Book Review: Spindle Cove Series by Tessa Dare

There is something so deliciously alluring and seductive about a writer that can narrate an intriguing plot with the right amount of snark and humor around such hot, passionate romance and sex scenes, including some of the most fascinating, witty characters, ever. Then again, I am attracted to any such intellect and find that kind of talent incredibly sexy, especially when that talent chooses to celebrate this genre. That this genre still has its detractors even now burns my bacon (and pancakes! 😜😉), and I weep for the lack of books to series/movies that have been lost to history and nonsense.

I’ve written it before, I’ll write it again and again.

That we only have two series—Bridgerton and Outlander—that have made that jump reveals an anti-creative and intellectual canker within LalaLand. I blame the ever-lurking moral and conservative rot that hovers over anything other. That faux moral outrage likes to take many forms—all of them foolish and basic and unimaginative, not to mention bigoted. We can thank the two creative developers/producers—Ronald D. Moore and Shonda Rhimes—for their heroic and provocative anarchy to the ever bland and under-represented (in so many different ways) LalaLand status quo, and hope it is the start of something more.

I wrote earlier about Outlander (here and here); I read the first book in the Outlander series and attempted to watch the show not once, but twice and stopped—this was my own issue and not that of the show nor the books as they are both beautiful pieces of art that should not be so easily or casually dismissed and I regret I implied as much. The attempted rape scene and the ensuing spanking scene triggered my rage. I’m not one of those people that blow up and dismiss something easily and casually before at least partially examining it, if not fully. It’s reductive and certainly not helpful nor thoughtful. (Supernatural doesn’t count and is still on my shit list; do not get me started, fuckyouverymuch).

So, on my third viewing, I pushed passed that scene and found the subsequent scenes and episodes to be highly satisfying—a knife to his throat along with a threat and promise of never again while he’s inside and beneath you is completely acceptable and immensely pleasurable 😈, in so many different ways. I haven’t finished the series (as of this holiday weekend, I started season 3 on Netflix) but I’ve come to appreciate its artistry, specifically, the sexual and romantic politics and elements and geo and sociopolitical history. It is without a doubt an original narrative, although it is very white. Like most things, I have a love/hate relationship with it, and like most things, I continue to think about it before putting more solid thoughts to paper.

Anywhooooo…

I was lamenting on the state of affairs around Memorial Day (the burning of world and country and such) and wanted something fun and light to read and Bookriot recommended Do You Want to Start a Scandal. I read it in one night it was that good. These are books you cannot put down and lose lots of sleep over in the good kinda way. There were times that I laughed so hard in the middle of the night I was afraid I’d wake the neighbors.

Yes, really.

Tessa Dare and her team should most definitely have their own series—several actually. I was upset that I had not read any of her work till now. I’ve spent the last month obtaining and reading as many copies of her books as I can without bankrupting myself, going way over budget. Her and Leigh Bardugo—woo! Talk about a month filled with juicy plots and slow burns and gothic hotties and searing sex and tasty, enthralling characters that make you wanna lick them all like an ice cream cone—yo, it’s hot and I like ice cream.

I’ll write about Bardugo’s books later. I haven’t read the King of Scars Duology yet. Like I said, way over budget.

Spindle Cove is another series that should make the jump, and so much fun, especially the last two novels: Any Duchess Will Do and Do You Want to Start a Scandal.

Romancing the Duke and When a Scot Ties the Knot are also favs. Romancing the Duke has its own metanarrative and fandom and cosplaying knights—I loved it in all its adorable cleverness and charm.

I’m in the process of reading several other books currently: Nell Irvin Painter’s The History of White People, The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis, Menopause Manifesto by Jen Gunter, and The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley—all highly recommended so far. Stay safe and cool. 😘


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