Review: What a Lady Demands by Ashlyn Macnamara

Posted December 5, 2014 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 24 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: What a Lady Demands by Ashlyn Macnamara
What a Lady Demands

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: #2 The Eton Boys Trilogy
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Love Swept
Released on November 4, 2014
Pages: 265
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Get it at: add to goodreads

I have a weakness for a wounded, broody, military/ex-military man and it doesn’t matter if he’s a Regency era lord who is now determined toward revenge, but gets sidetracked by the entrancing sister of his former friend come to be his son’s governess. I found this story engaging from cover to cover. The author knows how to delight with humor, heartache and passion during the course of the story.

This is the second book in a trio of stories about three men who were once close friends after having met at school. The tie between each book is loose enough to read them out of order with the earlier couple and the next hero appearing in a few scenes though there will be a few moments when things are a bit confusing because they reference back to something from before.

The story opens with Cecilia Sanford appearing on Viscount Lindenhurst’s doorstep asking to be considered for the position of his son’s governess. Lind is a hardened bitter man with a thing for regiment and order in his home that has made him a bit demanding on his staff making it so that he has gone through a long string of governesses. He’s got a revenge plot in the works against the man, his former friend no less, whom he found with his wife when he returned from war. Lydia died and Lind bares the guilt of that so he won’t hold her accountable for the betrayal, but the man she was with is fair game. He wonders if Cecilia is there to spy out details on that or if her secrets are something else. Either way, he knows that something about her story of why she isn’t married yet or still living under the protection of her brother is a lie. Against his better judgment, he gives her a chance assuming she’ll fail with the boy like all the others. He has no idea how she will sort things and turn his world upside down.

Cecilia has her reasons for desperately needing to find employment under Lind’s roof. He is so austere now that she doesn’t dare tell him the truth that she allowed herself to be seduced by a wicked man or that when in charge of her brother’s daughters that they were kidnapped by foreigners though that worked out fine. She must also never let this new and colder, Lind suspect that she’s had a crush on him, her older brother’s friend, since she was a girl. She must be all business and prove to him and her brother that she can do just fine. An introduction to her new charge shows her that she may have a more difficult time than she thought. Jeremy survived the accident that killed his mother and left him permanently injured, but he also is slow to learn in ways. He is a lonely child who yearns for his father’s attention and Lind hides him away like he hates the very sight of him. Well she would just see about that. Jeremy needed his father and Cecilia wouldn’t succeed with Jeremy with all those rigid rules set up. Lind would just have to heed her demands.

This story had one of my favorite plots. I love those ones where the father is a bit of a martinet and the child/children are in need of help so in swoops a strong, crusading woman to the rescue of both. Now naturally, this story has its own quirks so I wasn’t reading a rehash. Cecilia is far from the usual retiring, virginal governess-type as one can get. She got into trouble because she’s a lusty girl with strong appetites. She takes all the responsibility for that and sets out on her own so that her brother isn’t stuck with her because no man will take a woman like her for a wife when the truth comes out. And Lind’s issues that keep him from engaging in life are a bit convoluted to explain, but they are very real. He went through the trauma of war both on his mind and his body, he returns to difficulties with his marriage and then he loses his wife in an accident leaving him an injured son knowing he failed all around. He’s got a bit of the Edmund Dantes thing going with his living for revenge attitude. He was ripe for a rescue by a very special sort of lady just as he finds that he can be her gallant knight too.

These two are pretty passionate types even though they both try to keep things strictly to the physical. Neither are shy and I found that an interesting thing since it’s a bit different for the Lord of the manor and the governess trope. Normally, I struggle to get into HR stories where the connection is forged through the physical relationship first, but this one was different. I think it was necessary in this case. Lind had to be jolted back to life and Cecilia had to see that her past hadn’t destroyed her for being with another man. Those who like things on the scorchy side will be well pleased with these two.

In the end, it was an enjoyable story. I want to go back for Cecilia’s brother’s story, but I’m curious to see if the author can make me see the final Eton friend as a hero type. He was a bit of a ne’er do well in this one even if he wasn’t quite as bad as Lind thought him.

My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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kimbacaffeinateNelle @ Nelle's NightStandAnna@herding cats&burning soupSharondaLover Of Romance Recent comment authors
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Red Iza
Guest

I read book #1 last week and enjoyed it too ! I’m glad you loved book #2, great review !
And come on, those covers, wow !

