Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Tour for Silk & Scars by Cassandra Dean (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Fans of the historical genre will find themselves drawn to the romantic tale of a scarred man drawn to a woman working in a man's world.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of Silk & Scars by Cassandra Dean, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about it by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  Ms. Dean will also discuss the popularity of the Beauty and the Beast theme which is central to this story.  In honor of this release make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win an e-copy of one of the previous installments in the Silk series and a book-themed postcard and magnet too!

Ah, the enduring popularity of Beauty and the Beast. What is it about this tale that makes it so timeless?
I know I’ve always enjoyed it. Ever since I was a little girl, Beauty and her beast enthralled me. Beauty’s ingenuity, likability and no-nonsense personality struck a chord with me, and of course those traits led to her taming the gruff, surly beast.
When the Disney version came along, I fell wholly in love again, singing my heart out along with Belle as she joyously sang of her love of books, terrified with her when she entered the castle and found the Beast, and was cautiously optimistic as this Beast revealed a heretofore sweet and tentative side.
I guess we all love a beast, a man who is different with everyone else but that one woman, who lets her alone into his innermost thoughts and feelings, who is vulnerable only with the woman he loves.  He’s also fiercely protective, ready to defend her to all and sundry. However, he never treads upon her agency, never treats her as anything less than a person who knows her own mind, hopes and fears. What’s more romantic than a brave, strong man who is strong enough to admire and love you for who you are, who recognizes your awesomeness and loves you because of it? To me, that’s what makes the tale so beloved and so timeless, appealing to women and men alike because the heroine and the hero are equals. How can you argue with that?
In SILK & SCARS, there’s traces of Beauty and the Beast. Gwen is sent to a dark and fearsome mansion at the behest of a cold, silent man who bears horrendous scars. There, she discovers cold, imperious manner covers a sensitive, shy man, one who admires her tremendously and believes she can do anything. Edward is apprehensive when Gwen comes to stay, certain she will be revolted by the twisted ruin of his face and body. He needn’t have worried, however, as Gwen sees beneath the scars to the person he is. Sound familiar?
So, Beauty and the Beast. A tale as old as time, a song as old as know the rest.
Thanks for hanging with me!

For over a year, Miss Gwendolyn Parkes and the Duke of Sowrith have corresponded. At first an error, the letters quickly became something much more, a friendship forged on like minds and perhaps the hope of something more…
When Gwen is compelled by her employer to attend the duke at his Dartmoor estate, she is devastated to find her beloved friend cold and imperious, even if he is the most handsome man she’s ever seen – despite his scars.
Edward, Duke of Sowrith, has longed to meet Gwen. Arranging her passage to his estate, he is tongue-tied when confronted with her quiet beauty. All too aware of the twisted ruin of his face, he allows fear to hold him silent…until Gwen’s safety is threatened.
Finally together, they grow closer until it seems they can never again be apart – but can a commoner and a duke find a happily ever after?


"Edward.” Her hand slid up his lapel. Turning, he found her gray gaze upon him, a faint crease between her brows. “What is different?”
He stared into her eyes. She met his monocular gaze, no part of her expression revolted by the eye patch, the scars. He glanced at her hand, stroking his chest almost absently, her attention fully and totally on him. “When I received your letter, the one meant for Etta, it was like a ray of light, a beacon through relentless gray. So I responded and you sent your next letter and they....You were so full of joy, it bubbled out from the page and made me think perhaps I could experience it, if only a little. You had Etta, and your parents, and your employment, and though all three annoyed you on occasion, you had such…illumination.” His finger began a mad rhythm against his leg. “I’ve never had any of that. I’ve been here alone since the accident. I didn’t go to Eton. I was too ill. By the time I was old enough to attend university, I was so far behind there was no point. I went to London for the Season, but.... That did not turn out well.” Memories of horrified stares assaulted him, the whispers and notoriety that had come with his foray into society. Forcing the memories away, he said, “So I came home, and stayed.
Then you sent me a letter. A bright, shining thing, and we corresponded and I...I wanted to meet you. So I arranged it that Beecham brought you to Sowrith, but I never thought he would not tell you, that I—” He grimaced. “You know what happened.
Then you arrived, you were here, and I couldn’t.... There were no words. So I stood like a fool and watched you, and I wished I had the words that came so easily by pen. You were just like your letters—bright and gold and glittering, with your smile and your lightness, even when you frowned. And that was amazing to me. You are amazing to me. I wish I could…I wish I could tell you…” Finally, he looked at her.
Eyes wide, she regarded him, her chest rising and falling rapidly.
Shifting his weight, he averted his gaze. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said those things. I—”
A gentle finger against his lips stilled his words, and he remained silent as her hand slipped to cup his cheek. The ruined one. Emotion shuddered through him as he absorbed her touch.
See? You say such things and I can’t…” Her thumb tracing his cheekbone, her other hand slid up his chest to crumple his lapel as she pulled. Following her direction, he leaned down.
Tentatively, her lips brushed his.
Hardly daring to breath, he stood stock still as she hesitantly explored the shape of his mouth, her lips molding to his with small stops and starts. Her tongue darted against his lips and he shuddered, the sensation exquisite and overwhelming.
Wrapping his good arm around her, he urged her close. She came, her arms slipping about his neck as her lips opened under his. The wind tore at his hair and howled in his ears, his heart thundering in his chest. Her mouth was warm and eager, tasting of honey and gold. Of Gwen.


