What the Groom Wants

What the Groom Wants

by Jade Lee

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402283796
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 02/04/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 192,837
File size: 962 KB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee has been scripting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ball gowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. An author of more than 30 romance novels and winner of dozens of industry awards, she finally gets to play in the best girl-heaven place of all: a Bridal Salon! In her new series, four women find love as they dress the most beautiful brides in England. Lee lives in Champaign, Illinois.

Read an Excerpt


Wendy Drew clutched the small satchel tight to her stomach. She held it as Freddie pulled open the heavy office door. Then he gestured her inside, a smirk on his thick, flat face.

She ignored it. After all, she'd been coming to this gambling hell for months. Or was it more than a year now? It didn't matter. Her time here was done, and she felt a surge of mixed feelings at that.

Part of her would miss the excitement of the gambling hell. The thick air, the turn of a card, and the rattle of dice had their own allure. Money, desperation, lust-all those intense emotions-had played out a nightly drama before her, enticing enough that she'd been tempted to play as well.

She never did. She was there to work and to pay back her idiot brother's debts. But now she had the money in hand. All of it.

She and Bernard were finally free of Demon Damon. Or at least they would be the moment she handed over her satchel of coins. So with a surge of relief, she stepped into the luxurious office. Damon was there, his hair dark, his body languid, and his smile like a temptation from the devil himself.

Wendy wasted no time. "I've got it all," she said clearly. "I'm here to pay back everything Bernard owes."

If anything, the man's smile widened, though there was something horribly feral about the look. "Really?" he drawled, and Wendy felt a shiver of excited fear skate down her spine.

"Yes. Right here." She showed him the small stack of coins.

"Then by all means, my Wendy, come closer. Show me exactly what you have, and I shall tell you if it is enough."

She didn't hesitate. To pause in front of the Demon was asking for disaster. So she walked confidently forward, though her heart was pounding in her chest, and began to neatly line up her coins on his desk. It was all there. And in case he questioned her, she also set down a page of foolscap with the debt, her payments clearly marked. It included the money Bernard made in his job as a footman for the Demon and her own work at his vingt-et-un table.

He raised his eyebrows at that, and perhaps she caught a flash of admiration in his eyes. She hated that his approval could spark happiness inside her. She knew Damon's true character. Had since she'd been a young woman. She knew better than to want anything from the man.

"Sorry, luv," he said, deliberately making his accent coarse as a way to remind her of their shared childhood. Like her, he could use the King's English or the roughest cant. "But you're one hundred twenty-four quid short."

"I am not!" she snapped as she thrust forward her page of accounting.

He smiled, then pulled out the ledger kept locked in his desk drawer. He opened it easily to the page detailing Bernard's debt and turned it for her inspection.

Everything was there, identical to hers, except for two things. The first was obvious, and she pointed to it immediately. "What is that?"

"Your brother's dinner for the last two nights. Added to his tab."

She shook her head. "I told him I won't pay another quid more than his original debt."

She watched the Demon's eyebrows rise in surprise. "You won't pay for his meals?"

"Or his gambling or his clothes or his women. The original debt. Anything else, you take up with him." She lifted her chin as she said it. A sign of clear determination, though inside she shook. It was a hard thing to cut off her brother, but she would not be held hostage to the Demon. Not any more than she had to. And that meant standing strong for any extra debt-including something so small as Bernard's meals.

And while she thought on the responsibilities of a sister to her younger brother, the Demon carefully crossed out the dinner tab on this sheet and created another for Bernard.

"I won't pay any more of his debts," she said clearly. "You cannot get to me through him anymore." She had little reason to suspect that Damon had used Bernard to get to her. After all, he had dozens of women for the asking. But lately, she had begun to wonder. And certainly the way the Demon looked at her made her think that he wanted something specific. Something dark and exciting.

"There. That's done. A hundred twenty-one quid short."

She shook her head. "I don't understand."

"It's in the interest payments," he said, his accent now as fine as brandy. "You rounded down, whereas I rounded up."

"To increase the payment."

He didn't bother to deny it.

She bit her lip. She didn't have it. It was breaking her to give him this much. "How many more days work to pay that off?" This schedule was crippling her. She was the seamstress and co-owner of A Lady's Favor dress shop, but she'd been skimping there to work here.

