Friday, August 07, 2015

Review: Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

           Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
Series: Castles Ever After #2
Release Date: December 30, 2014  
Publisher: Avon
Source: Borrowed/Gift 
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.
This book was everything I was hoping it would be and more. I read this within hours of buying the book and had a huge book hangover afterwards. Romancing the Duke is still my favorite (hello, Ransom <3 <3 <3 <3) but Say Yes to the Marquess came pretty close. Unlike the first book where the castle represented an escape for the main character, the castle given to Clio was her independence. This castle was Clio's way of breaking away from all of the things that tied her down and her way of  finding love. It was also the way she put herself first.

So as I said above, I loved Clio. She's head strong and independent and quite frankly, she's had enough. For eight years she's been waiting for Piers Brandon to come back from India and marry her but she's done by the beginning of the book. Once she learns that she's been given a castle, she realizes that this is her chance to do something for her. She's trying to find her place in a world without a husband in a time when women needed men to be considered important. She decides to start another business and make something for herself. Seeing her change throughout the book--she grows so much and really begins to stand up for herself--was so wonderful. Basically, this entire book had me fist bumbling the air because she's strong and independent and doesn't need a man. This quote is basically the epitome of this novel:
Rafe to Clio:"I demand to know the truth. Is there someone else?"  

Clio to Rafe:"Yes. There is someone else. There's me."

His eyes flashed with surprise.

“There’s me,” she repeated. “I’ve spent a great deal of time alone these past eight years. I’ve come to know myself and my own capabilities. I’m resilient. I can withstand a little gossip. Or even a lot of it. I can inherit an estate and devote myself not only to its preservation, but its improvement. Because I’ve taken all those lessons and accomplishments that were supposed to make me the ideal diplomat’s wife—and I’ve made them my own. At some point, while you were roaming the globe, making treaties and dividing the spoils of war, I quietly declared my own independence. I am the sovereign nation of Clio now, and there will be no terms of surrender.”(page 271, ebook)
Does that not make you super happy to read? I loved the feminist aspect of this novel and Clio was the shining star of this novel. That's one thing adult romances do well: they can have incredible feminist women leading the stories. 

Rafe, y'all, what can I say about him? He's exactly the kind of man I love reading about in adult historical romance novels: he's tall, dark, and sexy. He's the bad boy with a heart of gold and he stays as far away from any kind of romance as he can. But he's not a jerk, y'all, even though he's a bad boy so don't worry about that. He doesn't really care about his title and would rather fight for the reasons he's known for. I really loved seeing him open up and fall in love. Even if he didn't want to at first:
“I'm not going to touch her," he said [Rafe] "She's not mine. She never will be."

"Indeed." Bruiser rolled his eyes and dusted off his hat. "Definitely no years of pent-up lusting there. Glad we have that sorted.”
But it's fair to point out that he's not really as original as I'd like but because I don't read a lot of adult romance, I was okay with the unoriginality. So, overall, I really enjoyed Say Yes to the Marquess. It's not my favorite read but still incredibly enjoyable and I can't wait for the next book in this series. But unlike other romance series, the only thing these books have in common is the castles the women receive SO you don't have to worry about reading them out of order! But if you like swoon worthy leading heroes, independent (feminist!) women, humor, and an adorable dog, this is the book for you! 

This book is pretty great but it’s missing something that would make it extremely special. I might re-read this book, possibly more than once. I would recommend this book to lots of my friends and some of my colleagues.  

I wanted to love, love, love this book but it wasn't perfect. It was nearly perfect, though, and I'll be rereading it for sure!

What is with all of these romance novels with women in dresses with their backs open? Is this to show that it's a historical romance novel? I kinda wanted a cover that was more...feminist. Like, Clio is basically kickass and I wanted a cover that would show her strength.

I really enjoyed reading SYTTM even though it wasn't perfect. I LOVED the feminist MC and the romance was incredibly fun.

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