Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are... nowhere to be found. Or are they?
Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there.
Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn't belong here. So far as he can tell, there's nothing in this place but spinsters... and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It's a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram's makeshift army.
Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle... but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?
I simply loved this story of how genteel, Susanna Finch, used to running things in her little seaside town of Spindle Cove comes up against (literally) Bram, aka Victor Bramwell, a no-nonsense career army officer bent on returning to his regiment after suffering a near crippling knee injury. He has a month to organize a local militia and whip them into shape for a big military review for the top brass. Yet the only men in town aren't exactly the military type and he's got his work cut out for him. Susanna doesn't like the idea of Bram and his men stirring up the delicate sensibilities of the women in town. Or rather, she doesn't like the way he's stirring up her own sensibilities, much less all sorts of other things inside her. From the first moment they meet sparks fly and passion ignites. As much as they are on opposite sides of the equation when it comes to his militia and her girls, the two of them learn to give in and compromise. Of course, they fall in love along the way and I adored reading about how it all comes about!
Aside from the fun storyline that kept me interested throughout the entire book, I loved the humor and silliness during some parts. Spindle Cove is a seaside resort that Susanna has set up as a haven for awkward young women and there are virtually no men around, except for the kind that are entirely non-threatening to her women of delicate dispositions. Yet when Bram and his ne'er do well cousin, Colin and Corporal Thorne come to town, what's the first thing on their mind? Sheep! (you'll see what I mean!) It's so silly and funny how all these sheep throw Susanna and Bram together! Plus, it's so cute how even a little lamb winds up becoming a pet to Bram.. Susanna names him "Dinner." Ha-ha! I loved it! The side stories in the book were good too. A couple of surprises caught me off guard as well, not what I was expecting!
Not only is there plenty of humor and surprises, but the sensual scenes were well done too! Exciting and provocative, maybe a bit on the unrealistic side, but quite hot and earned Bram a spot on my swoonworthy hero list. (I still think underwater sex is over-rated though.) I was completely caught up in the love story between Susanna and Bram. I was rooting for them and loved their interaction with one another. Great chemistry. But of course, they have a fundamental problem. He wants to go back to the army because his pride tells him he must to compensate for his injured leg, but she doesn't want him to abandon her and leave Spindle Cove. Yet despite the knowledge he'll most likely leave, she can't stop being with him. She's fallen for him and it's fun! She knows it's wrong, unmarried women just don't go out and have passionate affairs with army officers (in the middle of the village green no less!) yet I thought her struggle was kind of realistic. Once you start, it's hard to stop when you're in love, all you want to do is be with that person no matter what. They're having this clandestine love affair and it's passionate and wonderful, but where is it going to go - what's going to happen after his month is up and the big military review takes place? Will he change his mind about going or not? He can't just love her and leave her, can he? I had to keep reading to find out, in fact I really found it hard to put this book down!
To sum it up, I loved this book. A sexy, humorous romance with an original plot that includes a likable hero and heroine, a quirky village and it's citizens and a poignant and revealing side story involving Susanna's medical background as a teen and her current relationship with her father that brings it all together at the end. A great start to a new series which I'm eager to continue with from this new to me author. This book had it all, I highly recommend it!