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Friday, March 23, 2012

Review - - A Week to Be Wicked

A Week to Be Wicked
Spindle Cove - Book 2
By Tessa Dare
Publisher:  Avon
Release Date:  March 27, 2012









Before I ever reached the first word of this story, Tessa Dare had already hooked me with this one line dedication:  

For all the girls who walk and read at the same time.

I mean, really, who among us cannot relate to that?

For one of those girls, studious Minerva Highwood, the past year in Spindle Cove has been the best of her life.  Away from the censorious eyes of the ton and with her mother's focus on marrying off eldest daughter, Diana, Minerva has been free to explore the surrounding countryside and indulge her passion for geology.  Life has been good until she hears whispers that Viscount Payne plans to ask for Diana's hand in marriage. Minerva loves her sweet, kindhearted sister too much to allow her to be tied to that womanizing wastrel.  And she refuses to acknowledge those other feelings that thinking of her sister and Payne together cause in the pit of her stomach...or in the region of her heart. The only course of action for a forward thinking lady like Minerva is to beard the dragon in his lair and offer him an incentive he can't refuse to stay away from her sister.

Colin Sandhurst, Viscount Payne, sorely misses the pleasures of life in London but he's stuck in Spindle Cove until his next birthday when his fortune will finally be released to him.  Until his birthday or marriage (an institution he's determined to steer clear of), his funds are controlled by his cousin, Bram who's determined to bring Colin around to the realization that it's time to grow up and embrace responsibility. But then, that quirky Highwood girl appears at his door late one night with an intriguing proposition: pretend to elope to Edinburgh with her so she can make a presentation to the Royal Geological Society about a groundbreaking discovery she's made and she'll give him the substantial prize money.  In exchange, he must promise to stay away from her sister.  Though most view him as a rake at best and scoundrel at worst, Colin has rules by which he lives his life and one of the most important is that he refuses to be responsible for ruining the reputation of an innocent.  He declines her offer yet somehow finds himself going along with it in the light of day.  Minerva has that effect on him.

The seven day trip to Edinburgh proves to be a revelation for both Minerva and Colin, as they bring out both the worst and the best in one another.  Strengths, vulnerabilities and talents previously hidden from public view are all revealed in the course of adventures that await them on the journey.  Layers are expertly peeled away until only the raw truth at the core of their souls remains and a love for the ages awaits.

"And it occurred to her, as she made that mad dash down the lane - clutching a blazing hot pistol in one hand and a fistful of money in the other - that this surely must mark some turning point in her life.  Really, there was no going back from this.

Today, all her mother's judgments had been proved false.  She wasn't plain, but pretty.  She wasn't distracted and awkward, but confident and a crack shot. 

Most of all, Minerva was not hopeless.  She had twenty pounds.  She had an important scientific discovery. 

And she had Colin, the most handsome, charming devil in England, coming fast on her heels.  Save for the ransom-minded highwaymen and angry magistrate's son chasing after them...  

Life had never been so good."

Can I just say how much I adore Colin?  Adore him!   I would love him for this scene alone were there not so many other equally wonderful scenes in this book that further cement my feelings.   He pushes Minerva beyond self-imposed boundaries, tempts her, believes in her, causes her to open her eyes to the wonderful woman she is and helps her discover the confidence to finally ask for what she most wants.  But, for me, what I love most is the sheer joy of life that he teaches her to embrace.

And what Minerva does for Colin... It broke my heart and healed it in the same breath when he finally shares his deepest secret, the heart wrenching experience that has haunted him and molded him since he was a child, that he has never shared with another soul, and Minerva instinctively understands exactly what he needs.

"She couldn't "heal" him.  No woman could.  Events that far in the past just couldn't be undone.  But perhaps he didn't need a cure, but...a lens.  Someone who accepted him for the imperfect person he was, and then helped him to see the world clear.  Like spectacles did for her." 

The following is a quote from my 2009 review of Tessa Dare's debut book, Goddess of the Hunt:

Every year there seems to be one debut author who bursts upon the scene and absolutely knocks my socks off with her superb writing skill.  This year, that author is Tessa Dare.  In her debut book, Goddess of the Hunt, Dare showcases her command of the English language with exquisite prose that sings across the pages with a lyrical quality that is a joy to read.  Her characters are so vividly drawn that they practically leap from the pages and her story unerringly hits all the right notes.

That one paragraph could apply to every book that Tessa Dare has written but none more so than A Week to Be Wicked.  In Colin and Minerva's book, not only does Ms. Dare hit all the right notes, she creates new ones.  In a story that flows like fine wine, she brings us two characters that light up the pages with humor, passion and a romance that had my heart singing with joy.  They made me laugh, made me sigh, brought me to tears and continue to draw me back to them weeks after first reading their story.  Every book Tessa Dare has written sits on my keeper shelf.  I love them all but none has touched me as deeply as this one.

Don't miss A Week to Be Wicked.  It has my highest recommendation!

Note:  A Week to Be Wicked is the second book in Ms. Dare's Spindle Cove series.  It stands well on its own but for a better understanding of the characters and maximum reading pleasure, I recommend reading A Night to Surrender first, followed by A Week to Be Wicked.  

~PJ

28 comments:

  1. I cannot wait to read this book! Excitement in Dianna's house....LOL

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    1. Only four more days, Dianna! Set aside some reading time before you buy the book. You won't want to put this one down!

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    2. Did you get my e-mail thanking you for my books??? I sent through The Romance Dish

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    3. I got it, Dianna! Thanks for letting me know. Hope you're enjoying them!

