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review 2018-03-26 02:18
Do You Want to Start a Scandal
Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Castles Ever After) - Tessa Dare

What a delightful book! I FINALLY got Charlotte Highwood's story and thankfully it didn't disappoint. I enjoyed the (brief) appearances of Diana and Aaron and Minerva and Colin. Charlotte was an awesome heroine. She's inquisitive, intelligent, and good at reading people. Piers was the perfect person for her. Even though she says it first, I really liked that Piers was the first to "fall." The "mystery" was refreshing, and funny. 
The only thing I didn't like: Charlotte is a slob, I didn't quite understand how someone could be so very messy.

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review 2018-03-18 02:01
The Prairie Heat: Cowboys of the Flint Hills
Prairie Heat - Tessa Layne

Title: Prairie Heat: Cowboys of the Flints Hills
Author: Tessa Layne
Publisher: Shady Layne Media
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Four
Review:

"Prairie Heat: Cowboys of the Flint Hills" by Tessa Layne

My Thoughts.....

Interesting read! Good contemporary western romance read that is full of a little bit of it all. From cowboys, family rivalries & interference [The Sinclairs & The Hansens], uncertainty, antagonist, drama, secrets, humor, confessions, sharing forgiveness, tenderness and oh yes love that was there for Blake and Maddie [especially the scene with them on horseback and...]. All in all what had happened many years ago had these two family in a land dispute due to a lost porker game and from this we get quite a story. What will happen after a kiss and Maddie's father becomes ill and a fake plan is orchestrated with Blake's involvement? How will this enemies to lovers romance play out? To find you you will have to pick up "Prairie Heat: Cowboys of the Flint Hills" to find out how the reader will come to a satisfied ending.

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review 2018-03-17 08:26
Inherit The Stars
Inherit the Stars - Tessa Elwood

Inherit The Stars is the first book in a duology by the same title. It has some problems, sure, but after reading the negative reviews, I was bracing myself for much worse.

Asa, as youngest daughter of a great House, pretends to be her older sister and gets married to the Heir of another great House. All of this is rather impulsive, which really characterizes Asa. She's not likeable and difficult to feel any kind of sympathy for. The romance I think, will not surprise anyone. However, besides these things it was a rather fast and nice read. Since I already have the second book in the duology, I will be reading it some time.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2018-03-07 11:29
Okay for what it is
The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright - Tessa Dare

This is a novella written by Tessa Dare. It is a standalone story that isn't related to any of the author's series of books.

 

As novellas go, this story is pretty short, it spans through several years and you have a few chapters that start with one year later so a lot of the story is 'missing'. Basically, all of the parts where the characters would be able to grow and develop new characteristics and make us feel more attached to them are missing. Instead, we just focus on a few encounters of the main characters and of course their insta-love.

 

Miss Eliza Cade is the youngest of four sisters and she isn't allowed to officially come out in society until all of her sisters are engaged/married. She did something mischievous when she was 14 so her dad doesn't trust her and is worried that her coming out sooner would take the attention away from her sisters and possibly ruin their reputation because Eliza is loud, likes to show off and likes to be center of attention and can get into mischief easily.

Mr.J.Harrison Wright is a scoundrel, the duke's heir who spends his life going from one woman to the next and doing things a respectable heir of a duke wouldn't do which is why the duke cut him off and he has to wait until he inherits to come into money. At least that is how we first meet him. But of course that is only how he appears to be, not what he is. He has reasons for becoming the way he is and that turns out to be redeemable for him in the end.

They meet and they fall in love and then spend the next couple of years dancing around each other believing the other to be less than he/she is but eventually learning different and getting together. No surprises, no twists, no suspense.

 

 

"She was alone with the scandalous, dissolute, no-good—
             “Mr. Wright,” she whispered.
             He inclined his head most civilly. “In the flesh.”
             The way he said that word, “flesh,” pushing it into the air with a cavalier flick of the tongue . . . it made Eliza’s skin prickle.
             There was a dangerous beast in this room. And it wasn’t her.
             Mr. J. Harrison Wright and his colorful misdeeds were the stuff of all the scandal sheets and the talk of every drawing room. He was heir to the elderly Duke of Shiffield, to the Duke of Shiffield’s quite public despair. There were the usual tales of drinking, gambling, wenching, and general dissolution. And then there were the true scandals—the staggering debts of honor gone unpaid, his expulsion from a famed gentleman’s club, and whispered tales Eliza could never quite manage to hear.
             The one constant in all these stories?
             Mr. Wright was a scoundrel."