"One night," he said softly.

"One night?" she gasped.

"In my bed."

She reared back. Even knowing that he wanted her-he'd made no secret of his desire-had not prepared her for such an offer. One night. A hundred and twenty-one quid. Exorbitant. "I'm no whore. Not for you, not for Bernard, not for anybody."

He reached for her face, his long finger smoothing her cheek. At first, she had hated that her skin prickled with awareness whenever he touched her, but it wasn't his touch-or at least, not only his touch. When she was in the Demon's presence there was danger, almost a visceral thrill, and she knew other people felt it too.

She flinched back.

He let his hand drop to his side, his lips curved in amusement. "Very well, then. Man the table every night for a month and-"

"No." She couldn't do that. She'd collapse. She was already so tired she struggled at the shop to see her own stitches. She caught herself just today sewing a line in a gown that weaved like a drunken sailor. "I'll give you another option. Dinner. At my table. Every night."

That would declare her as his mistress for all the world to see. She might not care for herself. What did it matter what the world thought so long as she knew the truth? But the toffs who came to the gaming hell would know. And they might tell their wives and their daughters to stop coming to the dress shop for their clothes. No one wanted a fallen woman sewing the dresses of their virginal debutantes.

So she and Damon set to dickering. The Demon seemed to like a good bout of bargaining. Sometimes, she did too. There was always a way to balance the scales that would work for both sides, but the exhaustion was wearing on her. She just wanted this done. In the end, she agreed to four private dinners and another seven nights as hostess in the gaming hell. At least he hadn't demanded that she work at any of his half-dozen brothels.

Once the bargain was sealed, she turned to leave, but his words stopped her cold. He spoke casually, as if just remembering something. But Wendy knew it was a ruse. The Demon did nothing casually.

"I was sorry to hear about your lodgings. Where will you live now?"

She froze, feeling an icy shiver down her spine. "There's nothing wrong with my home." She and her mother had lived there for years since the building in which Wendy had spent her childhood had burned to the ground.

"Oh, perhaps I heard it wrong then."

She turned, anger making her fists clench. "Tell me, Damon."

He leaned back in his chair, a feral grin on his face. "I'm sure I heard it wrong-"

She spit out a curse, a word she hadn't used in a decade. "I am too tired, Damon. What have you done to me now?"

He frowned, and for a moment he looked confused. As if he hadn't realized that she was at the last of her strength. "It's that blighter Lord Idston. He's declared you unsuitable tenants."

She shook her head. She and her mother were the most suitable tenants there! They paid their rent on time, brought some respectability to the building, and kept an eye on their neighbors.

Damon simply shrugged. "You should go home and check. But first..." He stood from behind his massive desk, moving with that grace he'd had since he was a small boy. She waited in silence, knowing he would tell her what he wanted in his own time. Demanding answers only made him draw out the tension simply because he could.

He stopped directly in front of her, his smile gentle-an obvious lie.

"I have a set of rooms that would work for you and your mama. Close by, but still safe. Just two blocks from here. It's a grand sight more plush than what you've got now."

She shook her head, wishing she could avoid getting deeper into this man's clutches. The way he looked at her-like she was a sparkling prize set before him-was in its own way heady. No other man looked at her that way, and the Demon always made it easy to give in to his offers.

"I can show it to you. The rent's fair, and I'd have my men help you move."

"How fair?" she asked before she could stop herself.

He shrugged and named a reasonable rent given the location. But she just shook her head. "I don't want to move from where we are. I don't-"

Her words cut off as he stroked her neck. Again, he used only one finger, but the touch went from her jaw, down her neck, and to the edge of her bodice. A slow, feathered stroke so light she might not have noticed, except that she saw him do it. His eyes darkened, his nostrils flared, and she saw triumph in his gaze when she didn't flinch away. How could she? If she weren't looking right at him, she wouldn't have been sure he touched her at all.

"You can't seem to get ahead, can you?" he asked, his voice thick. "Just when your business begins to profit, your brother acts the idiot, your rooms get taken, and now you mistrust every boon as if it contained a hidden snake." He shook his head. "But this one doesn't. I have a place to let. You need one."

"I don't-"

"You do. Lord Idston will have served noticed to your mother this morning."

She winced. "You did it. You made him do it."

