Monday, August 11, 2014

Tessa Dare - Beauty and the Blacksmith

Beautiful and elegant, Miss Diana Highwood is destined to marry a wealthy, well-placed nobleman. At least, that's what her mother has loudly declared to everyone in Spindle Cove.
But Diana's not excited by dukes and lords. The only man who makes her heart pound is the village blacksmith, Aaron Dawes. By birth and fortune, they couldn't be more wrong for each other...but during stolen, steamy moments in his forge, his strong hands feel so right.
Is their love forged strong enough to last, or are they just playing with fire?

Comment: This is a short story in the Spindle Cove series by the author. I've been reading this series for a while now and although the first two books were much better than the third one, I had high hopes for this story because if featured two characters I like, Diana and Aaron.

Diana is the most beautiful lady in Spindle Cove, but she doesn't seem interested in any lord and was more focused on her health, the main reason why she and her mother and sisters went to Spindle Cove. She met Aaron there and has been falling in love since the first day even without realizing it.
Aaron is the blacksmith of the village and he has always work although he isn't rich by any means. His work is beautiful and Diana is always looking for a reason to go to his shop. When they both finally talk about it, there's no going back to indifference...

I liked this short story. There isn't much to develop in such a short page count but at this point most of the reader's impressions about them have been known from the other books, more so Diana. I liked how we saw Aaron better because I had th idea he wasn't such an impressive man, and in a way the best part of this short story was to get to know him and how someone doing such apparent heavy and tiresome work can be the author of beautiful jewelery, the reason Diana is first always around.

It was fun to realize both of them have been longing for the other for a while and how Diana would ruin her jewels so Aaron could fix them and she could spend time with him.
Of course, one could say this relationship was doomed because of their stations in society but for me things worked because the focus was the way they felt about each other and what was in each one that the other recognized and accepted which would be the foundation of a balanced relationship and in the end sometimes love is what matters the most.

Because of the page limit, obviously things move along quite fast in this story but it doesn't seem anything was rushed because we get the idea things have been like this for them for a while. I was still surprised by Diana's mother reaction and how Diana grew to be assertive when it mattered so much to her how others would accept her relationship with Aaron.

As for Aaron himself, I was also surprised for th positive, because he is wise and careful and tried to protect Diana and to treat her like a lady but the feelings between them were quite forceful to ignore. Still, he maintained his honorable side and proved he was a worthy man. I was really glad to know him better.
I think his character could still have been better explored but maybe in the future we'll see more of him.

The story has a HEA and I'm happy with it. I understand why it wouldn't suit some people, but I like the fantasy, I like the way the romance is the most important thing in here and how the characters don't betray their own feelings and minds. I can't wait for the next.
Grade: 7/10

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