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Surrender of a Siren: A Novel [Mass Market Paperback]

Tessa Dare
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Aug. 25 2009
New author 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?

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Surrender of a Siren: A Novel + Goddess of the Hunt
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Product Description


"Dare's second novel cements her place as a "not to be missed" author. Her gift is for creating stories that are filled with adventure, three-dimensional characters and exciting plots, yet she maintains the purest form of romance" Romantic Times "Dare's prose is polished and refined, her descriptions superb, and her characters stunningly realistic...Goddess of the Hunt taught me to expect a lot of Dare, and Surrender of a Siren raised my expectations of her even more." The Romance Reader

About the Author

Tessa Dare a part-time librarian, full-time mommy, and swing-shift writer. She makes her home in Southern California, where she shares a cozy, cluttered bungalow with her husband, their two children, and a dog.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure delight. Aug. 25 2009
By Detra Fitch TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wanting to experience a grand adventure, real life and true passion, Sophia Hathaway jilts her fiancé and disappears. After packing up her paints and sketchbook, the pampered heiress assumes a new identity and secures passage on the merchant ship Aphrodite. Sophia pretends to be a governess named Jane Turner heading for Tortola to begin her new position. With these actions, Sophia knows she has been labeled as a fallen woman. She is about to learn that the real world is far different from the romantic fantasies she imagines.

Benedict "Gray" Grayson used to be a privateer. This is to be the ship's maiden voyage as a respectable merchant ship. No longer will Gray be a conscienceless scoundrel who sails the seas for profit and pleasure. Gray immediately knows that there is more to the lovely governess than meets the eye. He also understands that everyone is allowed their secrets. But when Sophia's perception, kindness, sass, and artistry begins to stir his heart, Gray simply cannot resist her.

***** FIVE STARS! Time wise, this story begins immediately following the ending of Lucy's tale, Goddess of the Hunt. Sophia was a secondary character in the previous book and I had been hoping she would get her own story told. I believe this adventure to be even better than the last. Author Tessa Dare has a wonderful writing style that allows the story to flow smoother than a calm day at sea. An enticing plot with engaging characters, this romance is pure delight. *****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Lighthearted, With Memorable Characters and a Great Setting Sept. 20 2009
By Lauren Sophie - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love when a new author bursts on the scene, puts out a great first book, and then exceeds my expectations on her follow-up. With "Surrender of a Siren," Tessa Dare reaches the potential she showed in "Goddess of the Hunt," but with even sharper writing, humor, and dialogue. Plus, she has clearly done her research about 19th c. life on the high seas, and the insertion of sensory and historical details here and there add depth and interest to the plot.

Sophia was first introduced in "Goddess of the Hunt," but here she becomes a much more likeable and complex character. Determined to seek true passion and cease pretending to be a demure Miss, Sophia leaves her fiance, Toby, at the altar and races off to board a ship to Tortola. She immediately both frustrates and intrigues Captain Grayson, the owner of the ship, and he, in turn, frustrates and intrigues Sophia. From there, the two embark on a flirtation complicated by two things. First, that Sophia is pretending to be Jane Turner, a governess traveling to her next post, and secondly, that Gray is doing his best to stop his raucous, womanizing ways and be more respectable for his sister's sake.

The result is a nicely paced push and pull with sexual tension that slowly builds. In fact, whereas "Goddess" opens with a kiss between the hero and heroine, this novel gives us more time to get to know the characters before they actually give in to their attraction.

There's never a dull moment in this book, but it also never feels over-done. In fact, I think Tessa Dare did a great job of paring down the story while still developing her characters to a point where it's easy to find them charming and likeable. The conflict also builds to a fun, witty, and surprising conclusion in a courtroom (I won't say more).

Finally, there are great supporting characters in this novel, namely Stubbs and Joss, which shows that Dare is able to add layers and build up to future books without sacrificing the momentum of the current novel.

If you like Julia Quinn and Eloisa James, I think you'll enjoy Tessa Dare's books. I, personally, can't wait for the next one.

Grade: A
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, Germaine, er, Gervais, I mean, Gray! (More of the Good Stuff!) Dec 10 2009
By Michelle R - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
5 stars

(Feather light spoilers for an earlier book, Goddess of the Hunt. Nothing that should ruin your enjoyment of the earlier work, and it doesn't need to be read first. However, SoaS begins where that book left off.)

What I Bring to The Party: I'm a fan of romance novels and a recent fan of Tessa Dare.

What's It All About? Sophia, longing to experience passion and adventure, books passage on a ship sailing to the West Indies, and concocts a false identity. She meets Gray, the owner of the ship. She experiences the aforementioned passion and adventure.

