Size Doesn’t Matter (37): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger

Size Doesn’t Matter (37): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerA Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
Series: Spindle Cove #1
Published by Avon on August 30, 2011
Genres: Historical, Romance, Humor
Pages: 372
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
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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?

Many thanks, first of all, to Gillian (A Writer of Wrongs) for the kick in the pants to get me started on Spindle Cove, aka sending me the first two books. Obviously I had to fit them in ASAP since a) it’s Tessa Dare and b) Gillian’s been reading her Marchmas presents, so fair is fair, right? Gillian actually didn’t much like A Night to Surrender. I liked it, but very much agree with her that this is by far the weakest of the Dare novels I’ve read. Her characterization is not on point in this book at all.

The best way I can really explain it is that I feel like both Susanna and Bram are very different from they normally are when they’re together. And not in like a sexy, free-to-be-yourselfway, but in an are-you-on-drugs way. Bram alternates between being this incredibly socially awkward guy, basically a big goober, and this macho man with an extra helping of manly because he’s overcompensating for his wounded leg. For one thing, I find his machismo annoying, because he goes too heavy on the “you just need a good man, woman” followed by a crotch grab kind of thing. And Susanna, who otherwise is reasonable and strong, swoons over this brutish, caveman routine. To each their own, I guess, but the attraction never really made sense to me from either side.

But still, the fact that I can dislike the romance in a ROMANCE NOVEL and still like the book more than I dislike it is impressive. Honestly, I don’t really read Tessa Dare for the romance; I read her for the lols, and this book has lols aplenty. The pet lamb named Dinner, that opening scene, and Colin’s advice to the town’s men for how to seduce the womenfolk, for example, all had me giggling my face off.

A Night to Surrender was still a delight for me, but, yeah, the ship is not good. Maybe if you’re more into the ME MAN YOU WOMAN business or outdoor sex then you’d like it more than I did but for me this one’s all about the comedy and not about the romance.

Size Doesn’t Matter (37): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerLuck on the Line by Zoraida Córdova
Series: On the Verge #1
Published by Diversion Books on November 11, 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 248
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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To turn her life around, she’ll have to stand the heat. To fulfill his dreams, he’ll have to get Lucky.

Despite her name, Lucky Pierce has always felt a little cursed. Refusing to settle for less or settle down, she changes jobs as often as she changes boyfriends. When her celebrity chef mother challenges her to finish something, Lucky agrees to help her launch Boston’s next hot restaurant, The Star. Even if it means working with the infuriating, egotistical, and undeniably sexy head chef.

James loves being known as Boston’s hottest bad boy in the kitchen, but if he wants to build a reputation as a serious chef, he has to make this restaurant work and keep his scandalous past out of the headlines. Getting involved with his boss’s spoiled, sharp-tongued daughter is definitely not on the menu.

As the launch of The Star looms and the tension and chemistry heat up in the kitchen, they’re going to need more than a little luck to keep everything from boiling over.

Trying an author’s books because you like them on Twitter can totally backfire. Someone’s tweet persona doesn’t necessarily line up with the things they write. Still, I can never resist it, because that’s how I roll. Luck on the Line interested me because Zoraida Córdova is cool on Twitter. Also, Amazon had the book for free temporarily on Kindle so how was I supposed to not download it? Then, one day, I went to the hair salon without a book so I scrolled through what was on my Kindle and dove in to Luck on the Line.

Aside from the fact that I had Britney Spears’ “Lucky” stuck in my head the whole damn time, I quite enjoyed it. I mean, it’s a hate to love romance with a chef love interest, which means he is good at the sex AND he feeds her tasty foods and I am so here for that.

Though not as funny as Córdova’s twitter, there’s some nice banter in here, and I did ship the ship. I loathed Lucky’s best friend, Bradley, but I was meant to it turns out. There are some really ridiculous lines occasionally that missed the mark, like my personal favorite:

His shirt bunched up on the floor, his delicious abs laid out for me like a rack of chicken wings. And I love me some chicken wings.

I mean, I love me some chicken too, but I’ve never looked at abs and thought about chicken or looked at chicken and thought about abs so that metaphor didn’t do anything but make me snortlaugh.

Definitely liked Luck on the Line enough to buy the second book in the series. It’s fun and fluffy NA, which I want more of. There are some tragic elements to their pasts for sure, but Córdova doesn’t make things super dramatic; she focuses more on the fun and the sex, and less on the trauma.

If you’ve been looking for lighter NA, this one’s worth it’s low kindle price tag imo.

Size Doesn’t Matter (37): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerOnce Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare
Series: Spindle Cove #1.5
Published by Samhain on November 15, 2011
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 113
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Violet Winterbottom is a quiet girl. She speaks six languages, but seldom raises her voice. She endured bitter heartbreak in perfect silence. The gentlemen aren't beating down her door.

Until the night of the Spindle Cove Christmas ball, when a mysterious stranger crashes into the ballroom and collapses at Violet's feet. His coarse attire and near-criminal good looks would put any sensible young lady on her guard. He's wet, chilled, bleeding, and speaking in an unfamiliar tongue.

Only Violet understands him. And she knows he's not what he seems.

She has one night to draw forth the secrets of this dangerously handsome rogue. Is he a smuggler? A fugitive? An enemy spy? She needs answers by sunrise, but her captive would rather seduce than confess. To learn his secrets, Violet must reveal hers and open herself to adventure, passion, and the unthinkable... Love.

I only just barely noticed Violet Winterbottom in A Night to Surrender. She didn’t stand out among the other ladies of Spindle Cove. Of course, if she had, she’d probably have gotten a full-length novel, so I’m not sure what I expected. To Dare’s credit, the fact that Violet doesn’t stand out is part of her characterization: she does her best to blend into corners and avoid attention.

The ship is surprisingly swoony albeit completely ridiculous. I mean, seriously what is this man washing up on the shore business? View Spoiler » But whatever I am total ship trash who cares?

It’s enjoyable but lacks the Tessa Dare humor. Nothing made me giggle at all, which is pretty tragic. Totally worth the .99 cents it cost me, though.

2 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (37): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger”

  1. She’s so lucky, she’s a star but she cry cry cries in her lonelyyyy heart, thinkingggg….


    I’ve still only read two Tessa Dare books (Romancing the Duke and A Night to Surrender), so I’m glad that you also think this one wasn’t as good as the rest. I think I also gave it 3 stars, I wasn’t that invested in it. But I need to read more Dare!

  2. Awww… someone else is on the Tessa Dare bandwagon. Welcome to the party. I have yet to pick up her Spindle Cove series but just finished the third Castles Ever After (is that only going to be a trilogy) so I’ll be picking this up soon.
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Something To Look Forward To – Week of April 4th, 2016My Profile

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