2013 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards Medal Winner
Jane and Salt-four years of happily ever after...Sir Antony Templestowe-four years of exile...Lady Caroline-four years of heartache... Diana St. John-four years plotting revenge...The time has come...
How does a brother cope with life knowing his sister is a murderess? How can a nobleman have the life he has always wanted when a lurking evil consumes his thoughts and haunts his dreams? What will it take for good to triumph over evil? For listeners who enjoyed Salt Bride, the story continues...
Salt Hendon series, Book 2
Character-driven romantic suspense.
Non explicit (mild sensuality).
©2013 Lucinda Brant (P)2014 Lucinda Brant
I could not wait to listen to the rest of this series—it was that compelling!
This story works on two levels. One where we are still fascinated with the beautiful, intelligent Lady Diana St. John, who with her cunning and black heart is able to manipulate and twist events to coerce people to do her bidding. The second level involves Sir Antony, Lady Diana’s brother serving as ambassador to Russia, and Lady Caroline. Lady Caroline has suffered much since his departure (secretly loves him), and through her error in judgement and its lessons she has secrets in her past she wants to forget.
Lady Diana St. John was the villainous who escaped her banishment to return to her ‘rightful’ place beside Magnus Sinclair, Lord of Salt Hendon. Her actions and very character create an underlying tension and dark suspense which lurks in wait as Sir Antony and Lady Caroline’s story is established. She was such a lose canon in the first book of the series, the reader has no idea what to expect from her in the second. A delicious villainous, well-developed and one I loved to hate. Narrator Marian Hussey played her role impeccably; deceit simply rolled off her tongue. Lady Diana’s form of flattery with its sweet oily application could easily turn vindictive where I wasn’t sure she could keep control, so close she was to physical and verbal violence. A wonderful character all around, both in the author’s mind and Ms. Hussey’s interpretive role.
Fortunately, Sir Antony made something of himself while in St. Petersburg, no longer the habitual drunk. He returned to England forthwith when hearing of Lady Diana’s escape. He had to somehow contain her, protect her children, and those of Magnus and Jane. He had to make it right. Yet, he loved his sister. Although seeing her diabolical side, he admired her intelligence and beauty. Lady Diana had one aim--to assist Lord Salt in his political career, by his side and bask in the light of his greatness.
This story focuses on beautiful Lord Sinclair’s sister, Caroline. Full of spirit, a Regency animal lover, she had learned some very big lessons in her young life, but no longer the pure, virginal woman who at age 15 had told Antony she was going to marry him. She and Sir Antony banter quite humorously, providing much-needed levity to the dark intrigues just below the surface created by the machinations of Lady Diana. Lady Caroline is now a widow, with past errors in judgement she fears to hope to feel Sir Antony’s arms enfold her or if she even has the right.
Narrator Marian Hussey, with her distinct storytelling, gave much to this already intriguing book. This was one of those books you don’t want to stop listening to, grabbing you hook, line and sinker. I would highly recommend the series in audio.
I just love all animals, but my personal favorite is my dog, Stella, and she amazes me daily with her intelligence and sense of fun.
In looking for a new author in a Georgian/Regency genre, I came across this gem. Excellent pairing of author and narrator makes my case. Wonderful plot line, dialog, and fine narration is a secure choice for a credit. More of the same, please.
Love her writing and the narration. Would recommend for sure. Great story - want more.
Popular reviewer of more than 400 historical romance titles on Goodreads. Georgian/Regency/Victorian/Edwardian.
A few months ago, I noticed that some of my Goodreads friends were reading and loving this book (and its predecessor Salt Bride), which combines my two favorite fiction genres – historical romance and mystery. So when the chance came to review this audiobook, I eagerly jumped in, and I have now become a huge Lucinda Brant fan.
Salt Bride featured the Magnus Sinclair, fifth Earl of Salt Hendon, and his reluctant bride, Jane Despard. They were plagued by the evil machinations of Salt’s cousin Diana, Lady St. John, a widow whose son is Salt’s heir, and a more diabolical villainess would be hard to imagine. Her interference kept Salt and Jane apart for four years, and she was determined to ruin their marriage. In the end, she was carried away, kicking and screaming in the hands of burly footmen, to private imprisonment in a far away Welsh castle.
Lord Salt’s closest friend is Diana’s brother, Sir Antony Templestowe. After Diana’s disgrace, Tony took himself off to St. Petersburg, where he has overcome his fondness for the bottle and become a successful diplomat. Four years later, however, Diana has escaped and Tony rushes back to London to find her. She’s hiding in plain sight at Antony’s townhouse, telling everyone that she has been touring the Continent and running up bills on Tony’s credit. She has engaged a “companion” and planted a spy in Salt’s home, both of whom rather credulously believe that Diana is the true Countess of Salt Hendon and Jane is a brazen usurper. With their help, she plans to pull off an intricate plan to make herself personally and politically indispensable to Salt.
The romance here, which is really secondary to the intrigue, involves Tony and Salt’s younger sister, Lady Caroline Aldershot. They were in love before Tony went away, but his drink-fueled outrageous behavior and Caroline’s immaturity kept them apart. Caroline is widowed after being unhappily married to another man. Tony wastes no time in proposing marriage and she turns him down in the classic “I’m not worthy” style of a romance heroine, but you know that won’t last. Tony makes for an incredibly appealing hero, but I found Caro just a tad annoying. Nevertheless, their love story is engaging.
The book largely revolves around Diana’s plans for revenge, as Tony and Salt try to get her out of the way without causing a scandal that would expose Diana’s heinous crimes and forever taint both of their families. Ending her life would be the easiest way, and well deserved, but neither one has the stomach for that. It would be spoilerish to go further into the details of the plot, and I’m not sure that I have enough space in this review to sum it all up anyway. It’s a complex story.
