I received this book for free from Edelweiss/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare
Series: Spindle Cove #5
Published by Avon on September 27th 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library.
•Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan?
•Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall?
•Perhaps the butler did it.
All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.
But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit … and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.
Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?
Tessa Dare has a special place in my heart. Her book, Romancing the Duke, was the novel that got me back into historical romance. I’m a big fan obviously. I was so excited to read So You Want to Start a Scandal because it features two characters from some of her previous novels. And yet, I was also nervous because my expectations were so high. I dragged my feet a bit, but I didn’t need to worry because Do You Want to Start a Scandal turned out to be one of my favorite Tessa Dare books.
Do You Want to Start a Scandal starts off with Charlotte Highwood following Piers Brandon into a library at a house party. Longtime Tessa Dare fans will recognize Charlotte as the sister of both Minerva (A Week to Be Wicked) and Diana (Beauty and the Blacksmith) and Piers as Clio’s betrothed in (Say Yes to the Marquess). Obviously Piers doesn’t marry Clio in that novel.
Charlotte’s mother is determined that Charlotte marry well, and her machinations have given Charlotte a bit of a reputation in society. Charlotte plans to warn Piers, a marquess, about her mother’s obsession. But, due to no fault of their own, people believe they were getting a little frisky, and Piers decides to propose to Charlotte. Charlotte, however, is determined to only marry for love, and hopes to find the really mystery lovers, so that she and Piers will not have to marry. Of course, things don’t go quite as planned.
Charlotte absolutely stole my heart in Do You Want to Start a Scandal. While I’ve always liked her in the other Spindle Cove books, she was so endearing in this novel . I love how she’s so positive, and quite a happy person. While this reputation that she has now due to her mother’s efforts to marry her off is frustrating and upsetting, she never really lets it get her down. She makes the best of it, and discovers a best friend in the process. When people think she and Piers were getting it on, she just decides to prove them wrong. And she is really exactly what Piers needs.
Piers is the type of hero I adore. He’s responsible, honorable, and does the right think (usually). He can be a bit serious, which is all more reason why Charlotte is so good for him. She makes him lighten up and laugh. It was pretty hilarious to see Piers fall for Charlotte, but not realizing it. I love that kind of hero. When he decides he wants Charlotte, he makes it happen, even though he doesn’t want to admit his feelings. And while a few choices weren’t the best, in the long run, I can forgive him.
As you would expect from a Tessa Dare romance, there is so much humor in the novel. Even that first scene where Charlotte follows Piers into the library is hilarious. Her conversation about May-December romances just made me smile so much. And I had to tell everyone I knew about it. Little Edmund Parkhurst also brought a lot of levity to the story, all while moving the plot along.
So, if you love Tessa Dare, I think you will love Do You Want to Start a Scandal. There is so much to love here. Fantastic characters, believable love interests, lots of laughs, with a little depth as well. Really, this book was just about perfect.