Now it’s time for Ashlyn Macnamara’s newest historical romance, What a Lady Craves.
Written by Ashlyn Macnamara
Published by Loveswept
August 19, 2014
WHAT A LADY CRAVES on Goodreads
Ashlyn Macnamara weaves a delicious tale of two souls torn apart by circumstance and reunited by fate—perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries.
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.
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(from Chapter Two)
“Damn him. Damn him to hell.” A sharp gust off the sea ripped the invective from Henrietta’s lips.
The gray waters of the English Channel hissed over pebbles in an even rhythm that ought to have soothed after a sleepless night. They did nothing for her, nor did a lungful of salt-laden air. Bracing—that’s what they called this sort of predawn cold. It was meant to straighten one’s spine, stiffen one’s upper lip, and urge one forward. But her temper stood firm in the face of the steady headwind off the waves.
Damn him. Why did he have to come back still possessing the power to devastate her just as when she’d first laid eyes on him? Then, he’d done so with nothing more than his handsome features. Something about his somber expression had reached out and wrapped itself about her heart the night of her coming-out ball. She’d never believed he’d approach her among all the other hopefuls, and yet he had. He’d passed over a beauty like Sophia St. Claire and claimed Henrietta Upperton for a dance.
She closed her eyes against a memory of him—of Alexander—broad shoulders filling out a stark black topcoat, sand-colored hair falling in careless spiky locks, gray eyes sparking with interest. Unlike his friends, he’d never been a man given to easy smiles, but his square jaw, sharp cheekbones, and sculpted lips had drawn her gaze.
Then he’d led her to the dance floor and drawn her into a reel. His hand, large and steady every time they clasped, seemed to burn an imprint into her palm. Each separation left her breathless with anticipation for the moment when the dance brought them together again. Was she imagining his fingers lingering a moment too long? The slightest contact seemed magnified. All too soon, the music came to an end, and she had to recover from the sensation of soaring amid the other couples. He bowed low over her hand and promised to call, before leaving her with her mother, and she stood for the next few dances, the ghost of his lips tingling on the back of her hand, and a low pulse thrumming deep in her belly.
He kept his promise the following day. Before too many weeks had passed, he’d captured her heart.
No. She would not dwell on the pain that came afterward. But calling a more recent image to mind was hardly better. The intervening years had graven lines at the corners of his eyes and deepened the creases along his forehead. One might read such lines like a book of sorrows if one was so inclined.
Not that she was. Oh, no. She would not fall prey to that man once again. She would not allow the desire he’d awakened within her to overcome her reason a second time.
Ashlyn Macnamara is the author of 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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I have to be honest, I thought Alexander was a bit delusional. He gets himself engaged to Henrietta but then has to leave to try to make money so he can support his family, ends up married to someone else for 8 years without proper explanation, then comes home with kids in tow (but no wife), and thinks that Henrietta is just going to let it go and marry him … really? He’s surprised that she’s not going to forgive him that easily? They are hardly together more than 5 minutes before he’s suggesting they get married … and he keeps doing it, without so much as an attempt to explain his behavior.
The rest of them are good – Henrietta seems to have a solid head on her shoulders (although she does waffle a bit on her feelings for Alexander), the girls are adorable, and Alexander’s great-aunt is a hoot and a half. And I thought that the mystery of what was going on around him – the fact that those close to him keep dying and that someone has followed him home from India – was captivating and very well done. But after about the third proposal I had to shake my head at his idiocy. If you can overlook it, though, What a Lady Craves has a lot of other redeeming things about it and I found plenty to keep me reading to the last page.
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