(Castles Ever After #2)
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and . . . and . . . ?
After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She’s inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.
Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.
So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride’s cold feet?
● He starts with flowers. A wedding can’t have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.
● He lets her know she’ll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.
● He doesn’t kiss her.
● If he kisses her, he definitely doesn’t kiss her again.
● When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.
● And no matter what—he doesn’t fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.
I LOVE Tessa Dare’s books! They are romantic, sexy, funny and full of wonderful characters that always capture my heart. I was totally captivated by SAY YES TO THE MARQUESS from start to finish.
LORD RAFE BRANDON
Rafe Brandon was a black sheep. A hotheaded rebel. The Devil’s Own. He was known throughout England for being quick, crude, strong, dangerous.
I love that, beneath that tough exterior, Rafe hides a tender, vulnerable heart . As a boy, he longed to be the sort of son his father could love. He wanted to be studious and level-headed like his older brother, Piers. Someone his father could be proud of. But Rafe was big and rough and, by nature, impulsive and unruly, preferring outdoor pursuits to studying. Finally, things came to a head with his father and he was banished from the house. He is forced to make a life for himself and prizefighting gives him that chance and provides the discipline he has always lacked.
MISS CLIO WHITMORE
“I quietly declared my own independence. I am the sovereign nation of Clio now. And there will be no terms of surrender.”
I love this determination she has to grasp her independence and live her own life and inheriting Twill Castle means she doesn’t need the security of marriage anymore. She has learnt a lot about herself during the past eight years and knows her own capabilities. I love the idea of her opening a brewery and her wide spectrum of reading during the lonely eight years has provided her with the necessary knowledge. Unlike so many heroines, she is curvaceous and I hated her mother for so cruelly trying to mould Clio into something she isn’t.
Clio and Rafe had such wonderful chemistry and watching their romance unfold was an absolute delight. It was funny, poignant, romantic and sensual and here are just a few of my favourite moments.
“And for every crusading knight who won a tournament for his lady in this castle, I promise you— there were a hundred men who spent a solid decade scratching themselves and having pissing contests from the ramparts.”
“I’m a faithful, drooling little thing you want to keep alive, so Piers can come home and pat me on the head. Toss me a biscuit, perhaps.”
The image erupted in his mind’s eye, as unbidden as it vivid. Clio. Breathless. Naked. Under him. Stripped of all good manners and inhibitions. Begging him to learn her every secret shade of pink. Rafe blinked hard. Then he took that mental image and filed it away under pleasant sounding Impossibilities. Right between “flying carriage” and “beer fountain”.
They kissed and kissed, as the rain fell around them. It was so absurdly romantic, Clio thought her heart would burst.
We’re going to drape her in silks. Drown her in flowers and fancy cakes, until she’s giddy with bridal excitement.
In that moment, Clio looked inside her heart. It was the clearest glimpse she’d ever had. She saw the entirety of her future. Their future . The castle, the brewery . Children. Christmases and Easters and summer rain.
“Clio, you are . . .” Sensual, alluring, voluptuous. “Beautiful.”
As always, Ms Dare delighted me with a lively cast of secondary characters. There is “Sir Coxcomb and Lady Featherbrain” alias Daphne, Clio’s snobbish, overbearing sister and her husband, the preening, obnoxious prig, Sir Teddy Cambourne; smart, quirky Phoebe, Clio’s youngest sister, who sometimes says the most outrageous things; Bruno Aberforth Montague, Esquire alias Bruiser, Rafe’s trainer, who kept me thoroughly entertained with his capers; Piers, Rafe’s brother, who was certainly a surprise and definitely worthy of his own book. Last but not least, Ellingworth, the squattest,oldest, ugliest bulldog ever, who had me cheering when this happened…
“Oh.” She clapped a hand to her mouth. “Oh, dear.” Evidently she wasn’t the only one who’d mistaken Daphne for statuary.
Ellingworth was urinating on her foot.
Once again, Tessa Dare enchanted me with her beautiful writing, her heart-warming stories, her endearing characters and her brilliant humour.
REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: HOT
Read December 2014
Castles Ever After series so far (click on the cover for more details):