RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare


Title: A Night to Surrender
Author: Tessa Dare
Publication Info: Avon 2011
ISBN: 978-0062049834
Genre: Regency

A Night to Surrender This review was written by HarperGray. This story was nominated in the Best Regency Historical category.

The summary:     

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?

And here is HarperGray's review:

Tessa Dare writes some of the most humorously appealing prose that I have read in a long time. Inner monologues and personal observations are somehow both true to life and witty, dialogue is full of banter, and sheep get bombed.

Then why, oh why, is there so little chemistry between Susanna and Bram?

One might expect a daring rescue from the sheep bomb to result in the taking of liberties by our hero, but up until Bram kissed her, there was no hint of attraction on either side. The dialogue between them reveals little, and is continuously punctuated by funny yet obtrusive narration.

Tessa gets into her characters’ heads remarkably well, but when in one character’s head she doesn’t seem terribly interested in reading other characters, or making conjectures about them, or surmising their feelings.  When in Bram’s head, Susanna’s objection to stationing a militia in her sleepy village of Spindle Cove sounds the worst parts of naïve and rich-girl meddling, and it’s not until much later in the book that the reader understands what she really (probably) meant by what she said.

As the book progresses so does the interaction between Bram and Susanna: before long their dialogue becomes less stilted, and sparks truly begin to ignite. But it takes enough story to get so far that one feels Dare putting an awful lot of trust in her readers’ patience.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | All Romance eBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    kkw says:

    I loved this book, but I think your complaints with it are spot on.  It did try my patience initially, but it came together and (I thought) justified the slow build.  Because it got better as it went along, I was left with overwhelming good feelings.  The last three romances I read, all by authors I usually like, started off strong and fizzled, which I find so much more disappointing, and even a weak middle is more off-putting to me than a weak start.  Of course, if the book starts slowly enough, the author risks losing the reader altogether, but even though the *romance* was initially awkward, the book itself was such fun to read that I was never in danger of giving up on it.

  2. 2
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    I agree with all your points, and I also have to add that Bram was a little too aggressive for my tastes. Sometimes I felt like he presumed to know what Susanna wanted without having any justification for it, so when he brushed aside her objections to some of his advances, I thought it was just lucky coincidence that she agreed with him.

    Nevertheless, I’d give it a B- on the strength of its humor, and I liked it well enough to immediately purchase the sequel A Week to be Wicked, which is ten kinds of awesome.

  3. 3
    Bnbsrose says:

    I’m with the Dread Pirate. I’d give it a higher grade as well. It had me at the Old Spice homage and kept me smiling to the end.

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