I’m still fairly new to the world or romance novels. There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of them out there. What can I say? Women are suckers for romance and hot men. Throw in some Earls and Dukes and you can pretty much bet we’ll swoon all over them. When I found out about The Spindle Cove trilogy by Tessa Dare I was intrigued because it had all the important makings of a good romance and then some. Dare’s unique approach to the female characters is what drew me in for the first in the trilogy, A Night to Surrender.
Victor Bramwell (Bram) is desperate to get back to his military lifestyle. He’s suffered having to take time away from his regiment to heal his leg which was shot in battle. With many military men hesitant to give him back his post he finds a last hope in his father’s old friend, Finch. Finch is an old military man himself and sees fit to bestow the title of Earl of Rycliff on Bram, as well as a promise of his regiment back if he will stay in Spindle Cove for a month and establish a militia. This is easier said than done, however, as Spindle Cove has developed a reputation as a retreat for spinsters and those women who don’t typically conform to the strict norms of society.
This “Spindle Cove” haven was begun by Finch’s daughter Susanna after a childhood illness left her too weak to be what society expected of her. During a season she spent in London, she saw other women needing a safe retreat and began inviting them back to the cove in the hope that it would become a refuge for those who were different. Whether they were of frail constitution or not the model of a genteel woman of the time, the women that Susanna brought to Spindle Cove were grateful for her assistance. Although Bram decides that he will have nothing to do with Susanna and her retreat, he becomes more interested in Susanna as time passes, realizing that he needs her if he expects his militia to be a success. Although Susanna has sworn off men in fear of what it could do to Spindle Cove’s reputation, she realizes that there is a strong attraction between herself and Bram. Will Susanna slowly warm to the inevitable chemistry that is growing between them? Will Bram get the militia in line and win back his regiment?
Why am I recommending that you read this book? Simply put, it is Dare’s approach to the female heroine. In no way shape or form is Susanna your typical romance novel heroine. She’s not a dreamer, waiting for the right man to come along and make her whole. She’s a strong, independent, brilliant woman, who cares for the lives of the women of Spindle Cove as much as she cares for her aging father. Spindle Cove is more than just her refuge, it’s a part of her. When her entire back-story was revealed I stared at my Nook in shock. Dare has her go through a multitude of unfortunate events that lead her to becoming the woman she is. Her willingness to help everyone in the town and take all of their problems and misfortunes on her own shoulders is extremely admirable. Bram on the other hand, is not your typical hero. He’s got a chip on his shoulder and a lot to prove. His military upbringing has him scared to believe anything else is possible for him, including a family. The way that Bram and Susanna need each other is so damn romantic.
There is absolutely NO WAY you can read this book and not fall in love with Bram, Susanna, and the other residents of Spindle Cove. This book is filled with romance, danger, and intrigue, surely leaving you on the edge of your seat for the entire read. I do want to point out that there are mature love scenes, but my are they good ones. Keep your eye out for the lovemaking that happens underneath a large tree in the field. Honestly, that scene is one of the best love scenes I’ve read in a romance novel to date. Dare does a fantastic job at setting up the story for book two in the series, A Week to Be Wicked. (Of course I downloaded it to my nook at midnight on its release date!) So, if you’re in the mood for a fun and intriguing romance with characters that are different from the norm, definitely check out A Night to Surrender.
5 out of 5 Stars
This is my fifteenth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge
A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
Avon Books (2011)
eBook: 312 pages