September 20, 2011
Welcome to the island of misfit women...
Well, it's not really an island but the women are misfits and they have isolated themselves far away from the pain that society has created. Yes, they have found a safe haven. Which is about to be disrupted by - you guessed it - men! Men who blow up sheep. Well, they don't actually blow up sheep, because then we wouldn't want them for heroes. These manly men just want the sheep to move, and because blowing something up makes noise and men like to blow things up - well, it just seems logical. So, bang! And so the story begins with the invasion of peaceful Spindle Cove.
A Night to Surrender is the first in Tessa Dare's newest series, and welcome to the lovely safe haven of Spindle Cove. Oh, by the way, it is a battle of the sexes story. Depending on the story, I'm not always a big fan of this battle, because usually one side has to give up too much to win. However, there was plenty of humor, so some of the losing/winning was a little easier to swallow. I did have a small problem with the men not being able to see just how really nice Spindle Cove was. After all, what's wrong with a blacksmith making jewelry if he wants to; besides, Rosey Grier says "It's all right to feel things, Though the feelings may be strange, Feelings are such real things."
Now, on to the lovely characters of Spindle Cove. There were some pretty interesting people in this book, and I'm looking forward to the rest in the series to see how all of them fit. One of my favorite was the rock-wielding geologist Minerva and her nemesis Colin. I can hardly wait for her story, (which is next.) Also very likable was the heroine, Susanna Finch. She's a very strong woman, she's smart and it is because of her that the women in this story have sanctuary. She has made little Spindle Cove quite a community. I liked her a lot. The one problem I had with her was she's one of those heroines who have a neglectful parent, in her case her father. Now, because she is such a strong person, I was a little disappointed that she didn't shake some sense into her father - that is left for the hero to do. I did find Susanna's past to be really interesting. Blood-letting. I think it's interesting how Ms. Dare used this awful practice as a main plot-line in determining what makes Susanna tick. I know that we've all read about it in romance books, and if you're like me I get a squeamish reaction but I really don't think too much about it. However, in this book the archaic practice is brought to the forefront and we really get to see what kind of damage it can or could have done to not only a person's physical body, but their psyche as well. And this is why Ms. Dare is such a good writer - who'd have thunk that such a gruesome topic could be turned into something so poignant.
Now, on to Bram, our hero. And Alan Alda he's not! Bram is all male, and not only is he pure manly male, he is a pure-stubborn-manly-male-alpha-with-blinders-on kinda guy. Just the kind that one would love to konk over the head with a loose, hard object. Even though the character of Bram was the more simply drawn, his character had the farthest to go to change or have that epiphany all heroes must have to be heroes. And, I found myself being mad at him a number of times when he couldn't see how really nice a place Spindle Cove was. Pass that hard object.
Susanna and Bram are a cute (yipes) couple and they are sexually attracted to each other immediately. Once they act upon that attraction, there's no stopping them. All over the place humping - pumping - thumping. I did find my eyebrows going up at how often and how indiscreet this couple from the early 1800's were. I confess, I did get a little bored with the abundance and variety of places, and positions they found to do the whankey-woo in. Get a room already - and please don't tell me about it!
This book has a little bit of everything: a strong couple, great secondary characters, humor, some poignant moments, and a pet lamb. And they all go together to make a delightful story with some nice writing. The next in the series, A Week to be Wicked, doesn't come out till March of 2012 - aakkkk!
Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Hot!