Monday, September 19, 2011

ARC Review: A Night to Surrender

A Night to Surrender
Tessa Dare
Historical Romance
Spindle Cove/Book 1
Avon/August 30, 2011

From Goodreads ~

Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are . . . nowhere to be found.

Or are they?

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?

My first Tessa Dare novel and what a joy it was! Dare has such a lovely, amusing voice, it was easy to be pulled into the world of Spindle Cove. A Night to Surrender is not just a beautifully written story about two people falling in love but also about a town embracing the misfits who deserve love just as much as anyone else.

It all started with the sheep. Then the explosion happened. Then they were in each others arms. It isn't exactly how Susanna Finch expected to meet her future husband and at the time she looked upon him as more of an annoyance than hero material. But Susanna is an intelligent woman who knows a good thing when she sees it. Susanna isn't a typical woman of her time. She practically runs Spindle Cove, the haven she's created for young girls and women who don't fit society's idea of acceptable. Susanna is an organized leader of her band of misfits. She's a unique heroine of her time in that she doesn't let Bram intimidate her, standing up to him while still offering her compassion towards him. She's a fixer and she wants to fix Bram.

Victor Bramwell, a lieutenant colonel in the British army, wants only to return to the war. He was injured, forcing him to spend time in England but now he's ready to head back. First he must secure the assistance of Sir Lewis Finch, Susanna's father. Sir Lewis has influence with the Prince Regent and Bram is hoping that will get him back with his regiment. Sir Lewis has other plans and Bram finds himself in charge of forming a local militia. Bram's hero-ness is stretched to the limit when he has few men to choose from and finds a lovely distraction in Susanna. I liked that Bram never lied to Susanna, he never pretends that he wants to stay in Spindle Cove - he still plans to return to his regiment.

Susanna and Bram have an instant physical attraction but I couldn't see them being together in the long term. Susanna is such a part of Spindle Cove and Bram is a soldier born. But as the story progressed, I could see them together. They don't always agree on topics but do develop a grudging respect for each others accomplishments. That, along with the physical attraction gives them a believable basis for a relationship. I do like how Susanna turns her nurturing instincts on Bram. He is is desperate need of nurturing, having had little care or kindness in his life. He in turn gets Susanna to release her adventurous side. Bram can get very alpha/caveman but in a way that is sexy, not irritating. So it turns out they are a good fit after all!

The village of Spindle Cove plays an important role in the story, giving Susanna confidence and Bram mostly headaches. It's the backdrop to their conflicts, with secondary characters lending a hand at either bringing Bram and Susanna together or trying to keep them apart. There is plenty of drama and comedy to ride alongside the romance with a few heroes and heroines in the making.

The pace of the story was a pleasant surprise in that it went fairly quickly. Usually, I have a tendency to read historical romances at a slower pace but I read A Night to Surrender a little over a day and on a very busy weekend no less! The romance is clever with Bram and Susanna giving an almost Tracy/Hepburn feel with their banter. A truly delightful romance. I only wish we didn't have to wait until next year for a return trip to Spindle Cove.

Rating: A

Books in this series ~

A Night to Surrender
A Week to Be Wicked (March 2012)
Untitled (Fall 2012)


  1. I recently discovered Tessa Dare and thoroughly enjoyed her books! Now I need to finish that first series and then get onto this one.

  2. Marg ~ I have a few of her books on the tbr pile. Now I'm itching to dig them out. :)

  3. I liked this one, too, Leslie! It was a fun read.

    I enjoyed Tessa Dare's writing more in her first trilogy, though, starting with The Goddess of the Hunt. I think her writing and characterizations were more sophisticated. But still, I am looking forward to the next book. Do you know if it is going to be Bram's nephew's story? omg he is a hoot.

  4. Oh goodness! You just reminded me that I have THREE books by Tessa Dare in my TBR pile and I've yet to read one book by her.

    An "A" is awesome. I must, must read this author.

  5. Christine ~ I think I have 2 or 3 from her first trilogy. I'll have to bump those up on the pile. The next book is Colin's.

    Hils ~ she's an author I've been meaning to try but just never got there until now. This was a very engaging story!

  6. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Leslie :)

    I wonder if I've just been reading too much historical... but when I read A Night to Surrender, I just thought it was a bit bland. I just couldn't get into the story.

    I like the whole men vs women thing in the town LOL... and I liked the characters. What really bothered me was how Bram and Susanna were always kissing and petting when they were alone. I mean, seriously, you two don't know each other!!!!