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Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
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Say Yes to the Marquess

by Tessa Dare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Castles Ever After (2)

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Say Yes to the Marquess
4.5 Stars

Miss Clio Whitmore has been waiting to wed her wandering fiancé, Piers Brandon, for 8 long years. Fed up with his procrastination, and not without means of her own (namely a newly inherited castle in Twill), Clio approaches Rafe Brandon and demands to be released from the betrothal contract. Rafe, a ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, is just as determined that Clio should marry his brother (if only for his own peace of mind) and sets out to plan the wedding. Now if only he can keep his hands off the bride …

Beware - Long and detailed review ahead. No spoilers though :0)

It seems that I’m in the minority amongst my friends in loving this book. The issues that appear to emerge from the criticism include the unlikable secondary characters, the lack of historical detail and the theme of rivalry between brothers. None of these disturbed me in the least.

Let’s take them one at a time. Yes, Clio’s sister Daphne and her husband, Teddy are insufferable; yet, it is clear from the start that Clio (and Rafe) will find a way to put them in their place and they do - Rafe punching Teddy in the kisser is simply priceless!. The rest of the cast from Clio’s youngest sister, Phoebe, to Rafe’s trainer and Ellington the dog add necessary humor to an otherwise serious storyline.

A comparison with the first book, Romancing the Duke is inevitable here. While book #1 is cute and fluffy with some rather silly elements that stretch both the imagination and suspension of disbelief, Say Yes to the Marquess is more realistic and deals with darker issues, such as social humiliation and ostracism, family discord and guilt.

Although the story lacks sufficient historical information and the story could well have been set in contemporary times, it is the romance that makes it all worthwhile. Rate and Clio’s chemistry is off the charts and their emotional connection is wonderful. They bring out the best in each other with unconditional love and acceptance.

Rafe is an endearing mix of tremendous physical strength and emotional vulnerability, and seeing him struggle with and finally give in to his feelings for Clio makes for entertaining reading. If there is one small problem with his characterization, it is his unnecessary guilt and confused sense of honor that hinder his actions. However, without these, the romance would not have been as captivating.

Clio is an incredible heroine. She stands her ground and refuses to succumb to the social norms that place restrictions on her merely due to her gender and class. Her protectiveness both of Rafe and her obviously autistic sister, Phoebe, makes her all the more appealing.

Finally, the theme of brothers as rivals does not effect me as negatively as it did other readers, especially as it is quite clear that Piers doesn't love Clio and vice versa. There is no real rivalry for her affections and she isn't playing one off against the other (now that would annoy me!) My only nitpick here is that Piers got off too easily after all the years he made Clio wait and didn't even think of the humiliation she was suffering. Selfish prig!.

All in all, a lovely romance and a charming couple. Although the next book features a different, unrelated couple, I would gladly read a book focusing on Phoebe. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
I fell in love with Rafe the minute he said that he found Clio to be his personal distraction. I just loved the fact that he’s wanted her since forever. Clio was an interesting heroine, spunky, fun and full of life. I also loved her sister Phoebe. I would enjoy a story about her, as she would make a unique heroine. Also, I can’t forget Bruiser. He cracked me up! This story had a great cast of characters. Rafe was a bit too hard on himself and at times I wanted to smack him for not giving himself more credit.. however, that part played well into his character so I could forgive it.

This is the second book in the “Castles Ever After” series, but you do not need to read them in order as they are only connected by the fact that both heroines were given a castle from the Earl of Lynforth. However, I do recommend the first book as well.

Original review posted at: http://paragraphsandpetticoats.blogspot.ca/ ( )
  MyaB | Apr 25, 2018 |
Clio has been waiting eight years for her fiance to come home and marry her. Piers is in no hurry, but his brother Rafe is determined that the wedding must go on. Rafe is a prizefighter and a rebel in regards to the aristocracy, but he wants to do right by his brother, and that means getting Clio prepared for her wedding.
However, Clio has changed her mind. She has inherited a castle and wants to start a brewery instead. Rafe would be a perfect partner - both for the brewery and for a wedding - if she can talk him into replacing his brother.
I've enjoyed this entire series, but perhaps I made a mistake in reading the last book first as that has Pier's story. This story might have been better as a novella as it seemed to drag on, then wrapped up too quickly. The chemistry between Clio and Rafe was just so-so for me; if any man had paid her attention after the long wait for Piers, I thought Clio would have fallen for him.
Still, as I said above, I enjoyed the series as a whole, and Ms. Dare's writing is always sexy and fun. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Aug 31, 2017 |
Well, that was distinctively different than the first book. It was just… ok. I found the middle dragged a lot.

I do appreciate the growth that both hero and heroine went through. I just didn’t really connect that much to their love story. Something was missing for me. The banter wasn’t the same. The chemistry just wasn’t there for me.

