Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

Book Description:
When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin…Time is not on their side.

Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland. Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be…anywhere but Spindle Cove.

These unlikely partners have one week to

• fake an elopement
• convince family and friends they’re in “love”
• outrun armed robbers
• survive their worst nightmares
• travel four hundred miles without killing each other
All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.

What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.

Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble. And maybe . . . just maybe . . . love.

Second in the Spindle Cove Series, Colin and Minerva's story is fabulous!  Heartwarming but sexy and hilarious to boot - thoroughly entertaining. A road trip romance along the Great North Road to Edinburgh with one calamity after another interspersed with hot moments "educating Minerva" - all in the name of science!  I loved it!  Tessa Dare has won me over and I want to read her entire back list now!  So get ready readers for plenty of Tessa Dare reviews over the next year, I can't wait to dig in.  I simply loved the first book in this series, A Night to Surrender and A Week to be Wicked is just as good.

Minerva Highwood's hobby is fossils and they abound in Spindle Cove where Minerva spends most of her time discovering all sorts of interesting things in it's caves.  Little does her family know that she has become a member of the Royal Geological Society of Scotland under the guise of a man (women are not admitted) by the name of M.R. Highwood and she must be at their meeting at the end of the month in Edinburgh to present her paper on her findings of a prehistoric footprint which she has found in one of the caves.  She has made a plaster of it that weighs a ton which she intends to bring with her to the symposium.  The only problem is how to get there.  It's a long journey and she needs help.

Enter Colin Sandhurst.  In A Night to Surrender, Colin is the rakishly good looking cousin of Bram (the hero) who is a lord waiting to come into his inheritance.  Colin has spent most of his adult life as a dissolute ne'er do well until Bram (who is the trustee of his inheritance) forces him to join the local militia of Spindle Cove.  He straightens up a bit, but he's still far from the paragon his cousin Bram is.  During the course of the last book, Colin and Minerva were always squabbling and butting heads which continues in A Week to Be Wicked.  Minerva highly disapproves of him and he highly enjoys baiting her, particularly by never getting her name right, deliberately mistaking it with some other name that begins with an M.  The two are obviously drawn to each other, though neither is willing to admit there is any kind of attraction thing going on.

Colin is the epitome of just the sort of man Minerva has been taught to avoid.   Yet, who does she turn to for help to get her to Scotland?  The local rake, of course!  There's something about her that Colin can't ignore and in a poignant scene she comes to his quarters late at night to enlist his help, having dreamed up an entire scheme to make the whole village of Spindle Cove think he is in love with her they've been having a torrid affair and are eloping to Scotland together!  Hmm, what if...?  Even Colin falls under the spell of her make-believe tale for a tantalizing moment, ending with a near-kiss... until Minerva realizes he's not alone.  How humiliating!  Colin sends her home, refusing to go along with her outlandish scheme.  But the next day, feeling bad about what happened at his quarters, he relents and agrees to escort her to Edinburgh against his own better judgment.

As they set out we learn that Colin cannot sleep alone due to a harrowing night he spent as a child when his parents were killed in a carriage and he was left alone in the dark carriage with them.  Ever since he's been unable to sleep alone, finding a women who will keep his bed warm every night.   Minerva learns soon enough she's going to be keeping him company - every night.  It's a condition.  She has to sleep with him.  Sleep, mind you, nothing else.  Minerva is a virgin after all, albeit a spinster.  Colin may be a rake, but he's an honorable rake and he doesn't deflower virgins.  Yeah, riiiight...

I'm leaving tons out, but to to jump ahead, they embark on this crazy, hilarious journey that is full of nonsensical events and fantastic tales.  Colin is an expert at dreaming up all sorts of crazy stories on the road much to Minerva's chagrin.  One of the funnier whoppers was making some naive and very gullible passengers in a shared carriage believe he is the last remaining member of the royal family of Crustacea!  His female devotees take it all in hook, line and sinker.  Luckily they're too stupid to know that Spain doesn't even border Italy, nor what a Crustacean really is!  What a scream!  Unfortunately, this tale comes back to bite Colin in the butt when highway robbers hold up the carriage and all the other passengers tell the robbers he's royalty!  Uh-oh.

I can't begin to list all the funny moments in this book, there's just loads of humor and one unbelievable adventure after another.  But that's not all.  Their nighttime adventures are just as entertaining - in a different way.  Colin takes on the role of teacher, instructing Minerva about all the new ways she can enjoy a bed!  She is a fast and able learner, taking to the subject like a duck to water - for educational purposes of course!  And isn't it strange how Colin has this uncanny ability to get Minerva's name straight during their lessons?  It's obvious these two are really meant for each other and it was a pleasure to take it all in and see how both learn to appreciate the other.  Minerva, who never thought of herself as pretty enough to be noticed, blossoms into a beautiful young woman with love and confidence and Colin, who was convinced he was a failure at everything he attempted, comes to the realization that he can do anything right - for love.

Do they make it to Edinburgh?  I won't spoil the ending, you'll have to see for yourself.  This is a must read for anyone that enjoys a screwball comedy with an endearingly, stubborn heroine and a roguish hero who's dying to be reformed - even if he doesn't quite know it yet.  A real treat, I highly recommend it!


P.S. And how about this sexy inside flap, I love it!  Because I read this on my kindle, I don't get to see these extras. Minerva looks gorgeous!

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