Enchanting. Exciting. Hilarious; just a few adjectives to describe Tessa Dare’s A NIGHT TO SURRENDER. From the magnetic characters to the delightful-and sometimes dangerous- scenarios, this story truly captivates on all grounds.
After suffering a nearly career-ending injury to his leg, Lieutenant Colonel Victor Bramwell is determined to prove he’s capable of leading a regime and make his way back to the frontlines of the war despite the doubts of his superiors. His final resort lands him and two wagons of supplies for his regime trapped on an English mountainside by a most dangerous impediment- sheep. Along with his mountainesque Corporal Throne and rakish, devil-may-care cousin/ward Colin some hilarious hijinks involving explosions and sheep stampedes commences; But the livestock won’t be the last to have their peace and tranquility disturbed by this motley crew.
Bram arrives at Spindle Cove to prevail upon Susanna’s father to put in a good word for him and aide his campaign for a return to the war. Stipulations will leave Bram stranded in the quaint, (Amazonian) majority female community known as “Spinster Cove” with a peerage title he didn’t want and charged with the task of scrounging up a local militia to present for review to some important military personnel in a month’s time. Bram is less than enthused considering the pool for abled-bodied men to volunteer is more like a puddle, but he’ll stop at nothing to prove himself and has no choice but to give the task his all.
Of course the women of the seaside community and their resilient, vexing, and too attractive for her own good leader will pose some difficulties for Bram and his men; as will the men and their incredibly maddening and handsome leader pose a threat for Susanna and her beloved community. The prosperity of Spindle Cove, Bram’s military career, and Mr. Finch’s dreams of legacy and glory all hang in the balance; as does the hearts of two head strong leaders which will soon join the fray.
My Favorite Part of the Book: It’s so hard to choose just one! Although Bram and Susanna had plenty of memorable scenes, I must admit that a secondary character threatened to steal the show! I laughed uncontrollably when Colin (Cousin to militia leader Bram and also a ner’do-well of the highest order) rallied up the volunteers for the militia while Bram was indisposed and laid siege on the village to “take back” a popular shop the women used for their gatherings. The men were so misguided in their reasoning and attempt to “take back what should be theirs”! And Colin’s coaching on how to seduce the women in the village had me laughing like a loony!
There’s so much to like about this book and even more to love. Dare’s characters were simply brilliant! Susanna’s spirited nature, Bram’s unfailing sense of honor and purpose, Minerva’s complexity and uniqueness, and Colin’s….Colin-ness, all danced across the pages and entertained me from beginning to end. The plot was intriguing enough that it had me invested through the book’s entirety. It’s hard to find fault with this book but I will say that for some odd reason I couldn’t get into this book in the beginning on the first try. I’d begun this book a few months ago but never went past chapter 1. I didn’t take the time to really comprehend what was going on in the first few scenes and got disenchanted from reading but during my recent reading of it I had a lot of time to kill and once I read on I realized that it was piece together rather cleverly and in a way I inevitably enjoyed!
Perhaps one of the highest points in this book for me was the writing itself. I found that the author’s melodic “writing voice” spoke to me in that indescribable way your favorite books tend to speak to you. Dare’s metaphors were so beautiful and artful, I was dazzled:
“There was passion, stockpiled inside her. He’d called her a powder keg, but that would be an understating. She saw it all now, stretching in her mind’s eye. Vast storehouses, whole magazines. Here were crates of kisses, never shared. Casks of sweet caresses kept sealed from the rain. Row upon row of breathy moans and sighs, all carefully bottled and tightly corked.”
-A NIGHT TO SURRENDER, Pg. 137
I truly could go on rhapsodically for another few paragraphs, but I’ll put it like this: If you enjoy passionate, clever, humorous, ardent, and interesting historical romance, then do yourself the greatest service and read this book.
And there’s no way you’ll get through this book and not be excited for the next Spindle Cove novel! Be on the lookout for book 2, A WEEK TO BE WICKED, featuring Colin and Minerva! Available now!