Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Bride Finder by Susan Carroll

Anatole lives on the steep crags of Cornwall, trapped in isolation by his legacy and powers. Surrounded by only a handful of servants and his dogs, he has never ventured far from the thick stone walls of his castle. Now, as part of timeless tradition, Anatole must turn to his former tutor and distant cousin, Septimus Fitzleger, also known as the Bride Finder, a man blessed with the power to find the one woman who is Anatole's destiny.

Madeline Breton is that chosen bride and has come to Cornwall to meet her new husband. I know you are all Anatole St. Leger could ever want, Septimus had told her. And sensible Madeline had begun to dream. But, now that she has reached her strange destination, the dream is diffusing quickly in the shadow of the dark and ominous Castle Leger. Her husband is hardly the gentleman she had envisioned. He looks more like a fierce Celtic warrior, one whose wild, ebony hair and brusque manner hint of stranger, mysterious gifts. What unknown forces are at work at Castle Leger? Why do the servants and the villagers both respect and fear her husband? Anatole knows only too well the legacies that to him have been more curse than gift. But as Madeline embarks on an odyssey both otherworldly and undeniably real, she and her husband fall hopelessly in love - until she also sees the haunting vision of murder in the crystal of the St. Leger sword and vows never to let this dire portent come to pass. Then, into this hypnotic world, a sudden, terrifying enemy emerges to threaten both their lives.

Once every so often a novel comes along that takes your breath away. From its mesmerizing first page to its unforgettable last, Susan Carroll spins a sweeping, spellbinding tale of magic, romance and legend - a beautifully written, utterly gripping epic that illuminates the undying power of love.

Ever since I read the Faire Isle trilogy by this author, I have been intending to read her backlist. So when it was my turn to choose author of the month in the Historical Romance Chat Yahoo group, I chose Susan Carroll, and decided to read the first book in the St Leger trilogy. The main reason for choosing this book was that The Huntress wasn't quite out yet (which I still haven't managed to read) and I wanted to get to her other books in due course anyway.

Straight off the bat, I want to say that I loved this setting - 1800's in a haunted castle in Cornwall - can it be anymore gothic? Add to the setting the fact that the hero is afflicted with a terrible curse, and I am totally there!

When Anatole sends his cousin and bride finder to London to find him a wife he gives him a very strict list of requirements. It's no wonder he didn't recognise his intended because Madeline Breton is pretty much everything he doesn't want in a bride! His dreams have foretold what is to happen and he now can't stop those events from coming to fruition, and it could mean the end of the line for his family!

With a cast of kooky and a little bit spooky characters, lots of paranormal activity (not werewolves and vampires - more ghosts and strange events) and a bit of suspense this was a cracking read.

Of the books that I have read by Susan Carroll so far, I am yet to read a dud. I will definitely be reading more of this trilogy.

Rating: 4.5/5

Othere Blogger's Thoughts:

The Eclectic Reader


  1. I remember when this book first came out it got quite a bit of buzz from Romantic Times magazine so naturally I went out and bought it because I'd loved the medievals she wrote as Susan Coppula WINTERBOURNE and SHADES OF WINTER. This was my favorite Bride Finder book but those Coppula books are still on my keeper shelf.

  2. I didn't know that she wrote under the name of Susan Coppula. I think I can get Winterbourne but I am not sure about Shades of Winter.

  3. I've been wondering about her other books as well. Sounds like they might be pretty good - I'll have to check them out some time.

  4. Daphne, they are probably more romance but still good reads.

  5. This series is why I frequently checked to see if she was writing anything and why I was so excited when she started the Faire Isle Trilogy. I love this book and the second. I liked the third a lot, but not as much as the first two.

    I have The Huntress to read, too, but haven't managed it yet. Just something to look forward to.

  6. I really wish the Brisbane library had this book! I read the second a few years ago and loved it, but haven't yet managed to track down any of her others. Something else for the to-do list there!

  7. Marg, I read your comment on my blog last night suggesting an inter-library loan, and I've just checked the Brisbane library's website. Sure enough, they can bring books in from other councils' libraries - but they charge $13.20 to do it! I guess it's back to crossing my fingers at the Bookfest.

  8. I too loved this one, but havent got to the rest in the trilogy...must do that!!

    Here's my review