What A Lady Wants [NOOK Book]


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 ...

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What A Lady Wants

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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, 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!

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061796067
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Series: Last Man Standing, #2
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 94,825
  • File size: 526 KB

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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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.


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.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2007

    Wow... A Good Surprise

    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.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2007

    What a Reader Wants!

    When the handsome, Honorable Nigel Cavendish meets with the other two last men standing to discuss the current bet of who will be last to marry, he is the one most firm in his announcement that what happened to their friend Lord Warton will not happen to him. But when he jumps over the fence into the yard of Lady Felicity Mellville while fleeing the husband of his latest paramour, he is immediately taken with the intelligent beauty and her deep brown eyes. Wishes, fate, and a little manipulation from his twin sister Maddy, brings them together at every turn and the passion and desire grows spinning Nigel's ordered life out of control. When he enters her balcony again to steal a family painting she won from him in a card game, Felicity meets him with gun in hand. No matter how he fights his desire, he can't help but kiss Felicity senseless. So senseless that she drops the gun she is holding to ward off the intruder, it goes off and loudly shatters a vase, and Nigel jumps over the balcony and into the thorn bushes below. It is in that position he meets Felicity's father the Earl of Dunbury. The last thing Felicity wants is a forced marriage. She would like to believe it is her wish upon a star or fate that brings them together with eventual love. But when Felicity asks her father if they could just overlook the incident, he replies 'A man falling from a woman's balcony after a shot is heard is the sort of thing gossips dream about. Add a midget and a monkey and it would be the stuff legends are made of!' So they are married in haste with Nigel afraid to even mention the words marriage and wife. He announces after the ceremony that his life is going to be as it always has been, minus the other women. Felicity once again obtains the help of Nigel's twin sister Maddy and they scheme a bit to help Nigel wonder what his beautiful wife is doing while he is living his separate life. When Nigel becomes bored at his club and former interests he realizes he misses Felicity's company, but when he follows her to his sister's home he finds out that a bit of manipulation from Felicity and Maddy, not what he feels was fate, intervened to make him a married man. He and Maddy argue with Felicity announcing she will let him have his wish and his freedom. When his father passes on and Nigel moves into the title of Viscount, more responsibilites and circumstances are added to his life and it is then that he comes to realize that love and fate, not manipulation, is what brought he and Felicity together, and that he misses Felicity and wants her back. It may take another trip over the balcony and a shot to go off for things to be settled. But one thing for sure is that the second book in 'The Last Man Series' is a delightful, whimsical, fast paced story with entertaining dialgoue between the characters, that is witty, sexy and pure historical romance fun!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2007

    Captivating, Witty and Charmingly Whimsical!

    Lady Felicity Melville had never before believed in silly nonsense like fairies and omens or spells and magic, or even fate¿but then again, she never thought she¿d be the last of her friends to marry. Regrettably, at 23¿even though she¿d already taken part in five London seasons and one year of ¿The Grand Tour¿¿Felicity had yet to meet her Mr. Right. She felt the gentlemen she¿d been introduced to throughout the years, while pleasant, had all been rather dull, boring and ordinary. Her dearest friend tells her she must lower her standards if she expects to find a husband, but Felicity¿s doesn¿t want just any old husband and she¿s tired of always doing what¿s sensible and proper. So instead, in her desperation, she does something astonishingly impractical¿she decides to wish upon a star and place her future in the hands of FATE¿ Felicity then gazes at the glittery night sky, chooses her perfect star and wishes for a man who will make the rest of her days an exciting and grand adventure.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well, it appears ¿fate¿ is not only prompt, but it also has a extremely good sense of humor because it quickly deposits the devilishly charming, sexy, and single, but shamelessly unrepentant rake, Nigel Cavendish¿on the run from his latest paramour¿s gun toting husband¿directly into Felicity¿s backyard¿ But Nigel has no desire to marry!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nigel, the handsome, wealthy and pleasure-seeking heir to Viscount Cavendish, has at 30 been involved in many scandalous escapades, but by limiting his affaires to widows, actresses or married women of equally questionable moral principles¿he¿s never ruined a good woman¿s reputation. So for all his philandering and rakish ways he still possesses some scruples and a somewhat misguided sense of honor¿a clear indication that all Nigel needs is ¿the right woman¿ to set him on the path of reform. And Felicity Melville plans to be that woman. After all¿he¿s her fate¿ Now all she has to do is persuade Nigel!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Author, Victoria Alexander, just keeps getting better with every new book she writes. In WHAT A LADY WANTS¿the second novel in her new 4 book ¿Last Man Standing¿ series¿this exceptionally gifted and highly acclaimed storyteller¿s unique voice radiates brilliantly¿ shining even brighter than Felicity¿s magical star.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I found this warm, humorous and utterly romantic novel impossible to put down. Felicity was sweet and smart with an irrepressible spirit, and that, along with her willingness to occasionally act the ¿improper lady¿ are exactly what make her the perfect match for Nigel. She completely stole my heart in her opening¿wish upon a star¿scene. The author¿s words painted such a quaint, funny and deliciously whimsical image in my mind that I was completely enthralled and instantly drawn into the story.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nigel was a captivating and amiable hero as well. While I can appreciate a forceful, dominant Alpha male (in fiction) as much as the next woman...I find a funny, playful and charismatic rogue with a wickedly seductive smile, a devil-may-care attitude, and a good heart¿irresistible. Though he was at times a ¿beast¿ to Felicity, I still loved Nigel¿s character because it really wasn¿t in his nature to be unkind. He just felt he was being forced to give up his freedom and take on responsibilities he feared he wasn¿t capable of handling. He was one of those reluctant heroes¿with a bit of a Peter Pan Syndrome¿that very often need to be convinced that they¿re actually much better men than they believe they are. And¿Ya gotta love a man who¿ll wear fairy wings to woo the woman he loves!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderful historical romance