The characters: Sophia made her first appearance in another Tessa Dare novel, Goddess of the Hunt. Lucy, the heroine in GotH, at first mistook her for a sedate lady without a radical thought in her little head, but discovered that Sophia had quite the mischievous imagination. The women became fast friends and Lucy gifted her one of her most prized possessions - a book about a wanton dairymaid, which figures delightfully into SoaS as well. I enjoyed this character and the first book and was glad to see her personality remained much the same. Sometimes when characters carry over, authors alter them to fit the new plot. Amusingly enough, her stories of an imaginary lover and one story in particular is repeated in both books as she tries to convince the hero that she's more experienced that she really is. She's an artist, but she would have been one heck of a writer too. What I liked about Sophia is that she's a woman who has fantasies and desires even before she meets Gray - there's no hedging as a lot of books do in making the heroine only "awaken" when the hero arrives. She's sweet and innocent, but also clear that she has wants that she's not allowed to share in polite society, and so she must escape that society.

The hero, Gray, wants to be respectable after years of being disreputable in order to secure a future for his siblings. Getting involved with Sophia is not in his plans. He, in fact, promises his brother who is the ship's captain that he won't even kiss her. And he doesn't for a really long time, but that doesn't mean that the time before that was wasted or chaste. In fact, a lot of *interesting* things occur before he kisses her, and this was foreshadowed when he made the promise. I like very much that he didn't take giving his word as a light thing, and fought his attraction more than most heroes do in similar circumstances. He was convinced he wasn't a good guy, but his actions and choices said something else.

Gray's brother, Joss, was a hard person to like. He had several rightful grievances, but he didn't seem to want to give his brother a break. By the end, he was much more sympathetic a character. Of note was the way the crew of the ship were rendered by the author. They were rough, but for the most part sympathetic as Sophia takes an interest in stories of their lives and loves.

I like Tessa Dare's narrative style a lot. She seems to be a natural born story teller and has an ability to make her heroines in particular unique characters. Lucy and Sophia both got the lives and men best suited for them, and neither would have been satisfied with the other one's life or choices. That shows me that the author isn't looking to repeat the exact same story. She also did her homework, clearly, on the vernacular of ships - it was never heavy-handed, but the Kindle dictionary got used now and again, and it made it feel authentic. (Speaking of language, Grey is angry at one point and thinks his brother is acting like a slang word for the make anatomy - not the first term that comes to mind, but the second one. The thing that a thorn does to your finger. ::grin:: That use seems anachronistic to me, but I don't know.)

Ms. Dare's also deft with a sex scene. A lot of romance readers skim these scenes, because there's a certain sameness in many of the books. I haven't skimmed any scenes from Ms. Dare's books yet - they're too good. Not only are they erotic and creative, but they're true extensions of, in this case, Gray and Sophia. About half way through the book, there is a scene which goes from scalding hot to poignant in the blink of an eye. Sophia makes herself vulnerable to Gray, feels embarrassed, and he comforts her beautifully, and in doing so repays her vulnerability. Well, until things all go awry again. The rest of the scenes are also quite erotic, but also an extension of the emotional issues between the characters.

The general impression I get while looking at other reviews is that, while this book was well-received, Goddess of the Hunt is perhaps slightly preferred. I have to say I liked this one a bit more and this is as someone who liked the first story a lot. I believe another review mentioned there was too much time spent on the ship, but I never felt confined by it. The setting was right for these characters!

Highly Recommended!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONLY 10 REVIEWS?!?!....WHAT?!!! Nov. 6 2009
By babs - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Are you kidding me right now? Only 10 people on Amazon has read this book?! Tessa Dare is one THE BEST HR authors today. If you're wishy washy about this author...DON'T BE! I'm not your average reader...I read tons...and when I say she's good...she's good! But read this series in order...they all tie in togerther!

Ok ladies...I've read two of Dare's books and both of them have been 5 Star reads! 2 out of 2?! How rare is that?!

"Surrender Of A Siren" is the second book in this series and I was so worried I wouldn't like it like I did the first. But WoW! Did I ever! This author has a way of making every character come to life, and at some parts this lady is laugh of loud funny!

I wasn't very fond of Sophia in "Goddess Of The Hunt", but let me tell you...Once I got to know her...I loved her! She was a brat and she new it...She was spoiled, but she didn't know how bad until she hops ship and sets out to change her life. Dare sure matched Sophia with her perfect yang.

Gray has always been a "family pleaser", and learns he must live for himself instead of living to right past wrongs... Oh and did I mention he was HOT?! Ummm-hmmmm....

I really hope you give this author a chance...She writes and reminds me of how Julia Quinn's books used to be. You know, back when short cuts weren't taken and you actually got a story, instead of pages full of bloated words?

