I’d go there again!
So, I’m a big fan of Tessa Dare and her delightfully funny historical romances. Thus, it was an early Christmas present to read Lord Dashwood Missed Out and return to Dare’s Spindle Cove series. As per usual with Dare, Lord Dashwood was a charming little novella made even more fun for Dare’s fans with multiple cameo appearances by her hero and heroines of the previous books in the series.
Miss Elinora Browning is traveling to Spindle Cove to give a talk about her pamphlet, Lord Ashwood Missed Out (written in a fit of rage after over-indulging in some sherry). Nora’s paper was fueled by her anger at being overlooked by George Travers, Lord Dashwood several years ago. As childhood friends Nora always felt a little more than friendly towards the young man who treated her like a sister and was crushed when he left the country after rather disastrously escorting her to the theatre in her first season. Now, Nora delights in being able to offer some comfort to other women who feel overlooked. But, Nora just might not get the chance to share her story with the ladies of Spindle Cove when she’s stranded with another traveler who, of course, turns out to be none other than Lord Dashwood himself. Unsurprisingly, Dash is not thrilled that Nora has written a scathing pamphlet about him and being stranded with her is the perfect chance for him to get his revenge (or so it seems).
For the most part, Lord Dashwood Missed Out is exactly what I expect from Dare: funny, cute, unconventional. That said, there were several weaker moments in Lord Dashwood Missed Out, like why Nora was permitted to travel unchaperoned to Spindle Cove and why Dash had such a sharp turnaround from anger to romance. For me, the novella format made this romance feel rather rushed. There were definitely some gaping holes in setup for this romance, and while it didn’t bother me overly much, I felt that this made Lord Dashwood a bit of a weaker read in comparison of other books by the author.
Logic aside, Lord Dashwood Missed Out was a charming read featuring a dreamy heroine and a hero that initially runs from the girlish, romantic notions of said heroine. Nora had her and Dash’s children’s names picked out – no pressure, though, Dash. And while Nora would like to say that she is older, wiser and in possession of a less romantic heart, it soon becomes clear that she is just as romantic as ever and entirely susceptible to Dash’s handsome self. Dash for his part, has always felt something other than brotherly for Nora, but he was young and settling down with the girl next door was not in his game plan. Adventure and travel was what Dash was looking for, but that does not mean that he ever forgot Nora. Again, logic has to interject here and question the plausibility of Dash’s long term plan (of which you will only discover by reading the novella), but if you can forget about that, Nora and Dash’s reunion is rather sweet.
In addition, to the romance, the second highlight to this novella is the reappearance of Spindle Cove’s finest: Rycliff, Colin, Thorne, and Griff. The addition of this quartet and their attempt at rescue of the stranded spinster added a fabulous sense of fun and confirmed that, yes, Colin is still my favourite hero with his ridiculousness and snappy one-liners. The little side story of their rescue of Nora was a delight and a great addition to the novella, especially for fans of the Spindle Cove series. Who doesn’t appreciate a quick snapshot into what happens after the happy ending?
If you’re a fan of Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series, Lord Dashwood Missed Out is not to be missed out on. This is another cute, fun story and gets readers prepared for Dare’s return to Spindle Cove with Charlotte Highwood’s story (due out in September 2016).
For another novella featuring the unrequited love trope, give Courtney Milan’s Unlocked a try. Milan is probably one of my favourite novella writers since she really knows how to convey a fully fleshed out story in a compressed format. Unlocked is probably my favourite novellas by Milan featuring a hero that acted very immaturely and cruelly towards the heroine and now, years later, he tries to make amends.
For another unrequited love story, Eloisa James’ Four Nights With a Duke is a must-read. Yeah, the hero is a bit of a jerk (like Dash), but he is blackmailed into marriage. I was quite impressed with James’ turned her hero’s character around. See my rave review here.