19 May 2014

A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove #1)

"This journeyed far beyond “like,” rocketed straight past “fondness,”
and pushed all the way to the brink of absurdity."


(Spindle Cove #1)
by Tessa Dare
Published August 2011 by Avon
Historical Romance - Kindle edition, 405p.


A peaceful resort by the sea, Spindle Cove is a retreat for Regency ladies—offering intelligent, often unconventional women a temporary escape from men and their madness. Unfortunately for Miss Susanna Finch, the seaside safe haven she has so painstakingly nurtured is no longer quite so safe. The Cove’s been invaded—not by Napoleon’s forces, but by battle-weary, barely civilized, dangerously handsome men.

Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn’t belong in Spindle Cove. So far as he can tell, there’s nothing in this godforsaken place but spinsters… and sheep. But he’s stuck here—with orders to gather a local militia. It’s a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna. Not only has she driven all red-blooded men from the place with her "modern" notions, but her lively wit and tempting beauty are distractions Bram doesn’t need.

Bram fears he may have met his match, for Susanna won’t easily surrender. The scene is set for an epic battle ... but who can be named the winner, when both have so much to lose?


A NIGHT TO SURRENDER kicks off Tessa Dare's Spindle Cove series. Susanna, the unmarried, independent, and unofficial town leader, lives in a town nicknamed "Spinster Cove," because of the ladies it attracts. The town is a place "where women were safe to be their best and truest selves" and being a spinster or having an ailment aren't exilable offenses.

When Bramwell, a soldier with a knee injury, ends up in Spindle Cove, he's ready to leave as soon as he can. He finds the low number of male inhabitants odd and the tavern-turned-tea-room to be unacceptable. However, his goal to be fully healed and return to battle requires him to stay in town for a while, and the surroundings become more agreeable the longer he spends there. It doesn't hurt that Susanna is smart, tall, and commanding... just the right kind of challenge for a guy used to issuing the orders.

This book started slow and took me a while to get into, but once the story started moving along, I found myself invested in Susanna finding her happy ending with Bram. Their romance blossoms beautifully and includes many great moments between them, both public and private. Plus, as usual, Tessa Dare injected a good amount of humor into the pages, and the town features a quirky cast of characters.

How quirky? Here's an excerpt from when a resident recited a poem in front of a crowd at the local tea room:

"Mrs. Lange, won’t you favor us with a poem?” 
Bram sat back in his chair. A slender, dark-haired young woman ascended to the dais, clutching a paper. She appeared meek and shrinking. 
Until she opened her mouth, that was. 
“O, vile betrayer! O, defiler of vows!” 
Well. Now she had the room’s attention. 
“Hear my rage, like distant thunder. My heart, the beast doth ripped asunder. My cove, the wretched brute did plunder—though not thoroughly.” She glanced up from her paper. “Small wonder.” 
Miss Finch leaned toward him and whispered, “Mrs. Lange is estranged from her husband.” 
"You don't say."


A NIGHT TO SURRENDER is a great introduction into the town of Spindle Cove. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!

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