Fans of the historical genre will be charmed by this sweet tale of societal opposites attracting by looking more than skin deep.  It's a quick read with a bit of angst and issues of a woman in a man's world that kept me turning the pages watching this unlikely romance progress and cheering every step of the way.

Gwen's a devoted daughter and friend who's always skirted the laws of propriety.  Working in a law office may be fulfilling but at times leaves her questioning a woman's role in the world.  The best part of her job though comes from a singular incident, a mistake, that puts her in contact with a man uncertain of his place in the world too.  Through letters they form a bond of friendship that slowly becomes more but coming face to face with one another makes things too real and leads to a bumpy road to HEA.  Gwen's an immensely likable heroine with modern thoughts.  She wants more out of her life, to be able to make her own choices, and is strong-willed in going after who and what she wants.  Edward may be distressed by his scars but Gwen sees past them to a man who's endured much to become just as strong but with an equally kind heart.

Edward's scars, and his shame of them, have kept him closed off on his estate with letters being his main form of interaction.  Gwen's letters bring life and joy to his dreary days, a breath of fresh air that slowly pulls him out of his negativity in how he sees himself.  Seeing Gwen in person though has him holding back and them getting to know each other all over again in a sweet and sensual dance.  Edward was a wonderful hero who was a quiet soul unused to interacting with others but starved for a connection and his time with Gwen, both in words and in person, was charming.  He came truly alive in her presence and their burgeoning relationship put a smile on my face.

Ultimately this was a quick and magical read with a sweet romance between two people both looking for acceptance.  The romance was sensual with banter that was heartwarming and it gave me an afternoon of utter enjoyment that can be read on its own.  Those looking for an immensely satisfying appetizer will definitely want to add this to their bookshelf!

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Cassandra Dean is a best-selling, multi-published author of historical and fantasy romance. Her latest novel, SLUMBER, is part of Decadent Publishing’s Beyond Fairytales and features Cassandra’s take on Sleeping Beauty. Her next novel, SILK & SCARS, is part of her popular Silk Series, featuring Victorian Era lawyers and their happily ever after.
Cassandra is proud to call South Australia her home, where she regularly cheers on her AFL football team and creates her next tale.


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  1. Hi all
    Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy reading a little about SILK & SCARS.
    FYI for you all, I'm in Australia so it might take me a little bit of time to get back to your comments. Darn time zones :)

    1. Thank YOU for stopping by and for crafting such a sweet story that was over way too quickly. Great characters kept me smiling with every turn of the page along with a theme that always calls to me as a disabled person.

      Good luck with its release and care to share what's on the horizon for you?

      The Scarf Princess

    2. So glad you enjoyed Gwen and Edward's story :)
      Next up is SILK & SCHOALR, the story of Gwen's friend Etta and the annoying Christopher Hiddleston...

  2. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

    1. Oh man, this question...always a toughy!
      Um, maybe time travel. it would be pretty cool to check out moments in our past, and then travel to our future.

  3. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is a great favorite of mine. Great post thank you.