The imagery painted by Brant is spectacular. You just literally feel like you are right there with the characters in that time period and you feel what they are feeling right along with them. There is some very intense emotion, a bit of wit and very, very high drama.
Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Salt Hendon
There is a very unhappy history between the Earl of Salt Hendon and Jane Despard, the daughter of a neighboring squire. And now, years later, they are being forced to marry. Neither of them is happy about the situation, but neither of them has a choice.
There is a sinister, dark character in their orbit who wants Jane gone and totally out of Salt’s life and she will – and has – done the most despicable and heinous things to assure that they stay separated. Diana St. John, widow of Salt’s cousin and best friend is fixated on Salt. Diana believes that she will be the Countess of Salt Hendon and that Salt cannot get along without her. As you learn more of what she has done and is willing to do it will make your skin crawl and you’ll want to check under your bed at night. She is truly a chilling villain. You’ll think her eventual punishment is nowhere near enough for the things she did.
Jane has a wonderfully sunny outlook on life – even after all the misery she has been through. She is so very kind, loving, gentle, caring, patient, giving. Even Salt’s rancor and utter contempt cannot make her act as he does. She’s beautiful inside and out. Nobody in the household can resist her – not the servants, not the relatives and certainly not Salt, no matter how hard he tries.
The dark history is slowly exposed and the misunderstandings come to light and they learn that neither of them ever actually stopped loving the other. Brant’s use of suspense, humor, and love just draws you right in and makes you a part of the story.
Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Four years after Diana St. John’s heinous, mad schemes were revealed and she was imprisoned in a remote Welsh castle, she escapes. She’s had four years to plot a revenge on Jane and her children and that revenge is every bit as heinous as the plots covered in the first book. She is absolutely and totally mad but is excellent at hiding that from the general public.
In the four years since the ending of the last book, many things have happened to the Salt Hendon’s and those who are near and dear to them. Most of those things have not been good, but some have been absolutely wonderful.
— Salt and Jane have three beautiful, happy children – two sons and a daughter – and they have a very close and loving relationship.
— Sir Antony Templestowe, who has loved Lady Caroline for as long as he can remember, made an absolute, drunken ass of himself at Lady Caroline’s coming out party and has been exiled to Russia.
— Lady Caroline made some terrible choices and ended up very unhappily married. She is now a widow.
As soon as Antony learns of his sister’s escape he heads back to London to do whatever it takes to stop whatever devious plan she has made. When he arrives at his home, he finds her living there and totally immersed back into society. He knows he cannot let her know that he is watching her and is going to foil her plot. Since she thinks he’s a stupid buffoon and doesn’t credit him with any intelligence at all, that isn’t too hard to do.
Anthony rushes over to Salt’s home to assure that he is aware of Diana’s escape and to tell him of his plan to recapture her without causing the scandal they’ve all been trying to avoid.
When Anthony see’s Lady Caroline again, he immediately proposes. She runs out without accepting or declining. They both have secrets they must share with the other before they can look toward their HEA.
It is wonderful to see that Anthony outsmarts his evil sister and she gets the ending that I think she deserves – Finally!