If I know one thing, it’s that you can never go wrong with a Tessa Dare historical romance. Each new release is just as delightfully romantic as the last and all of them find permanent spots on my keeper shelf. Do You Want to Start a Scandal is yet another winner from this author. A crossover between Ms. Dare’s Spindle Cove and Castle Ever After series’, it brings together Piers Brandon, brother to Rafe of Say Yes to the Marquess, and Charlotte, the only Highwood sister left unmarried.
Charlotte is used to her mother’s ridiculous, match-making ways. She knows there isn’t anything she won’t do in order to see her youngest daughter wed. But she has other plans and they don’t involve being stuck in a loveless marriage just because it’s what expected of her. Knowing Lord Granville is the most eligible man available at the house party she and her mother are attending, she finds it necessary to warn him of possible match-making shenanigans on her mother’s part. Which is how she finds herself stuck behind the library drapes with the very man she hoped to save while a mystery couple engages in some rather loud and lively sex. Now she’s compromised and has an ‘understanding’ wth the worldly, upstanding, staid Piers Brandon. The only possible way she can see out of the situation is to uncover the identities of the mystery lovers and bring them to light. Then she can carry on with her plan to travel with her best friend and Piers can go on to find another woman to marry.
Piers Brandon has secrets that have kept from settling down with a family. He’s been a spy for the Crown for years and is only at the house party in order to discover if Sir Vernon Parkhurst, under consideration for a very important post by Crown, is above board and has no secrets that might threaten England. When he is discovered with Charlotte in the library, and it’s assumed they were engaged in a romantic tryst, he immediately agrees to do the right thing, which is propose. He’s just a little surprised to find she has absolutely no desire what so ever to become his bride. It’s a love match or nothing. Charlotte intrigues him, and the more she fights their union the more he realizes he must have her. And he’ll do what ever it takes to make her his.
Piers and Charlotte were exactly what I needed this week. He’s starchy and cold, and she’s adventurous and free-spirited. They are so different, or are they? It soon becomes clear to Charlotte that Piers isn’t exactly who she thought he was. He can pick locks and defend her honor with one punch. He’s more fiery and sensual than she could have ever realized. Even while she is determined to uncover clues to the identities of the couple in the library, she becomes just as determined to expose Piers’s emotions and true self.
Their romance is so lovely and sensual. I loved every single thing about it. It builds slowly and believably while they are embroiled in the search for the couple actually in the library having sex. The more time they spend together the more they want each other. The more they want each other, the deeper they fall. Piers is sigh worthy, Charlotte is so fierce and kind and loving. Together they are sure to have fans of this genre squeeing in excitement and swooning in romance overload.
Do You Want to Start a Scandal is heart-warming and humorous, sexy and steamy. It’s historical romance done exactly right. Final Grade- B+/A
“Oliveview,” she blurted out.
He blinked at her. “What?”
What the devil was Oliveview? A village? A person? An estate? Someplace she wanted to go on holiday?
“Goodness,” she said after a few silent moments. “I knew you were opposed to the notion, but I expected a bit more reaction than this.”
“Charlotte, you’re going to have to explain this to me. I am utterly lost. Where-or what- is Oliveview?”
She looked to the ceiling and sighed. “Not ‘Oliveview’, you silly man. I said I love you.”