Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare

Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (108 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

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.

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?

My funny bone got quite a workout with this story. To say that the author surprised me is an understatement because there is no way I could have foreseen how the little mystery included in this tale would be solved.

I enjoy reading about a character that blossoms before my very eyes. I like seeing challenges and setbacks be overcome, I like seeing the depth of a protagonist’s personality revealed. Furthermore, I appreciate it more when there is humor to lighten the load. The heroine, Diana, experiences so many things during the course of this novella, the story had no problems keeping my interest all the way through.

Diana lived her life with the haunting restrictions of asthma but the book puts the reader in the middle of the time when she realizes the chains of asthma are broken. What happens next is gratifying, eventful and very entertaining.

Aaron is the burly and muscular blacksmith that makes Diana’s heart go all aflutter. After reading the descriptions that Ms. Dare used to describe him, even I got all flustered. It made me want to go and find my own handsome, sweaty man to ogle. The closest I’ll get is a construction worker, if I’m lucky. The best part about the hero is that he’s not all brawn; he has a brain filled with talent and tender emotions that get showcased whenever Diana is near or on his mind. His craft plays a major role in the story.

Diana and Aaron are very good together and I enjoyed their dialogue and how their heart to heart talks always lead them in places they never expected to go. I enjoyed where they ended up.

Secondary characters weren’t overly developed. They were there to move the plot forward and to prod either Diana or Aaron to say or do certain things. Only Charlotte showed some life and fire which intrigued me. Then again, she’s Diana’s sister so that family connection was important. In fact, I know that Diana said that Charlotte sleeps like a log but I seriously doubt anyone could sleep through what Charlotte did. Can people be that dead to the world? That completely?

What isn’t dead is physical love. In this story, it’s tantalizingly vivid, passionate and very well written. Even during a moment when it’s all serious intent, the author interjected a spot of humor. I liked that.

The great chase scene was hysterical and right smack in the middle of that chaos came the best part in the whole book. Awesome writing.

Beauty and the Blacksmith is delightful, funny, sexy and a book that is almost impossible to put down. The writing is so well done that it flowed smoothly and quickly. The characters didn’t suffer false posturing which is a breath of fresh air for readers who are tired of fabricated internal angst. This tale is a must read for any reader looking for something to turn that frown right side round. It’s wonderful, entertaining and I’m very happy I read it.


  1. Great post Ive heard alot about this book and am looking forward to reading it it sounds awesome .

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