Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are . . . nowhere to be found.
Or are they?
Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there.
Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn’t belong here. So far as he can tell, there’s nothing in this place but spinsters . . . and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It’s a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram’s makeshift army.
Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle…but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?
What's not to love about a battle of the sexes, especially if Tessa Dare is writing it? I must admit it took me a little while to get into the flow of A Night to Surrender, simply because I assumed Susanna would be scowling and (figuratively) stamping her feet the moment it's announced Bram will stay in Spindle Cove. They wouldn't see eye to eye because they wanted different things for the village. If they didn't agree, would theirs be a romance full of "I hate yous" first?
While there is definite tension between Susanna and Bram from the start, it's not full of venom or disgust. They have witty banter, moments of laughter, and of course, sexual heat.
"Lord Rycliff. You've forgotten yourself."
"No, I haven't." His green eyes held her captive. "I recall precisely who I am. I'm Lieutenant Colonel Victor St. George Bramwell, the Earl of Rycliff since a few days back. You're Susanna Jane Finch, and I want to see you bare. Bare, and pale, and soaked to the roots of your hair, glistening with moonlight and drops of seawater. I'd lick the salt from you."
Piece by piece, Susanna and Bram lower their defenses and get to know one another in ways neither had ever considered previously. They both have battle scars and wounds, and as they are able to adequately provide a future for Spindle Cove, they help each other heal and ultimately fall in love.