Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Review: Do You Want to Start a Scandal

Spindle Cove #5
Tessa Dare
Historical Romance
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.

Rating: 5/5

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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.


  1. YES, Jenny! I loved this book so so much. It was my favorite by Tessa Dare too and I agree that she completely outdid herself with it. That aubergine + peach scene had my belly aching because I was laughing so hard, but also trying not to make too much noise to wake everyone up in the building! :)
    Piers! <3 He was certainly super swoony but Charlotte stole the show for me!
    I'm so happy you loved this too, Jenny. :)
    Lovely review!

  2. I heard so many wonderful things about the books by Tessa Dare, I'm glad it's a great one again! I need to try!

  3. MOAR TESSA DARE! I can't wait for this one, Jenny, especially after your review. :D

  4. I have never read any romances by Tessa Dare; in fact, I have only read one historical romance by Sarah MacLean and I really enjoyed it. I don't know why I don't make time to read more. I think I will check out this series next. I love that there's humor as well! Great review, Jenny!

  5. This sounds so much fun! I just started my first Tessa Dare book, Romancing the Duke, and I'm really enjoying it!

  6. I need this Jenny..I do love her books and will be adding it post haste!

  7. Aw. This sounds lovely! I need to get on this series because it seems to be a popular one for you HR lovers. :)

  8. I've loved a lot of Dare's novels but haven't been able to get much into the Spindle Cove books as a series. BUT, this book has been calling to me since I first read the synopsis--I just gravitate towards historical romance with a breath of comedy--and I'm so excited to read this, especially now that I know it didn't disappoint in the least! Wonderful review, Jenny--hopefully I can get my hands on this, soon!! :)

  9. This sounds really good! Love the title, too. :D

  10. Okay, this sounds like a book I need to read and check out for sure! A 5 stars for you means I need ASAP!!

  11. I picked this series up after loving Tessa Dare's Castles Ever After series, and loved it, too! She is one of my favorite historical romance writers, so witty and clever! I'm even more excited to read this installment after hearing how much you enjoyed Charlotte's story! Wonderful review, Jenny! :)