Desert Isle Keeper
The Wedding Night
A Retro Review
originally published on April 23, 1999
One of the great things about being a reviewer is that every once in awhile you read a book that makes you think, “My God, what a fantastic book!” I am happy to say that The Wedding Night made me think just that.
The year is 1858 and Mairey Faelyn is continuing her father’s legacy. A scholar of antiquities and folklore, she has made it her life’s work to find the Willowmoon Knot and protect it from those who would use it to destroy the peaceful glade she calls home. When all that she holds sacred is threatened by a handsome dragon, Mairey has little choice but to step into the dragon’s lair and hope to beat him at his own game.
Jackson Rushford not only lost his father in a mine cave in years ago, he also lost his family. Exiled to Canada where he made his fortune, he lost touch with his mother and three sisters. He has searched for them ever since. As he built his mining business, he vowed on his father’s memory to make the mines safer, but one thing he cannot change is the havoc mining brings down upon the countryside. Regardless, he wants the silver promised by the legendary Willowmoon Knot, and he wants the woman who can help him find it.
The distrust between Mairey and Jack could have easily been a “big misunderstanding,” but Needham brings it all together as part of the conflict. Jack and Mairey are two single-minded people who come to love each other, but still have opposing views. Jack thinks he has made great changes in the mining industry, and Mairey still sees it as destruction of the countryside.
Two more interesting and real characters would be difficult to find. In early chapters, Jack is perhaps a bit too arrogant, but, with Needham’s magic, he becomes a wonderful, lovable hero. The scene where he discovers Mairey’s affinity for ancient phallic symbols is absolutely hilarious, and his scenes with the three younger Faelyn girls are simply heartbreaking.
Mairey is a strong, capable heroine with a touching devotion to her family. Her loyalty to the glade is second only to her love for Jack, and when she feels there has to be a choice made between the two, her decision is a painful one.
I can’t say enough about this book. The characters are engaging, the romance steamy. Even though Jack and Mairey don’t make love until well into the book, the attraction and tension between them crackles from the beginning. When they finally do tumble into bed, there has been so much foreplay throughout the book that the results are extremely satisfying for both parties. The plot is satisfying for the reader as well. There are no loose ends to be hastily tied together when the ending comes – no sudden quick fixes are needed to be pulled out of thin air. Jack and Mairey resolve their differences in what may seem a very easy manner, but is achieved only because of their love and growth of their characters.
So, if you fancy one of those reads that will leave you with a smile on your face and a, “What a book!” on your lips, pick up The Wedding Night by Linda Needham. While you’re enjoying a terrific read, I’ll be scouring the used bookstores for Ms. Needham’s out of print titles.