Read an excerpt: here
One down, three to go! Our four gentlemanly tontine participants have recently lost one from their ranks; but our heroine, Lady Felicity Melville, is determined to knock off at least one more number from the 'to-go' tally. Ever since he climbed over her garden wall, fleeing the wrath of his dalliance's husband, Nigel Cavendish never expected to find himself 'trapped' in someone else's web. Fate's. Felicity, an avid and amateur astronomer, wishes upon a star for a man who will free her from the tedium of a dull existence and give her a life filled with adventure. She's on her sixth and final season (actually its her fifth, due to the grand tour she took the previous year to obtain some worldly 'polish') and therefore, she's a little bit desperate. As she is staring out at the heavens after making her wish, she sees Nigel and instead of shrinking away from potential danger, she ends up having a conversation with him and helping him with his escape route.
The Notorious Nigel Cavendish is surprised to learn, while at a ball, that the 'little girl' he thinks helped him the night he fled from Lord Pomfrey's wrath, was actually a grown-up, English rose. He asks one of his friends, whom is acquainted with Felicity, to introduce them. He's only interested in staving off his curiosity; or at least that is what he tells himself. The two meet and dance for a little while, but pretenses are soon done away with and they get into a discussion of the rights and wrongs of Cavendish's actions. They part ways, but the encounter lingers in Nigel's mind.
After the ball, Felicity is convinced that Nigel is the man for her and starts to take action. She enlists the help of his twin sister, The Countess of Windham; Madeline. They arrange it so Felicity is present at all of the functions Nigel is to go to. Felicity plays it cool and resists the urge to seek Nigel out, which will pique his interest and have him coming to her. At a garden party, he does exactly that and accuses Felicity of following him; but she turns the tables on him and accuses him of the same thing. They share some playful banter, some of which include Felicity shocking Nigel into next week, and an irresistible bond continues to be forged.
When a mishap involving her little sons, water over-flowing, boats and frogs, force Nigel's sister , Madeline to move their joint early birthday party to Cavendish house instead of at her place; she tells Nigel to stay at her residence and direct any guest who didn't receive the note explaining where the party was moved to to the correct destination. Felicity shows up and Nigel can't stop himself from asking her to keep him company while he waits his hour to see if other guest will arrive. They talk, dance in an empty ballroom, and out of nowhere, Felicity drops the bomb that she intends to marry him. Nigel doesn't know how to handle the news, but that's the least of his worries when, during a card game, he wagers a painting at Cavendish house that doesn't belong to him to Lady Felicity and losses. She says she may give it back, but he will have to call on her (numerous times) and convince her to. He doesn't want his family to find out why the painting is missing and doesn't want to play Felicity's game, so he climbs up her balcony in the dead of night to steal it back.
Felicity notes Nigel's determination to avoid her and resigns herself to never marrying him. She tells him so, and Nigel, feeling like a cad, asks for a farewell kiss. During the kiss, a gun Felicity was holding goes off and produces a commotion that shocks Nigel into losing his balance and falling over the balcony; and Felicity's parents storm into her room. To avoid scandal, the two must wed; but this isn't how Felicity wanted Nigel. They get married and while they enjoy the marriage bed, Nigel announces that he intends to live his life exactly how he had before he got married (excluding female companionship). Felicity one-up's him by announcing she will follow his lead (and that the exclusion of female companionship isn't necessary). A battle of the will's erupts, and it will take their combined efforts to work through their differences and get what each really want. Love.
Rating: 3 1/2 Aww's
My Favorite Part in the Book: Is when Madeline has to move the birthday party to Cavendish House and leaves Nigel at her residences to shepherd any mislead guest to the right destination. It's a sweet and shocking scene. The band is also unaware of the change in location, so when they arrive, Nigel pays them to play a waltz. The moment is so beautiful and genuine, you can't help but fall in love with the book right then and there. It takes on even more complexity when Felicity blurts out that she intends to marry Nigel. I knew Nigel would find out about her intentions in the end, but never expected it like this.
'What A Lady Wants' was a really nice book. There was drama and conflict and your heart just sunk at the turning points of the book. It wasn't as steamy, love-making wise, as we are use to, and some character reactions was a little off to me, but the romance was there. Felicity's struggles to get the man she believes is her true love really speaks to me. We've all had that one guy in our lives, whom we thought was the perfect one for us, but they were a little slow in getting to that same revelation. The dialogue was as expected, being a Victoria Alexander novel, and the book didn't disappoint. Give it a read, I am sure you'll like it too!
*Check out the next book in the 'Last Man Standing' series, 'Secrets of a Proper Lady'.