About the Book:
A cruel twist of fate…
Nicholas St. Clare, youngest son of the Marquess of Averstow, was an avid horseman until his legs were crushed on the battlefield. The injury sent him home to England a broken man. Ashamed of his injury, he’s become a virtual recluse on his country estate until his mother, the dowager marchioness, insists he marry. Nicholas doesn’t want a bride who would be shackled to his broken body and privately despise him for being a cripple. He hates his weakness and doesn’t believe anyone can see past it.
A stroke of good luck…
Amelia Blackstock has always followed her family motto: A Blackstock doesn’t run from trouble. It runs from us. Unfortunately, trouble caught up with her, and when the world finds out, she’ll be ruined. When Lord Nicholas stumbles upon her sobbing, he tries to comfort her. His kindness backfires when they are discovered alone together, and Amelia faces even more scandal. Nicholas offers to marry her, but only if she’ll agree to a separate bed chambers.
A happily ever after in jeopardy.
Amelia concedes to a platonic marriage, but as her feelings for Lord Nicholas grow, she wants more. Nicholas is drawn to Amelia as well, but he fears risking it all by revealing the ugly truth of his injury. When Nicholas’s brothers-in-arms arrive for a house party, it seems everything that can go wrong, does. Between a lost pet pig, a fugitive wanted for treason, and a night of drinking gone awry, Nicholas and Amelia grow further apart. Nicholas is the last of the Survivors. Will he be the only one without a happily ever after?
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Amelia Blackstock has basically spent her whole life caring for her seriously ill grandmother, then her paralyzed father. Now at twenty-six, with her father gone for several months, Amelia has been encouraged by her mother to enjoy herself. Amelia takes that advice to heart, only to find herself possibly pregnant by a long gone soldier. As she is walking with her pet pig, Sweetie, she is overcome with emotion and takes shelter in a neighboring barn, where her sorry state causes the stable hands to summon the master of the house.
Nicholas St. Clare is the third son of a marquess, and a former soldier – in fact, one of “Draven’s Dozen,” a heroic squad of men who took on the most dangerous missions. There are only a dozen survivors of the original squad of thirty men, with most of them suffering injuries of some sort, whether they be physical or emotional. Nicholas had his legs badly injured, and now walks painfully and slowly with the use of a cane. He is staying at the family country estate of Battle’s Peak, where he can avoid the pity of society and work with his beloved horses. His first meeting with Amelia is to find her crying her heart out in his stable, where he shows her kindness. Their second meeting has them sharing a surprise kiss, only to be discovered, and definitely compromised.
Nicholas’s mother insists upon an immediate wedding. Amelia, being honorable, refuses, and confesses her secret to Nicholas. His reaction is not what she expected, as he agrees to raise the child as his own. He urges her to accept his proposal, making it clear that it’s a marriage in name only. Within days they begin their strange life together. Nicholas is very aware of Amelia’s beauty and vivaciousness, and is constantly remembering their kiss. He is determined to avoid any further intimacy, as he’s certain that Amelia will be disgusted with his scarred and injured legs. Little does he realize that years of caring for her relatives has given Amelia the ability to see right through to the person and not their physical limitations. Though, truth be told, she is quite taken by his lovely blue eyes and handsome face. Soon enough, Amelia very badly wants a genuine marriage, while Nicholas is just as determined to keep his distance.
Amelia is a genuine free spirit, one who admits what’s on her mind and in her heart. She is outgoing and caring and a very physical person. Nicholas is her polar opposite. He’s quiet and solitary, and is somewhat of a horse whisperer. Despite his extreme self consciousness, he is nothing but kind and considerate to his family, his staff, and Amelia. As their relationship begins to become more and more physical, an unexpected guest sneakily plans a house party, inviting all the surviving members of Draven’s Dozen, along with their spouses and children, hoping that his old comrades can break down the last of Nicholas’s reserve.
I WANT YOU TO WANT ME is a perfect ending to the Survivors series, giving all of the men their well deserved happily ever afters. This story was particularly poignant, both because of the wonderful hero and heroine, and for the chance of seeing all of the men getting together one more time. Their camaraderie did bring some much needed light and healing to Nicholas, and some well spoken advice guided him to see what was right in front of his eyes. The developing romance was emotional and warm, and the passion between Nicholas and Amelia was so, so steamy. Each book in this series stands on its own, and I hate to see it end, but it did conclude in a most sighworthy and satisfying way. ~Rose