I'm so anxious to get my hands on the next couple in the series, and I'm really hoping this author gets the fans and credit she deserves!!!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful High Seas Adventure (B+ Grade) Aug. 26 2009
By Katie Babs - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
For all practical purposes Sophie Hathaway may act like a proper miss of early 19th century British society, but underneath her façade is a woman who has big dreams. She wants adventure and romance, where she will be swept off her feet but some sex hungry man who will have his wicked way with her. Sophia has this fantasy of being ravished by her painting master, Gervais, which she tells in great detail to Lucy in Goddess as well as in Siren to reformed privateer and rogue, Benedict "Gray" Grayson. Gray will be tested to the limits because he has given up all vices. And that means no longer seducing women. Too bad for Gray because the moment he meets Sophia, he will have a bad case of blue balls because of his new direction in life.

Sophia has jilted her fiancé at the altar and ends up at the docks where she will book passage on a ship to Tortola. Her new role will be a governess to a family there. Sophia must find Captain Grayson of the Aphrodite so he can allow her on his ship. She meets a Captain Grayson in a tavern and tells him her name is Jane Turner. Captain Grayson doesn't believe her for a minute, mainly because she doesn't look like any governess he's seen. Sophia is a bit vain and even though she is wearing her maid's old dress, it's her fancy gloves that almost do her in. Grayson tries to talk Sophia out of going on this journey. There is actually a deeper reason Grayson doesn't want Sophia on his ship. This voyage to Tortola is where Gray turns respectable. And with Sophia on it, he won't be able to stop from seducing her.

After much persuasion on Sophia's part, Grayson let's her come aboard. Sophia is almost home free and can spend her days painting and appreciating the rock hard cannon like muscles and charming yet dangerous look Gray has to him. Sophia is not amused when she finds out Gray is not the captain of the Aphrodite but only the owner. The captain is Gray's half brother, Josiah, who is the illegitimate son of Gray's father. Josiah is black, a child born from Gray's father and Josiah's mother who was his slave. Josiah is not happy with having Sophia as a passenger but Gray promises Josiah he won't touch her. It's going to be a very long voyage for Gray.

Sophia makes quite the impression on the crew and because Gray can't give into his urges, he is very cranky. Sophia is still an innocent, even with all her romantic talk, and has no clue why Gray is so surly towards her. One minute Gray is flirting with her, the next he is rude and keeps his distance. Rather than Sophia moping around because of the way Gray treats her, she paints and draws the men on the ship. And because Gray expects Sophia to be as uncomfortable as he is, he is not happy that she is ignoring him. Because Sophia pushes him from her mind, Gray becomes more enthralled with her and from that, things progress in a way where he can't stop himself from having Sophia. And Sophia is very happy in experiencing that passion she has always long for and with a man like Gray.

The main question arises about Sophia's true identity and whether she can tell Gray her secrets. She knows Gray will be more then displeased if he finds out her identity is a sham. Plus there is a small problem of the unpredictable weather almost destroying the ship and Gray's reputation that may get him arrested and killed.

I had a rousing good time reading Surrender the Siren. The majority of the action happens on the ship but there is never a dull moment. Tessa had a wonderful talent at keeping the reader engaged and she excels at this with her characters. Not only was it enjoyable watching Gray and Sophia fall in love, but it was just as nice when they were in separate scenes. Gray's relationship with his brother Josiah really grabs you and Sophia is able to charm everyone from the cook to the barely teenage cabin boy who forms a crush on her. And those scenes where Sophia draws Gray are exquisite.

Surrender the Siren is a bit of a role reversal. The hero Gray should be the one to ravish and plunder the virginal Sophia, but it is the other way around. The delight in reading such a book like this is watching these two interact with one another. Gray is trying to act the gentleman; Sophia is trying to figure out the best way to seduce Gray without looking like a fool. These two are just so delicious together.

Lusty love on the high seas comes to mind with Surrender the Siren. I could almost feel the wind in my hair and taste the salt in my mouth. Gray and Sophia are two people who were lost, adrift in their lives until they found one another. What more could you want in a romance?

Goddess of the Hunt
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first in the trilogy March 10 2011
By SavvyChris - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The second in a trilogy "Surrender of a Siren" is not as good as the first ("Goddess of the Hunt").

The first book was recommended to me by my local library, so I tried it. I liked it -- not loved it -- but decided to give Dare another shot. This one was ok, but I'm not wasting my time with the last in the trilogy "A Lady of Persuasion."

Once again, it had the typical 20 year old virgin and 30 year old rake. In this case the rake is basically a pirate. WOW -- never read that before! (read sarcasm here). What this book had going for it was a really great heroine. At one point, Sophia says to Gray, "People like us don't follow the rules." And despite outward appearances, Sophia just can't follow the rules and be true to herself. She takes action and doesn't just talk about it (like most characters in these novels). Sophia isn't a victim -- she chooses her future.

The relationships that Sophia forms with the crew are really interesting. However, the ending (a court scene I will not go into) is ridiculous and almost ruins the book.

This is not as good as the first, however, if you decide to read it, you really should read it in order. Sophia makes her appearance in the first book and it gives you some background as to why she would do what she did in this book.
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