The Escape Artist Book Blog

Books are my escape...I need it. My life is super busy between working full time, being a mom of 2 super social kids, a traveling husband, and an annoying habit of not being able to say "No". 


What a Lady Demands

What a Lady Demands - Ashlyn Macnamara

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.

Well written and moving, this story captured me at the very beginning. The story focuses on the sister and former best friend of the hero in “What a Lady Craves”, although it is not necessary to read this first book to read this one. A scandal that caused Cecelia to run to the country was hinted at in the first book but not divulged. That she has to find a position as a governess is not good but it turns out she is not only running from scandal but trying to hide. She sees Lind as her salvation since he is her brother’s former school friend and one she has had a secret crush on since was younger.

There is so much baggage that the two main characters are hiding from others it’s amazing they can function at all. But function and survive they do and soon Lind is not able to keep his hands off of Cecelia. He gradually starts to thaw from his self-induced emotional freeze and it is adorable at times when Cecelia forces him to admit to his neediness. It is unusual and shocking to discover what Cecelia is hiding as it is the stuff of more erotic historicals. She seems surprisingly intact considering what she has been through. She could have been more jaded and wary and it would have been understandable.

The boy in the story is a little sad. He lost his mother and then multiple governesses and it is obvious that Lind blames the boy for his wife’s death. Clearly everyone is feeling rather abandoned. The attachment that Cecelia takes to him is almost her atonement for what happened in the first book with her brother’s children. I liked that the boy had a champion in Cecelia and I could stop feeling so sorry for him.

This is a great series so far with each book better than the last. Battencliffe’s role in this story set the stage for the third book in the series which should be good. It was disheartening to read what he had been reduced to so I hope to read about his redemption in the next book.

My thanks to Netgalley for the review copy.