Monday, October 3, 2016

Do You Want To Start A Scandal

Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Castles Ever After) by [Dare, Tessa]

Do You Want To Start A Scandal (Castles Ever After/Spindle Cove series)- Tessa Dare
Avon Books
Release Date: September 27, 2016

Rating (Out of 5):

Synopsis: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?


Do You Want to Start a Scandal finally gives us the story of Charlotte Highwood (Spindle Cove series), a sensible, adventure-loving young woman whose mother would give Mrs. Bennet a run for her money in desperation to get her daughters titled, wealthy husbands.  At  a friend's house party Charlotte knows her mother is going to not-so-subtly try and catch a marquess (Piers Brandon, Lord Granville to be exact), for Charlotte's husband. Charlotte tries to warn Piers and reassure him that she has no desire to marry him, but no sooner has she said that than the two of them have to hide from a mysterious pair of lovers taking advantage of what they think is an empty library.  Charlotte and Piers end up getting caught together and Piers saves Charlotte's reputation by announcing their engagement.  Charlotte decides to discover the identities of the mystery lovers to clear her name; Piers is trying to do some investigating of his own but keeps getting distracted by his attraction to Charlotte.  Maybe this fake betrothal is a good idea after all?

This was a great book.  Dare's sense of humor comes through more strongly than her last few books and the fast-paced mystery kept me turning pages long after I should have put the book down for the night.  Charlotte shines as a young woman who is confident enough in herself to try and lead the life she wants, who will flout convention and marry for love and not for scandal.  Piers ended up being one of my favorite of Dare's heroes: secretive, with a brilliant dry wit, and a traumatic childhood that has shaped him into a man who refuses to believe in love or that he's worthy of the love Charlotte offers.  Despite their differences, he quickly  discovers that this seemingly odd pairing may be the perfect match.

We get more of Mrs Highwood here than in some of the other Spindle Cove books and I really loved how, instead of just making her a characture of the ultimate Matchmaking Mama, Dare gives us a great scene between Charlotte and her mother where we get to see into Mrs Highwood's past and discover what shaped her into the mother that she is.  There is also a scene where Mrs Highwood tries to explain marital relations to Charlotte that is one of the most painfully hilarious scenes ever- and Charlotte gets her revenge in the perfect way!

The chemistry between Charlotte and Piers is off the charts and the most innocent scenes between them steam up the page.  The secret of the mystery lovers and the mystery Piers has been sent to unravel end up dovetailing perfectly- and wasn't an answer that I guessed before Piers and Charlotte did, which I always like.

A definite must-read for not only Tessa Dare fans but anyone looking for a fun, fast-paced, brilliant book that they won't be able to put down.  The question is: Do you want to start a scandal? The answer should definitely be: Yes!

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