MacDonald’s latest heart chart for beleaguered youth (Like a Diamond, 1999, etc.).This time, it’s 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, he’d interest her only as a means to an end. And that end for Tamsin, who was herself born to wealth but upon
her father’s death found herself running a boardinghouse with her mother, is to build a hotel—the 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 courtship—until she
goes on a maiden voyage with Victor. Then, though, there’s 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. What’s 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, that’s what it’s all about . . . .
MacDonald charmingly captures Tamsin’s passions, which spring at us like piano notes sparkling over a bass line of class
divisions and Cornish lingo. Bustling expectations for romance readers.