His arched his brows, his expression insulted. "I'm powerful, Wendy, but even I cannot predict the vagaries of the gentry."

It was the way he said the word "powerful" that hit her. He slowed it down when he spoke, as if liking the taste of the word. She closed her eyes, cutting off the sight of his dark eyes and chiseled face. And in that moment-when her view was cut off-she felt a tingle in her left nipple. She gasped, her eyes flying open, but he simply stood there as if he hadn't done anything.

"No," she rasped as she backed away. "No!"

He smiled and shrugged, as if her answer meant nothing. The idea left her reeling. One minute she was his prize, the next she was less than nothing.

"As you wish," he said. "Go home. See what your mother says. You can always come back to me. Though don't dally. I can't have the place standing empty on your pleasure."

"I understand," she lied. She didn't understand any of what that man thought or did. And that was the worst of it. Because part of her truly did want to learn. After all, she was a woman six and twenty, never having been kissed by a man. Never touched the way a woman wanted.

Why not accept his moderately priced rooms? Why not have dinner with him? Why not spend one night in his bed for a hundred twenty-one quid? Then she would know what other women knew. Then she would understand the dark promise in his eyes.

But that way lay madness. And likely disaster.

So with a last shake of her head, she fled.


Radley Lyncott stood at the prow and closed his eyes. Weariness dragged at his body.

Moored at the London dock, he couldn't hear his own thoughts, much less the soothing sounds of the sea, but he stood here nonetheless with Matthew beside him. The boy stood like a captain born, not an eleven-year-old cabin boy, and Radley couldn't help but smile.

"You needn't stay," he said. "Your mother will be wanting to see you."

"She's busy," was the boy's terse reply.

Radley didn't look at the boy, but he dropped a hand on the child's shoulder. He felt the stiffness there and waited for the tension to ease. Then he spoke quietly enough for only Matthew to hear.

"Even whores love their children. And all ladies like receiving gifts. She made sure to give you a chance at life, Matthew. One that gives you a good future and a home on the sea. Don't doubt her love just because you're ashamed of her."

Matthew's shoulders tightened as he listened to Radley, but in time the boy's shoulders sagged. "I'm not ashamed exactly."

Radley didn't answer. He had no right. After all, his parents loved him and had provided for him. There was no shame in his parentage-well, not for a few generations-and that made him one of the luckiest men alive. But he saw this struggle in many of his sailors-the shame and the hunger for a better past. "Show her how much of a man you've become, Matthew. Let her be proud of her boy."

He felt Matthew twist to look at him. "You think so?"

The question was vague. Did Radley think he was a man? Did Radley think his mother loved him? Either way, the answer remained the same. "I do. Now go. I can't leave until you do."

The boy frowned. "But lots of captains leave the moment the watch is set."

Rad shrugged. "Aye, but I'm not a captain yet. And this ship is a prize. Have to wait until Mr. Knopp tells me what to do with it."

Matt straightened with pride. "You'll captain it for sure, sir. You brought it in here limping along. No other man could do it better. Mr. Knopp'd be a fool to-"

"Yes, thank you," he said, cutting off the boy's rampant enthusiasm. The boy's words were merely an echo of Radley's private hopes. A captaincy. The chance to make his own fortune in his own way. He was more than ready for the challenge.

And while he shooed the boy off to see his mother, Radley's thoughts turned to his own family. His father was gone now, so he had a mother, a sister, and a woman not yet his bride. She was almost more memory than real, a creation of nights spent dreaming. She had an elfin face and an adorably determined set to her jaw, and he'd wanted her since before she was old enough to be wanted by any man. Her name was Wendy Drew, and he had a fine gift for her in his gear.

It hadn't been proper for him to court her before. And truthfully, he hadn't wanted to brave his parents' disapproval back then. But he was old enough now, as was she. And with a captaincy, he'd have the means to treat her as she deserved.

But not yet. Not until he spoke with Mr. Knopp and gave a full accounting of the cargo, the ship, and the repairs that were needed. And not until the last of the rigging was squared away. He'd be at it now, but it wasn't proper. An acting captain gave the orders. He didn't tie the knots himself. But the inactivity chafed. He wanted to be at his courting.

