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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Review: Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare (novella)

Format: .mobi (purchased)
Release Date: April 30, 2013

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?

I love the way Tessa Dare writes novellas. Normally I skip novellas over because they're too short for my tastes and 99% of the time I feel that too much was left out of the story. That hasn't been the case with Tessa Dare. Beauty and the Blacksmith is the second novella I've purchased, read and enjoyed. She knows how to make a novella feel fuller, more developed and satisfying to readers.

It was so satisfying to see the otherwise quiet Diana assert herself, especially with regards to her mother. All those years of holding back really took their toll on Diana but through it all she remained a lady. No tantrums, no screeching arguments, just a quiet stubborness that grew in its intensity until she just had to have it out with everyone at the end. She was a bit surprising, I thought she would remain meek and obedient until the very end but she didn't, she started slowly and then it was like she couldn't free herself fast enough. Even modern day women could relate to that feeling.

Aaron was a surprising choice for Diana to be honest. I expected that the hero would be opposite of Diana in some sense but Aaron was way out there. A blacksmith? With a "delicate" flower like Diana? I just couldn't wait to see how far they were willing to go for each other. At times it seemed like it just wouldn't work out without some kind of miracle, but Tessa Dare knows her characters so well and Aaron and Diana worked it out just fine, albeit very publicly.

And as is the case with all the books in the Spindle Cove series, there were plenty of laughs to be had! There was also a quick glimpse of Pauline, the heroine of the upcoming full length novel, Any Duchess Will Do (5/28). I can't wait to read that book. Did I mention that each cover for this series keeps getting more and more gorgeous?


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  1. I usually skip over novellas for just that reason. Every once in a while I read them but ooo they can be frustrating. I'll have to give hers a try. I'm always impressed by the authors who can really make a novella work. And I love those surprising match ups like that!!

  2. I truly don't know of any author who can write a novella and make it feel like a full length novel.


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