May 14, 2013
Whew, I can now breathe a sigh of relief.
Here's how my brain works. I've been reading romance novels for a l-o-n-g time and I have multitudinous authors who I have read from the very beginning of their careers. I have
become very loyal to these authors. We have grown old together. But, as we all know time marches on, my taste changes, their taste changes (or doesn't). And, what happens? I start losing interest in their books. This makes me very sad, because these authors are like old friends. What do I do when my favorite authors start to fade? Well, my routine has always been to continue to buy their books, but just not read them and then one day I just stop buying them. Ms. Michaels is/was one of those authors, one of my auto-buy authors and I was becoming concerned. Her Romney Marsh series was not one of my favorites and her first book in the Redgrave series, What an Earl Wants, almost became a wallbanger for me. So, it was with some trepidation that I began reading What a Lady Needs. However, it didn't take me long to realize that Ms. Michaels was back at the top of her game.
I enjoyed What a Lady Needs, oh sure it's not perfect, but the couple in this story blended together really well. Dare I use the term "adorable" when speaking of them?
I liked both Kate and Simon. When we were first introduced to Kate in What an Earl Wants, I thought she had all the earmarks of a future TSTL heroine. Even though she had those characteristics, those moments when she might run into a burning building or confront someone who was holding five guns. You all know what I’m talking about; they usually happen right after the hero tells the heroine not to move. Do not fear gentle readers, with Kate all those moments were believable and I found myself cheering her on. Kate was a fun character, smart, loyal, tricky and usually one step ahead of the hero. She was a force to be reckoned with and our charming hero Simon never had a chance. Actually, from the moment Simon met her, he accepted his fate...although he didn't let her know right away.
For once in a romance we have a couple who worked together. They were honest with each other, and even when Simon tried to hide something from Kate, it didn't do any good because she always found out. She was one sharp woman and I just loved her. This was also one time I was able to buy into the independence of a woman in a particular time period; Kate was authentic in her uniqueness.
There was a return of some characters from the first novel. Trixie, Adam, Richard and Valentine all put in an appearance. This time the secondary characters didn't overwhelm the story. I do have to say that Adam was starting to get on my nerves. He needed to be either funnier or maybe turn to the dark side. Speaking of the dark side, we also had the return of the secret society, those people with flowers in their lapels. There won’t be an end to the mystery of the secret society any time soon, even though their members were dropping like flies. Maybe there won’t be anyone left or just maybe there will be only one person left and that person will be the “master”. Anyway, unlike the last book, the secret society did not overwhelm the story and neither did the sex. In fact, if you blink in this book you might miss it.
Overall, I found What a Lady Needs to be a vast improvement over the last Redgrave story. Kate and Simon just may be my favorite romance couple this year. And, I won't be saying goodbye to Ms. Michaels any time soon.
Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality: Sensual but don't blink