It was hours before all was set to rights. Mr. Knopp listened to everything Radley had to say, took the logbook and the accounting, then in the way of so many owners, gave no indication as to his thoughts. He was a fair owner and not a fool. With a fleet of boats at his command, there were other hopefuls in his employ. Radley would just have to wait his turn and pray that his work spoke for itself.

He had almost despaired of the promotion until Mr. Knopp's final words.

"Good work, Mr. Lyncott. Very good work indeed."

"Thank you-"

"Oh, and there were some solicitors asking after you. Misters Chase and Pelley. Know what that's about?"

Radley shook his head. "Never heard of them."

"Didn't like them, personally. Nose in the air and all that. Could tell they didn't like talking with a German. Refused to tell me anything about what they wanted with one of my future captains."

Radley barely kept himself from leaping on those last two words. Knopp was watching him closely-as were the sailors on watch-so he kept his expression as calm as he could. "I'll need their direction, if you wouldn't mind, sir."

"Oh right." His employer fished around in a pocket until he produced a linen card, somewhat the worse for wear. "I promised to send them word when you arrived, but I suppose you could stop by all on your own." The man narrowed his eye. "You'll want to find out from the clerks what's what before you meet with the legal men. I don't need to tell you that I don't like my employees in ugly with the law."

Radley frowned. Disquiet grew in his belly. "Did it seem that there was trouble?"

"No, else I would have told you sooner. But those types are nothing but trouble, if you ask me. Probably some lord wanting something." Again, he eyed Radley with a hard stare. "Could be about a woman," Knopp said, obviously fishing.

Radley shook his head. "No woman, sir. Not that would have a solicitor." Unless it had something to do with his sister. She was housekeeper to a Scottish lord.

Mr. Knopp studied his face for a moment longer, then shrugged. "Best find out what you can, soon as you can. Those types don't relish waiting on the likes of us."

"Yes, sir. Right after I visit my mother."

That was it. A short conversation that was more an attempt to find out information. But Radley was as much in the dark as Mr. Knopp, so he set it aside in his thoughts. He was finally free to do as he willed, and that would not be chasing after some high-in-the-instep solicitor.

By the time he finally made it to land, the afternoon was far advanced. If he saw his mother or sister first, it would be too late for afternoon callers. The idea was ridiculous. After all, Wendy would be at work now as head seamstress for A Lady's Favor dress shop, which she co-owned. She cared nothing for proper visiting hours. But it was one of the ways he could show her respect. A true gentleman followed the rules of proper courtship, and in this way he showed that he valued her as a lady.

Which meant that he had precious few minutes to get to the lodgings she shared with her mother. He would pay a quick call, do the pretty with her mama, while arranging a better time to visit-one where he could see Wendy-and then be off to his own mama.

He walked briskly, knowing the route by heart. She'd moved after the fire, but not out of the neighborhood. He had grown up in London and knew the byways from the dock to this quarter better than anyone.

He mounted the steps to their rooms two at a time. He hadn't slept above a few hours in the last three nights, but the weariness was fading fast as he neared his destination. He'd just knocked once when he heard it: a woman's sobs, deep and gut-wrenching.

He frowned, wondering for a moment whether to proceed when a small voice spoke from behind him.

"A sad tale there," said a young girl of about eight. He didn't remember her name, but he knew the type. She would know all the neighborhood gossip and would share it for a price. A small price now-as she was young-but in a few years, she could turn bad if someone didn't take a strong hand in her rearing. "And look at you, just back from the sea. Have you seen your mama yet?"

Did he know her? He hadn't a clue, but obviously she knew him.

"What happened here?" he asked. She got a canny look in her eye, but didn't have time to capitalize on his question. The door was wrenched open by Wendy's mother-her face streaked with tears and her hair a mess.

"Henry! The most terrible thing has happened!"

He shook his head, apologizing even as she recognized him. "Not Henry, Mrs. Drew. I'm sorry-"

"Radley! My goodness, look at you!" She sniffed and wiped her eyes. "You haven't seen Henry today have you?" she said with a slight hiccup of a sob.

"We're on different ships. He came in with The Northern Glory, likely a week back. But I followed afterwards on-"

"Yes, yes. He came back over a week now. But I've sent for him. I..." She hiccupped again, and then her words were lost.

