Friday, December 14, 2012
A Week to Be Wicked
Minerva Highwood, eldest of the three Highwood daughters and long overshadowed by her younger sisters' beauty, has been enjoying her summer in Spindle's Cove away from the pressures of society and with the freedom to pursue her own interests. Minerva is interested in rocks and Spindle's Cove has plenty of caves that offer a budding young geologist lots to explore and study. When Minerva discovers the footprint of a giant lizard in one of these caves she knows she must present it at the next meeting of the Scottish Geological Society and she knows the best way to get there. Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, is whiling away his time in Spindle's Cove until he comes into his majority and his older cousin has no choice but to give him access to his funds. He does not find playing nursemaid to the women of "Spinster's Cove" amusing and has no love for the local militia his cousin is so interested in. But even he admits that butting heads with the bookish Minerva has its high moments, but even he is unprepared when Minerva comes to his house in the middle of the evening to share her plan for how to get to Scotland. She wants the two of them to fake an engagement and they can travel together to Scotland and afterwards they will break the engagement and she will live out her life in Spindle's Cove.
Colin knows the idea has no chance of working but he is intrigued by the offer and the chance to spend more time with this fascinating women, however he is swept along by the moment and the two of them are off to Scotland before he realizes what is happening. He is determined to protect Minerva and her fossil, intrigued by this woman who has more passion in her than he has ever had for anything in his life. The two run into quite a lot of trouble on their journey and Minerva discovers that the carefree facade that Colin presents to the world is a way to escape the horrors of his past and forget about the tragic deaths of his parents. Both realize they have misjudged the other and all those nights spent in close proximity bring out the desire they have had for each other since the beginning. But as they get closer to Scotland Colin's doubts about his past and Minerva's fear that she is not good enough for the beautiful rake come bubbling to the surface and it is only one more little hiccup on the journey that will prove to both of them that they can make a happily ever after for themselves.
Tessa Dare consistently writes fun, entertaining, and easy to get lost in romance novels with sympathetic and lovable characters who have a real, have to root for, relationship and this book continued her winning streak. Minerva was the perfect mix of independence and intelligence with some naivete and understandable fear and self-doubt thrown in and it this realistic mix that makes her so perfect. I love that she wasn't stereotypically beautiful, especially loved that she was dependent on glasses and didn't just have to wear them to read, and that she was so passionate about something. Colin was not so different than many romance novel heroes in that he had a tortured past and a reputation for trouble. He's desperately gorgeous and a lord, however his youth and his fortune being controlled by someone else are certainly new and I liked that he wasn't all powerful and did have someone to answer to. The two have a history in previous book that the reader is given a hint of and apparently they are quite opposed to each other, probably as a cover for the attraction they feel. The two are very compatible, despite being almost complete opposites, because they have such respect for the other. She admires the way he has overcome the circumstances of his parents' demise and offers him comfort as a means of continuing to move past it. He is so respectful of her chosen career path, even when he acknowledges he does not really understand it, and is so helpful in furthering her career and determined to see her succeed. Even while they didn't seem to have all that much in common, what they did have in common was their mutual love for each other and a desire to see the other happy and it was quite beautiful really. One of my favorite scenes was when she compared her need for spectacles to make the world right to their need for each other in order for the world to make sense. There was some pretty hot, and frankly very humorous, sex scenes that were sprinkled nicely throughout the book. As usual, Dare's writing was spot on; humorous, entertaining, fast, and enjoyable and she set up the next book in the Spindle's Cove series very nicely and I look forward to reading it.
Rating: Avery well written and enjoyable book with two great characters and a romance that was so wonderfully done.