I read this, along with what feels like every other Tessa Dare book that people (Malin!) recommended, in a short span of time when I was sitting in India, where I had ended up after a very confusing day when we all thought my grandmother was going to pass away (she wasn’t! she is all fine! it was a hilarious expensive miscommunication!). What better way to spend an unexpected week away slash impromptu family reunion other than with a series of historical romances?
The conceit of Spindle Cove is simple: take all the anachronistic tropes you can think of in relation to historical romances and mash them all into one village, on the coast of somewhere in ye old England, and give them in a fair manner to all the ladies who live there. So you can’t go far without tripping over women who walk along, or are scientific, or who don’t care much for marriage, or who run businesses. And the lot of them scorn proper etiquette of course. Unless you’re talking about the handful of trope-y marriage mamas.
In this instance we have one Minerva Highwood, of the ‘scholarly before her time’ genre. Ms. Minerva is a second child (I believe) and a geologist. She wants
[Insert Rake Here] Colin to stay away from her sister, who is too lovely for him, and to be a scholar and discover giant lizard fossils (aka dinosaurs). She’s got definitive proof of the animals, in fact, and is going to get the prize that comes with finding them and give it to Colin as a bribe if he will only get her to Scotland. That’s right, THAT Scotland.
Oh, and Colin can’t sleep alone because [insert tragic backstory here that excuses the promiscuity] [sort of].
Is this ridiculous. Yes! Is it a boatload (carriage load?) of fun? Yes! There is nothing quite like the endless riffs of “It Happened One Night,” which I’m sure is in and of itself a riff on something–but it’s the take of the trip that goes wrong with the two characters who for whatever reason Cannot Possibly Be Together. And there’s no better set of them to do it than these two!