Radley was all too aware of the girl standing behind him. Whatever the tale was, there was no point in declaring it to the world. "If I might come in, Mrs. Drew? I'd love a spot of tea. Then you can tell me what you've done to find Henry. I'm sure I can locate him, if you give me a little time."

She nodded and was just stepping back to let him in when they heard it: footsteps running hard. Light enough to be a woman's, fast enough to be desperate. He knew without looking that it was her. Wendy. He knew, and yet he still had no time to brace himself as he turned to look.

There she was, her eyes wide, her bonnet askew, and her skirts stained with mud. She topped the stairs in a leap, and then skidded to a halt before them. Her gaze caught for a moment on him, then narrowed on her mother's distraught expression.

"I'm going to kill him," Wendy cried. "I'm going to kill him and feed him to the dogs. And you-" she said as she pointed a finger at Radley. "You're going to help me."

Her mother was as shocked as he was. "Wendy!" she snapped even as she wiped away her tears.

He rocked back on his heels while a smile tugged at his lips. That was his Wendy: fierce, passionate, and impetuous. And now he could finally start courting her.

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What the Groom Wants 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Damon is the villain in The Groom's Gamble who carved his initials into the 16 yr old heroine's chest, rubbed salt and poison into them to ensure scarring and left her chained to the wall.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Author Jade Lee has an affinity for writing a good villain. In her latest book in the Bridal Favor's series, What the Groom Wants, the villain is indeed the antithesis of evil. Demon Damon is the epitome of Regency bad boys and the redemption isn't even on his radar. Jade writes a captivating novel of a young woman who finds herself between a sailor turned duke and a relentless gambling magnet that has anything but her best interests at heart. Readers will love the fast paced action and heart stopping romance. This book turns Regency romance on it's ear! A great addition to the series. What I liked: When I first picked this book up to read it, I mistakenly thought that Demon Damon might be the hero. Radley seemed a little flat and one dimensional from the blurb and I couldn't see him as being the true hero in this one. But Lee really surprised me here. She took these two characters and completely transforms them throughout the story. Readers might think in the beginning that Demon Damon has a shred of humanity left in him, but not so. And Radley shows a depth of character that is uncharacteristically endearing.  Wendy the heroine of the story was also very well written. She is independent and strong willed. She wants nothing more than to provide for her family with her work as a seamstress. Now that Radley has returned home, she doesn't feel worthy of him and continues to work in the gambling dens of the Demon, drawing herself further and further into his evil machinations. Lee's previous books in the series centered primarily on the heroines. But this seems to swing more toward the heroes and relies less on the heroine to entice the reader. It was a nice juxtaposition and had me from the beginning.  This isn't really a love triangle, like it sounds like. These two men are so fundamentally opposite of each other, there really isn't a question as to who Wendy will end up with, but it's the journey toward that end that makes all the difference. This book was unlike any Regency I've encountered before and I've read a bunch of them. There is an air of darkness about it that gives it a sinister feeling. And that was unusual. Also there are moments of humor as Radley learns more about his position and how to use it. The romantic elements are organic and natural, yet completely engrossing. Unlike any love scenes I've read in any kind of romance. It was original and fresh and full of surprises.  What I didn't like: I enjoy books that have strong female relationships. The previous books in the Bridal Favor series have relied on the heroines to keep the flow of the series going and have had a deep impact on each book. In this one, that element was missing. We hear about the other women from the dress shop and a couple of them make an appearance but the focus of the book was totally on the hero and the villain. I missed that strong female friendship note that was present in the other books.  Bottom Line: Don't get me wrong this book may be more hero focused but it is truly a gem. It is so unlike most Regency romances. The time period is spot on, but the situation and the characters are much more dramatic than Regencies usually get. I loved every second of it. I highly recommend this entire series, but this book itself is exceptional!
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
