A Week to be Wicked, by Tessa Dare

A Week to be Wicked  (Spindle Cove #2)
By: Tessa Dare
Published date: March 27, 2012
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
How hot is it: 3 out of 5
Hero: Colin Sandhurst, Viscount Payne
Heroine: Miss Minerva Highwood

Ah, Tessa Dare. A delight and a treat for a lazy Sunday afternoon. This line from the book more or less sums up why I love Tessa Dare. “Men never hesitated to declare their presence. They were permitted to live aloud, in reverberating thuds and clunks, while ladies were always schooled to abide in hushed whispers.” What a truth! And still so true even today that it’s startling. Girls still dream of being silently graceful ballerinas and boys dream of being loud football players who urinate on each other in the pileups. So anyway, sure, insights like that don’t necessarily mean that the romance part of the book is strong, but there’s something reassuring and relatable in knowing that the author understands universal truths, that she just simply gets it.

More importantly, this book was great! I love a book about a lady scientist. I also love a book about a lady heroine with glasses. Not surprisingly these two things normally go together, and that held true for this book so it was a win-win. Minerva Highwood has discovered what we’re more or led to believe is a dinosaur footprint that she wants to present at a geology symposium in Scotland. She also doesn’t want her elder sister, Diana, to marry the rakish Viscount Payne because, well, he’s a terrible rake and her sister is lovely and, of course, she deserves better than a man who sleeps with a different widow every night.  So to accomplish both those goals at the same time, because she’s a practical sort being a scientist and all, she enlists Viscount Payne to accompany her to Scotland. He refuses, obviously, because her reputation will be ruined, but alas, she’s already sorted everything out and is willing to take the risk.

So through a series of events, they end up on a delightful adventure to Scotland. And I do really mean adventure. I’d consider this the precursor to the modern day road trip novel, and I had a jolly good time reading it. It was fun to see what would assail them next, and at some points they were more or less hitchhiking and hustling for money. It was amusing to see them scramble for their survival as they are accosted by a highwayman, abandoned by their ride, and forced to bunk at a debauched duke’s estate. I’ll leave it to you to find out if they ever actually make it to Scotland.

Some books I read all the way because of the HEA payoff, and well, I just generally finish books because that’s just who I am, but I finished this book because I looked forward to each chapter. I enjoyed watching these characters grow together. They fell in love while growing together and learning about themselves in the process. Tessa Dare is simply wonderful at creating likeable characters who are relatable, yet still interesting and compelling. I wish I’d read more of Spindle Cove, but I’d avoided it mostly because I’m getting a little burnt out on the spinster angle, and Spindle Cove is supposedly a place where all spinsters go to be old and weird or something. But as sometimes happens, I guess, I was completely wrong. Rest assured, I will be reading the rest of the series ASAP!


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