Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.
Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be…anywhere but Spindle Cove.
These unlikely partners have one week
- to fake an elopement
- to convince family and friends they’re in “love”
- to outrun armed robbers
- to survive their worst nightmares
- to travel four hundred miles without killing each other
All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.
What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.
Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble.
And maybe…just maybe…love.
Minerva is a geologist. She loves rocks of all kinds and believes that she has made an incredible discovery in Spindle Cove. She’s beside herself with delight but she needs to get out of Spindle Cove and to a meeting of The Royal Geological Society in Edinburgh by a certain date so that she can submit her findings and prove to herself as well as everyone else that she knows what she’s doing – as well as win a prize for the best find.
She works up enough nerve to ask Lord Payne to fake an elopement and go with her to Edinburgh and she will give him the prize money to live on until he gets his inheritance on his birthday. Lord Payne, Colin, knows that this is not something he’s going to do. He’s a bad guy but he can’t ruin Minerva’s reputation like that. If they don’t actually get married – which he’s in no way willing to do – she will not be able to make any kind of match. It was kind of sweet how he was thinking of her but in the end he folds and accompanies Minerva to Edinburgh.
Colin, however, some rules that he must travel by because frankly, the guy has issues. He is not willing to travel in a carriage – ever. He will ride beside the carriage on a horse. He cannot sleep alone (whether he’s having sex or not) in a bed without a companion and he expects Minerva to solve this problem. His rules seem simple but Minerva isn’t prepared for the attraction she feels for Colin when they start traveling together. Colin likes to make up fantastical stories of who he and Minerva are and where they’ve been and what they’ve done. At first Minerva is appalled at even the idea but soon falls into the game as well.
The travel to Edinburgh is fraught with danger, mishaps and an overabundance of Murphy’s Law. If it can go wrong, it does. But the couple is not willing to give up and soon Colin is determined to get Minerva to her symposium along with the plaster that she made of her discovery – which he named Francine.
During the trials and tribulations Minerva sees a different side of Colin than she ever expected. Colin starts to see Minerva for the strong, spirited woman that’s she’s always been but had been repressed by her life and her mother. They discover that what they see in each other is something that they don’t want to let go of now that they’ve got it.
I’m such a fan of Tessa Dare’s I’ve really enjoyed all of her books and this one was no different. She took a rake with issues and a spectacle wearing rock lover and made them ultimately lovable.
Minerva, the poor thing had been chastised all her life, by her mother, for just being herself. Her mother wanted her to not like books, not like rocks – be more feminine, be more proper, be more like your beautiful sister. Ug. I just wanted to shake the woman. The only time she was please with her daughter was when she thought she’d eloped with a Viscount! But Minerva had some chutzpah and once she was out on the road she realized that it was ok to be herself and so much more. I truly admired her strength and determination during the whole trip.
Colin, the poor guy, had some issues. He had had an accident when he was young that involved the death of his parents and he hadn’t ridden in a carriage since then. He didn’t sleep unless someone was beside him. I just felt so bad for him. I loved that with Minerva’s help he finally came to terms with the entire situation and learned to face his condition head on. I thought he became a more feeling person during the book but we hadn’t really seen all that much of him before so it was hard to say if he’d been kind and giving his whole life and had just hidden it or if he became that way during the trip. No matter what I really liked what I saw in him.
Overall it was a really great book with an unexpected ending. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Spindle Cove series and see what happens next.
Rating: 4 out of 5