Reviewed by May
Favorite Quote: “If you wanted to stop cherishing and start ravishing… I’d be most amenable.”
We return to Spindle Cove to finally find out all of the secrets, the history, and the sorrid past of Corporal Samuel Thorne and the town piano instructor Miss Kate Taylor – and what a story. These two have been sparring and shooting off sparks throughout the Spindle Cove series, however their story definitely reads as a stand-alone novel as well. Tessa Dare does not disappoint with this book- I loved every page.
She regarded him now: arms crossed, face hard, eyes glazed with ice. He was a living suit of armor. If she listened hard enough, she might even hear him creak as he walked.
He wouldn’t surrender any secrets willingly. If she wanted to know what was truly inside the man, she would have to crack him open to find out. It seemed a dangerous proposition, and a sensible, clever young woman – a “Kate” – would turn and run the other way.
But she wasn’t a “Kate” to him. He’d called her Katie. Add Katie was a courageous girl, even in the face of her fears.
Kate is an orphan, she has a wine colored birthmark on her face that makes herself conscious, and she wishes that she knew where she came from. She needs to be careful though – because soon some strangers will ride into town that have a fantastic story to tell all about who she is and why she is a part of their family.
He knew her when she was young, that much is hinted at right away. But Samuel Thorne has secrets and he doesn’t want to tell them. But to keep Kate safe once again, and because he doesn’t trust these odd people claiming her as a relative, he’s claiming her for himself – as his fiancée.
From the beginning their responses to each other are so strong, and emotions run very high.
“I hadn’t any choice.” Her voice caught. “I am completely alone.”
His grip firmed on her arms. “I’m here. You’re not alone now.”
Hardly poetry, those words. A simple statement of fact. They scarcely shared the same alphabet as kindness. If true comfort were a nourishing, wholemeal loaf, what he offered her were a few stale crumbs.
It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter. She was a starving girl, and she hadn’t the dignity to refuse.
“I’m so sorry,” she managed, choking back a sob. “You’re not going to like this.”
And with that, Kate fell into his immense, rigid, unwilling embrace – and wept.
Thorne is the definition of the strong silent type, and he is very aware of his place as a lowly soldier with a past that is anything but good. He has made mistakes, done bad things, and has many secrets that he holds close. It is clear right away that he lives to survive, that he does what he must.
Meanwhile Kate is ever the optimist, the kind of woman that others want to be friends with and whom they can trust. Her light and happy to his dark was such a great contrast and as I turned the pages I could see why they were so right for one another.
With this man, there would never be poetry. Very few parties, and even less dancing. They’d never sit down to the pianoforte and play clever duets.
She could wait her whole life, and he might never find the words to say he loved her.
But the truth of it was written all over his skin. And that was enough.
To be perfectly honest I’d love nothing more than to simply type out quotes from this book because every single chapter had moments and I couldn’t stop highlighting passages that I wanted to include here. This review is a gushing one because I simply adored the book, and I loved reading about regular people for a change – people who didn’t have servants or titles or wealth.
The plotline with the strangers who show up claiming Kate as family didn’t always work for me. The strangers (a family) were all quite interesting, and I would be interested to learn more about them too. However at times, especially near the end they competed with the main characters more than enhanced scenes for me. That said- they didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the book.
It would be hard for me to find anything that could make me not love this book! Tessa Dare is such a talented writer, and she has yet to disappoint with this Spindle Cove series. She manages to fill her books with humor and memorable lines, but she also digs into the emotions and really develops her characters beautifully. I strongly recommend both this book, and the entire series.