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A Lady of Persuasion (Tessa Dare, Wanton Dairymaids #3)

4 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
I may be in the minority here, but this was actually my favorite in the series — I still think there are a few too many small plot twists (that don’t always make sense and/or go a little overboard in their attempt to be dramatic), but overall, though the pacing was a little slower, the character development was rich and believable.  Our hero is a ne’er-do-well who is is humorous, intelligent, and happy to lead a simple life focusing more on his own pleasure than concern for others. Our heroine has led an overly sheltered life and wants to marry solely to gain position and authority so that she will be able to affect social change and do lots and lots of charity.  Both characters could easily have been caricatures (and our hero is often drawn as such in the local newspaper), but their love story is surprisingly believable and compelling — there are some excellent side stories and characters.
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Surrender of a Siren (Tessa Dare, Wanton Dairymaids #2)

3 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
I had three problems with this book: it starts off too slowly (in terms of character development and explanations), it’s on a boat (pirates and that subgenre of historical romance is not something I’m a big fan of), and it’s not quite as charming as the first in the series. On the other hand, we’ve got an interesting cast of characters: from a young farm boy on his first sea voyage to the hero’s half-brother, whose mother was a plantation slave, balanced by some very sensual scenes and protagonists who, though immediately drawn to one another physically, do end up taking their time, revealing themselves, and getting to know one another.  It’s fun and lighthearted without being particularly memorable (or my cup of tea).

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Goddess of the Hunt (Tessa Dare, Wanton Dairymaids #1)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This felt like exactly what it is: a beginning work from a very promising author.  There are interesting characters and passionate sex scenes, but all of the writing and characterization ultimately feels like it could, and should, be more fleshed out.  You’ve got a strong-willed, independent tomboy of a heroine – a woman who rides and fishes with the best of them (and has a hearty appetite to boot).  She’s fun and easy to relate to; the fact that she’s out to seduce her brother’s friend is a nice opening premise.  BUT… this is one of those novels where they fall in love/consummate their relationship almost too quickly, and the second half of the novel is dense with misrepresentations and misunderstandings, where everyone means well, but keeps saying and doing the worst possible thing and hurting each other’s feelings.  Though it’s well written and worth the read, there are many times when it’s just as frustrating as it is good…
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