A Gypsy's Vow - Bonnie Dee My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...

A Gypsy's Vow is a novella that tells us about a sweet lovestory between a Roma gypsy and the dutiful daughter of an English innkeeper. I loved the premise, the connection Alexi and Bess definitely shared and as usual, loved BD’s writing. Even though the story started very beautifully, somewhere along the way it fell flat, mostly, I think, due to the short length and a conveniently swift ending.

Bess takes care of her father’s inn as any dutiful daughter would do. She’s everything to Thistle and Thorn because her father mostly spends time drunk. One thing that bugs Bess is her father trying to betroth her off to this Lord, a definitely show off with expensive taste, not thinking of the ramifications. Bess is pretty sure that Lord Wallace wants the earning of the inn rather than herself because otherwise, he won’t be interested in an innkeeper’s daughter. This story takes place in the early 20th century, so we get to see a vrooming motorcar that Wallace rides, the sight of which Bess hates, not only because she, like many others, weren’t yet so cozy about motorcars but also, she didn’t like the man himself.

Bess meets Alexi in the market while she was there to shop. His dark good looks and winking earring took her breath away on the first glance. Then, of course he just looked at her and gave this broad smile, as if they’ve known each-other for eternity! Bess never thought herself beautiful and his intent regard was definitely rewarding. He even helps her with her shopping basket and carries it to the inn. Bess is charmed and so is Alexi.

Inside the inn, Bess is confronted by her father and Wallace, both men united for this match. Bess’s father, being the drunk he is, doesn’t think too deeply about Wallace’s intensions and thus, is easily manipulated by him with the talks of titles and mansions. This issue inevitably becomes a trouble for Bess in the later part of the story.

Gypsy Caravan (1899) by Pál Böhm

It was disappointing that most of the story was told from Bess’s POV (though not first person), so we don’t know Alexi’s background, except for what he told Bess himself. I loved those little tidbits though. The gypsy culture is as fascination to me as ever! Alexi treats Bess as if they’re old friends and invites her to meet with his people, especially his parents and grandmother. Now, no matter what, mixing with a Roma isn’t the best thing to do and Bess knows it well. She also knows this would only lead her to trouble. But, no matter what is said about the gypsies, Alexi’s open honesty also calls out to her and so, Bess defies the conventions to meet up with him later at night.

I did like that Bess reciprocated Alexi’s affections, which he termed as love at first sight, just like his own parents’. But being the ever sensible girl, it took her a while to cross that path. I thought Alexi was very charming and utterly loveable. There was definitely something magical about him. His amazing self-confidence was a treat to read. Alexi was, after all, a prince of his tribe. My trouble is, I love BD’s stories so much that more often than not I end up craving for more. This novella wasn’t any different in that regard.

3.5 stars.