    In 1854 London, the surviving bachelors discuss their wager of one pound each and a bottle of cognac with one down (see LITTLE BIT WICKED) and three to go as to who will be the Last Man Standing. Lord Nigel Cavendish expects to win easily as he only dallies with married or widowed women though he recognizes that some time in a far distant future he will need an heir.------------- As Nigel escapes out of a bedroom window followed by a gunshot, the neighbor, astronomer Lady Felicity Melville, wishes upon a star for a man to take her on the grandest of adventures. She thinks the rake is her fate so she boldly tells him how to escape through her garden. Later she obtains an ally in her plan to become Lady Cavendish, his twin sister, Maddy. As the two women become friends they execute a plan that would make the military envious while Nigel's father turns over management of the family estate to him.---------------- The second Victorian Last Man Standing romance is a wonderful historical starring a delightful lead couple. The whimsical use of fate ably abetted by the amateur astronomer and her new ally makes the tale fresh and especially fun to read. Though the prime male character overdoes the 'I don¿t want to be married' routine, readers will enjoy bachelor number two losing the bet but winning much more.---------- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2012

    great read

    best of the series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012


    Between harriet klausner and the other rude ppl posting longwinded book reports, here is another book u cannot buy. Why waste good money when these vain, inconsiderate ppl have already told everything thats happened? Bn, you are losing money thanks to these ppl.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012


    Like it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I adore the Effington series but the Land Man Standing series is a new light on an old friend

    As she finishes wishing for 'a future that's not staid and boring and ordinary,' shots ring out and a man missing his jacket jumps from the balcony next door and runs into her garden. Felicity does what any normal girl of twenty-three would do - she gets her spyglass to see what is happening. 'Even as Felicity raised her spyglass to her eye, she knew observing her neighbors thusly was completely wrong. She fully intended to chastise herself about it later. She steps back into the shadows so as not to be seen an is startled to see the 'intruder' staring at her and asking if it's safe. They speak for a bit, then he takes his leave, and Felicity thanks her star - asking just one remaining question - Who was that man?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2007

    Fate and Balconies are a DANGEROUS mix!

    From balcony to balcony to the final scene and a balcony - mix in a bit of fate and two people ready to get on with their lives - and you have another wonderful Victoria Alexander novel. Bravo! It made for an exceptionally good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2006


    Set in London, 1854. Of the three remaining bachelors, Nigel Cavendish is the one most prone to outlandish behavior. Usually it involves married or widowed women. He knows that he must wed some day to produce an heir however, he assumes he has many years before the drastic action must be taken. Nigel meets Felicity while escaping via the bedroom window of Felicity's neighbor. His short conversation with her leaves him intrigued, to say the least. He wrangles an introduction at a ball shortly thereafter and realizes that the lady might be the most dangerous female he has ever met. Her forthright manner and intelligence keeps him coming back, just to chat, or so he thinks. .............. Lady Felicity Melville is the only daughter of Lord Dunbury. She may be an amateur astronomer, but she is actually WISHING upon a star on the night that her life changes. Felicity wishes for 'a future that is not staid and boring and ordinary. A man who will make the rest of my days an adventure. The grandest of adventures.' When she hears a gunshot and sees someone slipping over her garden wall, she decides not to be meek and call for someone to help her. Instead, she starts up an odd conversation with the handsome rogue that climbs up her trellis, then tells him how to escape the area unseen. She immediately decides Nigel will do. He will need some reforming though. To do this, Felicity seeks out Nigel's twin sister, The Countess 'Maddy' of Windham. ................... After meeting Felicity, Maddy is convinced that the young lady is perfect for her rascal of a brother. She becomes the perfect ally for Felicity. While the women plan their strategies, Nigel's Viscount father 'Edmund' executes a plan of his own. Nigel will turn thirty-one in six more weeks and Edmund is handing over management of all the family's accounts, assets, investments, and properties to Nigel. During those six weeks, Nigel must study it all, but may come to his father for questions, help, and advice. It seems that Nigel's philandering ways are about to end. ................... ***** When Felicity wished for the grandest of adventures, she got more than she bargained for. Unlike most heroines in recent Historical Romances, Felicity is intelligent as well as sharp and devious. Maddy's character is extraordinary also. I was delighted every time she entered the story. Author Victoria Alexander not only gives readers the romance they desire, but also hands them a story that they will never forget. I can hardly wait for the third novel in this series. OUTSTANDING! *****

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 22, 2008

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