Title: Say Yes to the Marquess
Series: Castles Ever After
Author: Tessa Dare
Narrator: Carmen Rose
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.
A wonderful romance, a cast of (mostly) lovable characters – including a seemingly immortal bulldog, an interesting and sensical plot, plenty of laughs, plenty of steam. I would recommend this whole series, even to those who don’t typically enjoy historical romance.
Many historical romance authors try to create Strong Female Leads, but fall short of independence, settling for headstrong. Tessa Dare, though, crafts heroines who are truly independent, demonstrating that “independent” doesn’t mean “alone”. While the third book in this series, When a Scot Ties the Knot, is my favourite story, Cleo and Rafe are my favourite couple. The way Cleo values and believes in herself, despite her family telling her she’s not good enough and her betrothed never making good on his promises, was moving. Rafe, on the other hand, holds himself in rather low-esteem. It’s lovely to have a couple save each other and life one another up the way Cleo and Rafe do.
I listened to this audiobook and Carmen Rose has a lovely voice. Her characterizations are fun to listen to and don’t go over the top. She is clearly a skilled voice actor and I look forward to listening to her more. However, she speaks reeeeeaaaaallly slowly, so I listen to her at 1.6x speed.