WHAT THE GROOM WANTS by Jade Lee is an exciting Regency Historical Romance. #4 in the "Bridal Favors" but can be read as a stand alone. Meet Radley Lyncott and Wendy Drew. Two old friends, from the neighborhood. Fast paced tale of love, romance, passion and danger. Filled with danger, passion, secrets and love. A definite page turner! Some people can not be redeemed, the Demon is one such person. He is evil through and through. He wants Wendy, and will do anything to get her including, destroying her,her family and her friends. Radley has loved Wendy for years, but felt he could offer Wendy nothing. But he is now thrown into the world of being a new Duke, from a mere sea Captain to a Duke over night. Determined to save Wendy and her family, and learn Wendy's secret, Radley could risk all for love. Radley and Wendy will steal your heart as they navigate their attraction, their passion and their budding romance. Oh and try to both stay alive. For the Demon will do anything to possess Wendy. He is a cruel man, who loves to berate,degrade and destroy. Ms. Lee writes a Regency Romance that is filled with adventure, romance and passion. A must read! I love this series and this author!! Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 4.5 HEAT RATING: HOT REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
DComfort More than 1 year ago
Historical Romance 5 stars Release: February 4, 2014 ABOUT THE BOOK: Radley Lyncott has been in love with Wendy Drew as long as he can remember. When he went to sea, she was too young to court. Now that he’s returned to take up his Welsh title, he is appalled to find that debt has ruined the Drew family, and—even worse—Wendy is being courted by another man. Or a dangerous attraction? Family comes first for seamstress Wendy Drew, who is forced to settle her brother’s debt by working nights at a notorious gambling den. But her double-life hasn’t gone unnoticed—she has captivated none other than Demon Damon, a nefarious rake who understands Wendy’s darkest desires and is hell bent on luring her into his arms. MY REVIEW: Oh, I think I’ve found a new author to stalk. From the moment I opened this book and read the first sentence, on up until the gripping end, I was hooked. This book has it all: suspense, humor, sexy love scenes, and enough sweet words to make a girl swoon. I truly enjoyed watching the go around between these characters and have actually purchased the first three books, because yes, it was that good. Radley is a man’s man, one who knows what he wants, knows he’s hot and savvy enough to get it, and isn’t afraid of being himself in order to get things done. He’s thrust into a new world, one where he’s told to act different, dress different, and it goes against everything he is. And in true Radley fashion, he says buck it all and stays on the path toward his goal. Wendy is a girl who desires all she can’t have, and just when she’s had a taste of it, she wants more, but fights against doing the wrong thing. Ms. Lee puts the story together in a truly spectacular fashion. She’s daring to push the limits and manages to grab the reader’s attention until the very end. I couldn’t put this book down! I definitely recommend this book to everyone, historical fan or not. It’ll be a book you won’t soon forget and one that you’ll want to read over and over again. Happy reading!
Anonymous 9 months ago
TTCG More than 1 year ago
enjoyed the writing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loverofromance More than 1 year ago
Wendy has been working hard for months to pay off her brothers gambling debt, and the man she owes money to she despises. He is cold and hard and cruel. Wendy is exhausting herself working days as a seamstress for the shop, and then nights at the gambling hell. The last man she expects to walk through her door is Jacob Teel. Jacob has always wanted Wendy for his wife, and now he is about to have his own ship after being on the sea for years hoping to save enough to start a life with Wendy. When he returns though, circumstances change. His true desire is to have Wendy and convince her of his honest intentions, but he is shocked to discover he has inherited a title, a title he doesn't want a part of ,but has little choice. The only problem, convincing Wendy that the title changes nothing, he still wants her as his, and goes about proving to her his devotion. But Wendy will be forced to make a difficult choice, a choice that could threaten every one she loves even Jacob. What The Groom Wants is the fourth in the Bridal Favors series. I was able to get this ARC through Sourcebooks Casablanca via Netgalley. I have read the first book in the series, and that was when I fell in love with Jade Lee. Her stories are fiercely passionate and wildly fun. So when I started reading What The Groom Wants I was expects a fast paced regency romance. But what I got was far different than I expected. There was a bit of a darker theme to the story, and probably the only character I really loved was the hero, he was bright and loving and good. There was such a frank honesty to his character, and he is so sweet with Wendy. He is the type of hero you want to crawl into his life with and never let go. The heroine, however, well I had a few issues with. Don't get me wrong, Wendy is a very strong heroine, and has a tough exterior, however she has made some decisions that are a bit darker than you would expect. There is some intense twists and turns involving the villain that made this story be much more darker than you would expect when looking at it first glance. There was quite a few moments I had to take a breather, and get some sunshine and chocolate and get to my happy place, before returning to this story. I found that overall, this story was intense, passionate, and fast paced with tension and suspense. It does have many great and tender moments, especially between this couple, that you can't help but continue forward with the story. But it is definitely the type of story you need to mentally prepare for. The side characters were fun and we see the couple from previous books, which made me excited to read their stories. The plot was very intriguing, and has the feeling of spiraling out of control, but at the same time, makes you feel as if you are soaring. There are many ups and downs throughout the story, but I found I enjoyed the story way more than I normally would, due to this authors stellar storytelling abilities. INTENSELY WILD AND FULL OF DANGER!! I would recommend this to any historical romance lover, especially if you are a fan of Jade Lee!!
