Say Yes to the Marquess

Tessa Dare
Say Yes to the Marquess
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Release Date
December 2014
Book 2 of Castles Ever After
Historical Romance

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. Ladies 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.

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Nov 24, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
223 people found the following review helpful
The wonderful Tessa Dare does it again! SAY YES TO THE MARQUESS has all the magic, humor, romance and spine-tingling thrills that I found in A Week to be Wicked.

Clio Whitmore has been engaged to Piers Brandon when she was young, and after eight years, she has enough of his neglect and ignoring of her existence. After inheriting a castle from her uncle, she was determined to make her own way, to grasp her future in her own hands. To this, she asks for a dissolution of the marriage contract from Piers' brother, Rafe, since Piers is out of the country on a diplomatic mission.

However, sparks simmered between the two, even as Rafe sought to convince her not to give up on Piers and on marriage to him. The plans and plots he (with his trainer's help) came up with met with unexpected, sometimes hilarious, results. But what happens when he has to choose between the love he has for his brother and for Clio?

Clio is a strong heroine--she's had eight years to come into herself. (How many of us could say the same in eight years or more?) I love what she said, when she was declaring her independence. I want to say, "You go, girl" when she finished speaking. Truly brilliant. She's also sympathetic, utterly relatable. She appears to be a plus size heroine, and I just love it when Rafe loves her curves and tells her that her weight was no problem to a big man such as him. He made me want to cheer. This book makes me want to cheer. Lately, I seem to be reading more and more books that feature plus size women, and that is just awesome. Awesome because these women are having their time in the spotlight (after reading lots of books with model-thin heroines), and awesome simply because Clio accepts her body for what it is, with no help from Rafe, although having Rafe love her as she is is of course a boon and encouragement to her. Now, if only the movies would get the hint...

The book is riddled with humor and some laugh-out-loud moments. An example would be the time Clio sneaked into Rafe's room, and Rafe clutched the bedsheet to neck level, something normally only heroines do.

Tessa Dare also has a way with words that is both refreshing and funny. For example, in describing Rafe:

"...Massive boots punched the ground. His riding breeches were buckskin. All men's riding breeches were buckskin. But she would wager anything that this buckskin was stretched over this man's thighs more tightly than it had stretched over the original buck."

"He was sin in human form. No wonder they called him the Devil's Own. Lucifer probably paid him to advertise."

Love the angst that arose between the two main characters; Ms. Dare certainly knew how to raise the stakes! The ending was adorable, and I know I should have expected it, but I have to admit it caught me a little bit by surprise.

There are lots of interesting secondary characters in the book, such as Bruiser, Clio's younger sister Phoebe, and let's not forget Piers, Clio's betrothed and Rafe's brother. I hope he'll get his own book in the future; definitely hero material!
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Book Review by BJ (reviewer)
Feb 26, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
219 people found the following review helpful
Tessa Dare is quickly becoming one of my favorite historical romance writers. Her writing is simply a pleasure to read. I love how she takes characters who are seemingly imperfect and proves just how much more superior they are to what society considers perfection. From the romance to the clever battle of wits between the hero and heroine and the amusingly entertaining puns and other humorous situations interspersed throughout, SAY YES TO THE MARQUESS is a top notch Historical Romance that readers of this romance sub genre will not want to miss.

Imagine waiting eight years for your betrothed. Well that's exactly what Miss Clio Witmore has done, and she is done waiting for diplomat Marquess Piers Brandon to conquer the world before owning up to the promise he made at his family's behest many years ago. After all, he has never so much as kissed her in all those eight years, so how highly can she factor into his future plans? Besides, if she ever marries, she is determined that it be for love. So, she resolves to take care of her own needs, both financially (by starting a brewery on the land she fortuitously inherited) and emotionally (by ending her laughing stock engagement which has only brought her shame and pity).

With the Marquess of Granville gone, however, she is forced to seek resolution with his notorious younger brother and once Champion prize fighter Rafe Brandon. In the Marquess' absence, Rafe holds the Marquess' power of attorney over all matters and she is determined that he sign the papers dissolving her engagement.

Rafe Brandon, however, is equally determined to see Clio and Piers married, albeit for his own personal reasons, so he challenges Clio to what he believes will be an easy wager. If after a week of no expense-barred wedding planning, that he himself will oversee, Clio still wishes to end the engagement, then he will sign the papers. After all, how hard can it be to charm a lady into wedding fever? Well, Rafe is soon to find out that Clio is no ordinary lady.

As Clio and Rafe, and a whole cast of other eccentric family members and friends, explore flowers, cakes, music and gowns, however, the one thing that becomes painfully clear is the undeniable attraction between Clio and Rafe. What will Rafe do now, when the one woman that is definitely off limits, is the only one he could never live without?

I loved so many things about this book. For one, this book had me in stitches. From the very beginning, I found myself chuckling at the interactions between Clio and Rafe which so frequently contained double meanings. Moreover, the sexual tension between the two, and the attention to each others' troubled past, and linked emotional needs, was incredibly well done. It is this complexity of the characters, and attention to how it affects their interactions with others and self definition of happiness that makes Ms. Dare's works so special. I can't wait to read more of both Tessa Dare's back list and future works!
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