Title: What a Lady Requires
*Series: Eton Boys Trilogy (Book 3)
Author: Ashlyn Macnamara
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Content Screening: Sexual Content- Mature audiences 18+
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy a strong heroine in their historical romance
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Unlike every other proper young lady, Miss Emma Jennings views marrying well as little more than a means to an end. Such a merger would provide her industrious father with social credibility, and Emma with a chunk of her vast inheritance. Emma’s practical views are shattered, however, when her father ties her to the fabulously handsome ne’er-do-well Rowan Battencliffe, a man she loathes on sight—from the smile that promises all manner of wickedness to the way he ogles her with those striking blue eyes.
Deep in debt, especially to his wine merchant, Rowan figures the sooner he gets his finances in order, the sooner he can go back to doing what he does best: burning through ridiculous sums of cash. Which is why Rowan agrees to marry the merchant’s daughter, a prim and proper woman with delightful curves and an ample dowry. But Emma seems to think it’s her business to reform him! Their marriage is a tinderbox—and it’s just too tempting to resist playing with fire.
While I'm still relatively new to the Historical Romance genre, I am really enjoying it so far. Ashlyn Macnamara does a wonderful job creating a smart, witty heroine and her counterpart a rough, secret keeping husband. They marry shortly after their awkward introductions and over the course of the book learn what it means to be married and to open your heart.
Emma's character is by far my favorite part of this story. As a woman who loves crunching numbers, like Emma, I would find the "sit and look pretty" aspects of our history incredibly boring and hard to deal with. I thoroughly loved her keen interest in all matters of the estate and her willingness to ignore the societal norms of the time. She goes into her marriage thinking it is just a business transaction but quickly learns that sharing a bed means a lot more than creating an heir.
Rowan is a troubled man, and his lack of business finesse has cost him most of his fortune. His marriage to Emma not only helps him financially but it is the hope of his brother and Emma's father that her business sense will rub off on him. He has his own past to face before being able to commit to his marriage and his wife.
Macnamara is a wonderful storyteller and finds a way to build tension both sexually and among the supporting characters in a well crafted plot. Emma and Rowan are learning about themselves and each other as they navigate their new marriage and I enjoyed their story right through the last page.