A Night to Surrender - Tessa Dare This book has been taking up room on my eReader for a couple months now because I just ... can't ... finish ... it. Reading about these characters just made me want to pull my hair out, which is sad because I enjoy Tessa Dare's prose.

Miss Susanna Finch is an unlikely spinster heroine who pretty much runs an unlikely little towned (nicknamed Spinsters Cove) with a group of unlikely spinster girls who like to live away from men as spinsters and be merry (and unlikely). It's explained that the girls move to Spindle Cove because they can't fit in anywhere else. In order to do this, Miss Finch has turned the town into one big girl's paradise to keep out all those rascally men and their rascally man parts. Enter: Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Something-or-Other (because: of course), who is ordered to set up a militia or some such in this little nowhere of a town. Battle of the Sexes, take your place!

Tessa has a talent for prose, and she can write a good love scene.

It's hard for me to put a finger on what bothers me about this book. The women - I think it's the women. No, wait, the men. It has to be the men. No ...

Perhaps it's the whole lot of them. Even though Susanna and her girls are supposed to be free-thinkers (Regency feminists to the rescue!), they read like strange cardboard cut-outs of stereotypical females. They go swimming, but the whole point of that scene has to do with the men ogling their womanly bits. They don't need men, but when the men come to town, it's like the end of the world. And then the men take it upon themselves to take over the town, get rid of the girly stuff, and all but mount a giant penis in the town square. These people don't seem to understand how to be people. It's insulting to any gender. I don't feel like I could sit down and snack and talk with the women in this book, nor do I feel like I could have a less-than-hostile conversation with the men. I just had to give up.

Bram and Susanna seem well suited for each other. They're both uber-perfect leaders and beautiful. They want to fondle each other and hug. Match made in heaven, I suppose. Granted, I'm only assuming they ended up together. I quit reading after the main couple got in a silly fight about their silly hang-ups. Susanna was the worst, though. Just the worst. Little Miss Perfect was good at just about everything: healing, leading a small town, guiding young women into adulthood, sexing up Bram, target practice, probably midwifery and inventing an early-model computer. I just couldn't get myself in the mood for more shenanigans. I tried to finish it out of respect for Tessa Dare; I really did! Alas, Susanna was just too perfect for me.