Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Book News



Bonnie Dee
Liquid Silver Books

Blurb: A proper, level-headed woman. A handsome, wandering rogue. Sparks fly between them, but does the innkeeper’s daughter dare leave behind all that’s familiar to run away with a gypsy?

After managing her drunken father’s inn for most of her adult life, Bess is presented with an offer of marriage from a member of the local gentry. She should be thrilled at the proposed match with a man so far above her station, but knows Lord Wallace is more interested in the income from her successful business than he is in her.

One day while shopping in the market, she meets a charming stranger who shakes up her world. She’s unprepared for the onslaught of powerful feelings Alexi rouses in her as he woos her with passionate intensity. Now Bess must decide what she truly wants from life and how she chooses to live her future.


Bess wished she’d taken her coat. Walking briskly out of town toward the Old Ford Road, her heart had pumped hard, heating her body. But now as she stood at the edge of the woods, gazing at the flickering flames and the shapes of people moving against them, she shivered. The breeze was cold in the deep shadows underneath the trees and a light cotton blouse and skirt weren’t enough to keep her warm.
The merry sound of a fiddler playing a jig wafted through the air along with voices talking, singing and laughing. Children’s high cries and dogs’ barking played counterpoint to the lower adult voices. Someone threw a piece of wood on one of the campfires and a glorious shower of sparks flew high into the sky.
She’d been a fool to imagine she could join in their revelry. She was an outsider and didn’t belong. If she hurried home, maybe no one would notice she’d been gone. But just as she turned to walk away, a dark figure jogged toward her from the camp site and a husky voice called out, “Don’t go.”
She already knew that voice although she’d only heard it briefly. Alexi spoke softly yet with authority. Something about the deep tone of his voice commanded obedience and she found her feet rooted to the spot as she waited for him.
The heat of his body enveloped her as he drew close. He wore a king’s mantle of charisma and it occurred to her he was someone of importance among his people.
“I’m glad you came.” He held out his hand.
Bess scarcely hesitated before she took it. She’d already thrown convention aside tonight, running across the countryside in the middle of the night like a crazy woman. What difference could it possibly make if she held his hand? A sense of freedom flooded her as he pulled her toward the noisy gypsy festivities. But then her heart pounded as many pairs of eyes focused on her. She had no business being here and they all knew it.
Alexi squeezed her hand. “You’re my guest. They’re curious, but everyone will be polite to you. I want to introduce you to my grandmother. She speaks only Romani and Hungarian. Her people migrated here from Hungary.”
“Is that where you all come from?”
“Our people originated in India, but have traveled throughout so much of the world adopting bits of other cultures and languages until there’s little binding the different groups of roma together.”
Bess walked close to his side as if she could hide in his shadow. He put his hand on the small of her back and it was warm and reassuring. He guided her toward an old woman sitting on a chair by one of the fires. Although smoke wafted in a thin line from a pipe in her mouth, her eyes were closed. Alexi bent over her and touched her arm. Alexi bent over her and touched her arm.
“Baba?” He spoke a few words in his low, smooth voice.
The woman opened her eyes and gazed past him at Bess. She spoke around the pipe stem, a stream of foreign words. She held out her hand and Bess took it, dropping to one knee as though being received by a queen. As delicate as a bird claw, the thin fingers wrapped around her hand and the old woman gazed into her eyes as she continued to talk. The sharp odor of burning tobacco and a foreign peppery smell wafted from the woman’s skin. After a few moments, she rested her hand on Bess’s head in benediction.
Alexi said something else to his grandmother then took Bess’s arm and escorted her away. “She likes you.”
“I didn’t even say anything.”
“You don’t need to. Baba reads people. She recognizes a good person.”
“Is she…in charge here? She seems so regal.”
“My father is the leader, but Baba is still the mother of us all.”
So her feeling that Alexi was royalty wasn’t her imagination. He was a prince of this gypsy tribe.
“Are you hungry? You must have something to eat and drink.” He poured a glass of amber liquid and chose food for her plate from a table laden with dishes. Bess accepted both, but thought of the fairytale convention that those who ate fairy food could never return to the human world.
Reviews*: Karen Scott's blog, Azteclady, 7.75 out of 10
I am torn whether the best part of the story is Bess’ self awareness and growth, or the ending. Then again, the latter reflects the former, so perhaps it’s one and the same.


Reviews*: Karen Scott's blog, Azteclady, 7.75 out of 10
I am torn whether the best part of the story is Bess’ self awareness and growth, or the ending. Then again, the latter reflects the former, so perhaps it’s one and the same.

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