What a Lady Demands
The Eton Boys Trilogy # 2
By: Ashlyn Macnamara
Releasing November 4th, 2014
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Readers of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries will love Ashlyn Macnamara’s novel about a smoldering new love that is threatened by past betrayals.
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.
Cornwall, late summer of 1821
Cecelia Sanford was never more grateful for her ability to look someone straight in the eye and lie than when Viscount Lindenhurst asked for her character references.
“Naturally, I can provide you with a few names.” Smooth as silk and just as cool, the words glided past her lips. Apparent nonchalance. That was the key. If she gave off an air of not caring, he might well pick up on it and let the matter slide.
From across the expanse of his polished desk, he arched a single dark brow. His jade-green eyes glittered. “Indeed? That would imply you’ve found previous employment as a governess.”
“I never said that.” She gave a small titter. The perfect touch. Not that she wanted him to think of her as a silly chit when she was applying to become his son’s new governess, but she must maintain her air of assurance. “You asked me to provide the names of persons who might attest to my good character, and I can do so.”
“And I trust they’re impeccable.”
Drat him, could he drop the suspicion? She had expected to have an easy go of obtaining this position.
“Surely you would accept my brother’s word, if you cannot rely on my own personal reputation.” The viscount knew her family, after all. He’d attended school with Alexander. As boys, the pair had been as close as if they were themselves related.
Lindenhurst leaned back in his massive leather chair, tapping his forefingers together. “And how might your brother vouch for you when he’s just returned to England after an eight-year absence?”
“A perfectly fair question.” One that she ought to have anticipated, dash it all. “But certainly you can rely on our past acquaintance.” As little as there had been with nine years separating them in age.
“And what of your own reputation?”
She did not even blink. She really ought to take umbrage at the question, but already this interview was not progressing as expected. “Perfectly spotless.”
Again, that eyebrow. He might as well have asked her straight out if she was telling the truth. “If that is the case, how is it you are still unmarried?”
Right. And if she didn’t take charge of this conversation, she’d never get this position. “I am hardly on the shelf, my lord.”
“How old are you?”
“Three and twenty.” She held her hands folded neatly in her lap, the very picture of a demure young miss. She hoped.
“Precisely and of good family.” The ends of his fingers met in a precise rhythm that all but echoed his skepticism. “An unmarried girl your age does not seek out a position of this nature without good reason, and I can only imagine one possibility, which hardly commends you to this situation.”
“And pray, what is that?” She was not about to put up with his hinting. If he found her unacceptable, let him come straight out and say so.
“You have done something to fall out of your family’s good graces, or they would keep you at home.” He all but added blast him. “Now, why don’t you tell me the exact nature of the matter? I should like to know what drives such a young lady as you—accomplished, passably lovely, of good enough family—to leave home and seek employment that is a small step up from service.”
At her dratted heart gave a thump. She reminded herself she was no longer fifteen and infatuated with a handsome older man. In the intervening years, she’d acquired far too much experience with the opposite sex to succumb to such a juvenile emotion as a She’d never again be that girl.
"What a Lady Demands" by Ashlyn Macnamara is a beautifully written tale about two individuals that both have some darkness in their past and how they come together to overcome it on the road to happiness. Cecilia is a pip - she stands up for what she believes in and what she feels is best for her charge. Her interactions and relationship with Jeremy is wonderful. Lind is a strong, stubborn and grouchy one that can't help but fall for the lively Cecilia, despite his focus being on revenge. I liked him more and more as we discovered the reasoning behind his attitude and behavior. Ms. Macnamara does an outstanding job of writing the descriptions of both the environment and the emotions. I could see the beauty of the gardens and the way the rooms all looked. My heart felt for the characters and believed what each was feeling. If you enjoy historical romance, I would certainly recommend "What a Lady Demands".
AUTHOR BIOAshlyn Macnamara is the author of What a Lady Craves, A Most Devilish Rogue, and 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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