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Review: Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

by Tessa Dare
Series: Spindle Cove #5
Genres: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: September 27th 2016
Source: ARC received for review
Rating: ★★★
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On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library. •Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? •Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? •Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.

But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit … and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.

Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?
Oh gosh. Tessa Dare's books are simply historical romance heaven! Do You Want to Start a Scandal turned me into a pile of gooey mush. It was just so precious and is the epitome of Tessa Dare's charming writing. If you're in search of a book to take your mind off real life and to make you feel good, then Do You Want to Start a Scandal is the book that you need!

From the very first meeting, I knew that I was going to adore Charlotte, the heroine, with every fiber of my being. She was so delightful and genuine, that I couldn't help but fall for her and her positive attitude. I loved that she saw the good in people around her,was clever and had a heart made of gold. With how kind-hearted and determined she was, there was no doubt that she was the absolute best part of this book. Not to mention, Charlotte was also funny and had me giggling so hard, my stomach hurt. Piers Brandon, Marquess, diplomat and spy, was a little more intense than Charlotte was. Unlike Charlotte, he was more introverted and kept his feelings hidden, but boy did I find myself loving this man. He was fiercely protective, especially when it came to Charlotte, but he too had a really good heart. He had undergone and seen a lot in his life as a spy, and he was the kind of hero that as a reader you just want to protect and shield from every evil. He may have been a little cold at first, but when he opened up and allowed his emotions to bubble to the surface around Charlotte, he turned me into a swooning pile.

Individually, Charlotte and Piers were phenomenal characters, but together? BE.STILL.MY.BEATING.HEART. Their first meeting had me laughing like hyena in the middle of the night. And the banter, the quips and just them interacting in any way made me smile and had my heart racing. They were adorable together, and their chemistry was palpable and electric all throughout the book. Tessa Dare is terrific at weaving together the sweet and the steamy, and Do You Want to Start a Scandal is the ultimate proof of that. When they finally fell in love, it was such a blast for me as a reader and lover of anything romance. I loved that Charlotte just loved Piers despite all his flaws, and she was willing to do anything to prove to him just how deep her feelings for him were. This was a couple that made each other better. Piers stabilized Charlotte and Charlotte allowed Piers to be more emotionally open. I've read quite a bit of books by Tessa Dare, but these two are at the top of my favorite couples list.

There's a small mystery in this book too with regards to who really was going at it like bunnies in the library when Piers and Charlotte are caught together. Charlotte going on this journey to unravel this mystery was so much fun. Through it all, I laughed so much, and swooned when Charlotte and Piers would team up to discover the truth. I loved that this book was just so hilarious. There's one particular scene with Charlotte's mother giving to her the sex talk during which she uses aubergines and peaches to demonstrate that was a riot - it has got to be my favorite scene in the whole book! And then there's the 8 year old brother of Charlotte's brother who also provided excellent comedic scenes who overhears the sounds of the couple having sex in the library, and who is convinced that Piers is out to murder Charlotte. Seriously, this book was just a complete blast to read! Just thinking about some of these scenes is making me laugh!

Do You Want to Start a Scandal was one of my most anticipated reads of 2016, and I'm so pleased that I enjoyed it so much. It's the kind of book I wish would never have ended! I've said it in the past, but I'll say it again, Tessa Dare is one of the best historical romance authors out there and if you love the genre and have yet to try her, you are seriously missing out. And if you're not yet a fan of the genre, then read her books, they will undeniably change your opinion.

Have you read books by Tessa Dare?
Let me know in the comments below!