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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Historical Romance Review: Salt Bride, by Lucinda Brant
When the Earl of Salt Hendon marries squire’s daughter Jane Despard, Society is aghast, convinced the Earl has lost his head over a beautiful face. But Jane and Lord Salt share a brief secret past, one that caused mistrust, heartache and misery. Four years on, they are forced into a marriage neither wants; the Earl to honor a dying man’s wish; Jane to save her stepbrother from financial ruin. Beautiful inside and out, the patient and ever optimistic Jane believes love conquers all; the Earl will take some convincing. Enter the Earl’s cousin, Diana St. John. Diana has been living in a fool’s paradise believing she would be the next Countess of Salt Hendon. She will go to extreme lengths to hold the Earl’s attention, even risking her young son’s life. Removing Jane by any means possible, even murder, is a means to an end for the obsessive Diana. Can the newlyweds overcome past prejudices and sinister family opposition to fall in love all over again?
Ebook ISBN 978-0-9808013-2-3
True talent is when an author creates an in-depth backstory of intricately woven together complicated characters and events and yet the reader starts on page one, right in the middle of the action--and is none the wiser to the author's machinations, only having eyes for what is happening on each and every page, eagerly turning to the next. And boy did Ms. Brant toy with the reader's head!
With Salt Bride, the intensity is high, and you're dealt with characters who are vivid, real and have some serious issues. I am amazed at her talent for creating such complicated characters--and there are many in this book. Each character was thoroughly fleshed out, which is quite difficult to do and not lose your reader. Instead, the author illicited strong feelings from me on all the characters--especially Diana St. John, who I LOATHE, Magnus--Earl of Salt, who I fell in love with and sweet, forgiving, intelligent Jane Despard the heroine, who's endless witticisms and stoic countenance had me cheering her on. Antony--Diana's brother and Tom's brother, were heroes in their own ways as well when they--well I can't give it away!
Ms. Brant is a genius for dialogue! I was gasping and laughing nearly the entire time. The sensuality is poignant but not gratuitous, and truly adds a measure of romance to the story. I wanted so badly for Magnus and Jane to rediscover their love for one another--and admit to it, and I was not disappointed.
The prologue was intense and ensnared me at once. I do admit to the first couple pages of Chapter One being slighlty confusing with all the characters tossed in at once, but as soon as I fleshed them out--literally only a few pages--I was once again hooked and eager to continue reading.
The historical research for this novel is evident and well done. The setting expertly designed in the mind's eye, the characters clothing deliciously described, and the use of real time entertainments such as fireworks, tennis, society, etc... were expertly executed.
I highly recommend this book! I was entertained to the fullest while reading, and can honestly say I haven't read a book that hooked me like this one did in quite some time. I am extremely eager to read the next book of hers on my list, a Georgian mystery novel, Deadly Engagements, as well as the rest of her works.
About the Author
Lucinda Brant is the author of Georgian historical romance and Georgian historical mysteries. Visit Lucinda at http://www.lucindabrant.com/
Be sure to check back here this Friday, January 28th, for Ms. Brant's article on Real Tennis, which is prominently featured in her book.