I may have had it with Spindle Cove, your Regency-era haven for unusual young women and the men who love them. This novella, Beauty and the Blacksmith , is a quick, easy read, the equivalent of a too small serving of trifle served with a half cup of over-sweetened tea. The fairest maiden in Spindle Cove is Diana Highwood. Diana is the well-behaved sister of my favorite of all the Spindle Cove spinsters, Minerva, the heroine of the very amusing A Week to Be Wicked.

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Beauty and the Blacksmith Author:Tessa Dare. A roaring fire kept the chill at bay. Even now, hours after leaving the forge, Diana was still out-of-sorts. Until today. Not even politely, but as if he were an ogre. How unbearably awkward. She gave up on stitching and cast a glance out the window. Through the dark and wet, she saw a familiar black mare grazing on the village green. He must be at the tavern tonight. Two weeks now with no country walks, no gardening, no romps through the castle ruins.

No amusement at all. Diana gave her sister a pleading look. Spindle Cove was a haven for odd, unconventional, and misunderstood young ladies.

Her dark eyebrows stood out like bold punctuation on an otherwise unremarkable face. No one. Charlotte buried her face in her hands and convulsed with silent laughter. She offers it up so readily. No one understands our love. Evermoore is Mr. She just wants to impress us. Dawes very kindly today.

In her agitation, she jabbed at the fabric and pricked her finger. When did you have it last? When we went to the Bull and Blossom for tea. Their visitor appeared in the entry, throwing back her hood to reveal a shock of white-blond hair.

Sally Bright shook off her damp cloak and hung it on a hook. Her cheeks were pink. Together with her brothers, Sally kept the All Things shop, and she was the biggest gossip in the village. Sure enough, Sally held out a packet tied with string.

I suppose I should read it first. All the ladies gathered close. Ambervale was the estate of the eccentric Gramercy family, headed by the Marquess of Drewe. All of us. I knew Lord Drewe would want another chance at you, Diana. Such a handsome, elegant man. The two of you made a striking couple. Everyone could see it. When the Gramercys had been in Spindle Cove last summer, Mama had made the most embarrassing remarks to poor Lord Drewe, always angling for a match between him and Diana.

Charlotte gave them all a superior look. Thus far, it has rained every day. I can only imagine that you are enduring the same tiresome weather in Spindle Cove.

My dear cousins, Lady Harriet and Lady Lark, have concocted the enclosed scheme. Evermoore is very fond of the theater. We must arrive prepared to present the enclosed play, which Lady Harriet believes will have unique devotional meaning for the season. All those handmaidens.

And no one can complain that such an amusement is improper. Our cathedral is named for St. Ursula, after all. Diana had to agree with her sister. Lady Harriet was brilliant. This was what they all needed—a source of excitement for the coming week, and an outing to look forward to.

A diversion. Perhaps it would take her mind off Mr. And ran from his kiss out of cowardice, not virtue. For the first time since the announcement of this theatrical scheme, her mother showed genuine enthusiasm. With Lord Drewe playing the role of her bridegroom. How Ursula achieved her sainthood? She is beheaded by Huns and dies a virgin. They all die virgins. A bridal costume. Where could it have gone? With a smug harrumph, Mama propped her feet on a low stool and settled her petticoats.

I have always known it. During that time, no fewer than three unmarried noblemen have resided in this village. None of them expressed the slightest desire to wed me. If you fancy a gentleman, you must let him know. Not in words, of course, but in the language of female subtleties. Mama possessed all the subtleties of an elephant on parade. She brazenly thrust Diana into the path of every available gentleman.

She glanced out the window again. His mare was still outside the tavern. Merely careful. It was her talisman. The medicine inside was meant to help her in a breathing crisis.

For most young people, tantrums and tears and wild whoops of joy were all normal parts of childhood. No outbursts of any kind. Emotions were too dangerous. You should be Ursula. And flirt with Lord Drewe if you feel like it. This is your time to take the lead.

You know what Susanna said last year about your asthma. Take whatever role you choose. Except Cordula. I want to be Cordula. She gets the most gory execution. Then she handed the folio back at her sister.

Charlotte was right. She did want to start living. And she was going to start tonight. Aaron told himself his second drink would be the last. And then he ordered one more. Fosbury had already sent Pauline home for the evening, and the tavern keeper yawned as he slid the refilled tumbler across the bar.

Give a shout if you need anything. Aaron had just grown accustomed to his comfortable pocket of quiet when the creak of the door ripped it open again. He turned his head, expecting to see one of the fishermen or farmers come in for a late pint. What he saw nearly knocked him off his stool. Diana Highwood.

She rushed through the door, slammed it closed, then stopped dead in her paces. Staring at him.


Beauty And The Blacksmith : A Spindle Cove Novella

At last, Diana gets a romance of her own! But with the last man anyone in Spindle Cove expects 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.


Beauty and the Blacksmith

Spindle Cove Series , Book 3. Beautiful and elegant, Miss Diana Highwood is destined to marry a wealthy, well-placed nobleman. The only man who makes her heart pound is the village blacksmith, Aaron Dawes. A great title for Regency romance readers. I devoured it and was so disappointed when it was over! Diana Highwood took her glove and worked it like a fan, chasing the flush from her throat. She was a gentlewoman, born and raised in genteel comfort, if not opulent luxury.


REVIEW: Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare

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