What a Lady Wants
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What a Lady Wants

4.3 36
by Victoria Alexander
     
 

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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,

Overview

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!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this delightful, witty Regency tale, the follow-up to Alexander's A Little Bit Wicked, fate and a loaded pistol conspire to grant Lady Felicity her shot at escaping spinsterhood. When Felicity Melville first meets notorious rake Nigel Cavendish, they're both in compromising positions: she's despairing over her five unsuccessful seasons looking for love in London, and he's fleeing the wrath of a cuckolded, gun-happy husband. Intrigued by his recklessness, Felicity decides, after watching him disappear into the night, that Nigel will become her husband. What she doesn't know is that Nigel is determined not to marry, having entered into a wager with four other bachelors to see who among them will remain unwed the longest. The banter between the intelligent, brash, levelheaded Felicity and the roguish, oft-confused Nigel is funny, and they're both charming creations who keep the no-frills plot—a cat-and-mouse tour of a season among the ton and the first, rocky stages of marriage—skipping along. A fine cast of supporting characters, including the elderly but mischievous card sharks Lord and Lady Fernwood, keep the laughs up throughout. (Feb.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060882631
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/30/2007
Series:
Last Man Standing Series, #2
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
580,822
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

What A Lady Wants


By Victoria Alexander

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Victoria Alexander
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780060882631

Chapter One

What a lady really wants is a man who will make every day an adventure.
Lady Felicity Melville

"You should know, before I go any further, that this is contrary to everything I have ever believed in, be that God or science or nature itself." Lady Felicity Melville braced her hands on the stone balustrade of the tiny balcony off her bedchamber and stared up into the night sky. "Still, desperate times and all that. Not that I am precisely desperate, mind you, although I will admit that when one reaches the age of three-and-twenty and is still unwed, desperation begins to nip at one's heels like an ill-mannered spaniel.

"I'm really quite sensible, you know. I don't believe in superstitious nonsense; I never have." She straightened and crossed her arms over her chest. "Fairies, elves, spells, those sorts of things. It's all absurd, and under other circumstances, I would never think of placing my future, my fate, on the ridiculous notion of wishing upon a star."

Felicity stared at the star she had selected for the aforementioned ridiculous notion. Certainly, if this had even the vaguest possibility of working, it would require the perfect star. Not one that was overly bright. Obviously a too bright star would attract no end of attention and, therefore, no end of wishes, and would be--Felicity cringed atthe absurdity of the thought--rather used up, as it were. On the other hand, a star that was scarcely noticeable might not have the strength needed for a wish of this magnitude.

She had resisted the urge to use her telescope, positioned as always in her room directly behind the open balcony doors, to select a star. It didn't seem quite in the proper spirit to use the telescope for this purpose, although the spyglass that she'd discovered as a child in her father's desk, the very instrument that had begun her study of the stars, might be acceptable. The spyglass had apparently once been used by a sea captain or sailor or perhaps even a pirate, something of that nature, and therefore carried a sense of romance that might suit this endeavor. Even now, the instrument was within reach on the table beside the doors to the balcony. Still, this wasn't science, and science should have nothing to do with it. This was magic or perhaps faith or even--she grimaced--desperation.

"I should perhaps explain the situation before we continue. I am, well, the last of my kind." Felicity sighed in an overly dramatic manner. But then this did seem to call for an excess of drama. "Who would have imagined that I would be the last among those girls I shared my first season with to remain unmarried? If I had been unkind enough to have wagered--although I would never have done such a thing, but if I had--I would have placed my money on Mary St. James."

Mary was a quiet, unassuming girl with an unexceptional appearance and a dowry to match. But Mary had snared the heir to a dukedom--a distant heir but an heir nonetheless--when their first season had barely begun. Now she had two children and a third on the way.

Felicity shook her head. "What on earth happened to the years between then and now? This will be my sixth season." She thought for a moment. "No, my fifth, I missed last year. Grand tour, you know. Quite lovely, really. And I am ever so much more cultured and polished now." She wrinkled her nose. "Not that I expect it to make much difference."

Still, she had noticed an increase in attention from the gentlemen present at the handful of social events she had attended thus far this season. Perhaps the polish acquired in travel did indeed matter. She certainly felt more assured and confident than she had in the past. And her Italian was much improved as well.

Felicity rested her back against the doorjamb. "Eugenia says"--she glanced at the star--"Eugenia Went-whistle, or rather Lady Kilbourne now, my dearest friend in the world, says my expectations are entirely too high. And if I truly wish to marry--and have no doubt of that, I do wish to marry--I shall lower my standards. I will concede her point, but I really don't think I am particularly difficult to please."

The star twinkled down at her in silent disbelief.

"I admit that I have met any number of pleasant enough gentlemen who would serve adequately in the position of husband, but regardless of title or wealth or appearance, none has ever struck me as anything other than ordinary and really rather dull. Even when, on occasion, I have allowed one to steal a kiss"--she glanced at the star apologetically--"which one would have thought would have been exciting by the very nature of the illicitness of the act itself, it was never the least bit exciting, nor was it particularly interesting."

Worse yet, when she had looked into the eyes of these pleasant enough but unexceptional prospective husbands, she saw nothing but years ahead of a pleasant enough but unexceptional existence. Precisely like the unexciting, staid, and dull life that oddly enough seemed to well suit her parents.

"Sometimes I wonder if I am truly their child," she said ruefully. "If perhaps explorers or adventurers or at the very least dreamers deposited me as an infant on their doorstep. Not that I don't love them with my whole heart," she said quickly. "They're quite wonderful, all in all. Why, they've never pressured me to marry, whereas Eugenia's parents were quite beside themselves at the thought of having a spinster daughter on their hands for the rest of her days. So I am extremely fortunate. Still, they are content with their lot in life." She blew a long breath. "Their terribly ordinary, eminently forgettable, and not the tiniest bit exciting lot in life." It was a lot Felicity saw herself heading directly toward.



Continues...

Excerpted from What A Lady Wants by Victoria Alexander Copyright © 2007 by Victoria Alexander. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

#1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award-winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was more fun than real life. She is the author of thirty-one novels, and her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Victoria lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her long-suffering husband and two dogs, in a house under endless renovation and never-ending chaos.

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What a Lady Wants 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read of Nigel in Let It Be Love and found him amusing. He gets into scandal after scandel yet he is still the charming rascal with no intention of reforming. I have always wonder how he would fall. And in What A Lady Wants, boy, does he fall badly! It was such a good story. From the beginning with Felicity's wish upon a star to how Nigel actually grows up. What a poignant story of love and loss and how life continues and how life repeats itself. I thought Felicity was an excellent heroine. She is assertive and strong. She says what needs to be said. She has this backbone about her that is really alluring. I love her. Nigel was just a Laugh Out Loud funny hero. You can tell he's intelligent and you understand why he shirks his responsibilities and duties because he's afraid of failing and disappointing his PERFECT father. And I enjoyed reading about how he comes around to realizing that he can do anything and that he should not be afraid of responsibilities, or of failure or even love. Overall great romance. Highly light hearted romance that made my day, making me laugh, and root for the love birds.
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Keep_It_Kinky More than 1 year ago
best of the series
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