Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NOVELLA REVIEW: "Lord Dashwood Missed Out" by Tessa Dare

Lord Dashwood Missed Out (Spindle Cove, #4.5)
(Spindle Cove #4.5)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

Avon -- Published on December 8, 2015
Ebook, 144 pages
Read in January 2016
Purchased from Amazon


Virgin Hero, Writer Heroine, Cabin Romance, Childhood Friends/Sweethearts

A snowstorm hath no fury like a spinster scorned!

Miss Elinora Browning grew up yearning for the handsome, intelligent lord-next-door…but he left England without a word of farewell. One night, inspired by a bit too much sherry, Nora poured out her heartbreak on paper. "Lord Dashwood Missed Out" was a love letter to every young lady who’d been overlooked by gentlemen—and an instant bestseller. Now she’s on her way to speak in Spindle Cove when snowy weather delays her coach. She’s forced to wait out the storm with the worst possible companion: Lord Dashwood himself.

And he finally seems to have noticed her.

George Travers, Lord Dashwood, has traveled the globe as a cartographer. He returned to England with the goal of marrying and creating an heir--only to find his reputation shredded by an audacious, vexingly attractive bluestocking and her poison pen. "Lord Dashwood Missed Out", his arse. Since Nora Browning seems to believe he overlooked the passion of a lifetime, Dash challenges her to prove it.

She has one night.

"By the age of three and twenty, Miss Elinora Browning had given up on wedding vows--instead, she made herself a promise."

I adore Tessa Dare's writing and her Spindle Cove series was the one that really turned me into a fangirl.  So, obviously, I was super excited to see that she was returning to that series with a novella and an upcoming full-length novel, Do You Want to Start a Scandal.  Lord Dashwood Missed Out is a cute story with a decent romance and some fun reunions with other Spindle Cove characters.

The main plot follows Nora Browning who became famous after writing and publishing a scathing essay to the man she believed overlooked her.  She now travels around speaking to ladies' groups about her experiences and is on her way to an engagement in Spindle Cove when she has to wait out a snowstorm with the man that inspired the letter, Lord Dashwood.  The close proximity forces both Dash and Nora to re-evaluate their early relationship and possibly find out some important secrets about one another.

I really liked both characters.  Nora is intelligent, strong-willed, and funny.  She has a great sense of humor that has helped her deal with difficult situations.  I also liked how determined she was to take control of her life and make her own way once her writing took off.  Dash is a character that is very layered.  I didn't care much for him at first and I think that was the point.  The author used the events of the story to look beyond our initial first impression of him as an arrogant jerk and see the mature and sweet guy that he became after unintentionally breaking Nora's heart.

I love a good "cabin romance" where the hero and heroine are forced to spend time together in a small space.  It just provides so much drama and fun.  I liked how these two actually talked about their past and their personal feelings on it.  It helped make the development of the romance seem much more realistic even though the page length was short.  The only thing I found myself irritated about was something that was revealed about the whole scenario towards the end.  I understood why the character did the things they did, but I thought it was a little out of the blue and wish it had been explained in more depth.

I also have to give a big shout out to the return of some of my favorite Spindle Cove characters.  I especially liked getting to see more of Pauline and Griffin from Any Duchess Will Do.  Their marriage is unique due to their previous class differences and I enjoyed seeing the results of that.  There is also the return of the overbearing Mrs. Highwood who is still trying to marry off her remaining single daughter, Charlotte.  This was a fun little tidbit to help prepare readers for Charlotte's story in Do You Want to Start a Scandal.

Lord Dashwood Missed Out was a fun story that made for an entertaining evening.  I always adore Tessa Dare's writing and this was another opportunity to enjoy it.  While it can be read as a stand-alone, I do think the subplots would be difficult to really get into if one is not familiar with the characters from the earlier books.  I do recommend this for fans of Tessa Dare especially if they liked the Spindle Cove series.

1. A Night to Surrender
1.5. Once Upon a Winter's Eve
2. A Week to be Wicked
3. A Lady By Midnight
3.5. Beauty and the Blacksmith
4. Any Duchess Will Do
4.5. Lord Dashwood Missed Out
5. Do You Want to Start a Scandal? (Coming 2016)

2016 Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge

Goodreads -- Author Website -- Publisher Website


  1. I thought this was pretty fun too. And I am SOOO looking forward to Charlotte's story.

  2. Yes! I loved this book. I need more Tessa Dare in my life. Always. :)

  3. Oh I was wondering about reading it as a stand alone. Hrms. I haven't read her yet but have wanted to and the stuck in a cabin is one of my absolute favorite tropes! All of em go on the list it seems. lol


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