Oh Tessa Dare, how I love thee. Seriously, her books are like candy. This one made me laugh. It gave me two solid characters that I cared about. And it gave me a romance I could root for. Really, what more could you ask for?
This is a Spindle Cove novel, but the story takes us to a new location, as our heroine Charlotte and her mother attend a house party. It’s a perfect opportunity for a set-up and Charlotte knows exactly the marquess her mom would like to get her hooks in. So she decides to be proactive and beat her to it. Charlotte approaches Piers, Lord Granville, in the library to warn him.
The plan backfires when they get trapped in the room where a couple is having a tryst. A few moans and groans later, Charlotte ends up exactly where she didn’t want to be: forced into a betrothal with a man she doesn’t love.
Charlotte has no idea that Piers is more than the handsome, titled gentleman he seems to be. He’s actually a spy, working undercover, investigating their host. He doesn’t want to arouse suspicion about what he was doing in the library that night. It was actually easier to let people think he was meeting Charlotte for an assignation. Plus, the smart and forthright young woman appealed to him, so a proposal seemed the best course of action. If only she weren’t so determined to find a love match…
I adored this book. Piers may be the worldly one, but Charlotte has so much more emotional maturity. She knows what she wants for her future. She doesn’t want to settle; not for a loveless marriage, even if it is with a man above her station. And as she grows to care for Piers, she wants more for him as well. Our hero was damaged by his childhood and his walls only built higher as he did some difficult things in the name of duty. But as he grows closer to Charlotte, it all slowly begins to fall away. His walls start coming down, no matter how hard he tries to hold onto them. And that’s where Dare spins gold.
There are some really solid sexy times here. There’s also a fair amount of mystery as Charlotte tries to track down the elusive couple from the library, and even more as she falls victim to more than one frightening ordeal. But it’s the laughter –and the swoon-worthy romance that ultimately did me in.
You don’t have to read the first four books in the series to enjoy this one, but you really can’t go wrong with Spindle Cove –or Tessa Dare. She’s really one of the best in historical romance.
*ARC provided by Avon
Click to purchase: Amazon
Do You Want to Start a Scandal
by Tessa Dare
Release Date: September 27, 2016