TBR Day. What a Lady Wants / Victoria Alexander. 2007

This book came out nearly 2 years ago in January 2007 and it’s been sitting on my PDA for about that long. That’s the great thing about ebooks. You can carry several dozen of them around at once and your purse or pocket isn’t any heavier than it would be otherwise. Of course, it’s also easy to forget what’s there or get distracted by other, newer titles like The Bazillionaire’s Pregnant Virgin Mistress (B comes way before W in the alphabetical list, see) that I end up reading first.

Anyhow, this is Book 2 in her 4-book series, Last Man Standing, about 4 friends in Victorian England who make a tontine over who will be the last one to get married. Book 4, Seduction of a Proper Gentleman came out in August. Anyhow, here’s the blurb:

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!

Like most blurbs, this one only gives the bare bones of the story. Felicity is a young woman who’s had several seasons and has yet to find anyone to fall in love with and marry. She really wants a home and family of her own. When she meets Nigel, right after wishing on a star, she decides it’s fate and determines that he’s the one she’ll marry. With a little help from Nigel’s sister, Felicity manages to attract Nigel’s attention. Her plan is working until things go awry and she’s forced to marry him before he can decide for himself that he wants her as much as she wants him.

Meanwhile, Nigel’s father has decided that it’s time for Nigel to learn the ropes of being the Viscount one day, and Nigel has to put aside his fun-loving ways and learn the family business as it were. There’s a really nice subplot here about Nigel and his father and their relationship. Nice because not every hero has to come from a dysfunctional family with a mean, autocratic father figure. How unusual!

In many respects, this is standard romance fair. Marriage-minded miss meets marriage-averse man. Attraction occurs. Scandal looms, oh my! Marriage takes place. Love blooms. Big Misunderstanding. Common sense prevails. HEA. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride up to the Big Mis. Victoria Alexander writes wonderful dialogue that is often laugh out loud funny. It’s smart and engaging and does a great job of moving the plot forward. Neither Felicity or Nigel were pushovers. They wanted what they wanted (Felicity wanted Nigel and Nigel wanted freedom) and they were up front and unapologetic for it. I loved this part of the story and the characters Ms. Alexander created. So when the Big Mis occurred it felt contrived and a needless waste of electrons. Really, several chapters could have been omitted from the last quarter of the book. It felt like conflict for the sake of conflict. Here are two characters who spend so much time BEFORE they marry being honest with one another. So why does that change AFTER they marry? Instead the family tragedy that also happens could have been used to create the tension that leads to a realization of deep romantic love. I would like to have seen that.

I’ll give this one a qualified recommendation. If you hate the Big Mis, you might want to avoid this. If that doesn’t bother you so much, than by all means, pick it up (or download it) as it’s definitely worth watching these two spar with one another


  1. Phyl,

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