th13500 More than 1 year ago
What the Groom Wants by Jade Lee at first left me wondering who the groom was. I knew who I wanted it to be, who it appeared to be, who was strong and dashing and who was more Ashley Wilkes. The heroine is like Melanie Wilkes; she has a backbone but doesn't want to have do the things that are required of her. In the first half I didn't know who the groom was and actually it took me almost to the end to really be sure who the true groom was. This is a good book to hold your attention from beginning to end.
zeeba More than 1 year ago
What the groom wants is an amazing romance story. It is so different from all the historical romance about the owner of the gambling establishment, usually the owner is someone powerful and ruthless whom turn to perfect Hero when fall in love. In this book Demon Damon is an evil owner who loves the heroine Wendy and stop at nothing to possess her. Radley Lyncott is an adorable Hero who loves Wendy for years and is ready to marry the girl of his dream. Wendy Drew is independent, smart heroine who survives most of her life by her strength and hardworking. Mrs. Jade Lee is such a great story teller as other reviewer said you feel terror by Demon, I could not put the book down because of all the twist and turn in the book. I love how the story ended it was really good surprise and I hope Mrs. Lee write the story of lady Eleanor. Thank you Mrs. Jade Lee for writing such a fabulous book and thank you fresh fiction for having contests and great authors in your blog(less)
JulieD2 More than 1 year ago
Two guys and one girl, who will she pick? This was an unusual love story involving three main characters, Radley Lyncott, Wendy Drew and Demon Damon. Radley is a sailor who has loved Wendy for years but he went to sea when they were both very young and has now returned home years later too court and marry her. When he arrives home he finds he is now a Duke and has to give up the sea. Wendy is working hard with her own dress shop and at a gambling hell owned by Damon to pay her brothers debts.  She and Damon barter together over money and time she can give him, she was very strong and enterprising in her dealings with Demon Damon. Damon is a scary, violent, character who want's Wendy all for himself but Wendy is determined to save her virtue and reputation and to protect her friends from him. Radley's strength and love for Wendy holds the story together, in the beginning his character wasn't very strong, he improved immensely as the story progressed. The three characters change and some strengthen as the story unfolds and there are secrets to discover. The ending is full of thrills and excitement and a nice conclusion follows a very entertaining book. I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
peanutns More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Wendy and Radley's story. And I really like that Demon Damon got his just do at the end of this book. Good job Jade.
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
This is book 4 in the Bridal Favors series. Radley Lyncott has been in love with Wendy Drew since before he went to sea. Unfortunately, Wendy was too young to court before he left. Now that he is about to become a captain of his own ship, he plans to woo Wendy and make her his. Wendy Drew has made something of herself during the time that Radley has been away. She got training on how to act like a lady and and co-owns a bridal shop. Unfortunately, her brother has gotten himself into a pile of debt which can't be covered with the money she makes from the shop. To help him pay off that debt, she is working nights being a dealer at Demon Damon's gambling den. Everything changes when Radley returns to his home to find out that he has inherited a dukedom. Where once Wendy saw a bright future for herself and Radley, she now feels like she is not good enough for him. Radley also get competition from Demon Damon for Wendy's hand. This was definitely not your traditional historical romance. There is sort of a love triangle between Radley, Wendy and Demon Damon. When Radley comes back, Wendy is ready to start a relationship with him. But suddenly he is no longer in the same social circle as he is. You see that Wendy is so conflicted by wanting Radley, but knowing that she will never fit into his new world. Then there is Radley, who would much rather have been made captain than receive the Dukedom. Add to that the fact that the trio grew up together and there is bad blood already between the men. The one thing that didn't really sit well with me was the violence in the story. I'm not a lover of "bloody" things and there is a part of the story that had me cringing. And then it was mentioned over and over again! Just not something I really want to read about in a romance novel. But having said that I know that it was a part of the story that needed to be there to help characterize the villain. I've read all the stories in this series and do truly hope that Lee continues the series as I am quite fond of the group! Thanks go out to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
