Monday, March 30, 2015

What a Lady Requires (The Eton Boys Trilogy #3) by Ashlyn Macnamara - Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway

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What a Lady Requires
The Eton Boys Trilogy # 3
By: Ashlyn Macnamara
Releasing March 31st, 2015

Perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries, Ashlyn Macnamara’s blazing hot novel tells the story of mismatched newlyweds who discover a simmering connection.

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.

Rowan should have refused the summons. At the very least, he should have remained at his club and drunk himself into oblivion. But that was the problem. His tab couldn’t tolerate the weight of so much as another glass, let alone an entire bottle. Especially after the news he’d just been handed.

And so he’d hauled himself into his brother’s carriage for a cold and stomach-churning jaunt across Mayfair to a very familiar address. One he’d never expected to visit again. One whose memory required an entire bottle to obliterate.

Yes, and hadn’t he made an arse of himself? Greeting the ladies, indeed. He’d long ago had his bellyful of simpering ton ladies. One in particular, and in this very house, to boot.

He lurched toward the study, well aware of its location. At one time, Viscount Lindenhurst kept his study well stocked with the finest brandy, but that was ages ago. Back before Lind had sold this place to retire to his country estates. Back when they were still friends.

“Played a fool by the same lady,” Rowan mused.

Ironic that the fashionable London townhouse had been picked up by a wine merchant. A very wealthy wine merchant, true, but a man in trade nonetheless. Rowan would be buggered if he could work out why his brother had business with Edward Jennings. Not just any business, but something that required his presence, as well.

“Get on with it,” he muttered to himself.

The sooner he got this matter settled, whatever it was, the sooner he could go back to doing what he did best—burning his way through ridiculous sums of blunt. Only he had none left, but nobody knew that yet, not even his brother.

The sound of the butler’s throat clearing interrupted Rowan’s musings. Damned brandy. The excess of drink had been meant to relieve him of his memories. Instead, he stood like an idiot, dwelling on a past best forgotten.

“Sir?” The man was an expert at his profession, at least. Not the slightest note of amusement—or censure, for that matter—marred his tone. He extended a hand, as if drunken callers neglected to pass him their hats on a daily basis.

Rowan gave him his beaver, now sporting a dent, and allowed the servant to admit him to the study at last. An expanse of polished walnut desk separated his brother from their host. Sadly, no refreshments seemed to be in the offing, if the lack of glassware or decanters was any indication.

A pity. The thick atmosphere in the room was fast smothering the effects of the brandy.

“At last,” Sparks said affably. His older brother took everything in stride, if at the plodding gait of a plow horse. “I was beginning to think you’d lost your way.”

“Now that you’re here, perhaps we can begin.” Jennings spoke in the clipped tones of one who refused to put up with any nonsense.

“To what do I owe the pleasure of this invitation?” Rowan couldn’t come up with a single reason for Jennings to require his presence along with his brother’s. In Sparks’s absence, however, Rowan could conjure about a thousand sterling motivations behind Jennings’s summons.

“A small matter of a sum you owe me.”

Not my favorite of the series, but still an enjoyable read. Rowan and Emma's relationship gets off to a rocky start, for more reasons than just their hastily arranged marriage and its terms. I really liked Rowan pushing Emma to out of her comfort zone by getting her to let go and be herself - especially when he's trying to get her to laugh. Their chemistry is good and there are some steamy moments. Their are some secrets that lead to some tense moments, as well as the truth between the estrangement between Rowan and Lind from book two. While it can be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading the series in order.

ARC via NetGalley

Ashlyn lives in the wilds of suburbia outside Montreal with her husband and two teenaged daughters. When not writing, she looks for other excuses to neglect the housework, among them knitting, reading and wasting time on the internet in the guise of doing research.

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