A Night to Surrender: Spindle Cove, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are...nowhere to be found.
Or are they?
Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: The painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there.
Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn't belong here. So far as he can tell, there's nothing in this place but spinsters...and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It's a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch - a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram's makeshift army.
Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle; but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 25 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||December 17, 2013|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #17,320 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#64 in Regency Romance
#767 in Literary Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#971 in Historical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 2019
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Bram made his way to the nearest wall and propped one shoulder against it, resting his knee. Damn, that climb had been steep. "Let me understand this," he said, discreetly rubbing his aching thigh under the guise of brushing off loose dirt. "You're suggesting we leave because the village is full of spinsters? Since when do you complain about an excess of women?"
"These are not your normal spinsters. They're...they're unbiddable. And excessively educated."
"Oh. Frightening, indeed. I'll stand my ground when facing a French cavalry charge, but an educated spinster is something different entirely."
"You mock me now. Just you wait. You'll see, these women are a breed unto themselves."
Welcome to Spindle Cove. As Colin said, the women here are not quite the society ladies you are probably used to seeing in Historical Romance. They are the ones that have various conditions that require them to be out of the public eye. Susanna is not such a woman, but because of some past experiences with her own condition, she is determined to save these women from the unfortunate experiences they might end up facing. She has made Spindle Cove a sought after haven and does her best to help these women without resorting to medical cures.
Enter Bram and his cohorts. They're on their way to see Susanna's father, Sir Finch, hoping he can pull some strings and get Bram back into the military position he desires. Instead, Bram is given the unwelcome news that he has become a member of the nobility and that he is required to pull together a militia to guard against French invasion. Sir Finch dangles the possibility of restoring Bram back to active duty after his militia is given a successful military review at the midsummer fair, so Bram is determined to succeed. Imagine his surprise to find that men are at a minimum in Spindle Cove!
The conflict between Bram and Susanna's goals gave this book a bit of a battle of the sexes feel. I wasn't really loving it in the beginning, as I felt it was a bit too stereotypical and heavy-handed, but the author really delved into Bram and Susanna and I fell in love with them. Susanna has a hard time dealing with people who have no problems to be fixed. When she meets Bram he is frustrated by her need to load him with baggage he doesn't have. In his eyes he's a simple man and he wishes she could just take him at face value.
"My pride's not wounded, for God's sake. And no, I'm not disappointed. Nor haunted, nor embittered, nor threatened. Stop trying to pin all these emotions on me like frilly pink ribbons. I'm not one of your delicate spinsters, Miss Finch. This isn't about my tender feelings. I have things to accomplish, and you"--he poked a single finger into her shoulder--"are hindering me."
For his part, Bram is treading water and struggling to stay afloat. He has always identified himself by his capabilities in the military. He is lost and uncertain of himself after being shot in the knee and taken off active duty. He is determined to return to that life--because he believes he has no worth or skills beyond that--but he is hampered by the fact that he is not completely healed. He cannot accept this weakness in himself (he finds it something to be ashamed of) and continues to push to be as capable and ready as he was before. In Susanna's unconscious quest to uncover his hidden issues, she stumbles upon the truth and cannot help but slowly fall for him.
"Here it was, his secret. No childhood trauma, no ravages of war. Just a deep, unspoken desire for closeness."
*sigh* How can you not be sucked in by such a man?
The humor and the dialogue in this book popped. There were so many scenes where I found myself giggling and smiling. But there were also the deeper, more emotionally rich scenes where I had to sigh. I had such a fun time watching Bram and Susanna clash and banter and eventually fall in love. This romance absolutely pleased me and I had a warm feeling in my chest when I closed the book. *sigh* So good.
"No, Susanna," he said. "I cannot love you just a little. If that's what you want, you must find a different man." His green eyes were breathtaking in their intensity. His thumb brushed her bottom lip. "Because I can only love you entirely. With everything I am, and everything I will be. Body, mind, heart, soul."
Edited to add: I forgot to include a snippet that I thought was absolutely hilarious. Colin reminded me of the "I'm on a horse" guy from the Old Spice commercials.
"Tonight," he announced, "is the night we take back that village. And we're not going to do it by marching in lines or committing acts of brave idiocy. We're going to do it by being men. Manly men. The kind of men a woman wants to take control."
Brows wrinkled in confusion.
"But..." The blacksmith looked around the group. "We are men. Last I checked, anyhow."
"It's not just a matter of having the proper equipment. It's using the equipment properly." Leaping up on a crate, Colin spread his arms wide. "Look at me. Now look at yourselves. Now look back at me. I am the man you want to be like."
Dawes crossed his arms. "Why is that, precisely?"
"Do you know how many women I've bedded?" When Rufus and Finn perked, he waved at them. "Have a guess, boys."
"Seventeen," offered Finn.
"Oh, for the love of God," he muttered. "We'll be here all day. Let's just call the number more than you can imagine. Because clearly, that is the case." Under his breath, he added, "Perhaps higher than you know how to count."
*For a sneak peek, check out my Tempting Teaser on Fiction Vixen*
A NIGHT TO SURRENDER features Susanna and Bram. Susanna is the daughter of the, I guess, squire of Spindle Cove, where there is a little village that basically caters to all things women. There, she kind of runs a sort of social club/finishing school for outcast ladies who run the gamut of being too shy or too loose for polite society, which sometimes gives the place the charming name "Spinster Cove."
