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Salt Redux by Lucinda Brant
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4.5 "2nd Chance at Romance or Revenge?" Stars for the story and 5 stars for the narration!

Please note that this book is the second in a series that should be listened to in chronological order as both the main romance, and particularly the suspense plot, are introduced in Book 1: Salt Bride. If you have not yet read or listened to Salt Bride, please see my review for that title as the below review contains spoilers for the first book.

I have often heard that there is a fine line between a genius and an insane person. Ms. Brant's portrayal of Diana St. John is the perfect depiction of this philosophical concept as can be evidenced by her extreme immoral actions towards obtaining her ultimate goal: the Earl of Salt Hendon. The fact that the Earl was married to another woman--a woman he loves--did not deter Diana from her insane machinations in the Salt Bride towards her ultimate goal. In Salt Redux, Ms. Brant really outdoes herself by giving us an even deeper glimpse into the ultimate depravity that Diana will sink to in her grandiose vision to both secure what she believes to be her rightful place as the Countess of Salt Hendon, as well as, her political maneuvering and strategizing to secure Salt's reentering of the political arena--even if she first has to escape banishment to do so!

In addition, to the suspense arc that was previously introduced in the Salt Bride, we also get to see whether the romantic arc first alluded to in the Salt Bride between Lady Caroline (Salt's younger sister) and Sir Anthony (Diana's brother and Salt's brother-in-law) can be carried to fruition. At the opening of Salt Redux this eventuality seems pretty remote as Sir Anthony (Tony) following his sister's banishment sinks to a new low heavily into his cups and manages to antagonize Salt with the kindle for a gossipmonger's dream. The ensuing scandal upsets Salt so much that he banishes Tony, his best friend and cousin, to Russia to a diplomatic position of low importance and one that British diplomats rarely make it back to Britain from. Can there possibly be a HEA for Caroline and Anthony under the circumstances?

We also get a glimpse of what four years of married bliss looks like for Jane and Salt, including their 3 children and 2 godchildren. We are also treated to a whole cast of other secondary characters and their inter-relationships with Salt's family, including a new addition, Kitty, who is the heroine of the next and final book in this series.

Alex Wyndham again delivers a pleasing and expert narration in Salt Redux. Mr. Wyndham adeptly manages to shift to Tony as the primary romantic hero by giving him a sexy and yet slightly less deep voice than Salt, making distinguishing between these two heroes who play a prominent role in Salt Redux, easy for the listener to do. Additionally, he again masters delivering distinguishable voices for the entire cast which grows even larger in Salt Redux. Perhaps one of Mr. Wyndham's strongest attributes as a narrator is that he is also able to communicate emotion in his rendition. From the fast-paced suspense scenes where Diana's incredible schemes feature prominently to the more romantic ones where old loves test their feelings for one another, Mr. Wyndham knows just the right tone to use to frame each scene.

All in all, Salt Redux is another historical romance audiobook hit! If you enjoyed the Salt Bride, I highly encourage you to give Salt Redux a listen!

Source: Review copy provided for review purposes.
  B.J.O. | Dec 20, 2016 |
Salt Redux is the second book in the Salt Hendon series, following on the loves and lives of the Earl of Salt Hendon and his Countess, the beautiful Jane. In the four years since their marriage, much has happened. Love and three children later, they think that happiness eternal is theirs and nothing can destroy their idyllic life. The earl’s cousin, Sir Antony Templestowe, has endured four years of exile in Russia, in the guise of a diplomatic posting. Battling with his addictions, he has come to terms with himself, and his undying love for the earl’s sister, Lady Caroline. Lady Diana St. John, the earl’s nemesis, and a murderess, has been carefully incarcerated in a remote castle in Wales as the only way to prevent her previous sins from being discovered by society, and to prevent her from committing further wickedness. This is possible because Lady Diana is, unfortunately, quite mad. She is obsessed with becoming the true Countess of Salt Hendon, and dislodging the woman she considers the usurper to her title, that is Jane. She has had four years of careful scheming and preparation. Once she escapes imprisonment by pure Machiavellian ingenuity and diabolical plotting, Diana arrives back in their lives with plans of her own, plans that include death and destruction. Will she succeed, and will happiness and love be restored or ruined?

Lucinda Brant never fails to please readers of historical romance with her lavish portrayal of her niche arena: the Georgian era. Such are the minute and careful details that the era itself becomes almost like a character in the book. However, the characters themselves tug at the heartstrings with their intense feelings: love, anguish, desire, and drama abound as various sub-plots play out in a background to the main story. The richness of the prose and the attention to all that drives the story make this a wonderful read. Tension mounts as Lady Diana proceeds with her plot to unseat Jane. The story is multi-layered and threads from the past are seamlessly woven into current events. Salt Bride was the first Lucinda Brant book I reviewed and I loved it. What a pleasure to revisit ‘old friends’ in this sequel. Although readers can enjoy the book as a stand-alone, I would recommend their reading Salt Bride first to fully appreciate the poignant aspect of the earl and his bride’s love story from the start. Highly recommended.
First reviewed for Readers Favorite ( )
  FionaRobynIngram | Mar 21, 2013 |
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Every month the guardian of the unnamed person of interest detained at Castle Harlech in the remote mountains of north Wales sent a report to the Earl of Salt Hendon.
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