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Friday, April 27, 2012

When Dreams Come True by Cathy Maxwell

When Dreams Come True by Cathy Maxwell
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (376 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Everyone knew the earl of Penhollow needed a wife, so one thunderous night the villagers gathered together to ask the ocean to deliver a bride to the bachelor lord . . .

When Pierce Kirrier rescues a mysterious beauty from the billowing ocean waves, he has no idea who she is or where she came from. But at first sight of this enchanting maiden, he knows he must claim her for his own. Taking her back to Penhollow Hall, he pampers her like a princess, determined to win her trust and her heart.

For Eden, awakening in an elegant bedchamber in a remote corner of Cornwall is like a perfect dream. In Pierce’s arms she has discovered true love, true joy, and a passion she never imagined could exist. Yet she knows in her heart that, once her secret past catches up with her, her dreams could be shattered . . . forever.

Magic, marvelous meddling, a Madame, a man (what a man!) along with storms and charms all manage to play a part in moving Eden toward her destiny and give the reader a romance to remember.

Beautiful Eden, nicknamed “The Siren”, accepts her life for what it is. Taken from the mean streets of London, reared in an upscale brothel, and educated better than most women of her time, she has just been sold to Sultan Ibn Sibah for a phenomenal price. While she accepts her fate, deep inside she fears what lies ahead.

When her only friend, Mary—the vicar’s wife, gives her a special medallion and says, “May you have the courage to free yourself”, Eden struggles to reconcile what she feels she owes Madame Indrani and what she wants from life.

A storm and Eden’s courage to act changes the course of her life. When her strength fails, Lord Pierce is in the right place at the right time to save her from crashing against the rocks along Cornwall’s coast. Thus begins the fulfillment of a wish the Widow Haskell and the people of Penhollow Hall had made for the Earl of Penhollow, Pierce Kirrier.

Lord Pierce, shepherded to adulthood by the people of Penhollow, rebuilt the family fortune his deceased father had wasted. He knows he must marry but has not come to terms with his selfish mother’s demands. She, daughter of a rich tradesman and wife of a nobleman, strives to belong and intends that Pierce marry a biddable girl of noble blood. When he brings home the unconscious Eden, Lady Penhollow sees her beauty and sees the way Pierce looks at her--action must be taken.

Conflicts abound making When Dreams Come True captivating. However, the most compelling element is the remarkable connection between Eden and Pierce. Trying to protect him, Eden cannot bring herself to confide in him, yet she loves him with all her heart and soul. Pierce does not understand what she's about and sends men to try to find out who she really is, but he wants her regardless of her true identity.

The secondary characters meddle freely in Eden’s and Pierce’s lives. Both friends and adversaries do all kinds of manipulations in their efforts to influence. Betsy, Mrs. Meeks, Widow Haskell, and others who helped raise Pierce may not be high in Society, but they do wield power that's amazing. They also create joy, humor, and show loyalty and true friendship that give the story buoyancy. Many of the characters who need to stay in Lord Pierce’s good graces perceive Eden as a threat and plot with malice against her not knowing anything about the horrible threat Madame Indrani and the Sultan’s men are to her.

The climax with the sacrifice Lord Pierce is willing to pay to protect Eden and the resolution that comes from such an awesome source (truly, poetic justice) caps off this exciting, passionate, and magical romance. When Dreams Come True is hard to put down.

Cathy Maxwell’s smooth flowing writing style, her exquisite descriptions, and the sensual, shimmering love she immerses the hero and heroine in is breathtakingly beautiful. Totally satisfying!