Bram, on the other hand, is coming to Spindle Cove to run a militia and recruit people into his army. Because Spindle Cove is by the sea, and near France (I guess??) it seems like a place that would be good to seize control of. But when they get there, they find their path blocked by sheep, which they immediately try to bomb out of the way because men.
This is not realistic historical romance. The little village kind of reads like a Disneyland attraction as created by someone who is a feminist and likes to LARP. And I don't necessarily mean that as a bad thing. Actually, the village was one of the things I liked most about the book, whether it was the blacksmith who makes pretty lockets, the tea shop called The Blushing Pansy (gasp!) that sells little lavender tarts, or the idea of a whole bunch of women who are the black sheep of society and must bond together, in a village surrounded by literal sheep, enjoying the freedom of their independence.
Which brings me to the romance. I actually didn't really like any of the guys in this book (except the blacksmith and the vicar). Bram comes across as a jerk (although Colin was way worse). I liked Susanna a lot and the village, and it felt like Bram (metaphorically) just beat both into coming around to his preferences and way of thinking. There are a lot of sex scenes-- and the sex scenes are pretty good-- but I never really got the impression that they had much of an emotional connection, or even really much in common besides being stubborn and traumatized by medical professionals.
I loved the first half but skimmed a lot of the second half. Not super excited to read Colin's book, but Thorne and the blacksmith's have me rubbing my hands in gleeful anticipation.
2.5 out of 5 stars
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Here, we have a male/female battle in a seaside village. Our hero is tasked with creating a group of volunteers to protect the coast in case of invasion. Unfortunately the village is a retreat for numerous spinsters, all misfits of one kind or another and all reliant on the indomitable Susanna Finch who has turned the whole village into a ladies spa - a tea-room has replaced the pub, the blacksmith fashions jewellery, the vicar is a dandy - all in all a ladies paradise. Now poor Victor Bramwell with just the aid of his corporal and his spoiled rake-hell cousin has to find volunteers to form his militia.
So this is just the start of the series and I am chewing at the bit to read the rest, especially Colins story - already sparks are flying between him and Minerva, and I long to find out more about Corporal Thorne who seems drawn to Kate. Personally, I feel believable can often be boring and I much prefer a good imagination in writers of fiction. After all, fiction actually means that it is not true. Here’s to many more funny, heartwarming joyously entertaining books from Tessa Dare.
Spindle Cove is a place run by Miss Susanna Finch, where young ladies can go to let off some steam, and not worry about their lives. The people there all have their own reasons being there, and Susanna takes care of them all, with the help of her friend Miss Kate Taylor, who is the female protagonist in book 3 (someone I'm dying to read about after the synopsis). Anyway, this is about book 1, with Susanna and Bram.
The story begins with Lieutenant Colonel Victor 'Bram' Bramwell returning from war with fellow comrades, his cousin Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne and the dark and quiet Corporal Samuel Thorne. They have orders to gather a militia at Spindle Cove. But when a herd of sheep block their path, they debate how to get past. Perhaps they could scare them...
Susanna, meanwhile, is trying to convince Mrs Highwood to permit her three daughters, Diana, Minerva and Charlotte, to stay at Spindle Cove. But a loud bang interrupts them. Susanna goes to investigate, and this is where she is pushed out of harm's way by Bram, but he lands on top of her. He can't help but kiss her, and from then on, there is a mutual attraction. But this is tested when Susanna learns of Bram's plans for her respectful ladies haven. However, Bram is adamant that no-one, not even the beautiful Susanna, will stand in his way.
Bram meets her father, who he already knows. He tells Bram due to his part in the Peninsula War, he's been awarded the title of the Earl of Rycliff. Bram isn't eager for the title, and carries on gathering the few men there are in the village to make his militia. Susanna isn't happy at his interference, but the longer they spend together, the closer she and Bram get. Can they put aside their opinions and be together?
Overall, the book was fantastic. Bram is a character you really fall for. He's been wounded in the war, and now has a limp, yet it's touching when you see Susanna going out of her way to help him, even if he makes it difficult for her, because of his pride. Bram learns of Susanna's own scars, and why she's been single all of this time. Both were dynamic, engaging characters, and a joy to read about.
Not sure why he's never called Victor and always called Bram. Perhaps he doesn't like his name, but it's something I did wonder throughout the story, but never learned the reason why.
On now with book 2, with Colin and Minerva.
I'v read 'a Week to be Wicked' ( which is the 2sc book in the series) before i got my hands on this one. I'm not sure which one is better because they were both amazing.
A night to surrender had me hooked and laughing from the very first page.
The characters were very realistic, well developed and they all had a different personality. Susanna ( main character) was a lovely, hunted by the past young lady. Bram ( 2sc main character) was a super tough and wounded by the past man. The 2 of they combined together make a beautiful and spectacular couple.
They were moments where you just COULD NOT put the book down. Many romantic, passionate/hot, and epic scenes that just kept you turning the pages.
Although they were many things i liked, i still found something missing.
Overall, A night to surrender is a wonderfully written book by a wonderful author. Definitely worth a try. Simply FANTASTIC. I'm sure to buy more books and the next book in the series by Tessa Dare.
"' And before she could even catch her breath, he pressed his lips to hers. A kiss. His lips touching hers. It was warm and firm, and then... it was over. Her first real kiss in all her five-and-twenty years, and it was finished in a heartbeat. Just a memory now, save for the faint bite of whiskey on her lips. And the heat. She still tasted his scorching, masculine heat. Belatedly, she closed her eyes'.
GREAT FAN OF TESSA DARE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS SERIES.