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 heartache and mistrust. 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?
Set in the opulent world of the 18th century aristocracy, Lucinda Brant delivers another delicious 18th century romantic experience. High drama, witty prose, a deft palette of historical detail, and a weave of subplots will keep you mesmerized from beginning to end.
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?
I started reading/listening to “The Salt Hendon Collection” with an open mind, I have tried audiobooks before and I have always been skeptical, as I have never really enjoyed them as I do a regular book. But I am not one to give up on something without at least giving it a secret chance and as the lovely Lucinda Brant so generously offered me a complimentary copy, how could I refuse? So I gave Audiobooks their second chance.
As much as I want to say I loved every moment of this, I hate to say I didn’t. It has nothing to do with the brilliance of the story because the overall plot is fabulous, I have heard so many good things about Brants work and I do agree that she is an exceedingly talented author. The way she entwine’s the characters personal lives with a fast and intriguing plot is superb and I cannot say a single bad thing about her writing.
It’s the same with the narrator, Alex Wyndham. He is a sensational story-teller, his articulated voice is like pure velvet. The way the simplest words just rolls off his tongue can make any woman melt, if I was watching him on the stage or Television, then I would be swooning. His ability accentuate each individual character is pure brilliance, he could read the phone book and still make it could sexy. But, unfortunately even his refined and cultured tones couldn’t save it for me.
The issue wasn’t the story or the narrator, but the Audio version itself. When I’m reading a regular book I become transported to the era, I am living and breathing the story along with the characters, I just didn’t get that same sense with the Audiobook. I couldn’t visualise the characters or the scenery, I couldn’t understand or relate to them and get their personalities like I usually do, all I got from it was the wonderful Mr. Wyndham’s voice in my head telling me a story.
I know without a doubt that if I read this as a regular book, then I would become emersed into the Georgian era and love it, because it has all the ingredients of a great story. For me this particular way of reading it, didn’t work.
I always hate giving negative reviews, but I abide by my own rule, that I will always be honest in my reviews. For those that do like an audiobook they will adore “The Salt Hendon Collection” but this has just confirmed that audiobooks aren’t for me, but I am going to get the book version of this and I am going to read more of Brants work as I want to get to know the characters and plots.
Overall the Audiobook experience didn’t work for me, but Lucinda Brant is definitely an author I am going to read more off.
This was a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Guest Post by Stella Riley
I started writing quite a few years ago and almost by accident while I was still teaching. I recall reading a dreadful book one dismal October half-term and thinking (as I’m sure so many of us have done at one time or another) ‘I could do better than that!’ So I wrote a Georgian novel as an academic exercise, purely to see if I actually could – and managed to get an agent on the strength of it.Of course it’s never quite that simple and that first book didn’t get published until much later. But my next attempt, The Marigold Chain, was published by Collins … and that gave me the necessary encouragement to continue writing.
As most of my regular readers are aware, over the next few years I published half a dozen titles in the conventional way with various publishing houses. And then, mainly because publisher and market constraints had made writing a chore rather than a pleasure, I stopped doing it.It was the changes brought about by e-publishing that brought me back just over three years ago and I’ve found it utterly liberating. I began by re-issuing my back catalogue, without much intention of moving beyond that. But one of the unexpected joys of e-publishing is interaction with readers and so, once I’d made my earlier titles available, I went on to write two new novels … and am now taking the exhilarating plunge into audio.
My books fall into two categories; detailed historical fiction set in England during the mid-seventeenth century and lighter, less complex Georgian romances. There are currently three of the latter – the Rockliffe series.
It began with the story of Amberley and Rosalind in The Parfit Knight and continued (due to my having falling in love with Amberley’s best friend, the Duke of Rockliffe) in The Mésalliance. Then, in March 2015, I published a third in the series – The Player. These are all character-driven stories and contain a strong romance, along with (I hope!) some humor. I thoroughly enjoy writing them. Consequently, when I felt that it was time for something new and that audiobooks would be the perfect answer, I decided that the complete Rockliffe series was the obvious place to start.
I’ve been incredibly lucky to engage the superbly talented Alex Wyndham as narrator for the series. Anyone who has listened to his previous work will know how brilliant he is at … well, just about everything really.
The characters are always distinct, his female voices are entirely believable and his narrative style, both beautifully-paced and fluid. He’s also a joy to work with! The Parfit Knight is available for download now, The Mésalliance is already well into production and The Player is all set to follow them in due course. As for the English Civil War … my love-affair with the seventeenth century began a long time ago. It’s a period rich in drama and remarkable people – not all of whom are well-known names. I enjoy mixing real figures with my fictional characters and I’m a bit obsessive about historical accuracy. The Round heads & Cavaliers series, currently comprises three books; The Black Madonna, Garland of Straw and The King’s Falcon.
I’m currently completing a fourth title, Lords of Misrule – featuring Eden Maxwell’s long-awaited HEA – for release this spring. Related to these though not technically part of the series, is A Splendid Defiance – a book which is particularly dear to me. Its background is the true story of one English castle and the men who held it against impossible odds … while at its fictional heart is a seemingly equally impossible love-story. Like the Rockliffe series, I hope Defiance will be transformed into audio later this year.
Finally, my foray into the world of audio has by turns been fun, exciting and scary. I’ve learned a lot along the way and discovered the unique pleasure of hearing my words brought to life by a first-class narrator. And really, as an author, it doesn’t get much better then that.
Stella Riley Author Biography
Stella Riley is a British author of historical novels. Having trained as a teacher and worked as a primary-school music and drama specialist in London, she has lived in various UK locations but has now settled in Sandwich, Kent.
She enjoys reading, dancing, theatre and travel. Her preferred period is mid-seventeenth century England and her Civil War novels reflect this in their vast historical detail. She is also the author of the Rockliffe trilogy of Georgian romances which she claims to write ‘for fun’ and which she is currently having transformed into audiobooks, narrated by Alex Wyndham.
Her writing has been described as “exciting, often funny, romantic, poignant and intelligent” and her books have received numerous five-star reviews.
Alex Wyndham Biography
An Oxford University and Royal Academy of Dramatic Art graduate, Alex Wyndham has voiced everything from Apple TV campaigns to fertilizer instructions. He has starred in numerous BBC 4 radio plays, and narrated documentaries for Channel 4 and The Discovery Channel.
He started recording audio books a couple of years ago – and fell in love with it. Alex also has a successful screen career and has starred in several BBC and HBO shows including the Emmy winning “Little Dorrit” and “Rome”, and in various films including Kenneth Branagh’s “As You Like It”.
Most recently he played a louche surgeon in The Crimson Field mini-series and has just had his first stab at starring in a video game “We Happy Few” about a dystopian 60s England.
For more information on Stella then visit her Website : stellariley.wordpress.com