A Bouquet of Thorns

Written by Tania Crosse
Review by Chris Lean

In A Bouquet of Thorns, Tania Crosse continues the story of Rose Maddiford, the free-spirited Dartmoor mill-owner’s daughter she introduced in Cherrybrook Rose.

The year is 1877. With her father now dead, and trapped in a loveless and abusive marriage to Charles Chadwick, Rose finds her spirit crushed. Her only source of strength comes from her love for the kind and gentle Seth, who is locked away in Dartmoor prison for a crime he didn’t commit. While Charles’s cruelty increases as his wife fails to bear him a son, Rose becomes more and more determined to rescue Seth from his fate. But will jealousy and betrayal prevent Rose from ever finding true happiness?

For those who enjoyed the first instalment of Tania Crosse’s saga, A Bouquet of Thorns offers another gripping and heartbreaking tale. Rose is a feisty well-drawn character whose fate you will want to follow, and the plotting is intelligent and fast-paced, making this novel a page-turner even if it does tread familiar romantic territory.

It’s clear that Tania Crosse’s real passion is for the Dartmoor landscape and its history, and her careful attention to the sometimes grim details of life at Dartmoor prison and the Cherrybrook Gunpowder Mills gives the novel real authenticity and a strong sense of time and place.

You can expect an exciting and explosive climax, but let’s hope this won’t be the end for the author’s tales of the Dartmoor Cherrybrook Mills.