Author: Rebecca Thomas
Genre: Historical Romance
My Copy: ARC via Entangled Publishing
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Captain Quentin Drake returns home after his Naval commission ends to find a young groom being beaten in the village stables. Weary from his travels, Quentin only wants a good night’s sleep, but refuses to turn a blind eye to the lad’s mistreatment. He intervenes, taking the lad to his room, only to discover a woman masquerading as a boy.
After Ally Lockwood’s family dies, she supports herself by assisting the local blacksmith with his horses. She’s not allowed to do the work as a woman, so she dresses as a boy, but her ruse is up when, due to injury, she’s disrobed by a handsome stranger. What starts as a shared supper, leads to so much more…
By now you know I can’t resist a historical romance and when I read the synopsis to Rebecca Thomas’ novella and saw that it involved a female character disguising herself as a boy, my interest was piqued.
As for characterization, we have good character development within the confines of a novella. Ally Lockwood is feisty and isn’t afraid of hard work. She disguises herself as the son of a blacksmith and is biding her time before she can leave the country. The reason? She’s been accused of stealing from the Earl of Linford and when she comes face to him in her disguise she knows her time is up. Then we have Quentin who has just left the Navy and is going home to visit his family before leaving to the US. He’s honorable and very much a proper gentleman. I really liked him! All he wants to do is help Ally, but she doesn’t want it. Of course we have to have a villain and that’s Linford. He’s really difficult to like even if Thomas attempts to rectify the situation involving him.
While I liked Thomas’ The Blacksmith’s Son, I still have a few unanswered questions. But first, I was disappointed in how quickly the false accusations against Ally were resolved and Linford leaves much to be desired. Sure we’re given a glimpse into how he treats his horse and how he reacts to Quentin, but I wanted more. Quentin has this guilt regarding his sister and her past relationship with Linford and yet there’s nothing to feel guilty about. Now for the unanswered questions, I feel a little more background regarding Ally and what she was doing in Linford’s employ was needed. Thomas gives a little information and I’ve gone back to that section several times, but I still am not exactly sure what Ally’s position was. Was she a companion to his sister? If so, wouldn’t her sudden disappearance raise concerns? The whole accusation against Ally was a bit far fetched, but necessary if we want her hiding her identity. Also, I just don’t understand why Ally didn’t Quentin’s offer of help and instead just decides to run away from him.
I loved that Thomas gave us a headstrong female character. While Ally drove me nuts with her refusal to accept to Quentin’s help, I admire her strength. This is no shrinking violet and I liked how she wasn’t helpless. The initial scene when Quentin realizes the boy is a girl had me laughing and I really enjoyed how he handled the situation.
Overall, The Blacksmith’s Son is a satisfactory read. If you enjoy historical romance and are looking for quick read, then I recommend Rebecca Thomas’ The Blacksmith’s Son.