Friday, August 2, 2013

Tressa by Barbara Cerny

Title of Book:   Tressa

Author:             Barbara Cerny

ISBN:                978-1-61204-341-8

Publisher:          Strategic Book Group

Release date:     10/01/2011

Genre:                Historical Romance

Length of Story:  Novel (above 70K words)

Back Cover....

Escaping an abusive husband and the tragic loss of her newborn child, Tressa O'Daire leaves her home of Dublin, Ireland, for the unknown shores of New York City. There, she finds work in the powerful Langley family as a nurse-maid to a baby girl. The Langleys allow Tressa, a master baker by trade, to use their baking oven and she starts a business and a new life.

Ethan Langley, crippled in a riding accident that left him bound to a wheel chair, has spent the last eight years in his room escaping the embarrassment to his family and the hatred of his brother, Heaton. The only bright spot in his life is his sister, Sarah; until a certain Irish baker arrives and turns his life upside down.

Their very lives are threatened when the head of the Langley household dies unexpectedly leaving the business and family fortune to Heaton. As Heaton and his wife, Victoria, bring the family to the brink of ruination, Tressa and Ethan must save whatever they can, including the budding love between them.


Tressa played with the remains of her food. “So, if you’re not worried about being caught for hiding Heaton’s body, then what is on your mind?” 

Ethan paused. How should he tell the most beautiful girl in the world that she deserved better? That being straddled with half a man was not what she needed in life? How could he tell the woman he loved more than life itself to find another, better man, to love?

 “I can’t be what you want me to be,” he finally whispered. 

Tressa was quite taken aback. “What do I want you to be?” 

He looked into his lap and down at his broken body. “I am not a man. I cannot be a husband. You deserve a man whowho is whole.” 

Tressa had never seen a man look so downhearted. Ethan truly believed he wasn’t good enough for her. She stared at his despondent face for a moment and then said, “You think sex is what makes a man? That the use of your manhood is the only way to show a woman your love?” She shook her head. 

Ethan turned several shades of red to hear a woman boldly discussing such intimate topics. 

“Well, mister, you have a lot to learn and I think you need to start learning it now. I am not looking for a husband. I am looking for you.” Tressa stood up and, taking the handles of the wheeled chair, pushed the uninformed young man to his bedroom and then leapt onto the bed. 

Ethan’s eyes nearly popped out of his head to see a woman, specifically this woman, lying on his bed, her head propped up on one arm.

 “Undress,” she commanded, staring him down, her eyes daring him to comply. 

"I umI really—” he stammered, not exactly sure this was proper.

 “I was a married woman. I’ve had a child. I am not exactly a virgin, so undress.” Tressa sat up and undid her bodice. Ethan opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Tressa stood up and dropped her dress to the floor. She kicked her shoes across the room and, dressed only in her chemise, straddled Ethan’s lap and began to kiss him. She kissed his lips, his nose, his cheeks, and his neck. She was determined to show him how much she loved him and how little she cared about that damned wheeled chair. This man had to stop tying his self-worth to those crippled legs and, if she had her way, he was going to learn that lesson this very instant. 

When Tressa began to nibble on his ear, Ethan came out of his state of shock. He felt things he’d never felt before. Never mind that nothing worked from the hips down; he felt tingling all the way to his toes. He instantly wrapped his arms around her and began to ardently return her kisses and nibbles. Within minutes, Tressa had his shirt and vest unbuttoned, off his arms and shoulders, and hanging from his waistband. She ran her hands over his chest, playing with his nipples with her thumbs. She didn’t know where her bold animal instincts were coming from, but she wasn’t about to stop and ponder them. Everything she had dreamed of sharing with Séamus on their wedding night and for the rest of their lives was poured into her actions. She had been brutally raped nightly for months and swore no man would ever touch her like that again. God, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, had sent her a man incapable of that cruel touch. But this man was more than capable of giving her loving touches. 

Ethan had no idea what was happening to him. He was dealing with a total onslaught of emotions. This woman was all he’d ever wanted and, until five minutes ago, he thought her unattainable. But here she was, half naked on his lap, kissing him in ways he never thought possible. Her playing with his nipples was driving him to distraction. He couldn’t stand it anymore. He wanted all of her and he wanted her now!

