So I was a bit in a reading slump last week... however, my reading picked up again :) Last week, I read Let it be Love by Victoria Alexander... and I realized that for some reasons, I'm attracted to Victoria Alexander's historicals. 1) I don't like historicals all that much and 2) Victoria Alexander's are not the best... but I'm still attracted to them. Weird. Anyway, Let it be Love is like the prequel to the Last Man Standing series that she has... and it made me want to pick up What a Lady Wants which is my favorite of the series. Since I haven't reviewed that one, I thought it'd be nice to do it today :)
What a Lady Wants by Victoria Alexander
published by Avon in January 2007
One bachelor down... three more to go. Four most desirable gentlemen have wagered one shilling apiece and a bottle of cognac that will go to the last unmarried man standing...
Nigel Cavendish knows he'll marry one day, but hopefully that day is many years — and many women — in the future! Until then, the handsome, unrepentant rake intends to enjoy life's pleasures to the fullest!
From the moment Lady Felicity Melville spies the adventurous scoundrel climbing from a neighbor's window — with his comely conquest's husband in hot pursuit — she knows Nigel is the answer to her prayers... with a little reformation, of course! Felicity craves excitement and who in all of London is more exciting than the infamous Mr. Cavendish? So what's a girl to do but hatch a scheme to win what she so fervently desires. But her plan works too well when a game of chance and an errant pistol shot abruptly make them husband and wife—but in a way neither wanted.
Now Felicity has to prove to her wayward husband that she's the only woman he could ever want... or need!
Genre: historical romance
Series: Last Man Standing, book #1
The Story: It is the start of a new season and having spent the last season abroad, Lady Felicity Melville, 23 years old, is determined to find a husband this year. While wishing to the stars, she hears dogs barking, a pistol shot and sees a man climbing down the window from the neighbor's house and climbing over to her house. Not knowing whether he's a scoundrel or a thief, Felicity is intrigued... Later, when she discovers that the man is the Honorable Sir Nigel Cavendish, she believes that the stars were answering her request and decides that it's fate.
Nigel Cavendish is definitively intrigued with Felicity Melville. Especially after discovering she is not a girl like he thought, but a young woman. Still, Nigel is not interested in virgins and marriage. He prefers married women and widows; however, he can't get Felicity out of his mind. It doesn't help that wherever he goes... she turns up.
With the help of Nigel's twin sister, Felicity comes up with a plan to make Nigel falls in love with her... however, all goes wrong when they are caught in a compromising situation and Nigel is forced to marry her.
My Opinion: I really enjoyed this book, mainly due to the characters. I really enjoyed Felicity and Nigel. They were not very original or outstanding, but they had chemistry and were well-matched.
I love Felicity. She's smart, clever, witty and she knows what she wants and is not afraid to fight for it. She wants to marry Nigel, but does not want to force him. She wants him to take notice of her and to fall in love with her. I also like that she was not weak or shy. I liked her honesty and how bold she was. First, going to see Nigel's sister to get her help and then, even admitting to Nigel that she wanted to marry him. Although determined, she didn't exaggerate or go overboard. She's able to take decision and move on... Overall, a very interesting heroine :) As for Nigel, he's not bad. Actually, he's quite a nice hero... Quite charming and a bit stubborn. I definitively can believe that he was afraid of growing up, of assuming responsibilities. I really liked how Ms Alexander wrote his character. She didn't exaggerate, made him bad or better than he really is. It made him really humane. I mean, how many men out there are afraid to grow up? To commit? Tons! I also think that he came around quite nicely and not too fast.
What I like about Ms Alexander's books is that the stories are usually centered on the H/H. It was even more so in What the Lady Wants. There was no big secrets, no dark pasts, no killers to find out. It was just the story of two persons in the process of falling in love, but getting married prematurely. I could understand Nigel's reaction to the marriage; however, at the same time, he should have realized that Felicity did not trap him. However, I agree with everyone that Felicity was the perfect wife for Nigel. LOL :) One of the funniest scene is when Nigel announces to his parents that he was caught in a compromising situation with Felicity and thus, has to marry her. Then, he's surprised that his parents are not angry and his mother goes on telling that Nigel is lucky and she thinks that Felicity could actually have done better, LOL :) That was very funny.
The whole storyline seems to happen at a normal pace. It wasn't hurried or slowed. I really could believe what was happening. I liked the interaction with the others characters. Sinclair and Norcroft were quite entertaining and there wasn't baiting for their own books. It was nice to see the camaraderie between the men. The wager between Nigel and Felicity was very well done and it was really funny and quite clever from Felicity. I liked how Felicity's parents were more than what they appeared to be... and seriously, I'm quite curious about them. I wonder if they have their own book... it'd probably be really interesting :D
Overall, I really enjoyed this book :)
My Grade: A-. Sometimes, you just connect with the characters and that's how it was for me with this book. I originally gave it a B+... but upon re-reading it, it's definitively a keeper for me :D