Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review: Do You Want to Start a Scandal? by Tessa Dare

Release date: September 27, 2016
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Avon
Pages: 376
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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?
Unsurprisingly, Tessa Dare does it again. While this isn't my favorite of her books (That would be a tall order, really.), Do You Want to Start a Scandal? delivers Tessa Dare's signature witty and sweet romance. Her books are never not a complete joy to read--and it's clear why Tessa is the author that got me to start reading historical romance.

Do You Want to Start a Scandal? is actually a mashup of Tessa's two series Spindle Cove and Castles Ever After, bringing two former supporting characters into the spotlight. I've read all of the Castles Ever After books, so I knew Piers, but I've only read one Spindle Cove, and hadn't read about Charlotte yet.

Piers comes off, at first, as expected. He's controlled, and certainly cold, but as he and Charlotte come together, we see so much more of him--and Charlotte is the perfect foil. She's a firebrand, always off doing what she thinks must be done. Though, often what she's doing gets her into trouble.

I seriously loved watching them fall in love.

Of course, there is the mystery going on as well. I loved how it turned out--it's definitely a mystery, but it's really a (fun? Can I call it fun?) surprise. It's exactly what it should have been in a historical romance, and while the mystery plays an important part, this is first and foremost a romance.

So, if you like charming romances, you better be reading Tessa Dare's books. You'll close each book grinning like a fool--and who doesn't want that?

About the author:

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fourteen historical romance novels and five novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.

Mixing wit, sensuality, and emotion, Tessa writes Regency-set romance novels that feel relatable to modern readers. With her bestselling “Spindle Cove” and “Castles Ever After” series, she has had great fun creating heroines who defy the conventions of their time—engaging in “unladylike” pursuits that range from paleontology to beer-making—and dreaming up the strong-willed, sexy heroes who find their hearts ensnared by them.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.

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