Tuesday 6 January 2015

Review ~ What A Woman Desires by Rachel Brimble.

Title: What A Woman Desires.
Author: Rachel Brimble.
Publisher: Lyrical Press.
Genre: Victorian Romance.
Publication Date: January 5, 2015.
Source: Review copy/Netgalley.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

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...

What A Woman Desires is a fascinating, dramatic Victorian romance and another winner of a novel by Rachel Brimble. Monica Danes is called upon to return to Biddestone after learning about the death of her father. She’s forced to return to the place she was so desperate to leave, from Bath where she is now a popular theatre star. She’s eager to leave Biddestone again as soon as possible but there’s one man determined to stop her and Thomas does not want to see her walk away again. I loved so many aspects of this novel – from the romance, to the setting and the outlook on family. The drama really brought this novel to life but I also enjoyed the slower, lighter moments too where things began to change a little.

I was rooting for the romance between Monica and Thomas right from the beginning. The development of their characters was natural and easy to believe – they were both flawed which made them realistic and though their differences in opinion infuriated each other, to me it felt like deep down there was a mutual appreciation of how much each of them weren’t willing to accept a life they didn’t want. Both Monica and Thomas had bold personalities, both strong-willed, aware of what was important to them in life and not afraid to stand up for it. As soon as they encounter each other towards the beginning, it’s obvious things are not going to be straightforward for them but I liked them both and wanted things to work out. They were both so independent, it was hard to see if they would ever make anything work between them and a few twists really did leave everything up in the air, but I loved the way the author worked the romance.

What A Woman Desires was really character driven and alongside the attraction and developing feelings between Monica and Thomas, I also loved reading about Monica’s family relations and this is where the age the novel was set in really had an impact, because a lot of her family’s thoughts and principles were old-fashioned and so intriguing to read. Though Monica’s return to Biddestone is due to her father dying, it was interesting to see how his previous beliefs and actions seemed to still manipulate the family’s lives. Nothing was black and white – there were moments when it felt like he was horribly controlling and others where it seemed maybe there had been a different side to him that went unnoticed. Monica’s mother had bad health of her own and she wasn’t what Monica was expecting her to be once she returned. The mother’s story hit me a little, especially when she kept talking about her husband like he was still around. I could understand the way both Monica and her sister Jane felt about their family and life in Biddestone because it wasn’t an easy life to deal with.

This novel was full of twists and drama and after a bit of a slow start, I was then completely hooked on this wonderful story. Because the appeal of What A Woman Desires for me wasn’t just the story of Monica and Thomas, there were a couple of things I would have liked to have seen tied up towards the end relating to Monica’s family. However, for the main plot, the ending worked perfectly and I loved how it finished. Packed full of conflict between well-written, strongly developed characters, What A Woman Desires was another highly entertaining novel I’ve read by Rachel Brimble and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK


  1. I really enjoy your reviews sophie you bring the characters to life. I must try harder with my reviews to try and say more. 😄. Looking forward to reading more great reviews in 2015

    1. Thanks Tanya, that's a lovely thing to say. But I love reading your reviews too :)


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