Beauty and the Blacksmith  (Spindle Cove, #3.5)Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare
My rating: 5 of 5 flames

I loved this one. It’s lighter than some of Ms. Dare’s previous works, but it worked so well. The main conflict in this story is that Aaron, the hero, is a blacksmith, while Diana, the heroine, is destined for marriage to a duke. Just ask her mama.

But what I liked about that conflict is that it was real. I don’t think it would have worked as a novel-length story, but for a novella, it was perfect.

For any Spindle Cove fans, you already know of Miss Diana Highwood and her marriage-minded mama. For those who are new to the series, Diana has come to Spindle Cove to recuperate from her breathing difficulties, but in the past 2 years hasn’t had any problems. During these past couple years, Diana has become infatuated with Aaron the blacksmith. Every single piece of jewelry or metal she can possibly break, she has broken just to have an excuse to have him fix it.

Aaron has started to notice.

More than that, Aaron has started to notice Diana noticing him:

“I wonder about it. Why you come so often. Why every metal latch and clasp and rivet you possess seems to need mending of late.” His voice grew deeper, almost dreamy. “I’ve told myself you’re just bored with this village. With this weather, there’s little else to do.”
He circled her, running his finger beneath that chain. Branding her with a necklace of his touch.
“Other times”—she caught a wry note in his voice—“I decide you’ve been sent by the devil to torment me for my sins.”
He came to stand before her, holding that vial that dangled from her necklace. He pulled gently, and she swayed toward him. Just an inch.
“And then sometimes I think maybe . . . just maybe . . . you’re hoping for something to happen. Something like this.”

I won’t tell you what “this” is ; )

I think that this is a sweet and fun novella that will fill that need when you just want a happy book, y’know? The romance is sweet, the forge isn’t the only thing that’s hot, and there’s even a teeny mystery side-plot that nudges Diana to do something she might not otherwise have done. What a great series, and I can’t wait for you guys to read this one.

***ARC courtesy of edelweiss and Avon Books

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