When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

Funny story about this one: I was on the library waiting list to get it, but sometimes the waiting lists take awhile. One afternoon I asked my husband to use his good luck (because he was seriously charmed by leprechauns at birth) to send good vibes on me getting the book as soon as possible. An hour later, I got the email saying it was in and waiting for me. Okay, so maybe not a funny story, but still kind of interesting. Sort of.


One-Sentence Synopsis
A girl with severe social anxiety makes up a sweetheart in order to avoid marriage-mart social events by writing letters to an imaginary soldier, never expecting that someone was receiving those letters…and would show up years later to make her give truth to her lies. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
The premise of this book seemed silly, but it worked so well. I was endeared to Maddie because of her social anxiety and I felt for her every time she experienced panic in a crowd of people. It was also sweet that she knew she was lonely, but she couldn’t get over her fear to find someone.

Logan is fairly cold at first, but his reasons for taking advantage of Maddie’s letters are noble. He had a rough childhood and has some abandonment issues, so when Maddie’s last letter told him she was killing him off, the guy turned somewhat bitter. The way he slowly thaws is paced well, and he becomes more likeable as the story progresses.


One of my favorite parts of the book is the hilarity surrounding Maddie’s pet lobsters. I think this stands as my first book in which lobsters were kind of a main character.

The Romance Factor
Maddie does everything she can not to consummate the marriage, and though Logan wants to ensure the marriage is legal and his men are taken care of on the land the marriage would give him, he doesn’t push her. The way he starts to want to take care of her is endearing, and I liked the subtle parallels drawn between them and the lobsters. 4/5

The Steam Factor
The foreplay and sexual tension just keep building, and though they don’t consummate the marriage until later, there’s still a good dose of eroticism in their “interactions.” 5/5

Blanche aroused

Final Thoughts
Even though I didn’t like it as much I did the second one in the series, it was still a great, fun read. I think I read somewhere there were eight castles. I hope I didn’t misread, because I really want more of this series.

Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

This is the second book in the Castles Ever After series, which started with Romance the Duke. I enjoyed the first one, but this one blew it out of the water. Just to be on the safe side, I want to give a trigger warning. There are topics of disordered eating and weight loss pressure. Though I thought this was handled well in the context of the story, it might possibly be a trigger for anyone dealing with related issues.


One-Sentence Synopsis
A man who has turned his back on society to be a fighter has to convince his brother’s fiance to stay engaged so that he can continue fighting while his brother takes over lordly duties. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
Clio is awesome as a lady who has decided she wants her independence after the man she agreed to marry has left her alone for 8 years. Now that she’s inherited a castle, she has the means to do so…as long as her fiance’s brother will sign the papers needed to make it so. I loved her determination and the fact that she never once thought she needed to be married to be successful. Oh, and she wants to run a brewery! How awesome is that?

Leslie Knope - Winning

There were some great scenes with her and Rafe, including a wedding cake food fight that cracked me up. I liked the playfulness of Clio’s character against the hard ass nature of Rafe’s.

I loved Clio’s younger sister, and I thought that her having Aspberger’s (not named in the book, but described as such) added an interesting element to story. There was definitely a theme of self acceptance and loving people for who they are, and this tied into a strong message of body positivity.

The Romance Factor
I had all the feels for Rafe, who knew he couldn’t take his brother’s fiance. It was like a story of impossible love, even though I knew it would end well for the couple. Still…feels. 5/5

The Steam Factor
There is a scene where Rafe barely touches Clio, knowing he can’t, and instead stands close to her and tells her all the things he fantasizes about doing with her. For a scene that had no actual sex, it was very erotic and very sensual. The other steamy scenes were just as good, but that scene alone boosts this factor to a 6/5.


Final Thoughts
The 3rd one in this series just came out, and I’m 4th on the waiting list at the library. I can’t wait to read it. If the rest of the books are as good as this one, it might be another series I try to collect.

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

This was my first time reading Tessa Dare, and this is the first book in her Castles Ever After series, which centers around women who inherit castles. Who do I have to talk to about inheriting a castle? Seriously…I love that premise. Also, the first book kicks it off with the best trope ever.


One-Sentence Synopsis
A woman inherits a castle already owned and inhabited by a gorgeous but grumpy recluse. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
Though this was another B&tB story, it felt different and more whimsical. The main character is Izzy Goodnight, the inspiration for a character in the books her father wrote before he died. The character is one that has a following of fans who dress up as people in the books…cosplayers, essentially. Be still, my happy little geek heart!

standard nerds

I love a plain heroine, and Izzy knows she’s not beautiful, but she’s funny and sweet, and of course she eventually brings Ransom (yes, the hero’s name is Ransom) around.

There were a few twists on the trope. Ransom is mostly blind due to an incident regarding the woman he was supposed to marry. There’s also a side story in which Ransom is trying to figure out how his castle was sold without him knowing it.

Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
Ransom held on to his douchiness a little longer than some of the other beastly heroes I’ve read. He’s so up and down that Izzy had to be strong just to deal with him.

The Romance Factor
For the type of story this was, I thought the angst was fairly low, but the romance was definitely out of a fairy tale. Izzy finally getting her first kiss and finding a man who made her feel beautiful was full of feels. There’s also a scene where Ransom puts candles in her room to help her cope with her fear of the dark, and even though it’s so simple, it’s also very adorable. 5/5

The Steam Factor
The foreplay is hot and heavy in this one, but the sexy times deliver on the promise. The sex scenes are detailed, yet sensual in the best possible way. 5/5


Final Thoughts
While some of the elements were a little silly, I was charmed by the heroine and loved the world this was set in. Sex and whimsy seems to be an entertaining combination.