Title: A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove #1)
Author: Tessa Dare
Published: August 2011 (Avon)
Summary: Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there. Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn't belong here. So far as he can tell, there's nothing in this place but spinsters... and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It's a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram's makeshift army. Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle...but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?
THIS BOOK. Oh my gosh, you guys. I cannot even tell you the last time I laughed this hard at a historical romance (and not in a bad way, just to be clear). Historical British humor is extremely difficult to convey. It is a subtle art, and not many authors have ever captured it in a way that seems authentic. It is either too understated or obscure, or the humor conveys a much more contemporary tone. I don't know how she did it, but Dare avoided this trap, and she did so tremendously. From the first page to the last, I seemed to laugh every other page. Yet A Night to Surrender was so much more than just humor.
Spindle Cove is such an original setting! I applaud Dare's imagination on this one. It is so different from the typical settings, but it is well thought out and completely believable. I am so excited to see what the rest of the series has in store.
The two mains were wonderful. Their banter was intelligent and funny, their chemistry tangible and smoldering. Speaking as a befreckled woman, I love that Susanna had more than just a "smattering across the bridge of her nose," as is so prevalent in the romance world. Bram was occasionally frustrating (as men are wont to be), but overall, I loved him.
I loved all the secondary characters! There were several of them, but they were all so colorful and interesting. I particularly loved one of them, and I had it in my head from the beginning that she should wind up with one of the secondary men. Lo and behold, they actually have a couple of scenes focused entirely on them toward the end of the book! I may have squealed and flailed a little. I'll never tell.
Only one complaint: It contained a soldier saying "I'll make men of them." Cue me internally belting "I'LL. MAKE A MAN. OUT OF YOUUU!" for the next 24 hours. I do love that song, but it was rather distracting.
❝Susanna could have gleefully crushed its pages to powder with a mortar and pestle, labeled the vial with a skull and crossbones, and placed it on the highest shelf in her stillroom, right beside the dried foxglove leaves and deadly nightshade berries.❞(Robinson Crusoe, anyone? Or your own personal book that you loathed like no other.)
❝Rather like the refrain of a song. A cheerful, stubborn sort of song. The sort of tune that persisted, dug a trench in a person’s mind and kept merrily chirping there for hours, days…even when that person would rather be rid of it. Even when that person would slice off his own great toe just to turn his attention to something, anything else.❞(Ha! Oh, the irony.)
❝Where two or more ladies are gathered, there will be food.❞
❝But when seduction is your aim, you can’t go wrong with alabaster orbs.❞
❝Excellent vintage. Makes me sound almost intelligent.❞
❝Only a man could be so unkempt and manage to look more endearingly handsome than ever.❞A Night to Surrender is a marvelously entertaining and romantic way to spend your time. I would definitely recommend it.
Endnote: I GOT #2 IN THE MAIL YESTERDAY. I am physically forcing myself to finish my other book today so I can read it. I can't wait!
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