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Tamsin Harte by [Malcolm Macdonald]

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Tamsin Harte Kindle Edition

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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From Publishers Weekly

Set in a Cornish fishing village at the turn of the last century, Macdonald's latest historical romance (after Like a Diamond) evokes the moment when England's rigid class structure first began to loosen and the upper class began to reconsider its conventional injunction against the self-made man, or in this case, woman. Tamsin Harte and her mother, Harriet, fall from the upper echelon of society when Tamsin's father dies and his shipping firm goes bankrupt. They open a boarding house to get by. Energetic, enterprising and ambitious, Tamsin discovers that she has a mind suited to business enterprises. (Her secret ambition is to build "the best hotel in Cornwall.") When it comes to romance, however, she is still bound by tradition. Though attracted to handsome fisherman David Peters, she cannot consider him as anything more than a friend, since he is not of the right class. Instead she sets her sights on Victor Thorne, a spoiled young man from an upper-crust family whose snobbish, scheming mother, Cicely Thorne, provides much of the story's conflict. Tamsin also finds herself attracted to Standish Coverley, a helpful and engaging man who owns the region's most posh hotel, but who appears uninterested in romantic liaisons with women. There is plenty of social intrigue and high adventure, including brandy smuggling, narrow escapes from the custom officers, fine dining and skinny dipping. Delightful descriptions of archaic Victorian-era practices, such as the use of "ladies' bathing machines," add historical color. Though a number of interesting and amusing secondary characters disappear or play disappointingly minor roles in the plot, Macdonald tells a lively and engaging tale. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

MacDonalds latest heart chart for beleaguered youth (Like a Diamond, 1999, etc.).This time, its 1910 or so and snippy little Cornish virgin Tamsin Harte has her eye on the next step up. Will Tamsin set out to attract well-to-do Young Master Victor Thorne with his neat military moustache with its waxed points, pricked in perfect symmetry, and his merciless but very kissable lips . . .? Well, hed interest her only as a means to an end. And that end for Tamsin, who was herself born to wealth but upon her fathers death found herself running a boardinghouse with her mother, is to build a hotelthe best in Cornwall. It will take some time, however, for Tamsin to learn the facts of life. To her, a kiss on the beach is the very pinnacle of courtshipuntil she goes on a maiden voyage with Victor. Then, though, theres also the young lobsterman David Peters, who offers her a free lobster in exchange . . . for what? This David, who has his eye on Tamsin, will never have the income that awaits Victor. Whats more, when David overhears Victor planning a wonderful fishing trip with Tamsin, and talks with her about it, Tamsin finds she would much rather be talking with David about Victor than with Victor about David. And so, when she burns her bridges and David finally does kiss her, his hunger is brandy on her lips. Lips, lips, thats what its all about . . . . MacDonald charmingly captures Tamsins passions, which spring at us like piano notes sparkling over a bass line of class divisions and Cornish lingo. Bustling expectations for romance readers. -- Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Reviewed in Canada on February 5, 2000

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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 16, 2014
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