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    Review of A NIGHT TO SURRENDER by Tessa Dare

    Avon, August 2011

    In Regency-era England, a young woman's future depends on making a success in her season. But what about those women who can't, who don't, or who simply have interests beyond fancy dresses, dances, and attracting a male's attention? Susanna Finch thinks she has the answer--she's turned her village into a retreat where young women (and their mothers) can go to find themselves. Some of these women will return to London for their seasons, others won't. But all of them, Susanna is certain, will be better for some time supported by other women, where they're allowed to pursue their interests without the need to impress a male. Which is exactly why Victor Bramwell's (Bram's) arrival is a disaster. Bram is the kind of man who makes it hard for women to concentrate on anything except him. Worst of all, Susanna herself isn't immune.

    Bram isn't interested in spending time in a village run by women, he wants to get back to his regiment, back to the war against Napoleon. He's still recovering from battle injuries and his superiors are certain he's not ready, that he may never be ready to return, but Bram can't imagine a life other than one of military service. When Susanna's father offers him a deal, that he form a costal defense company and impress his military superiors that way, Bram has little choice but to take it. With Susanna's father holding the keys to his future, one thing Bram can't afford to do is tamper with the pretty redhead... no matter how much his body yearns for her.

    Author Tessa Dare creates a charming and sexy Regency romp with a pair of damaged lovers who can only find healing in one another's arms, and a host of secondary characters who seem intent on making life difficult for Bram and Susanna as the two are caught between their desire and the certainty that falling in love can only bring ruin.

    Dare creates a strong black moment as the book nears its conclusion with a profoundly emotional moment that puts both Bram and Susanna to the test. As the two are forced to confront their deepest fears, their still-budding love for one another seems likely to be snuffed out.

    I liked that Dare remembered that the Regency period takes place during a horrible and destructive war. While much of English aristocracy flirted, danced, and practiced their French, England battled against Napoleon, sometimes with allies, sometimes alone in the world. Too often, regency-set books forget this dark backdrop and concentrate on the dances and witty conversation. The backdrop of war and destruction adds complexity to Dare's story. Although there's plenty of humor in A NIGHT TO SURRENDER, there's also destruction and shattered lives.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 1/02/12

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