Tuesday, April 24, 2012
A Night To Surrender by Tessa Dare
Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men. It is a haven for those who live there.
Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn’t belong here. So far as he can tell, there’s nothing in this place but spinsters…and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It’s a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram’s makeshift army.
Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle…but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?
This was a crazy enjoyable read. By far the most compelling mix of humor and warmth I've experienced outside of real life in a long time. Right from the get-go too. It was there the instant Bram tackled her to the ground (which was like page 10) and it continued to bowl them both over until the last page. Powered by attraction, fueled by humor and--for such a fun read--just wringing wet with emotion. Just a super satisfying read.
I should mention that I've read Dare before--all but one of her first 6 books. I knew I liked her, just didn't recall THIS particular magic. Thank goodness I've had time to blog-stalk, otherwise I would have missed the incessant buzz that put this one on my radar.
Dare's magic. I may not explain this very well, but I think the magic is contained entirely WITHIN the characters of Bram and Susanna. Or I should say it detonates from WITHIN those two. As reader, you're living in their skin, experiencing it all through their senses. So the humor feels as natural as breathing, the attraction undeniable, and the emotion? Well, it feels like personal growth. So yeah, I butchered that, but honestly if I had just said that Dare's emotion is palpable, it would have been an understatement. Aside from saying that I knew these two, I'm not sure how else to describe the immersion.
Bram is a man's man who can charm the pants off a woman. Without trying. Think it's his voice (sounded sexy to my ears) and his arrogant command (which reads like the perfect touch of dominance). Combine those attributes with the fact that this is a man who digs the heroine for who she is--so much so that it wouldn't ever work if she WASN'T her own person--and there's his WOW.
Susanna's WOW lies in her smarts. She is highly intelligent. And, for her time and experience, she is remarkably mature and stunningly unapologetic. Never once did I fear a stupid reaction to this story's conflicts or misunderstandings.
Both are achingly vulnerable in ways that feel honest (as opposed to contrived) and neither lets those perceived weaknesses hold them back for long. Their rightness together trumps their individual shortcomings--and both were self-aware enough to get there. Again, I never feared a long wait while they figured it out. They were both smart enough, strong enough to see their truth and leap for it. Very, very satisfying to watch.
Though I've said they hold the magic that is this story, I am not discounting the others in the cast (including the sheep). I enjoyed them all--through Bram's and Susanna's eyes. There is clearly more fun to be had in Spindle Cove. Did I mention the sheep?
Win, win, win.