When Susan Kerslake and Con Somerford meet again after eleven long years apart, much has changed. She is now sister to the chief smuggler and Con's housekeeper, while he is the battle-hardened new Earl of Wyvern. Determined to find the smugglers' gold stolen by Con's predecessor, Susan reluctantly remains at Crag Wyvern, despite the rising tension between her and Con. He suspects she is up to more than tending house and sets out to discover her secret.
The Dragon's Bride is classic Jo Beverley, a skillful mix of romance, history and adventure. As always, Ms Beverley's engaging characters and strong plot make the story sparkle with an energy all its own. The historical details blend naturally into the narrative, creating a rich and authentic backdrop. Con and Susan's romance, fraught with guilt and doubt, blossoms slowly as they rediscover each other and learn to put the past behind them. The smuggling subplot provides added depth and excitement as the local riding officer is determined to identify and capture the area's lead smuggler.
All in all, The Dragon's Bride is an enjoyable, well-paced and satisfying read. Very highly recommended for fans of the genre.
This review first appeared in the August 2001 issue of The Historical Novels Review.
© Teresa Eckford, 2002