marry the merchant’s daughter, a prim and proper woman with delightful curves and an ample dowry. But Emma seems to think it’s her business to reform him! Their marriage is a tinderbox—and it’s just too tempting to resist playing with fire.
Other books in this series
Mayfair, early 1822
Not for the first time since her aunt and cousin came to stay, Miss Emma Jennings wished she’d been born male. A man wouldn’t have to endure constant twittering over the rules a proper lady should uphold. A man wouldn’t have to tolerate constant reminders to fold his hands just so and to put on a bonnet for goodness’ sake. A man would be permitted to pursue whatever interests he liked.
“My dear, what has got you so caught up that you cannot even heed our conversation?” From across the sitting room, Aunt Augusta asked the question in a sticky tone that might indicate concern to the unsuspecting.
Emma knew better. That tone meant nothing less than suspicion. She adjusted her spectacles. “I am merely writing a letter.”
Surely Aunt Augusta wouldn’t protest such a mundane activity, but the older woman pressed her lips together all the same. The tiny lines about her mouth deepened into furrows. It was as if she knew Emma’s letter was addressed to the owner of a vineyard in Burgundy and discussed the most recent vintages available for import at an advantageous price. More, it was as if her aunt could see through the sheets of vellum to the ledger hidden beneath. To Emma, either one was far more interesting than contemplating which members of the might attend the Pendleton ball tomorrow evening. She far preferred to speculate on wine futures, even if that speculation was intended to benefit another.
Her cousin Uriana stabbed her needle into her embroidery, drawing a length of peacock blue floss through the stretched linen. “I still cannot decide which gown I ought to wear. Do you think Mr. Crawley will be more impressed by the pink or the sea-foam green?”
Since Mr. Crawley had spent the last rout the family had attended in the card room with the inveterate gamblers, that question was entirely moot. Uriana might well wear an ostrich-feather headdress and nothing else before Mr. Crawley deigned to notice her, but Emma could not voice that scandalous thought aloud. Aunt Augusta would certainly expire of the vapors in the face of such a breach of propriety.
The thud of the door knocker saved Emma from having to reply. Uriana straightened an already painfully rigid spine. “Good heavens. A caller. Do you think Mr. Crawley might actually be here?”
In spite of herself, Emma strained her ears toward the foyer. The rumble of the butler’s voice greeting the newcomer rolled down the passage, borne on a draft of wintry air. Aunt Augusta rose to her feet and padded to the doorway. Uriana folded her hands in her lap, placing them the requisite number of inches from her knees, and held her chin canted at the perfect angle. The eponymous headmistress of Miss Conklin’s School for Young Ladies had done her job well where Uriana was concerned. The rules had been drilled into her until she became their physical embodiment.
Just as well, since where Emma was concerned, Miss Conklin might well consider herself an abject failure. She might even be driven to over-imbibing ratafia at the very thought of her former pupil.
Aunt Augusta craned her neck toward the corridor. “Good heavens,” she said, echoing her daughter’s epithet. “I believe that’s an earl at the door.”
Loveswept © 2015 Ashlyn Macnamara
Ashlyn lives in the wilds of suburbia outside Montreal with her husband and two teenaged 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.