 

 

So you might wonder why I gave it a 3* rating if I am not that passionate or thrilled about it. Because for what it is it was alright. You have to rate books by many standards, not just oh, it didn't sweep me off my feet so that's a 1*. This book is very well written, it has some good moments that make you smile, the couple has good chemistry, there are some laughs to be had and it is entertaining for a short read.

 

All in all, I recommend this read for the historical romance lovers who are short on time and they want a short cute story to pass the time but for something more this isn't the answer. If you want to enjoy yourself more, try full length novels by Tessa Dare, that should do the trick.

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review 2018-03-06 13:18
Charming and compelling
A Night to Surrender - Tessa Dare

 

"In recent years, Spindle Cove had become the seaside destination of choice for a certain type of well-bred young lady: the sort no one knew what to do with. They included the sickly, the scandalous, and the painfully shy; young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men . . . All of them delivered here by the guardians to whom they presented problems, in hopes that the sea air would cure them of their ills.
As the only daughter of the only local gentleman, Susanna was the village hostess by default. These awkward young ladies no one knew what to do with . . . she knew what to do with them. Or rather, she knew what not to do with them. No “cures” were necessary. They didn’t need doctors pressing lancets to their veins, or finishing school matrons harping on their diction. They just needed a place to be themselves.
Spindle Cove was that place."

 

 

This series is about Spindle Cove and its interesting residents. Why do I think they are interesting? Because they don't fit in the Society and I definitely recognize myself in them so I can understand the characters.

 

This is the first book in the series. The story revolves around Susanna and Bramwell who find love under very unusual circumstances. I will not spend a lot of time writing about the storyline because I am sure that giving a general description of the place, the regency era and the basic undertone of this book is sufficient for any historical romance reader.

 

Susana is a 25-year-old unwed only child of a genius father who creates weapons for the army. She is a resident of Spindle Cove and in charge of all of the ladies who come there because they are in some way cast away from the society. She is intelligent, clever, capable, pretty and determined to keep men away from the women in Spindle Cove so women can feel more at ease and be themselves during their stay there. Bramwell is an officer who hurt his knee in the war and barely managed to keep his leg and he is on a mission to regain his post as a commanding officer and returning to the front lines in Spain to fight Napoleon's army. He thinks that his honor and his father's honor depend on his ability to return to war and defending their country.

The last thing on both of their minds is love but because of some stubborn sheep and bombarding them with black powder the fate for both of them will reveal its true plans.

 

I will also keep my thoughts about the book rather short because I said a lot about my feelings in the previous review I did which was about the fourth book in the series that I happened to read first (http://demonesstenebrae.booklikes.com/post/1646670/tantalizing-and-humorous-read).

 

This book is not as humourous as the fourth book in the series, Any Duchess Will Do, instead I would say it is more charming and heartwarming. Well, except for the first chapter with those stubborn sheep, that was amazing. Since this is the first book in the series, I imagine that the author took her time to set the tone for this series and that her writing gradually improved in some aspects as she got closer to her characters and to this world she created. Nonetheless, this doesn't take that much away from this book. It all depends on a reader, what he/she finds more endearing in this genre. For me, I appreciate both, and so I gave this book the same rating as I did for fourth book.

 

One thing that I also appreciate is the research the author does before setting the book in a certain historical time period and I believe that Tessa Dare did a great job concerning that. She even explained some of the things mentioned in this book at the end of the book under author's note. That is what every great author should do if they want their readers to get completely immersed in the story. If you understand the time then it is easier for you to understand the people and their actions better.

 

All in all, I find this a compelling story and a good regency world that I can easily enter and become a part of and feel for the characters. What more can a reader ask for? I also feel that I should add that I do not understand lots of comments in reviews who gave this book a one star rating based on the fact that the main heroine is a modern woman of her time that is fighting for women's rights in her own way but ends up in love with a man and gets married. Why is that a bad thing? Do all women who want equal rights for both sexes need to be without men and love in their life just to prove to some non-existent entity that they are feminists? I think that women can fight for their rights and have families and love just the same. Even more so maybe. Plus, in the regency era, especially in a high society, women who were openly voicing out such ideas were ostracised. Before you give this book such a low rating you need to understand the world setting which then commands the characters' actions and motives.

 

Thank you, Tessa Dare, for entertaining me and making me laugh. As a voracious reader that is a real blessing to me.

 

 

You’re human. We’re all scared, every last one of us. Afraid of life, of love, of dying. Maybe marching in neat rows all day distracts you from the truth of it. But when the sun goes down? We’re all just stumbling through the darkness, trying to outlast another night.” Colin downed another swig of wine, then stared at the bottle. “Excellent vintage. Makes me sound almost intelligent.”

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