Thursday, 14 August 2014

What A Lady Craves Blog Tour

This is the first time I've participated in a blog tour so forgive me if I get it wrong.

The book is as pictured. Very nicely pictured in fact. What A Lady Craves. Self explanatory really.

I used to read a lot of historical romance in my teens and the first books I wanted to write were historical. Usually Georgette Heyer fan fiction I suspect but it made a change from my Anne McCaffrey fan fiction. If only the internet had been invented back then.

I've recently started writing historical romance again and so I've taken to reading more historical as well. I was interested to see this line from LoveSwept.

I'm half way through this story and enjoying it thoroughly. Henrietta is engaging, the humour is fun without being tedious and Alexander...well you know...see the cover for details. Ashlyn has also created a nice set of supporting characters that have depth and personality and we've been introduced to one of the other men in this Eton boys series and hints about the third gentleman.

I'll be back later when I finish reading.

I'm back...and here is my review.

This is the sort of book you should read and enjoy without thinking too much about it. It is at first glance an enjoyable romp with humour, a touch of boys own adventure stories and a romance with some sizzle.

The reunion of Henrietta and Alexander was bound to be fraught. He left England to salvage his families fortune leaving his fiancée behind, promising to return. Instead he marries someone else in India and Henrietta is left to face the ridicule of London society forcing her to withdraw from all contacts and eventually, to take a position as companion to Alexander's great-aunt. Lady Epperley is an eccentric and quite well drawn and entertaining.

The story takes up when Alexander and his Indian servant are shipwrecked close to his aunt's house and he must recuperate from his injuries under the wary eye of Henrietta. Thrown together, their reunion is complicated by the arrival of his daughters and the matchmaking efforts of his great-aunt. 

Henrietta is disturbed by the news that he has recently been widowed and his daughters have lost their mother. She is tantalised by the might have beens...

The introduction of an element of mystery with dark strangers threatening locals and hints about the tragic deaths that follow Alexander is a plot device that brings that element of an adventure tale that is just slightly over the top. Even the Indian servant has an air of mystery about him adding to the faintly gothic overtones.

I have to say the romance lacked the emotional intensity I expected considering the history between these two. It didn't quite match the fairly explicit smex scenes. They were well done but overwhelmed the emotional elements. 

The characters were well drawn and the author did well with the secondary characters who each had quite distinct personalities. Now and then it reminded me of Heyer's extended casts of characters from a range of social spheres.

Henrietta had a very definite personality and I liked her little quirks and interior monologues when confronted by her eccentric employers behaviour.

Alexander...well he was a nice guy but by the end of the book I was a little disappointed.

All through the book I kept remembering this quote... "I could not love thee, dear, so much,: Lov'd I not Honour more" from the 17th century poet Richard Lovelace.

(view spoiler) I explain this in detail in a spoiler in my Goodreads Review.

Overall this was an enjoyable read. It suffered a little from an identity crisis, not sure if it wanted to be an adventure story, a light-hearted romp or a sizzling ball of angst. The characters from the rest of the series were introduced and look interesting enough that I shall look out for them.

This was an ARC for review. I think you can tell I've been honest.

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