What a Woman Needs (Zebra Debut) (英語) マスマーケット – 2005/8/5
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Stuart Drakes, a notorious fortune hunter, finds his plans to marry a wealthy heiress thwarted by his betrothed's beautiful guardian who will stop at nothing, including seduction, to stop their marriage. Original.
In this story, we meet Charlotte and Stuart. Charlotte is a young widow who has been chaperoning her niece in society. Charlotte was deceived by a fortune hunter and it ruined her life--she is determined not to let that happen to her niece. Stuart is a misunderstood man desperately trying to get out from under his father's thumb. When his father cuts him off, Stuart's best chance of capturing the quiet life he wants starts with marrying an heiress, Charlotte's niece to be exact. Charlotte and Stuart make disastrous first impressions on each other, Charlotte forbids the engagement, and Charlotte's niece consequently runs away. What ensues after that is a drama filled story overrun with misunderstandings, rash judgments, crazy villains, stupid decisions, and needless angst. The characters didn't act like real people, the fought all the time, and their sexual encounters made no sense.
The only light in this for me was the Duke of Ware. He appears for a few scenes in the middle of the book when Stuart stays with him while in London. The Duke of Ware is sexy, wealthy, and haunted. There is a memorable scene where Stuart gets rather uncomfortable with the attention that the duke pays Charlotte. He is obviously searching for something or someone and hasn't quite found it yet. Very interesting :)
Anyways, I am glad that Linden has moved away from these overly dramatic stories into a writing style that is more romantic and character driven. While this story isn't one I'd re-read again, mostly because I thought Charlotte was overly judgmental and Stuart was a bit controlling, it was nice to see how Linden's writing has evolved...and to meet the Duke. Yay--so glad I don't have too long to wait to read about him. I would have been bummed out if I'd had to wait 12 years for his story!
Overall 2 stars = I finished the story and Caroline's writing was still excellent, but the crazy plot and soap-opera-esque characters weren't my cup of tea.
This is a good story, a wonderful romance with some scandal, some gossip, and a mystery woven in. Stuart and Charlotte are strong likeable characters, and they have great chemistry. They both have troubled pasts and need to overcome them. My favorite secondary character is Charlotte’s companion, Lucia. She adds a little perspective to Charlotte’s dilemma and a bit of humor to the story. The interaction between Stuart and Charlotte and the mystery of the treasure keep the reader interested start to finish. The ending will surprise you. A good read.
Lots of sexual tension and passion in this one! I really enjoyed the verbal sparring between the H/H in the begining of the book, which led to some really good love scenes towards the middle. Stuart and Charolette are very likeable and the chemistry between them is explosive. Its good to finally read a book where not only the hero, but the heroine has a shady past and questionable reputation (probably even more so than his).
The writing is very good and Linden manages to keep the reader interested enough for this to be a real page turner. I enjoyed the ending (which contained a few surprises) and am no doubt going to be watching for new books by this author.