07 November 2016

Bite Sized Books // My Reviews Of Tessa Dare and Spindle Cove (Or, At Least, A Couple Of The Later Books)

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Published: 28th May 2013
Source: Bought
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating:
What's a duke to do, when the girl who's perfectly wrong becomes the woman he can't live without?

Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season--or any season--but his diabolical mother abducts him to "Spinster Cove" and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl.

Overworked and struggling, Pauline Simms doesn't dream about dukes. All she wants is to hang up her barmaid apron and open a bookshop. That dream becomes a possibility when an arrogant, sinfully attractive duke offers her a small fortune for a week's employment. Her duties are simple: submit to his mother's "duchess training"... and fail miserably.

But in London, Pauline isn't a miserable failure. She's a brave, quick-witted, beguiling failure--a woman who ignites Griff's desire and soothes the darkness in his soul. Keeping Pauline by his side won't be easy. Even if Society could accept a serving girl duchess--can a roguish duke convince a serving girl to trust him with her heart?
I loved this book. I hadn’t gone back to Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series for some reason and the release of her new book motivated me. I am forever grateful for that new book coming out because the last in the series was utterly fabulous. It was sweet and funny and just perfect. I mean, I was utterly in love with Griff and Pauline anyway, they were flawless together but the star of this book for me was Griff’s mother. Those knitting creations were fantastic. She was both severe and strict with following society rules but added this light hearted humou and some common sense to the books proceedings. She basically was a bit of everything I adore her. She was the meddling mother you can’t help but love.

Enough about shocking knitting adventures, though, and on to the book and the romance. The story itself was a hilarious. It was the typical, slightly farfetched historical romance plot that would never happen in real life but was perfect for the book. Pauline’s reaction to being chosen by Griff as his potential future wife was spot on. She was offended but treated with the appropriate amount of sarcasm and humour which is necessary when people have got your hackles up. And when she actually followed through as she dreamt of escaping from her fathers home with her sister then you have an amazing book.

Also, can we take a moment to admire Dare’s skill in making me fall in love with Griff when he was such a sleaze in a past book of hers? It takes a genius to transform a character as she has done because I was head over heels for Griff in this one. He was adamant he would never care for anyone but then his attitude to Pauline was amazing. The below gif perfectly summarises what I felt like he was doing for her in the middle proving she mattered.
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And the Pretty Woman moment which happened in the book at the book shop? I know you all know what I mean if you’ve read it. Ugh, please that just killed me. I actually put the book down and admired Dare’s skill as I hadn’t even noticed the Pretty Woman similarities up until that point. It was a good thing , though.

Basically, this book ticked all my boxes and did everything right and reminded me Tessa Dare is my historical romance hero. She is one of the first authors I read in the genre and she will be one I will always come back to.

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Published: 8th December 2015
Source: Bought
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating:
A snowstorm hath no fury like a spinster scorned!


Miss Elinora Browning grew up yearning for the handsome, intelligent lord-next-door…but he left England without a word of farewell. One night, inspired by a bit too much sherry, Nora poured out her heartbreak on paper. Lord Dashwood Missed Outwas a love letter to every young lady who’d been overlooked by gentlemen—and an instant bestseller. Now she’s on her way to speak in Spindle Cove when snowy weather delays her coach. She’s forced to wait out the storm with the worst possible companion: Lord Dashwood himself.

And he finally seems to have noticed her.

George Travers, Lord Dashwood, has traveled the globe as a cartographer. He returned to England with the goal of marrying and creating an heir--only to find his reputation shredded by an audacious, vexingly attractive bluestocking and her poison pen.Lord Dashwood Missed Out, his arse. Since Nora Browning seems to believe he overlooked the passion of a lifetime, Dash challenges her to prove it.

She has one night.
I have actually read all of the Spindle Cove books bar one of the novellas (and that’s only because it’s at a crazy high price on Amazon considering it’s only a novella) so I knew I had to read this one. It sounded fun and it really was. I have less to say about it because it is so much shorter than the other books, but I still really enjoyed it.

Elinora (or Nora) was a great character, who had the worlds biggest crush on a childhood friend only to turn to writing when she was left disappointed once more by him. She got drunk and wrote a letter to him stating exactly what he’d missed out on and declaring she didn’t need a man to define her. It became a pamphlet that women across the country read and she is off to a reading. Only, the weather is bad and the carriage she has gotten into is occupied by none other than Lord Dashwood. Hi jinx ensue and let’s just say it was a wild and fun read.

Another slightly absurd but utterly entertaining read. I love even these small glimpses into this world and it was fantastic seeing some old favourites in the pages. It’s perfect for those who want to savour everything Dare has to write and loves to revisit old faves.

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Published: 27th September 2016
Source: Bought
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating:
All Charlotte wanted was to avoid scandal. Instead, she was caught in the arms of a mysterious, handsome lord...and he's not letting go.


On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library.

Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn't her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers' true identity, she'll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville--the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she's ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn't got a clue.

But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit . . . and melt a woman's knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte's safety is the truth about his dark past.

Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte's feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who's sworn to never love?
This is the book which motivated me to finally get around to reading the other two and it was just as good as I hoped. I’d seen a couple of reviews around so was slightly hesitant about starting straight away with my high expectations but I was so excited. I mean, I was told there was an age gap and a mystery and those are things which just kind of work for me and this book just worked for me too. One thing I didn’t realise is that Dare’s other recent series was linked with Spindle Cove so cue me flailing when I clicked who Piers was.

Charlotte and Piers were perfect together, even if Piers needed to have some sense knocked into him. It was a cute amazing read I adored and I will recommend to everyone. I loved their interaction together and how Piers worried over and was drawn to Charlotte and Charlotte began to realise how ideal Piers was for her because he both challenged her and also cared for her after she had spent much of her time having to sort things for herself. It was just utterly sweet.

I also liked the fact that the driving force of this book was Charlotte’s determination to discover who the mysterious couple were that they overheard which landed them into ‘an understanding’ for marriage. Whilst Charlotte was determined to find out who it was Piers was there leading a wholly different life and trying to keep Charlotte from his secrets. That would have been more successful if he had been better able to lie to her but she just picked up on all his tells.

I just adored this book. I am a sucker for mysteries and forced relationships and basically everything this book was. I loves the misunderstandings and the humour was always fantastic. I would always recommend this and it is proof Dare is just brilliant.

Have you read any of these, or any others by Tessa Dare? Which is your favourite? What was the last really fantastic historical romance you read? I am always on the hunt for recommendations.

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