Sophia Rose
Guest

I didn’t realize I had jumped into a series, but it worked fine. I want to read book one after meeting them here in the sister’s story. Oh, yes, the covers. Book three’s guy looks delish too.

Carmel @ Rabid Reads
Guest

Would you look at those tighty whities! LOL I’m relieved to learn that you can just dive right into this series; I’d rather do that, and then backtrack if I really enjoyed any given installment, but I just don’t have time for lengthy commitments from the get-go. Humour & romance go hand-in-hand, and from your review I gather that Macnamara included just the right amount of both. Happy Friday!

Carmel @ Rabid Reads

Sophia Rose
Guest

She really did. It has some deeper elements, but she sprinkles it with humor and passion so you feel like you’re getting a lighter read. Yep! This one can be dove into without the prior book though I did notice when it referred back a few times to stuff from the other one.

And you have a Happy Friday too, Carmel!

Lily
Guest
Lily

Oh I love everything you have to say about this one. I hadn’t heard of this series or even this author before but being the big romance junkie that I am (and the humour lover) this one seems like a winner. Although I have to admit, I laughed out loud when I saw the cover!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Ah, that’s great that I can point you toward a few to try, Lily. LOL! Yeah, that cover does draw the eye. The hero does enjoy getting up to some passion once things get going so a state of undress does match the story. Haha!

Braine TS
Guest

I can only stand adult virgins in histrom, the seduction is off the charts and the flirting is so swoontastic! The plot sounds great!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, I struggle with the lop-sided balance of virgins with really experienced people too, but that’s not the case in this one. Both characters have the experience and the heroine possibly has more in a way.

Melanie Simmons
Guest
Melanie Simmons

All I see is whitey tighties. I don’t know if I would pick up a book with whitey tighties on the cover. Great review.

Sophia Rose
Guest

LOL! Yeah, the guy dressed down to his skivvies in a bold red velvet room like a bordello. Fortunately, I grabbed it for the title and the blurb first.

Sophia Rose
Guest

LOL! Yeah, the guy dressed down to his skivvies in a bold red velvet room like a bordello. Fortunately, I grabbed it for the title and the blurb first.

Lover Of Romance
Guest

I am so glad you enjoyed this one….I loved this pair, they were just so good and I loved their connection.

Sophia Rose
Guest

They were a great pair. They had their issues, but they didn’t dink around about what they wanted which matched my mood at the time. Now to go back for the first story which sounded good based on the glimpses I got of them in this story.

Sharonda
Guest

that cover…wowzers! anyways…like the sound of this one Sophia and I like the characters. How awesome is it that you didn’t get the usual trope? kinda awesome 😉

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, I love getting surprised by something extraordinary too, Sharonda! I read the Prologue and did the Oo la la, this is going to get interesting.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

OOoo okay. I read a review on this one earlier this week and was thinking…yeah. With another great review. I’m in 😀

Sophia Rose
Guest

That is so like me. One good review gets my notice, but a few more and I’m totally hitting the buy button.

Sophia Rose
Guest

That is so like me. One good review gets my notice, but a few more and I’m totally hitting the buy button.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

OOoo okay. I read a review on this one earlier this week and was thinking…yeah. With another great review. I’m in 😀

Nelle @ Nelle's NightStand
Guest

🙂 Loved your review! I read the 1st one before I read this one. I loved it! I like 2nd chance romances and that one was great one! I can’t wait for Battencliffs story! I know she’s going to have to work to turn him into a hero!

Sophia Rose
Guest

That’s what I thought too, Nelle! He really wasn’t hero material yet. I look forward to going back for book one.

Nelle @ Nelle's NightStand
Guest

🙂 Loved your review! I read the 1st one before I read this one. I loved it! I like 2nd chance romances and that one was great one! I can’t wait for Battencliffs story! I know she’s going to have to work to turn him into a hero!

kimbacaffeinate
Guest

Fantastic review Sophia…I adore this trope too and it looks like there are some nice side threads as well. I need to add this to my wishlist.

Sophia Rose
Guest

I think I hunted down governess and lordly employer trope almost exclusively when I started reading HR. Still love it. Hope you enjoy it when you try it.