What a Lady Craves
Loveswept / August 12, 2014 / $2.99 digital
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.
The above synopsis does an excellent job of laying out the story of Ashlyn Macnamara's What a Lady Craves—what a treat! As you might expect in a tale of a lost love reunited after years apart, there is a lot of angst and longing and wistfulness over “what might have been.”
Henrietta straightened, but not quickly enough. He opened his eyes, and their gazes collided. Locked. Hellfire. She'd forgotten how much so small a thing as eye contact could affect her. The years melted away and the intensity behind those gray eyes skewered her, bringing back a flood of memories best forgotten. Waltzes, stolen moments, smiles. Touches…
Her lips tingled at the memory of their last kiss. It had tasted of poignancy, sadness mingled with hope. In delaying his personal happiness to restore his family's fortunes, she'd thought him admirable. Noble. Everything a hero out of a fairy tale should be. Surely such a man would keep his promise to come home and marry her. What a naïve little chit she'd been.
While both have suffered from the loss of the other, Henrietta has had more time to dwell on it. Alexander had a job in India, eventually a wife and children—another betrayal!—but Henrietta had been left to suffer the brunt of the scandal and to being reduced to a lady's companion. Though her youthful glow is gone, Alexander still sees in her all he ever wanted.
Despite a well-worn, drab day dress, despite her light brown hair swept back in the simplest of knots, the years had been kind to her. As a young hopeful in her first season, she had a tendency to stay in the corner and keep to herself. Now she possessed an inner glow, perhaps a reflection of some newfound strength that radiated from her being. It enhanced features that other men might deem plain, but he never had.
You put that there.
The thought came from nowhere, like an unexpected punch to the gut and just as brutal. He stumbled in its wake. If she'd become strong over the years, it was, in part, due to what he'd put her through when he broke their engagement. And if anyone knew how that kind of pain strengthened a person, it was Alexander Sanford.
So, lots of pain to go around here. Lots of wariness. Lots of longing. Lots of trust to rebuild. Lots of yummy, angst!
Editor's note: Want more? Read an excerpt from the book here!
Learn more about or order a copy of What a Lady Craves by Ashlyn Macnamara, avaialble August 12, 2014:
Cheryl Sneed reviews for Rakehell.com.