Topaz and Lace by Amber Laura Young
When I first came across this novel, the title didn’t appeal to me. The blurb didn’t really catch my fancy either. I shrugged and turned away from it. But then I read a few lines of writing by the author from another work, and I was immediately impressed. There was so much atmosphere there in those few sentences that it made me check the novel again.
I took a peek in the book. After reading the first pages, I knew I wanted to read it all. I still don’t know what the title as to do with the book, but I found it nigh on impossible to put down!
The author certainly has a knack for creating an almost palpable atmosphere in her story that makes you feel as if you were right there in the midst of it. Cassie’s thoughts and feelings are transferred in such an honest, humorous way that makes it easy to identify with her – even if my own character differs widely from Cassie’s. But I understand how she feels, I hope with her, I tremble with her, I’m embarrassed with her and my stomach tingles with hers when she brushes up against the mysterious Brannt.
His character is portrayed through the eyes of Cassie and the people around them and I am amazed at the depth that is conveyed through these indirect means. He’s got his rough edges and his soft sides, his mysteries and flaws and you start liking him as the story unfolds without really knowing why (because he mostly acts like a jerk). And of course you start hoping that they will get together because anything else is just unthinkable!
The side characters also unfold their own charm in witty dialogues, helping Cassie along as she struggles with small-town gossip as well as supporting her in her development from a homesick college graduate to an independent veterinarian.
The only criticism that I have is that the change of heart Cassie shows in the end seems rushed and might have been worked out a bit more. Apart from that, I absolutely loved that book and tore through it within three days.