Spindle Cove #5
Available September 27th
Source: eARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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?
The entire Spindle Cove series is a must-read for those who want a lot of humor with their heat, but this fifth installment is arguably the best yet. With the trademark sexual chemistry Ms. Dare does so well comes a number of laugh out loud moments that have us wanting to start from the beginning as soon as we read the last page.
Charlotte has been a secondary character from book one, her delightfully quirky sisters and completely outrageous matchmaking mother scene-stealers every time they appeared on page. Now sliding into the role of heroine Charolotte makes us fall in love with her all over again, somehow having emerged from her upbringing with the ability to find humor in her mother's desperate attempts to find advantageous marriages for her daughters. She knows people laugh at her family and keep their distance so that her reputation doesn't bleed from her person and stain theirs should they stand too close, and yet she still holds her head up high and approaches every situation with a joy for life we can only admire.
While Piers is everything a historical romance hero should be and certainly worthy of a full paragraph (and more, but I write relatively short reviews ;-) dedicated to his many delicious attributes, there are a couple scenes in this book that cannot go without mentioning. One involves a mother-daughter "what to expect on your wedding night" chat complete with fruit and vegetable visual aides, and another involves a too-truthful perfume shop owner and the many ingredients involved in the making of various fragrances. The entire book is sure to win readers over with ease, but those two moments are particular highlights, and should have you adding this book to your lists as soon as possible.
Though this is the fifth installment and the Highwoods have been players in the previous books, Charlotte's story does stand on its own in terms of the romance, and will certainly cause all who pick it up to trip over themselves in their haste to collect the whole series.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.