 “Okay, woman,” he groaned. “Up in the bed.” She happily obliged, completing her undressing in one stroke and then helping him to the bed and stripping him of his trousers. Naked they explored every region of each other, not holding anything back. They put their complete and amazing love for each other into every touch, every kiss, every nibble. 

Ethan might have a broken body, but there was nothing broken about his deep and undying love for this Irish woman. In one evening, she proved to him beyond a shadow of a doubt that his manhood was not limited to one region of his body, and that making love was a total body experience. .

Long time Readers! Sorry. Was wool gathering and in such a hunt I came across another book from my favorite author Barbara Cerny. Tressa. 

The name itself conjured a picture of a woman from the bygone era, floating white gown and long tresses of auburn hair. Shy, diminutive. Boy! Was I wrong!!!

Meet Tressa…

During the ages when the women folk was just supposed to cater to the wants of men, Tressa is all set to became an entrepreneur.  Strongly supported by her family she learns the art of being  a master baker from her uncles and cousins. And when the time comes for her to settle down she does it with all naivete that only comes from total trust that life can never go wrong with good people. Now I must say – Boy! Was she wrong!!!

The love of her life turned into a marital rapist who only only broke her spirits but also her dreams for her future. After losing her newborn baby, she escapes in a ship and lands up in America. But she lands with a child in her arms. How? [You really think I am going to tell you? [Tch tch…..]

But after reaching the land of opportunities, though she is a free woman unlike the other indentured servants, she is taken in as a nursemaid by the Langley family. There she meets the disabled younger son Ethan Langley. 

Meet Ethan…..

Ethan Langley is the youngest son of the Langley family. Crippled due to an accident, he had become  a recluse till he is forced to face life by Tressa. A beautiful friendship develops between them where both bring out the best of each other.

The Story….

Tressa leaves her loveless marriage behind as she covers the expanse of the ocean to reach America. Her dream of starting a new life is beautifully depicted as she transforms herself from being a nursemaid to an owner of a bakery. Her business acumen makes her different from other women. That along with a fierce sense of loyalty makes her a very charming character.

She is a very strong woman who always stands beside the man she loves. So much so that even when she is tortured and humiliated by her husband, she does not tell her own family but rather braves the ocean to reach America to start a new life. 

When Ethan faces eviction from his own home, she stands by him, supports him and fights for him. She is one woman who even in today’s world would be considered admirable.

What I liked….

The flow of the story is beautiful with each character being very much the part of the story. The evil Heaton versus the goodness of Ethan is beautifully depicted. 

Tressa is a beautiful person who is sensitive to all the relationships around her. She is gutsy enough to start her own business, foresighted enough to plan her future and sensitive enough to care for the less fortunate. 

Not to forget she was damn smart- planning the escape, landing in America and starting her business could not have been done if she did not have a sound head over her shoulder. A beautifully depicted strong character.

Ethan was an equal partner. Though crippled at an early age he was the motivation behind her actions. He too comes out as a strong character as he moves out of his father’s house and makes his own living. He could have depended on Tressa, but he chose to make a life of his own. 

The best part I loved was the relationship between them. A sweet understand, a camaraderie which encouraged the goodness in each other. 

What I did not like….

The only point I can think of is not about the author’s depiction of Tressa leaving her family behind. Agreed that her situation was difficult but her parents loved her, her cousins adored her, so why did she not contact them later. Or did she.. maybe if I let my imagination run wild I can imagine that she might have contacted her family…… 

Well, that sure seems like I would have wanted more in this story. 



If I wanted this story to continue… do I have to give a reasoning? It was a beautiful read and when I read about her father crying for her at the dockyard, I had tears in my eyes too. So Barbara,can you please send Tressa back home……..?


  1. Rubina, Thank you so much for the wonderful review! Tressa is my teenage daughter's favorite of my novels, even though I wrote Shield of the Palidine just for her. Go figure... You are not the only person that has said to me, "But what about her family????" I got a 3-star rating on Goodreads for that point alone. I guess that someday, I will have to do a sequel (ideas running around in my head already) but I have something like 5 book ideas in front of it. So many ideas, so little time! :-) Barb

  2. Thats the idea of the review Barbara... would love a sequel from you.:)Keep on writing. Love your books.