It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good. At least I was entertained.

You know who I really need to read about? Piers. Because he sounds like an awesome future hero. ( )
  lapiccolina | Jun 23, 2017 |
Fun book. Clio became engaged to Piers when she was seventeen, and deemed too young to take up duties as a diplomat's wife. But she never expected her engagement to last eight years. She's tired of waiting for a man who obviously doesn't really want her. Having just inherited a castle, she's decided to break her engagement and make a life on her own terms. The only thing stopping her is her fiancé's brother.

Rafe has made a name for himself as a prizefighter, a life he prefers to the one he was born into. Since his father's death has been stuck overseeing the family's affairs, while his brother is off doing his thing. One of those charges has been to watch over Clio and provide what she needs. When he discovers that she wants out of the engagement, he is determined to change her mind.

I liked both Clio and Rafe. Both of them had definite ideas of what they wanted out of their lives. They had the confidence they needed to pursue those dreams. But they also had issues that prevented them from believing in their ability to be loved. Clio has had the misfortune (in her eyes) to be built on the curvier side. This feeling was exacerbated by her mother's attitude and determination to make Clio fit her ideals. Having her fiancé put off their wedding for so long doesn't help. Once Clio decides she has had enough, she goes full steam ahead with her plans to take up residence in her castle and start a brewery as a way to support herself. But she needs her dowry to fund it, and to get it she must end her engagement, which is why she contacts Rafe. She needs him, as his brother's representative, to sign the release papers.

Rafe has never felt like he fit in with his family. He never did well in school, and the frustration added to his temper problems, getting him kicked out of school. He had no support from his father, who after years of putting him down finally kicked him out. The only way Rafe had to survive was to become a fighter, so he became a great one. He was a champion until he was defeated in a brutal match up. Now he's determined to make a come-back, but the distraction of dealing with Clio isn't helping. He has spent so long feeling like a failure to his family, that he refuses to let Clio dump his brother. He's determined to show her that she really wants to marry Piers.

The attraction between Clio and Rafe is obvious from the minute she confronts him for his signature, but both try to resist it. Clio is determined to show Rafe that marrying Piers is a bad idea, and he is equally determined to convince her it's a good one. All the time that they are trying to prove their points, the feelings between them continue to grow. There are some really funny moments as Rafe goes over the top in his attempts, ending in a cake fight between them. There are also some really sweet moments, as the connection between the two of them becomes clear. I loved the way that Clio sees the vulnerable man under prizefighter's surface. There are still signs of the boy who just wanted the love and respect of his father. I loved seeing her bring out that softer side. For his part, Rafe saw Clio for the beautiful and intelligent woman that she was. I loved how his attraction to her helped her see herself through his eyes. I also loved his astonishment and respect when she finally got him to listen to her plans for the brewery. It was great to see them finally realize that they belonged together, no matter what others tried to tell them. There were still a couple obstacles to get over, but that was managed pretty quickly. I loved Rafe's big moment at the end.

I also enjoyed the underlying theme of family. Clio's relationships with her sisters were good, but definitely had their challenges. Daphne was so much like their mother that it affected Clio's ability to just come out and announce that she didn't want to marry Piers. Daphne can be quite the bulldozer, and never actually listened to what Clio was trying to say. Her husband was really annoying and I loved when Rafe punched him. I liked Phoebe. She is honest and quirky and obviously loves Clio. I would like to see her get her own story in the future, as I'm sure her abilities could create some interesting situations. Rafe's relationships with his father and brother were heartbreaking at times. I never did like his father from all the things that came out about him. Piers irritated me because of the way he kept Clio hanging for so long, and then expected her to fall in with his plans when he finally showed up. Rafe had been determined to protect Piers's engagement because of his own guilty feelings over the death of their father. But he also wants out of having to do Piers's job as marquess, because he feels so out of place doing it. He also feels guilty over the fact that he has wanted Clio as his own for years. I liked seeing them start to repair their relationship at the end. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Feb 27, 2017 |
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Rose, CarmenReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006224020X, Mass Market Paperback)

Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle
 for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and ... and ...?

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother--even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride's cold feet?
He starts with flowers. A wedding can't have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.He lets her know she'll make a beautiful, desirable bride--and tries not to picture her as his.He doesn't kiss her.If he kisses her, he definitely doesn't kiss her again.When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.And no matter what--he doesn't fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:05 -0400)

"Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and . . . and . . . ? After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement. Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother--even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself. So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride's cold feet? He starts with flowers. Ladies can't have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes. He lets her know she'll make a beautiful, desirable bride-- and tries not to picture her as his. He doesn't kiss her. If he kisses her, he definitely doesn't kiss her again. When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown and vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off. And no matter what--he doesn't fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own" --… (more)

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