Lucinda Brant is a very good storyteller, and this the tale is multi-layered with threads from the past brought seamlessly into the present. The writing is excellent, albeit occasionally interspersed with modernisms. Her impressive knowledge of the Georgian era and her attention to detail make the people and places come vividly into focus. The characters’ clothing, their houses, and their surroundings are lushly described. Her description of the gifts Tony brings back from Russia is so exquisite that the reader longs to see these treasures. Well – just visit the author’s Pinterest page and there they are! Many authors are supplementing their books with Pinterest images these days, but Ms Brant’s page is the best that I’ve encountered.
Marian Hussey, a new-to-me narrator, does an excellent job. Her narrative voice is low and quite cultured, but she very ably portrays men and women of all ages and classes. She especially excels in voicing the vile Diana, veering between her persona as a respectable society widow and the privately expressed hatred that reveals her to be a true sociopath. When the action gets almost unbearably suspenseful, she maintains an even pace and does not use her voice to add unnecessarily to the drama.
There are so many things that I loved about this book that I’ll just have to give a short list. There is Tony’s obsession with tea and his insistence upon following his own elaborate brewing ritual, along with his platoon of Russian-speaking servants whose job is not only to serve but to keep him from succumbing to the siren call of wine. Caroline tries to fill the empty spot in her heart with devotion to her young step-daughter as well as her varied menagerie of pets. Salt and Jane and their children do not just make cameo appearances, as happens in many sequels, but are present throughout and integral to the story. Tony and Salt are men of their time, but their sincere, often halting, efforts to rebuilt their life-long friendship and protect their families are touching. But really, Diana St. John somewhat steals the show. Her mixture of madness, intelligence, charm, and determination make her a walking time bomb ready to ruin the lives of anyone – man, woman, or child – who stands in her way.
I listened to this book before reading Salt Bride, but to fully appreciate the story I recommend that both be read in order. I don’t know what to call the audiobook equivalent of a “page turner,” but Salt Redux is exactly that.
I recognized characters from Salt Bride.The story was fast-paced yet unpredictable.It evokes many emotions....a lot of tension.Great attention to detail.
I can honestly think of no comparable book.........totally individual.
I have listened to Marian Hussey before and now she is one of my favourites.I have checked which books she has narrated so I can purchase.What I like is that she has a 'natural' accent....unforced .....unlike many others. Great, believable characters, excellent dialects.
Impatiently awaiting more from this collaboration of author and narrator.Brilliant.
I admit based on the reviews, MANY will dislike mine and mark it as not helpful, and yet I can not but tell how I truly felt about this book. I adore Miss Brant and her beautiful and creative writing, however, this book was a complete disappointment for me. Here are the things I found fault with this book.
1) No suspense, although one is made to believe there is one.
2) Unbelievable villan. She was more believable in the last book and grossly overstated here
3) Too much filler with the long description of the settings and clothing and hair styles, etc.
4) Unimportant conversations that added absolutely nothing to the story
5) A curve ball thrown about the villain's deceased husband which took away from the book. Seemed as if LB was grasping for anything shocking enough to make it believable.
With my outmost sincere devotion to LB's amazing talent in writing I have to say this is not one of her finest works. I can not recommend this book.
I loved Salt Bride & Salt Redux brings the story full circle....I love Lucinda's writing...lots of details about everything...clothes, rooms, how to make a cup of tea...you feel like you're in the story & have a better understanding of living in the past. This was a great story & must have if you have listened to Salt Bride!
After listening to book one--the Salt Bride--this is a must. Again, the narrator spoke clearly and put much of herself into the story. having read both books and all of Lucinda's books --and I mean ALL of them-- listening to the story is a great way to relive they stories of this amazing family. Whether you read the book or listen to them, it is a must Lucinda will never leave you disappointed with her storiesl
Before listening to this book, I was hoping we'd get to catch up with the characters from the previous book. Afterwards, I was wishing it could have been about the hero and heroine.
I'd want to read reviews first. I liked the previous book, but this one was too much.
The near ration didn't really stand out to me.
It needed to take a different direction altogether.
"Historical romance at its best"
Engagingly written and beautifully told. The first book was superb and more dramatic, however this is still brilliant. Enjoyed it!
Yes I would recommend this audiobook to a friend because I found that it was brilliantly read and the story flowed.
When Tony was in his bath and Caro decided to have her heart to heart.
At the end with Tony's gift giving
When Tony was in his bath it made me chuckle at Caro's need to talk even though it wasn't appropriate
yes very much so
In Salt Bride I felt that Marian Hussey took a while to get into the book, but that wasn't the same in this book I felt she had a feel for the characters this time and I really enjoyed it. Well done brilliant.
"Wonderful Narration of an Equally Wonderful Story"
Yes I would definitely recommend this book because not only is the story fantastic, the narration is a pleasure to listen to. Marian's performance of the characters is clear and each voice is noticeably different to the others. There is no confusion as to which part she is portraying. I was very impressed which is saying something considering I normally prefer male narrators.
Well of course as this is a sequel with various characters present in both books, this one is similar to Salt Bride. Both equally fabulous, both narrated perfectly, and both stories engrossing.
Just reading the book myself isn't anything like having Marian reading it. The emotion from each character and the story is brought to life thanks to the emotion in Marian's voice. In parts where reading the book myself might bring a lump to my throat, with Marian reading those parts I was actually brought to tears.
Oh there were many moments that particularly moved me, none that I can talk about because of them being spoilers to very emotional parts of the story. Suffice to say, tissues were in use.
I am glad to find a female narrator that I truly enjoy listening to. Lucinda Brant's choice of narrators for all of her books truly compliment her stories and their characters.
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