Say Yes to the Marquess, by Tessa Dare

Say Yes to the Marquess
By: Tessa Dare
Published date: December 31, 2014

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
How hot is it: Spicy, but nothing too crazy. It *is* regency, after all.
Hero: Miss Clio Whitmore
Heroine: Rafe Brandon

It has been a great reading winter, and since I only leave the house for work and supplies during this period, I’m grateful. So about this book, can we just admit that everybody loves a hero named Rafe? I don’t know what it is, but if I see a book and the guy’s name is Rafe, I’m into it. Good job, romance writers, you understand names that are inexplicably hot. Even without the hot name, I liked this guy a lot. Maybe I’m shallow, but I really dug that he was a fighter. I don’t know, I think Sons of Anarchy has warped my idea of what’s hot. One minute tall, skinny, cerebral guys with glasses were really it for me, and then all of a sudden slightly dirty, buff dudes just took over.

Anyway, that’s not interesting, what’s interesting is this book. I loved it more than I thought I would. From the very first page, it drew me in and I gobbled it up like leftover Christmas cookies you have to eat all at once because they’ll get stale. Probably. Cookies don’t have a chance to go stale in my life, so I don’t actually know how long it takes for one to become stale. Nevertheless, if this book were a cookie, I’d say it would be a chocolate chocolate chunk – classic, but decadent with a twist.

The basic story is that Clio Whitmore has been engaged to Piers Brandon for eight years, and for those eight years, he’s been out of the country on diplomatic business. Well, guess what, Rafe has been in love with Clio since they were kids. What a bummer, right? Turns out, Rafe is a black sheep, who was more or less disowned, so he’s been a boxer for quite some years. And he’s good at it. He’s like, the champion of England or something. Since he’s in charge of the family estate while his brother is out of the country, Clio needs him to sign the papers that would get her out of the engagement. Because Clio is totally done waiting for her stupid fiance to actually wed her. And good for her. Seriously. Eight years is too long.

The bulk of the story is that Rafe ends up trying to convince Clio to marry his brother, so they have to do all sorts of wedding-type things, like look at flowers and try on dresses and so on. This culminates in the single greatest scene involving food in a book that I’ve ever read. At one point, Rafe brings her a lot of cakes. A lot. From the description it literally sounded like an entire room just filled with cake. This author gets me. I think there was an almond orange cake or something, I don’t know, they all sounded extremely delicious. And then they threw cake at other. Amazing. I love it when characters are playful and immature. Maybe that’s not a popular opinion, but can’t they just have some silly fun every once and a while?

I was trying to think of something I didn’t like about this book, but let’s face it, it had lots of cake, a buff dude, a chick who started footraces, heart-tugging romance, and a dog who literally just slept and drooled the entire time. Loved it! The romance and interaction between the two characters was natural and fun and sweet. The pacing was perfect, the climax was emotionally satisfying, the dialogue sharp and smart. You just can’t ask for more, sign me up for the next one!

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