Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Lucinda Brant - Salt Redux

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 readers who enjoyed Salt Bride, the story continues…

Comment: Another buddy read for me and my friend Hannah!
This book is
the sequel to another one I've read last month by author Lucinda Brant - and that I enjoyed a lot. I expected this to be another great success, although the way the previous book ended was good enough for me. What we call "loose ends" were explained enough and no one would need to read more but I expected this story to be marvelous as well.

This book starts four years after the end of the previous book. We learn how all the characters we followed before are now and we see glimpses of their happiness and life developments.
We also learn the villain, Diana, has been plotting her escape and return.
But this time, for the heroes to be certain life won't present a new and more dangerous Diana again, more extreme measures have to be done. Anthony, the protagonist of this book and Diana's brother, has to find a permanent solution that won't make him and his family as awful as Diana is but at the same time he needs to protect others from his sister's influence and plans. Can he do it?

The book starts with a prologue showing how Diana, the villain, has come up with a plan to escape the prison where she's been at and how she accomplishes that. Her characters, I have to say, is what truly captives people to read this. At the same time I was wishing for the good guys to understand her plans and find a way to stop her, I was being led to believe Diana had a wit and cleverness many real people wouldn't imagine ever to possess. But I also think in this novel, things a bit more unrealistic and despite the lack of technology how could everyone in London not suspect something was wrong with her sudden reappearance?

I liked seeing the family scenes, especially the domestic aspect of Salt and Jane's lives. It does reinforce the idea happiness is possible and HEAs are goals to want to achieve and see happen.
Of course Diana wanted to destroy any happiness of others and the ways she imagined to do so are repulsive and offensive. But I also think part of her mental process was more obviously crazy than what it was in the previous book.

The main couple here is Caroline and Anthony, people we've met in the first book and whose happiness seemed set in stone but after all, we learn their lives went different routes but now they are being reunited again to finally have their HEA.
I really dislike lovers reunited books...and although Caroline and Anthony were never together like that, they do have to deal with the time they were apart and the feelings they had between them before. I found their story boring and annoying, mostly because of Caroline.

Ok, so she was angry, she was young, she was playing a game, but I really hated how she decided to get revenge (of sorts) on Anthony by letting herself be seduced so she could punish him eventually. Both acted wrong and everyone makes mistakes, but then she has a behavior I think didn't suit her previous personality and it seemed to me it was something the author invented so she could have a story to develop now. But I feel annoyed because it matters. Because now that she and Anthony are together again and willing to play for keeps and finally admitting what was obvious to anyone - themselves included which is more than annoying - they no longer can be the same people they were and, to me, that's not a positive thing, despite the growing up they both had in the meantime.

Anthony was more assertive now but he also went through a bad experience that frightened him and now he's a different person. He learned he was a drunk and is trying his best to not give in anymore. Interesting methods to achieve that. I liked how he took the reins of deciding important things and how good he was to Caroline, how understandable. I also understand how normal it was for men like him to have mistresses and so on but that practice is so vile, even if there are warm feelings between the couple. But I digress...
I liked Anthony for the most part, i just don't think he and Caroline were a good couple anymore and their scenes seemed childish and not up to what they changed. Besides their scenes were boring and I saw myself skipping some here and there.

In this book there's a final destiny to Diana and her evil behavior. I totally understand why and it's deserved but the way it happened, I think I'd change...
Anthony and Caroline end up happy but I don't care much about them. I preferred to see Salt and Jane happy and with their family close together. It's so good to see HEAs matter even after the characters are done with their story.
Some little things weren't as easy to swallow now as they were int he other book like when a character helped Diana without knowing and we, as a reader, couldn't do anything to stop...I felt like putting common sense in the character's head. But I suppose this is more personal taste than author's fault.
All in all, a good portray of a villain, of a happy family but bad new romance development.
Grade: 7/10

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