This story begins in 1759 England taking us back to a time where women and girls were at the mercy of their families – most often fathers – for their very existence not to mention quality of life. Social morays were ridiculously high for women and yet rather absent for men. Historical romances are often times entertaining and at the same time gut wrenching. Such is the case with Salt Bride. We are immediately thrown into the nightmare that Jane Despard is enduring at the hands of her nobleman father due to an untimely pregnancy. Her father’s solution was as uncaring as it was dangerous. With no thought to his daughter’s wellbeing, physical or emotion, he agrees to have the child aborted by administering a poison. As Jane writhed in pain there were onlookers – one in particular pleased – acting as witnesses to the termination of a pregnancy that had to be covered up at all costs. Cast aside by her father Jane was taken into the protection of a zealous man, Jacob Allenby, whose mission was to put her very soul on trial while he kept her in virtual seclusion. But Jane managed to survive and amazingly came out with her heart and gentle breeding intact. In order for her dear stepbrother Tom to inherit what was rightfully his Jane knew she had to abide by the conditions set in Jacob’s demanding will. She had to marry. And the man who had given her father a death bed promise to wed Jane was none other than the wastrel , the Earl of Salt, who had left her alone and pregnant after what she had thought was to be her destiny and love of her life. When reunited with the Earl Jane was taken aback by the depth of his loathing and his deep seated feelings of her unworthy character as not much better than a harlot. In her eyes she was the injured party. She couldn’t understand his anger when it had been her life that had been destroyed; in fact she had never divulged the identity of her lover. The Earl had plans in motion for dealing with this undesired marriage hoping once and for all to find some closure for a still festering wound of the heart. Unknown to either Jane or Salt there were those that would stop at nothing to destroy their chances. With the evil conspiring against them so great could anything good ever come of their union.
Grab a glass of wine, a quiet corner and plan to read the night away. The intricate web that Lucinda Brant constructed with a most amazing cast of characters is sure to keep you mesmerized. As the plot develops and darkens to a place where you can help but start to squirm you realize that the imagery is spectacular. If you have never met true evil just wait till you meet Diana St. John’s. Definitely made me a Brant fan. Enjoy.
When the Earl of Salt Hendon marries squire’s daughter Jane Despard, Society is aghast. But Jane and Salt share a secret past of heartache and mistrust. 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 Salt’s attention. Can the newlyweds overcome past prejudices and sinister opposition to fall in love all over again?
Style: Classic romance with a modern voice, similar to Regency noirConnecting Books
Many readers enjoy Lucinda Brant's books as part of a wider series since her characters inhabit the same meticulously-researched 18th Century world with people and events cross-referenced throughout.