LizzyLondon More than 1 year ago
When Radley Lyncott returned home from sea he had his heart set on one thing: finally being able to court Wendy Drew, the girl he had been in love with since he was a young man. To his surprise she was also being "courted" by Demon Damon, owner of some notorious gambling establishments in the ton. The situation is not what it seems and Radley is determined to protect Wendy from the Demon while trying to adjust to life as a Duke. What the Groom Wants is unlike any romance novel I have ever read. It was traditional yet unconventional. The boy-loves-girl-and-girl-does-whatever-she-has-to-in-order-to-save-her-family-with-boy-trying-to-save-her-the-hardship was what you would expect from a Regency romance but that's where it stops being a typical romance. The delicious twists and turns(and love scenes) kept me, as the reader, hooked. When I thought I knew what was going to happen next I was completely blindsided, left with my jaw on the floor. The plot was intriguing and quickly paced. The characters were well fleshed out and likable(well, except for Demon Damon, but you aren't really supposed to like a villain). Wendy and Radley had fantastic chemistry and were a believable couple. It contains the elements of the Regency world that readers love:the descriptions of the gowns, the furnishings, the dashing men all decked out, but it also contains raw and surprising details and emotions that makes it one of a kind. I loved Radley's determination, even if he wasn't always sure how to handle every situation thrown at him. When he was first introduced I was thinking he was just some wimpy guy(and not the hero) but he proved himself, or rather Lee proved it in her writing ability by making him so real. He wasn't perfect, but there were so many different aspects to his personality. He wasn't just one sided. I was glad to see that he didn't fall into his new role as Duke gracefully(pun intended). He was genuine in his confusion of the rules and what was expected but he made the title his own.Wendy Drew was one of the most stubborn heroines I have ever read, and I mean that as a compliment. She isn't the typical heroine. Yes, there are heroines in novels all over the place who do things for their families but she was particularly independent and headstrong, almost to a fault, but that's what I like about her, she isn't perfect, but human. I love the first full love scene, where Wendy and Radley consummate their relationship in her room. It was almost like an out of body experience, unlike any romance novel love scene I have ever read. Lee describes what was going on without the use of the usual overly descriptive adjectives that go into a typical sex scene. I was in the middle of the scene, feeling all of the things Wendy was feeling and experiencing as she was, but watching it, as a(naughty) spectator at the same time. I've never read a love scene like it. I initially thought that Demon Damon was the hero and he was going to have to do some serious redeeming if he was the hero. Turns out, he really was just a nasty guy. I've never been so glad to see a character get his comeuppance as I was to see Demon Damon get his. It was not the typical  hero and villain have it out at the climax of the book before the happily ever after. It was a unique and fitting ending to a ghastly man. All in all I highly recommend What the Groom Wants for those who love Regency romances with a twist of wickedness(and to share it with your romance loving friends)!
tiffanyu More than 1 year ago
I have read every single book in this series. I absolutely loved this story. It kept me on my toes throughout the whole story. I was thrilled to finally read Wendy's story. I loved how strong Wendy is and how determined she is. She doesn't take much from anyone and always figures out a way to get what she and her family needs. But when it matters she trusts Radley. I really enjoyed how their story unfolded and how it all came together in the end.
Wendy-RosesBookhouse More than 1 year ago
The final book in the Bridal Series by Jade Lee, WHAT THE GROOM WANTS, is an outstanding example of Regency Historical Romance at its finest! Throughout the entire series Ms. Lee has created fully fleshed out and unique characters along with suspenseful external plots and engaging dialogue, but the icing on the cake for this final novel is the dramatic and riveting ending which takes this wonderfully written story and blasts it into the stratosphere. The stunning conclusion (which kept me slack jawed and wide-eyed for a good five minutes before I hurriedly reread the ending with a huge smile on my face) leaves me on pins and needles for Ms. Lee's next work! And rumor has it these fantastic characters will show up again!! OMG! Is it out yet!?! Is it out yet!?!