‘What a Woman Desires’ by Rachel Brimble

wawd rbSTORY: From country girl to actress of the stage, one woman dares to live her dreams—but is she brave enough to open her heart…?

Monica Danes always wanted more than the village of Biddlestone had to offer. After a failed courtship to a man of her parents’ choosing, she fled for the city of Bath and never looked back. Today, Monica is the undisputed queen of the theater—a wealthy, independent woman. But when she is called home in the wake of tragedy, Monica returns—intending to leave again as soon as possible.

Thomas Ashby has been a groom at the Danes estate since he was a boy—and has been enamored with Monica for almost as long. He knows he isn’t a suitable match for his master’s daughter, despite the special bond he and Monica have always shared—and their undeniable attraction. But now that she’s returned, Thomas has one last chance to prove himself worthy—and to show Monica a life, and a love, she won’t want to give up…

REVIEW: Bath, England – 1897

Monica Danes, a star with Bath’s Royal Theater, has just received a letter from her younger sister, Jane, that her father has died.  In addition, her mother who has always been an angry woman, appears to be losing her mind.  Monica’s father was a harsh man who had tried to make her marry Malcolm Baxter.  There was a time when Monica thought herself in love with the man, but events changed that.  It has been five years since she left home and she has no returned since.
Monica’s family home is a large estate in Biddestone.  When she returns home for the funeral, she is immediately met with Jane pressuring her to not return to Bath. However, Monica loves her life as an actress and does not want to give that up.  Her mother’s mental health is very unstable and she needs constant care.
Monica interacts with Thomas Ashby who acted as groom to her father for years. However, he has always been more than just a groom to the family.  He loves Biddestone and he has always loved Monica.  He is also pressuring her to stay at Biddestone to keep he estate running thus providing employment to many.
This is where this story gets a bit complicated for me.  Monica wants to live in Bath but feels guilty if she sells the estate because she wants to make sure that the town’s people stay employed.  Her sister, Jane, does not want to be left alone with the responsibility of caring for her mother but she wants to stay at Biddestone and wants Monica to stay as well.  In addition, when Thomas professes her love for him, the pressure becomes overwhelming for her.
I did not like the end of the story.  I just didn’t feel that it was fair and it was too trite. The writer has put together a nice story but it was the ending that brought me to give the novel only three stars.
This novel publishes on January 5, 2015, and as such, I have strived to omit any spoilers.
Connie for b2b
Complementary copy provided by the publisher
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