by Lisa Cach

April 2001
ISBN: 0-5-5-52437-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Dorchester Publishing
Mass Market Paperback

Konstanze is being treated very badly by her husband of two years. An old man with an unhealthy desire to abuse and imprison her, he is not a man any woman should stay with. So Konstanze and her maid Hilde, a scary German character, run off to Penperro in Cornwell where unknown to her husband she owns a small cottage.

In Penperro she not only finds the freedom she had been looking for but also an adventure she couldn’t have dreamed of. Penperro’s citizens are in need of someone or something to keep the Preventive man and his crew from discovering their lucrative smuggling ventures. Tom Trewella, a respected man in Penperro and the brain behind all the smuggling activities decides that Konstanze’s appearance is exactly what the village needed. When the Preventive man mistakes her for a mermaid upon seeing her swimming and singing in the sea, Tom knows that she will be exactly that - a mermaid to lure the agent of the crown to his doom.

Konstanze is only too happy to help her new neighbors, or is it the offered money, or the opportunity to go on “stage” like her opera singer mother? It definitely is the chance to be in Tom’s presence more often. To revel in his teasing admiration and to be encouraged in her newly found sense for adventure.

Their relationship is a joy to behold, as they become friends and accomplices, as they learn to respect each other even when they both are of questionable moral standards. Their teasing exchanges are amusing, although whenever it’s Hilde’s time to make an appearance they don’t stand a chance. The character of Konstanze’s maid Hilde is hilarious and straight from a Commedia del’Arte play or bawdy Mozart piece. And the object of her desire, the grumpy local vicar, adds to the sensation of reading a highly entertaining tale populated with the widely known characters of such comedies. Only close to the ending is when it got all a little too dark and dreary.

Unique as always, Lisa Cach manages once more to seduce her readers into her own world of romance. Her voice is one any reader wishing for something distinctive should listen to. It’s not often one as exceptional and fascinating can be found. Discover, read and enjoy her books!

Reviewed in September 2003 by Kris Alice.

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