Readers get to return to the sleepy seaside village of Spindle Cove in Tessa Dare's latest book A Week to be Wicked. We don't really get to see Bram and Susanna from the first book but, Bram's cousin Colin, Viscount Payne is at his most charming in this book.
Colin has had nightmares and difficulty sleeping ever since the carriage accident that took his parents' lives when he was eight years old. Trapped and hurt in the carriage with his dying parents, then surrounded by a pack of wild dogs, Colin's soul is in turmoil. The only way he can even get a few hours rest at night is in the arms of a woman, which makes him a scoundrel and a rake. He never seduces innocents though--even he has some rules by which he must abide. He has been trapped in Spindle Cove for far too long and the matrimonial noose is starting to tighten around his neck. Everyone is speculating that he will soon marry Diana Highwood.
Everyone but Minerva Highwood that is. She refuses to allow her sweet, older sister to marry a man such as Colin. Minerva though, is willing to sacrifice herself as a notch on his bedpost provided he ensures she makes it to Edinburgh to present her findings at the Geological Society in a week. It doesn't matter to Minerva that she is the plain, drab, boring, bookish Highwood sister, or that Colin has never shown the slightest interest in her. Minerva doesn't expect, nor want marriage from Colin, and she is willing to ruin her reputation just to save her sister.
Their road trip to Scotland is filled with trials and travails, some robberies, and a carriage accident which really tests Colin's state of mind. They spend as much time walking as they do riding, never losing sight of Minerva's geological find. They talk, they argue, they sleep in the same bed at night (and they do mostly just sleep). Colin has a different story for each traveler they meet which gets them into even more trouble. Their journey is part comedy and part tragedy, and I was wholly convinced of their love by the end of the book.
I really enjoyed revisiting the villagers in Spindle Cove and I really enjoyed Colin and Minerva. Minerva just needed to be loved for herself after constantly being put down by her mother. Colin loved everything about her, even her over usage of polysyllabic words; he loved her passion for science as well as her passion of adventure; he had loved her long before their journey. Colin didn't know it but he needed someone he could trust with his everything, his heart, his soul, and who he could trust completely that they would not leave him. Minerva was that person, she loved him even when she despised him in their early days in the village. They are a great couple.
In A Week to be Wicked Tessa Dare has provided me with another near-perfect read. It was amusing as all get out, and a little bit heart-wrenching at the end. A Week to be Wicked is a definite keeper! I can't wait to revisit with the villagers of Spindle Cove in her next book.
Reviewed by: Valarie Pelissero