Series: Spindle Cove #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Avon on 30 August 2011
A Night to Surrender is a historical romance that unfortunately fails to capitalise on its potential. Dare has given us a village that houses spinsters – rich, poor, shy and too bold – but no real men until Victor Bramwell rides in. He is summarily made the Earl of Rycliff and charged with recruiting and training up a militia on the chance that Napoleon decides to invade Britain. He immediately steals a kiss from the freckled faced, red haired Susanna and sets about disrupting the women’s liberation movement she has begun. In Spindle Cove, women fight against patriarchy one day at a time – on Monday they partake in country walks, Tuesday they sea bathe and Wednesday they work in the garden. If that does not have the militiamen quaking in their boots, I don’t know what will.
The hero, Bram, vacillates between agonising over his bum knee, wanting to get back into the military proper and thinking about sex. He thinks about sex a lot and seems to think it romantic to tell Susanna his every thought in a crude and boorish manner despite her protestations. The heroine on the other hand, is just too perfect for words and I found that intensely irritating. Send her the tired, the poor, the sick, those yearning to breathe free (providing they follow her rules) and she will rebuild them better…stronger…faster. Without any form of actual medical training she managed to invent aqua therapy and a way to minimise the effects of asthma. This woman was light years ahead of conventional medical treatment.
The battle of the sexes premise comes across as quite amateurish in places particularly when the men storm the village to reclaim their masculinity. I also thought the constant sex in public places detracted from the book – ironic given the genre. Surely someone would have seen something or heard something? Surely it couldn’t be so repetitive?
On the plus side, there is a cute lamb called ‘Dinner’ and a significant amount of energy is spent introducing the couple that feature in book 2 which are far more interesting.
It is a shame in many ways that some readers might be put off from reading the second in the series, A Week to Be Wicked which is far superior. Skip this one and pick up the next.