If you are looking for an engaging historical romance, with interesting and fleshed out characters, you can count on Tessa Dare. Not only does she give us a couple we can root for, she makes them sympathetic, sexy, and entertaining in equal measure. The premise is great. The dialogue is snappy. And it held my attention from the first page until the last.
This is the first book in Dare’s Spindle Cove series. This is a sleepy little town that serves as something of a haven for ladies who don’t quite fit in society, whether they are too sick, intellectual, or in love with the wrong man. Susanna is their leader. She lives in the town with her inventor-father and helps the women who “vacation” there, find strength and joy in their lives. Everything is going quite well until Bram enters the picture.
Bram and two of his military buddies come to Spindle Cove looking for Susanna’s father. Bram hopes that the man’s military connections and friendship with his own father will get him a recommendation to return to his post as a field commander. An injury to his leg has kept him on the sidelines too long. It should be simple, but two things happen that he never counted on. He becomes an earl, forced to create a militia to protect the largely female town… and he falls for the headstrong and off-limits daughter of the man he needs to impress most.
I generally enjoy a hero who is injured and Bram is like a bear with a thorn in his paw. What I love about this book is that Susanna is so good at reading people and being able to see what they need. She does it with her girls and she does it with Bram. She knows what he craves, even when he doesn’t. And she hides scars of her own that only Bram is able to eventually see. It’s a solid romance, with humor and heart, infused with just the right amount of desire. The only issue is that these two want very different things out of life. Can they both be happy finding common ground?
In addition to crafting Bram and Susanna with sure strokes, Dare does a fantastic job building a wealth of secondary characters to fuel future stories. From the geology-obsessed Minerva, to Bram’s rakish cousin, to the mysterious Thorne, I want more of them all. Which means she is doing her job right.
Believe it or not, this wasn’t my absolute favorite from Tessa Dare, though there was no real reason for it. I definitely liked it, though, and will keep reading through her backlist. For new readers to this author, I can assure you that he work only gets better and better.
Click to purchase: Amazon
A Night to Surrender
by Tessa Dare
Release Date: August 30, 2011