- Mass Market Paperback: 372 pages
- Publisher: Signet Book (Jun 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451202899
- ISBN-13: 978-0451202895
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.7 x 3 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,689,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Mac kidnaps the children and flees to the country only to discover that the woman recommended for the position of nanny is no longer alive. His quest for a nanny leads him to the home of Beatrice Cavendish, a long Meg of a spinster trying desperately to run the estate she inherited from her father. Bea agrees to let Mac stay at her home until his ship is ready to sail, though she is under the misapprehension that he is a widower and father to the children. In exchange, Mac agrees to teach Bea about the running of the estate. Lady Taubee, Bea's eccentric aunt, visits Bea's home and manages to get Mac to admit his true identity which is soon revealed to Bea. Mutual attraction leads Bea and Mac to marry, though she wants no man to control her future and convinces herself and him that she would be better off remaining to run her estate while he sails his ship and the children back to Virginia.
Richly entertaining and frequently laced with humor, this novel sets a pace that will hold the reader's interest. Bea and Mac are the perfect example of the phrase 'opposites attract'. She epitomizes the straight-laced English spinster, while he is the gruff American. Though the children are instrumental in bringing this unlikely pair together, their admiration for one another, both physical and intellectual, gives their relationship sticking power.
The supporting players make this book worthwhile, too. They create a sub-plot of their own, especially James, the over-dressed distant cousin of a footman. One can't help but wonder how his relationship to Bea really fits into the storyline. This is definitely a novel worth exploring.
Beatrice Cavendish quickly learns she has no experience or training in managing the family estate that she recently inherited with the death of her father. Worse yet, her father left the estate in near bankruptcy. Mac arrives seeking Nanny Marrow to help him with two children in town, only to learn she died just last week. However, he and Bea strike a deal. He teaches her how to run an estate and she insures the children receive proper nurturing. Neither one expected to fall in love and his nephews to blossom, but it explodes amidst all four of them.
ALL A WOMAN WANTS is an entertaining nineteenth century romance that showcases the talent of Patricia Rice. The story line is poignant as it highlights the impact of neglect on several levels (not just the children) and quite amusing especially with the interaction between the key cast members. This ultra-talented author's novels are not just a steamy bowl of rice; her works are a gourmet delight.
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