Desert Isle Keeper
What a Lady Needs
After reading and reviewing books for All About Romance for three months, I was almost giddy when I finished reading my first DIK. Kasey Michaels’ second book in the storyline about the Redgraves is actually better than the first. I liked the heroine when I first met her in What an Earl Wants and I loved her in What a Lady Needs. The hero is equally engaging and I enjoyed this book from start to finish.
This novel is a continuation of the story begun in What an Earl Wants. The previous book featured Gideon Redgrave and this one belongs to his sister Katherine. When this book begins, Katherine/Kate has just been sent home to Redgrave Manor from an abbreviated and disastrous season in London. Almacks slammed its door in her face after she punched a dancing partner in the nose for daring to stare at her bosom. But that is not the main reason Kate has been sent home. Her family is involved in one of the most potentially scandalous and politically damaging circumstances one can imagine. Kate’s father and grandfather (the two previous Earls of Saltwood) were members of a secret society that Gideon Redgrave had though defunct. In the previous book, he discovers that someone has revived that society and the very fate of the nation may rest on the exposure of its membership. Gideon discovered a journal that gave reference to a collection of other journals that might expose treason. Kate, her brother Valentine and Gideon’s brother-in-law Adam are all ensconced at Redgrave Manor on a desperate treasure hunt to find these journals. Well, at least Kate and Valentine are. Adam is deliciously oblivious. What Kate does not know, and Valentine will not tell her, is that the English Crown is now involved in the hunt for the journals and Simon Ravenbill, the Marquis of Singleton is their agent.
In addition to helping the crown weed out a nefarious group of traitors, Simon Ravenbill has personal reasons to hunt down this reenactment of a hellfire club. His brother’s death was a result of his knowledge of this society and Simon means to bring them all to justice. So when he travels to Redgrave Manor, it is for very serious reasons. He does not expect to be blown over by the sole Redgrave daughter in the process. Simon is intelligent with a good sense of humor and is the epitome of what a good hero should look like. He is strong but not overbearing. He worries about the heroine but is not condescending to her. Simon is a wonderful mixture of strength, humor and compassion that just makes the reader love him from the very beginning.
Kate is equally compelling in her character. She is headstrong and a slightly spoiled tomboy, but Kasey Michaels wonderfully restrains herself from creating a caricature. Kate has been raised by her scandalous grandmother Trixie and her three brothers. She is not above listening at doorways to learn what is going on, so her knowledge of what goes on in the world is far superior to most girls her age, but at her core she is still a beguiling innocent with a well-developed sense of justice. The combination in this book works where it seems to fall flat in many other books. Far too many authors attempt to portray strong heroines as bitches. Kate is strong, but there is also a delightful playfulness about her that makes it impossible for anyone to stay mad at her for long. She is also bold, but not so bold as to be reckless. She is intelligent enough to understand when certain things are beyond her ability to handle. In other words, Kate is entirely realistic and very likeable.
All of the secondary characters are well crafted and Michael’s depiction of Adam Linden is absolutely hilarious as a featherbrained fop. There are a few ”laugh out loud” moments when his character is around. Trixie, the grandmother is delightfully crafted and nuanced.
I have read the first book in this series and it gives you quite a bit of backstory about this ongoing investigation, which presumably will continue throughout the series. While I do not believe that it would be necessary to read What an Earl Wants in order to enjoy this book, I would recommend that it should be read at some point because the reader will want to learn even more about the Redgrave family after reading What a Lady Needs. We will have to wait until late September to read about Valentine’s story in What a Gentleman Desires. So head on over to Amazon and place all of these books on your wish list and then read them in any order you want. Just read them.