What a Lady Demands
Loveswept/ November 4, 2014 / $2.99 digital
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.
What a Lady Demands by Ashlyn Macnamara is quite possibly one of the best romances involving the blossoming friendship between the hero’s child and the heroine. It’s adorable, yet not over-the-top cuddly. Despite having zero qualifications, and even having a few dark skeletons in her closet, Cecilia truly is the perfect governess for Lindenhurst's daughter, and it made this romance that much more enjoyable to read. The mystery and the heat made this romance feel like a master blend of Jane Eyre and Rebecca, but with a much more satisfactory ending.
Of course Lindenhurst and Cecilia have a wonderful sexual chemistry, which is intensified thanks to his stubbornness (being a very stuffy and authoritative Viscount) and the fact that she had a mad crush on him when she was fifteen years old. And you just know and trust that when they do finally kiss, it’s going to be a dangerous passion, like two Tasmanian devils tearing each other’s clothes off. In one argument scene, Lindenhurst dismounts from his horse, and Cecilia is in the right spot to help him when his battle-wounded legs start to make him stumble:
He reeled on the spot, like a drunkard at the end of a long evening’s festivities. Nothing for it, if he was about to fall—she didn’t think she possessed the strength to help him up. She ducked beneath his arm and set her shoulder against his chest, lend him her weight such as it was. He leaned into her, surrounding her with his scent, as crisp as she remembered it. Before she could stop herself, she’d drawn in a deep lungful of his cleanness.
And then she made a colossal mistake.
She looked up to find him staring back, jade eyes wide with shock and something else that darkened them . Awareness. Longing. Want. His lips hovered close, so close. All she had to do was push herself up on her toes, and she could meet that invitation.
The hero is overly strict and cold towards his son; part of this is because he’s a proud man broken both physically and mentally by fighting in the Napoleonic Wars, so he pushes his own son (Jeremy) away. Cecilia recognizes this instantly, and even though she’s seen her own share of abuse (being abused and taken advantage of at a very young age), she is strong enough to support both Lindenhurst and Jeremy. She genuinely does care for Jeremy, and has grown to love him, so although she initially wants the governess position to escape her past, it develops into a more meaningful bond. Ashlyn Macnamara’s organic and emotional writing makes it all the more wonderful. There are a few spooky secrets revealed, loads of scandalous kisses and lusty embraces, and the sizzling tension adds just the right amount of heat to make What a Lady Demands a perfect Autumn read!
Learn more about or order a copy of What a Lady Demands by Ashlyn Macnamara, available November 4, 2014:
Jena Briars is a California girl living in D.C., feeding her brain one romance novel at a time...When she’s not busy at work, or being distracted (sometimes ambushed) by her cat, she reviews romances on her website Throughout the Pages.