Saturday, January 26, 2013

When She Said I Do-Celeste Bradley

When She Said I Do

Celeste Bradley

St. Martin’s, Jan 29 2013, $7.99

ISBN: 9781250016126

In 1816, the storm in the Cotswolds swelled the river pouring vast amounts of water over a bridge and flooding the carriage carrying the Worthington family from London. Calliope, her brother Dade, their Mama and their now unconscious dad seek shelter in a nearby seemingly abandoned mansion.

However, the dusty abode has a resident, cynical recluse Ren Porter who watches the Worthington brood make themselves at home. While her parents sleep and her sibling went back outside to help their manservant Morgan with the horses, Ren’s first reaction to Calliope is she is an angel until he sees her taking a pearl necklace. Revealing himself to her, Ren demands his angelic thief pay for the jewelry. His price is marriage and nights of lovemaking for each pearl. Although frightened of her host after seeing his monstrous scarred visage, Calliope steps between her brother and the hermit as they begin a duel. She intercedes by stating to her family and the beast that she accepts his proposal. After marrying in nearby Amberdell village, the newlyweds settle in his mansion. As the pair fall in love, a killer obsesses over eliminating an obstacle.

This entertaining Regency fairy tale romance stars a brave spinster, a hermitic caring “monster” and a maniacal compulsively-driven villain whose motive seems over the top of Cleeve Hill yet enhances the delightful storyline. Readers will enjoy what happens after the Beauty said I do to the Beast.

Harriet Klausner

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