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Book CoverStevie‘s review of Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After, Book 2) by Tessa Dare
Historical Romance published by Avon 30 Dec 14

Tessa Dare’s delightful series about young unmarried ladies who inherit castles continues with a story about a heroine who knows exactly what to do with her unexpected property: become an independent woman and dispense with her too-long-absent fiancé. Unfortunately for our heroine, Clio, her would-be brother-in-law, Rafe, has other ideas. And unfortunately for Rafe, his better nature – the one that wants the wedding to go ahead – is in direct opposition to what he really wants, as he’s been in love with Clio since long before the engagement was announced eight years earlier.

Clio’s engagement to the Marquess of Granville should have led to the wedding of the decade. Unfortunately, he never stays in the country long enough for them to set a date. Now, however, Clio has a castle and an estate and is determined to call off the engagement, then use the money that would have constituted her dowry to fund the establishment of a brewery. Rafe has been taking care of his brother’s finances in his absence, as well as the estate following their father’s death, and all Clio needs is for Rafe to sign the papers dissolving the engagement before her errant fiancé returns.

Rafe has been avoiding Clio since, while he cares deeply for her, he truly believes that his brother is the better man for her. So he’s not going to let her walk away from the engagement and bring further hurt to his family. Rafe and his boxing trainer follow Clio, her sisters, and her new brother-in-law to the castle, and set out to convince Clio that a wedding is exactly what she needs. Unfortunately, all they manage to do is to persuade her that Rafe is far more considerate and thoughtful than his brother ever managed to be.

There are many excellent comedy moments in this story, both from Rafe’s increasingly extravagant schemes to sweep Clio off her feet and into wedded bliss and from Clio’s rather mismatched family, consisting of the rather snobbish sister and her status-concious husband, and the studious, literal-minded sister who makes beautiful models out of string and believes that the answer to any question can be found in a book – so long as she has the correct one to hand. Then there’s the dog that Rafe has been looking after for his brother – a now very elderly bulldog with a habit of falling asleep regardless of what’s going on around him.

This is a lovely story, filled with enchanting characters, only falling short of a top mark because of a few minor niggles that most people would probably overlook. I’m very much looking forward to where this series takes us next.

Stevies CatGrade: B

Read Veena’s review here.


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.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:
Book Cover