Friday, October 04, 2013

Book Review: Her Dear and Loving Husband by Meredith Allard

Her Dear and Loving Husband
by Meredith Allard
Publisher Copperfield Press (April 1, 2011)
Print & ebook,  268 Pages

I stayed up waaaay too late trying to finish this last night.  Then got only three hours of sleep  before I had to be awake again for a scheduled vid chat with my husband--the highlight of my day.  I was reading as I waited for him to message me and when I heard the tone I delayed rushing over to respond until I'd read two or three more paragraphs.

That should give a fair indication as to how engaging this story is.  If you like the genres that are blended into it: Paranormal, Historical and Romance you are bound to be as enthralled as I was.  It is a sweet yet intense romance exploring the concept of eternal love that bridges the centuries to be fulfilled.

Adding to the charm for me was the setting in a University in modern Salem, Massachusetts with the enamored couple a librarian and a professor of English Literature.  The historical era woven into the story via Professor James Wentworth's memories and Sarah Alexander's dreams is that of the Salem Witch hunt in the 1690s which has long fascinated me.

The contrast between the era of Puritan rule and the witch trials and modern day Salem which proudly claims its identity as Witch City and depends on an economy revolving around tourists who flock there to visit the Witch Museum, Reenactments of the witch trials, the historical buildings built in the 1600s and the annual all out citywide Halloween Bash, is stark except for one crucial thing.  Human nature remains the same.

They are just as easily manipulated into paranoia today as they were back then; just as opinionated; just as self-serving; just as hysterical (and I don't mean funny).  In the Puritan era it was the power of the pulpit in the modern era its the megaphone of the media.  I found Allard's exploration of this theme quite thought provoking and it brought the level of this story, to my mind, several notches above 'light, entertaining read'.  As did the cogent discussions of 17th and 18th century literature.

I thoroughly enjoyed Her Dear and Loving Husband and can't wait to read the second and third books in this trilogy.

From the Publishers:

James Wentworth has a secret. He lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties with anyone. One night his private world is turned upside down when he meets Sarah Alexander, a dead ringer for his wife, Elizabeth. Though it has been years since Elizabeth's death, James cannot move on.

Sarah also has a secret. She is haunted by nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and every night she is awakened by visions of hangings, being arrested, and dying in jail. Despite the obstacles of their secrets, James and Sarah fall in love. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. Soon James and Sarah piece their stories together and discover a mystery that may bind them in ways they never imagined. Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again?

Part historical fiction, part romance, part paranormal fantasy, Her Dear and Loving Husband is a story for anyone who believes that true love never dies.

What they are saying:

"I thought the story was great. I did not want to put the book down. With all the twists and characters the book keeps you gripped to the edge of your seat. With a bit of romance mixed it makes a wonderful read. Reading about the witch trails added a mystical touch. Charles Dickens and Jane Austen even made their way into the read. This is a book I will re-read again and again"- Babs Book Bistro Website

"The historical facts regarding the Salem witch hunts, trials and executions served as the backbone for this interesting paranormal romance and i loved how author Meredith Allard wove her magic around them.  I also loved how the author's use of modern English seamlessly flowed into 17th century speech when her characters Sarah and James relived their dreams and memories respectively. Magic, romance, mystery and suspense make Her Dear and Loving Husband a great read for me!"- aobibliophile Website

"With strong gothic flavor, this beautifully structured story captures the intensity and frenetic activity of the late 1600's and the Salem Witch Inquisitions and trials. Graphic scenes and sequences are brilliantly depicted in small segments throughout the modern-day story. I enjoyed the tale and especially the secondary characters who sometimes provided levity during an otherwise often harrowing chronicle. This is a wonderfully spooky love story that is painstakingly researched and eloquently penned.- Laurie Jenkins, Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts 

"If you like a bit of history, some paranormal goodness and a downright good story, look no further than Her Dear and Loving Husband for your next read.  Sarah's past life is really what makes the story. I love the way Meredith brings her former life to us through the dreams/nightmares she has. She really brings her former life to life well.
I also love the modern day witches in the story. Jennifer and Olivia really help Sarah to find her true self. There's a lot going on in this book, but everything is tied together nicely and the story is super enjoyable. There are so many books with vampires out there now, this is definitely one that is well worth reading. It is the first book in the "Her Loving Husband" series and once you read it you will want the next book immediately."- Andrea Guy, A Chick Who Reads Website

"First of all, I loved this book! The "love conquers all things, including time" theme was absolutely delish for my locked in a closest hopeless romantic inside. And personally, my favorite character really was James. He is a wonderful combination of modern and traditional. He loves Sarah and Elizabeth, both for their individuality, their uniqueness. And he is willing to sacrifice everything to protect Sarah. How sexy is that? 
Sarah was a great character. She is a strong woman who has kept secrets for years, living a life that just hasn't felt completely right. After moving, she begins to feel everything falling right into place; her life feels right when she is with James. 
I loved the development of not only the characters, but also the crisis. Can't give too much away, but you can bet your next book that you will be on the edge of your seat wondering if all is going to turn out okay. Overall, this is an amazing book, and I really look forward to reading more by Ms. Allard. Highly recommend!"- Cana Elene, The Place of Reads Website

Meredith Allard has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction workshops at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers Conference. Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, Wild Mind, Moondance, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Maxwell Digest, CarbLite, Writer's Weekly, and ViewsHound. She is the author of the Loving Husband Trilogy, Victory Garden, Woman of Stones, and My Brother's Battle (Copperfield Press). She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Visit Meredith online

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Follow the blog tour for more reviews, giveaways, author interviews and guest posts: 

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From the TBR Pile Sept 16 Review
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Talk Supe Sept 19 Interview  & Giveaway
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Moonlight Lace & Mayhem Sept 27 Guest Post & Giveaway
My Precious Sept 27 Review
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My Devotional Thoughts Oct 3 Review
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Joystory Oct 4 Review
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2 tell me a story:

Meredith Allard 10/04/2013 4:57 PM  

Thank you so much for the wonderful review of Her Dear & Loving Husband. I'm so glad you liked it!

Teddy Rose 10/04/2013 5:03 PM  

Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed Her Dear and Loving Husband so much!

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