Monday, August 20, 2012

Unwrapping: Review of SALT BRIDE by Lucinda Brant

Lucinda Brant is a new author for me. She now lives in New Zealand and writes Georgian Romance Novels. When she contacted me and asked me to read her stand-alone, SALT BRIDE, I hesitated but only a moment. For after I read the first two chapters, I was hooked and knew I needed to know what happened next. Lucinda, thank you for sending me a copy and I promise this review is honest and unscripted.

Blurb for SALT BRIDE:

When the Earl of Salt Hendon marries squire’s daughter Jane Despard, Society is aghast. But Jane and Lord Salt share a secret past of 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 Diana St. John, who has been living in a fool’s paradise believing she would be the next Countess of Salt Hendon. She will go to extreme lengths, even murder, to hold the Earl’s attention. Can the newlyweds overcome past prejudices and sinister opposition to fall in love all over again?

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Jane Despard is a woman in love with a man she believes asked her to marry him, made love to her, left her pregnant than called off the engagement. After four years of living with this torturous thought, she now finds herself married to the same man who acts as if he despises her. She soon learns the truth about the past and the present.

Magnus Sinclair, the Earl of Salt Hendon has never forgotten the young woman he fell in love with, made love to in the summerhouse, but then who was never heard from again except for one fortuitous day in the fields when he impulsively kissed her and she slapped his face in return. Now he's forced to marry her by the terms of his dead enemy's will. Planning to send her to the country and continue his life as it was, he suddenly realizes he needs her near him, yearns to have her love him as she once did and desires her to be married to him because she wants him not because she's been forced.

SALT BRIDE is a story about secrets, lies, miscommunication, evil doings, and manipulation. Jane believes that Magnus committed a breach of promise and cared not that she was pregnant with his child, forced into miscarriage by her father, disowned and left to suffer the disgrace these past four years. Magnus believes that Jane wanted nothing more of him after he left for London to attend to his best friend and cousin's wife and children after the man's sudden death. He only knew she had returned the sapphire and diamond locket that he'd given her as a promise of marriage without any explanation or reason and had gone to live under the protection of a married man. If I tell you any more than this, I will ruin the story for you but let me say that Miss Brant has woven so many layers of lies and deception in this extraordinary romance that you will thrill with the way it all unravels.

As much as I enjoyed this intriguing and intricate tale of separated lovers, a ruthless and mentally unstable stalker-minded woman set upon ruining the happiness of a second chance at love, I found one fault with the book that I cannot overlook. Miss Brant has a tendency to switch the narrative point of view quickly, abruptly, and without warning within a scene. At times this made reading the scene clumsy and slowed the story. Overall, however, I give this my highest recommendation for the story itself.

SALT BRIDE by Lucinda Brant is an incredibly poignant, intriguing, and easily relatable yet unique Georgian historical romance that will have you hooked to the point of losing sleep to keep reading. I do a lot of my reading late at night and when I got into the last chapters, I actually kept telling myself to go to sleep but the kid in me kept crying - just five more minutes, just one more chapter. This is one romance that will never threaten to put you to sleep - not by a long shot. I think what I liked the most about SALT BRIDE was how easily modern issues translated to a time so long ago. Read SALT BRIDE by Lucinda Brant and you'll understand what I mean.

I highly recommend SALT BRIDE by Lucinda Brant to anyone who loves a story about secrets, misunderstandings, interference in love, and a stalker thrown in for good measure.  SALT BRIDE surprised and delighted me and I'm intrigued to see what other wonderful stories Lucinda Brant has conjured in Georgian historical romance - she's got several more.

Interested? Learn more about Lucinda Brant and her Georgian Romances at her website.

Happy Reading Everyone!

SALT BRIDE by Lucinda Brant, Sprigleaf Publishing, first released January 1, 2012, available in print (paperback & hardback) and ebook format.



Jaye Shields said...

What a beautiful cover. Your review definitely has me intrigued. And the pov thing, so many great authors have jarring pov problems, including Nora Roberts and Christine Feehan. Drives me nuts, but I still read them ;)

Amy Valentini said...

I do run across it occasionally, Jaye, and it does make me pause but if the story is good, like this one, I can overlook it and still recommend it well. Just feel the need to point it out so my readers know it's coming.
This was one of those that I didn't want to end and when it did, I wanted to cheer. I do recommend it - it's a wonderful story!

Leah Weller said...

I downloaded this onto momma's Kindle. Now I'm anxious to get it back so I can read this. We keep passing it back and forth trying to get our books read, LOL!

Amy Valentini said...

Oh Leah, for sure - read it! I couldn't put it down. It's so very good. Books are made for sharing, right?!

Ms. Brant will be joining me here for interview on Sept 5th so mark your calendar so you don't miss her in case you want to ask her anything. Perhaps your mom would like to join us too. : )