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  2. Excellent review PJ. I definitely want to read Minerva and Collin's story! I will have to look for all of her books love humor and passion in the books that I read!.

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    1. Laurie, you haven't read Tessa's books yet? There are some amazing stories waiting for you! Since her debut, Tessa's published seven more books and one novella. The books are grouped in trilogies and I recommend reading the three books of each trilogy in order. You can get a list of the books by trilogy at Tessa Dare's website. http://tessadare.com/bookshelf/

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    2. Correcting myself (Thanks, Janga!) Tessa has published two e-novellas. The first was The Legend of the Werestag (historical, not paranormal).

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  3. I love Tessa's books, and I vividly recall your review of Goddess of The Hunt. Now, you have me anxious to read A Week To Be Wicked. :-)

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    1. Gannon, you're going to love this one!

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  4. PJ -- what an eloquently written review! You've convinced me! I just added it to my Kindle. I can't wait to read it. I used to read historical romance, years ago, but have stayed with contemporary, which I write, and suspense thrillers lately. I guess it's time to get back to them. Are there other Spindle Cove stories? Thanks for this great eye-opening review!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it, Annie! A WEEK TO BE WICKED is the second book in the Spindle Cove trilogy. The first, A NIGHT TO SURRENDER (where we first meet Colin and Minerva), was a September 2011 release. Tessa's novella, Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Nov. 2011) is connected to Spindle Cove.

      Hope you enjoy the books and thanks for stopping by! :)

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    2. I hit enter too soon! I meant to add that I recommend reading A NIGHT TO SURRENDER first then A WEEK TO BE WICKED. AWTBW stands well on its own but I think readers will enjoy it even more if they've read A NIGHT TO SURRENDER first.

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  5. Wonderful review PJ!!! :) And I couldn't agree more!! (I was lucky to get an early copy of A Week to be Wicked from my bookstore). I couldn't put it down and was captivated by Colin and Minerva from the start. You nailed it when you said Colin and Minerva went from bringing out the worst in each other to bringing out the best in each other through love trust and understanding-that was definitely one of my favorite parts of the book. Big happy sigh. :) This was such a fun, emotional,romantic, sexy, sweet,witty story-I can't say enough good things about it!!

    I honestly believe this is Tessa's best book to date, and I'm sure she's only getting started and the best is yet to come. :) Bring on A Lady by Midnight!!!!

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    1. I completely agree with you, Lisa. I also think this is Tessa's best work to date. And, I'm counting the days until A LADY BY MIDNIGHT!

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  6. Another fabulous review, PJ! I totally agree with you on this one. A Week to Be Wicked is a wonderful books, and Tessa is a gifted writer. This is one of her best. Colin and Minerva are unforgettable characters as individuals and as a couple.

    Tessa is a great storyteller, and, like some of my other favorite authors, she blends humor and poignancy with great skill. I think her use of character-based humor merits more recognition. And speaking of humor reminds me--I believe the Spindle Cove novella was Tessa's second. Did you forget the werestag? :)

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    1. Snap! I did forget the werestag! (and I enjoyed that one) Thanks, Janga!

      Now that I've finished my review I can go read what you had to say about Colin and Minerva in your review. Wondering how close we are in our opinions...

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  7. I love books like this... When nice queit girls give into adventerous dealings with men such as the Colin....This is going on my tbr list..

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  8. Hi PJ!

    Wow, what a review, great as always!
    You are just so spot on with Tessa Dare, she's just a wonderful writer.

    Any book that I've bought by Tessa is worth every penny, money well spent in my opinion.
    Please, just don't ask my hubby what he thinks of my book-buying adventures. He just might not agree with me. :-)

    If anyone hasn't read any of her books, you must get your hands on them.
    You'll not regret it for a second!
    I know I can't wait to get my hands on A WEEK TO BE WICKED, I have to know what is going to happen to Minerva and Colin. Their path to their HEA will be exciting for sure.

    Have a nice day!

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    1. Hope you enjoy Minerva and Colin's story, Dalila. It's destined to be on my best of 2012 list!

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  9. This book sounds awesome, have read her books before and they are really good.

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    1. She landed on my auto-buy list with her first book, Quilt Lady, and each subsequent book has cemented her position more.

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  10. Awesome review, PJ. I can't wait either. I was hooked by the snippet at the end of ANTS. I also loved Colin in ANTS. He had all the great lines. I love when you get such a total feel for a character from their dialogue. I get this feeling about Colin. An irresistible bad boy, not in the mean or villain sense, but in the naughty, hand caught in the cookie jar sense.

    I did something with A WEEK TO BE WICKED I've never done before - I pre-ordered it for my Nook. So, I'm extra excited to see how that whole system works. I should have it available to me ASAP on release day!

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    1. Irish, hope the pre-order goes smoothly. Be sure to set aside plenty of time to read. Believe me, you won't want to put this one down!

      And wait until you read the snippet of A LADY BY MIDNIGHT at the back of A WEEK TO BE WICKED. I'm counting days again! ;-)

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  11. Terrific review, PJ! I am SOOOOOOO looking forward to this one!!

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  12. Thank you for another great review. I always appreciate the reviews here on the Dish. You hit the essence of the characters, the story, and the author, but never give away too much of the story and ruin the suspense. Too many reviewers basically write a synopsis of the story giving away everything. It spoils it for the reader and ruins all the hard work the author did to present the story. I have wanted to read her books and now they are on my Wish List.

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  13. Thanks for another great review, PJ! I really enjoy reading Tessa Dare,so you can be sure I will be adding this one to my list; which is getting longer and longer thanks to all you Dishes!

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