(Spindle Cove, #4.5)
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
A snowstorm hath no fury like a spinster scorned!
Miss Elinora Browning grew up yearning for the handsome, intelligent lord-next-door…but he left England without a word of farewell. One night, inspired by a bit too much sherry, Nora poured out her heartbreak on paper. Lord Dashwood Missed Outwas a love letter to every young lady who’d been overlooked by gentlemen—and an instant bestseller. Now she’s on her way to speak in Spindle Cove when snowy weather delays her coach. She’s forced to wait out the storm with the worst possible companion: Lord Dashwood himself.
And he finally seems to have noticed her.
George Travers, Lord Dashwood, has traveled the globe as a cartographer. He returned to England with the goal of marrying and creating an heir–only to find his reputation shredded by an audacious, vexingly attractive bluestocking and her poison pen. Lord Dashwood Missed Out, his arse. Since Nora Browning seems to believe he overlooked the passion of a lifetime, Dash challenges her to prove it.
She has one night.
After reading the darkly compelling The Highwayman, I was in the mood for something light-hearted and fun and what better than Tessa Dare’s latest novella in her brilliant Spindle Cove series.
“Second chance at love” is one of my favourite tropes and when the estranged couple are forced to take shelter from a snow storm in an isolated cabin…even better. I know there will be lively dialogue, some soul-searching, and delicious sexy moments, all leading to a Happy Ever After. Add a rescue mission undertaken by all those heroes from the previous Spindle Cove books and how could I not enjoy this novella?
I like Nora, because instead of bottling up her negative feelings after Dash left, she puts pen to paper and has the courage to publish her pamphlet and become a successful author.
She’d come away with friendships, respect, a career of sorts— as much as gentlewomen were permitted to have careers. Women from all over England and beyond wrote to her, expressing their gratitude.
She has become her own woman…intelligent, strong and confident.
I admit that I didn’t have a very good opinion of Dash at first. His initial remarks seem particularly cruel and hurtful but it soon becomes apparent that this may well be a front, because you see his genuine care and concern for Nora when their coach skids off the road.
His fingers brushed a lock of loosened hair from her brow, and an idiotic frisson of pleasure chased through her. He’d never touched her so tenderly. No man had.
I like how the close proximity forces them, as adults, to confront their pasts and their feelings for each other. Dash is right when he says they were both young and needed time to become “their best and bravest selves”. He was a callow, immature youth and Nora ‘s dreams of marriage, children and a life spent with Dash were just girlish fantasies. It’s clear that, without those years apart, Nora would never have become an author and Dash, a cartographer.
There is plenty of sexual tension and a delicious sense of anticipation. I love this exchange between them.
“I don’t care how many lovers you’ve taken, nor how experienced they were.” She held up her index finger. “I have more passion in one fingertip than they have in their whole bodies.”
He propped an elbow on the table. A smile played at the corners of his lips. “Why, Elinora Jane Browning. What on earth have you been doing with that fingertip?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know.”
An added bonus is we get to see Griff, Colin, Bram and Thorne, the heroes from the previous books. Only they could play cards for fossils. and there is fun and laughter as they set off to rescue the stranded Miss Browning. When they mistake a smugglers’ den for a wayside inn, only Colin could come up with such lines as…
Colin cleared his throat and addressed the men. “Say, is this not the Ceylonese Mission Society meeting? I’m afraid we’ve taken a wrong turn, brothers. So sorry to trouble you. We’ll just be on our w—”
Don’t you just adore Colin?
MY VERDICT: This novella is a charming addition to the Spindle Cove series and I’m already anticipating my next visit there for Charlotte Highwood’s story, DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL, to be published on 27th September.
REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: WARM
Read February 2016
Spindle Cove series (click on cover for more details):