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What a Woman

Caroline Linden

Published By:
Kensington Books


Release Date:
August 2005


Page Count:

What a Woman Needs

Charlotte thought it would be easy to get rid of the fortune-hunter…until she fell in love with him…

Stuart Drake was already regretting his pursuit of the young heiress, Susan Tratter. In his plans it was easy; marry a wealthy young innocent, restore his small property and stay out of trouble until he inherited his title and estates. Having snared the young woman so quickly, he seriously wondered if it was what he really wanted. Stuart did not need to be tricked by Susan’s guardian and told that he was a fortune hunter; he had never hidden this fact because his potential and lineage were exceptional. Although Stuart’s meeting with Contessa de Griffolino, Susan’s Aunt Charlotte, was brief, she had now made it impossible for Stuart to ever look at Susan again. Even after Charlotte damned his name with her gossip, Stuart could not stop thinking about how much he would like to be Charlotte’s lover. He is sure that she is attracted to him, and in every confrontation he glimpses a little more of her passionate, uncontrolled nature. He is also determined that she will come to him and beg for his favour…

Acting as guardian was proving to be much more difficult than Charlotte had imagined. Under her care, her niece had almost run off with Stuart Drake, a man whom she considers to be a rake and a cad. Now Susan was hardly talking to her, because she believed that Charlotte was treating her like a child. Then she discovered that an armed burglar had been breaking in and going through her possessions. Not to mention the humiliation of being tied to a bed by a man that she was supposed to be teaching a lesson to. So much for escaping her past! It is the final straw when she disturbs a rendezvous between her niece and the rogue, and Stuart accuses Charlotte of wanting him for herself. Deep down, Charlotte knows that this is the truth; she desires this unmistakably handsome, virile piece of masculinity without a doubt. Charlotte’s entire life has been a disaster; she refuses to compound her problems by falling in love with a wastrel who just happens to be her niece’s ex-beau….but is it already too late…?

Right from the outrageous opening scene, readers will quickly realise that they are in for a treat. The electric atmosphere successfully created between Charlotte and Stuart is carried through with unresolved issues and sexual tension for most of the book. Even when it looks as if the couple could come together, there is so much holding them apart that a romantic ending looks improbable. Charlotte believes that she has made a complete mess of her life, and by far my favourite memory from this book is the one when she realises just how badly that she has misjudged Susan’s suitor. Stuart is a man who never gives up. When his whole future looks bleak, he still presents the world with a face that is confident and self-assured. He is truly a hero that readers will admire. The bedroom scenes are passionately steamy, leaving little to the imagination. They serve to heighten the emotional ups and downs, and raise even more concern about the couple’s uncertain future. The secondary characters are well developed, bringing in some light-hearted moments and adding an extra dimension to the main characters. What a Woman Needs is a must-have historical debut. I look forward to Caroline Linden’s future releases.

Reviewed by: Naomi

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