Wanton Dairymaid, Book 2
By: Tessa Dare
Narrated by: Gabrielle Baker
Series: The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, Book 2
Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
Release date: 03-19-19
Publisher: Tantor Audio
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader’s copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Tessa Dare takes passion to the high seas in this steamy tale of a runaway bride and a devilishly disarming privateer.
Desperate to escape a loveless marriage and society’s constraints, pampered heiress Sophia Hathaway jilts her groom, packs up her paints and sketchbook, and assumes a new identity, posing as a governess to secure passage on the Aphrodite. She wants a life of her own: unsheltered, unconventional, uninhibited. But it’s one thing to sketch her most wanton fantasies, and quite another to face the dangerously handsome libertine who would steal both her virtue and her gold.
To any well-bred lady, Benedict “Gray” Grayson is trouble in snug-fitting boots. A conscienceless scoundrel who sails the seas for pleasure and profit, Gray lives for conquest—until Sophia’s perception and artistry stir his heart. Suddenly he’ll brave sharks, fire, storm, and sea just to keep her at his side. She’s beautiful, refined, and ripe for seduction. Could this counterfeit governess be a rogue’s redemption? Or will the runaway heiress’s secrets destroy their only chance at love?
This is the first book by Tessa Dare I absolutely did not like. I feel I read nearly the same book by Eloisa James just a few months ago. Young heiress on a ship giving the male and female love interests an enforced closeness pushing them together, plus the heroine is aching to be wanton and the hero is really vulnerable because of a change in his business model and his family situation. Speaking of the family situation, Gray is really into what his sister thinks.
The characters are two-dimensional, or maybe the word is predictable, with a side of Gray’s bragging about his scoundrel nature and ending up being noble. And, while Sophia acts like a sophomoric chit with some cash, she turns out to be a sophomoric chit with some cash. She has a few moments where she realizes she can use her upbringing to do something good and she might grow up a little.
I found the situation contrived: not her having to get a berth on a ship heading to the Caribbean to hide out from an impending marriage to a perfectly nice man. But, of course like other women of her age she will lose all her money when she marries. The climactic moment of the entire thing is so forced and, though the whole political/legal situation is canny, it is still forced.
I hate just flat out saying I found a book unpleasant, but, I even tried listening to it a second time; I just couldn’t bring myself to do the entirety. The thing I found the least objectionable was the narration. Baker has a pleasant voice and handled both genders well.
I thought the artifice of believing romance was like that in this piece of erotica she and her friend found denied that anything she ever saw in her life between men and women was real. It was just not my cup of grog.