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Monday, March 24, 2008

The Bride of Time - Review

The Bride of Time by Dawn Thompson

Tessa La Prelle, a scullery maid in 1903 London, is entranced by The Bride of Time painted by Giles Longworth in 1811 in Cornish for the Prince Regent. Her plans to visit the gallery go awry when she is accused of stealing a pearl broach from her employer. Escaping the Bobbies Tessa must have one last look at the painting but it has been sold. Her heart broken she flees the gallery through a rear window and finds her escape–in Cornwall in 1811.

Giles Longworth labors to complete his masterpiece The Bride of Time despite contrary models who steal, a strange nine year old ward who disrupts his household, and a worrisome bite inflicted by his ward, that won't heal. He finds inspiration in the child's governess who refuses to pose for him but he paints her from memory, always remembering the silky feel of her hair.

Against the prejudices of Regency England Tessa and Giles struggle to reconcile their lives and their strong attraction for each other. Neither trusts the other to believe the supernatural events of their lives but they find old Gypsy Moraiva to be a mentor in the ways of the lay lines that transport people across time and the ways of the wolf.

As Tessa traverses time, pursued in her own time and seemingly doomed in Giles' time, and finds happiness in Giles' strong arms. Their happiness is fleeting as prejudices in both times crush their dreams. Only through the purity of their love will they find happiness but in whose time?

Dawn Thompson crafted a love story to transcend time. The story moves easily between 1903 London and Cornish in 1811 drawing on the similarities of the times. Tessa and Giles' pain is as palatable as their love in the evocative prose of Miss Thompson. The faith of Giles' loyal butler, Foster, goes beyond master and servant to respect and deep friendship and is beautifully rendered by Miss Thompson.

The characters are faithful to themselves and each other, not the conventions of time, and with her passionate prose, The Bride of Time will satisfy every romance reader's fancy.

Review by Billie Warren Chai, author of Brides of the West

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