Top positive review
Utterly delightful & humorous...
Reviewed in Australia on 27 December 2017
I simply adore Tessa Dare’s heroines... she writes a period romance like no other which is largely due to her witty, fast thinking, amusing and Independant heroines regardless of the era they’ve been born into. Charlotte Highwood is one of the best of them. Such feistiness, wit and energy makes her utterly delightful and a wonderful match for our mysterious Marquee - Piers Brandon.
‘Do you want to start a scandal’ was a funny, sexy, sweet romance with a serious, confident, self assured hero that could surely kick butt. Behind that hard exterior hides a passionate heart just waiting for the right lady. Piers is that hero and Charlotte with her fabulous sense of humour, smart words, self aware youthfulness is a perfect foil for Piers. I simply loved them together and their interactions and conversations were delightful to read... ‘This was why—no matter what her mother schemed and planned—Charlotte had promised herself she would only follow her heart. “I can’t agree to a convenient arrangement, my lord. Your devotion to duty may be admirable, but ‘lie back and think of England’ simply isn’t for me.”’
The story starts with Piers Brandon finding himself at a house party closeted in the library alone with Charlotte Highwood a young woman who is desperately trying to save him and herself from her out of control matchmaking mother. Charlotte has plans to tour the continent with her best friend Delia and has no desire for marriage just yet & of course when she does marry it will only be for love.
Unfortunately for Charlotte an amorous couple enters the library and proceed to put the desk to good use. Fortunately for Charlotte, Piers is a quick thinker with sure fast reflexes and she finds herself in his arms hiding behind a curtain while the unknown couple goes at it like bunnies. Eventually the deed is done and the mystery couple departs, Charlotte breathes a sigh of relief until disaster strikes.
They are discovered and everyone assumes, due to some hilarious testimony by Delia's little brother Edmund, that they were the lusty couple in the library. Charlotte finds herself right in the middle of what she was trying so hard to avoid: a scandal and a hasty proposal from the oh so honorable Marquess...
‘some other couple had a scandalous tryst on the desk. We shouldn’t be punished for it.” His gaze caught hers. “If we don’t marry, only one of us will be punished. And it won’t be me.” “I know.” The world congratulated men on their sexual exploits, but it was cruel indeed to women who dared behave the same. He could walk away from this situation unscathed. She would be ruined. Friendless. Loveless. Grand Tour–less. Miserable.’
Determined to avoid a disastrous marriage Charlotte is on a mission to find out the identity of the mystery lovers so she can get on with her plans. Except the broody, handsome Piers has his own agenda and Charlotte finds herself charmed, intrigued and seriously turned on by the man beneath the proper aristocratic facade.
Dare's sense of humour comes through strongly and the fast-paced mystery kept me swiping pages long after I should have put my kindle down for the night. Charlotte shines as a young woman who is confident enough in herself to try and lead the life she wants, who will flout convention and marry for love and not for scandal...
‘she couldn’t imagine agreeing to marry without love. You can’t eat love, she heard Mama’s voice insisting. But then, she couldn’t hold a conversation with a heap of coins. She couldn’t find tenderness or passion in a vast, empty house. Or even five houses.’
Utterly delightful - comforting, funny, a wonderful mad romp... A definite must-read for not only Tessa Dare fans but anyone looking for a fun, fast-paced book.