Salt Hendon Collection
A GEORGIAN HISTORICAL ROMANCE BOXED SET
This special edition brings together two of Lucinda Brant's best-loved books, Salt Bride and its sequel Salt Redux. These books have sold nearly half a million copies and averaged over 4.4 stars from thousands of combined bookseller ratings and reviews worldwide. For this comprehensive edition we listened to reader requests; the original prologue to Salt Bride has been reinstated and the first edition cover art has been added. Also included is a 20,000-word bonus novella, Salt Angel, a new extended version of Fairy Christmas (previously published in A Timeless Romance Anthology: Silver Bells Collection) featuring well-loved characters from the Salt books. The Salt Hendon Collection is a great introduction to Lucinda Brant's unique storytelling and her richly romantic 18th century world.
Dare I admit… I enjoyed Salt Bride more than many of Georgette Heyer’s own beloved works and that is high praise indeed.
Courtney Webb, Stiletto Storytime
Alex Wyndham takes Brant's romantic suspense and creates a vocal tapestry, from the highest nobility to the lowest of servants, including young children, weaving their voices effortlessly. A richly textured audio experience.
K.M. © AudioFile
As the plot develops and darkens you realize the imagery is spectacular.
★★★★★ TOP PICK ALL-TIME KEEPER SHELF
SWurman, Night Owl Reviews
The richness of the prose and the attention to all that drives the story make this a wonderful read. Highly recommended.
★★★★★ Medal Winner
Fiona Ingram, Readers’ Favorite
Audiobook performed by Alex Wyndham
Classic romance / Regency noir
Non-explicit, mild sensuality
Story length 260,000 words
The Acclaimed Salt Hendon Series
Salt Angel Preview
SALT HENDON, WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND, WINTER 1767
PUBLIC ROOMS were swept, dusted, and decorated with vibrant evergreens and red-berried garlands of holly, ivy, and mistletoe. Hearths crackled and radiated warmth, and beyond the partially frosted windows lay fields, fences, and hedgerows powdered white with snow, glistening under a diffuse sun.
It was a time for community, those low- and high-born, to come together at church, to commemorate the birth of the Son of God and to pray in thanks for life’s blessings. And it was a time for giving and helping those less fortunate, with small gifts and an open house that offered a hot meal to the needy. Most importantly, it was a time for family to gather and rejoice in each other’s company.
But Miss Katherine “Kitty” Aldershot had not had a family, and thus a family Christmas, since her parents’ death in a carriage accident when she was still in the schoolroom. The coach they were traveling in had overturned on a bridge into a river and her parents, along with three other unfortunates, drowned, leaving Kitty and her elder brother orphans. Her brother had promised to look after her, and for a time he had done just that, until he, too, died in an accident. He fell from his horse, hit his head and never opened his eyes again.
At eighteen years of age, Kitty found herself orphaned. Not for her a London season attending routs, balls, outings to Ranelagh Gardens and Drury Lane Theatre. And with no expectation of a season and only a meager dowry, she had no hope of finding a husband, young or old, rich or titled. Yet each night when she said her prayers, she knew she had much for which to be thankful. She had been taken in by the wealthy and powerful Earl of Salt Hendon and his beautiful Countess, who had a young growing family, and who already supported a handful of relatives with far more claim on the Salt Hendon largesse than Kitty.
Kitty was given a room of her own, pretty clothes to wear, and would never go cold or hungry. She was treated as one of the family, ate her meals at their table, and was included in all their plans. She did her best to repay the Salt Hendons their great kindness by helping supervise their young children, providing companionship for the Earl’s thirteen-year-old goddaughter, Merry, and being often at the beck and call of the Earl’s eccentric Aunt Alice, Lady Reanay.
Still, with her bedtime prayers said and tucked up in her four-poster bed, the chill taken off the sheets by the copper warming pan, sometimes Kitty found it impossible to stop the tears of self-pity running down her cheeks. It was alone in the quiet blackness of night that the stark reality of her situation became apparent and her future appeared most bleak. She would remain an indigent spinster for the rest of her life, relegated to family helper at best, social embarrassment at worst. Which, according to the more acerbic of the Earl’s friends and relatives, was more than Miss Aldershot deserved.
But being only eighteen years old, Kitty clung firm to the optimism of youth. Her life was all before her. She did expect more, much more, particularly when she was a fair-haired, violet-eyed beauty. The reflection in her looking glass did not lie. She was confident she would make any man an attractive wife, and an accomplished one at that. She was an expert seamstress, could embroider the most delicate floral sprays, played the pianoforte, painted in watercolors, and was considered an able conversationalist. She took an interest in public affairs by reading the newssheets and was an attentive listener to the dinner table conversations between the Earl and his guests.
Yet, she did not want to be just any man’s wife. She wanted to marry Mr. Thomas “Tom” Allenby. She had danced two dances with Mr. Allenby at the Salt Hendon masquerade ball, and from that night onwards, she was as certain as morning followed night that he was the only man with whom she wished to spend the rest of her life. Such was her conviction, she had every expectation of receiving his proposal of marriage this Christmastide—and this without ever exchanging a word or a letter on the subject with the young gentleman in question.
Kitty refused to entertain difficulties—most would suggest overwhelming odds—to the fulfillment of this expectation, not least the fact Mr. Allenby, as the brother of the Countess of Salt Hendon, was expected to make a great match, and marry an heiress at the very least. He was wealthy in his own right, and as Member of Parliament for Hendon was considered a great catch by many a match-making mamma. He could have his pick of the flowering beauties on offer during the Season who had a pedigree and dowry worthy of him. It was whispered it was only a matter of time before he made his choice and plucked a wealthy bloom from among the first families in the land.
None of this deterred Kitty. She might not have discussed the possibility of a shared future with Mr. Allenby—how could they, surrounded as they always were with family and friends—but since the ball, they had been enough in each other’s company to convince her there had developed between them a silent understanding of their feelings for one another.
Kitty believed all that was required for matters to progress from this silent understanding to a mutual declaration of feelings was for her to have a moment alone with Mr. Allenby. This would allow him to declare himself, and for her to accept his offer. To ensure this, she intended to orchestrate an occasion during this festive season. To do so would require all her ingenuity and planning, not least because as a young unmarried girl she was never alone. Kitty might be the Earl’s penniless dependant, but as the daughter of a baron she was accorded all the protection and courtesy her birthright, and her guardian’s preeminent position in Society, demanded. She was assigned a chaperone, the eccentric Lady Reanay, in whose company she was expected to be at all times when not in the Nursery or her own room. She was to be Her Ladyship’s shadow.
Not only would she need to find an excuse to disengage herself from Lady Reanay’s side, a great deal would depend on finding a quiet location within the Earl’s Jacobean mansion for her meeting with Mr. Allenby to take place. This was becoming increasingly difficult, what with the mansion filling up with guests and family members staying for the holiday season, as well as the daily visits from local villagers, tenants, and owners of neighboring estates, all come to partake of the Salt Hendon festive generosity.
Undeterred, Kitty believed she might be able to use such yuletide comings and goings to her advantage. For while the Earl and Countess were entertaining family members and visitors alike, there would be enough distraction to coax Mr. Allenby to slip away with her to the appointed place and at the allocated time, with servants and family—particularly the beady-eyed Lady Reanay—none the wiser.
As the daylight hours grew shorter and the temperature dropped even further, the large wood-paneled public rooms filled with the laughter and chatter of a multitude of guests. Yet, Kitty was more than ever convinced the herculean task before her was within her organizational powers to orchestrate.
And then into her life stepped a prince.