Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
Book Two of the Castles Ever After series
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
Rating: 5 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***
Summary (from Goodreads):
Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and . . . and . . . ?
After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.
Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.
So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride's cold feet?
● He starts with flowers. A wedding can't have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.
● He lets her know she'll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.
● He doesn't kiss her.
● If he kisses her, he definitely doesn't kiss her again.
● When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.
● And no matter what—he doesn't fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.
What I Liked:
Holy moley, I loved this book. Five stars? Do I want more? Yes. Yes yes yes. Tessa Dare is definitely a favorite, auto-buy historical romance author. I LOVED Romancing the Duke (book one of this companion series), and I loved this one even more. Dare's writing is beautiful, her storytelling lovely, the romance superbly crafted!
Just a disclaimer - this book is in no way related to book one (Romancing the Duke). There are no crossover characters (that I can recall). The books are related/are in the same series because each book is set in some sort of castle. So you can read whichever book in whatever order or not at all... though I highly recommend that if you had to read one, read this one!
Clio has been engaged to Piers Brandon, a marquess, for eight years. Well, she will wait no longer. When she goes to find his brother, Rafe, to break off the engagement (since Piers is away for business, Rafe is the next person with the power to break it off), Rafe refuses. Instead, he comes to her newly inherited castle and tries to convince her to go through with the wedding... all the while, falling in love with her, and she with him.
One of the things that really stuck out to me, that is unique to Dare, that I really loved in this book, was the HUMOR. It's hard to describe, but the banter between Rafe and Clio, their individual dialogue, their inner monologue, the way things are presented... it's just so HILARIOUS. It's not like this is supposed to be a "Humor" novel - no, it's clearly historical romance, but the way Dare writes, things are so, so funny. And it's great. Her writing is sort of modern, for a historical time, but it doesn't seem anachronistic.
Like I said, this book had a lot humor. It was very lighthearted, with Rafe finishing Clio's sentences, Rafe constantly trying to make Clio blush, Clio trying to by the perfect Englishwoman, Clio desperate to have Rafe sign the papers. Watching them fall for each other was so nice, because their relationship was so tension-free and carefree and playful.
I like Clio a lot - she is very sweet. She's the oldest of three sisters, but her middle sister is already married, and is a serious pain. Clio has a lot of patience, which is perfect for dealing with her sister... or someone like Rafe. I really like Rafe. He used to be a prizefighter, and he still trains for underground fights. Imagine, a lord, the second son of a marquess, fighting like a common man. But I so like him! He wants nothing to do with the title (which is good, because Piers is first in line).
It's adorable to watch watch as the story progresses. Clio and Rafe get under each other's skin, in a surprising, lovely way. Their banter is wonderful and cute and a breath of fresh air. There isn't too much angst and woe is me and all that - Clio doesn't want to marry Piers, Rafe loves Clio, Clio loves Rafe. It just makes sense!
This one is kind of heavily romance-driven, which is fine by me! Rafe is trying to convince Clio to go forth with the marriage, because of his loyalty to his brother. But eventually, neither Rafe nor Clio want that, so it becomes a matter of Clio telling Piers the truth, whenever that may be.
I could re-read this book again and again. Seriously, it was that great! Definitely a favorite historical romance novel of the year - and in general!
What I Did Not Like:
I HATED Daphne (Clio's sister - the middle one). I mean, I think that was the point, but dang, I wanted to punch her (and her idiot husband) from the moment we meet them.
Would I Recommend It:
To all the historical romance lovers out there, you MUST give this book a shot. If I'm calling it a favorite, then at least add it to your TBR list. Just look at it. But seriously, this book is one of my favorite historical romance novels in general! And it's out in a month!
5 stars. So well-earned. I want to go re-read this one right now!
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