In her award-winning historical novel The Bride Finder, bestselling author Susan Carroll bewitched readers with the legend of the St. Leger men--the descendants of a medieval sorcerer haunted by an unnatural past. Now Carroll once again conjures the unforgettable castle by the sea--a place where love is as mysterious and invincible as the family legacy. . . . Valentine St. Leger is a healer with a wounded heart. Born with the amazing gift to eliminate the suffering of others by taking their pain into his own body, Val's gentle hands cannot change a tormenting truth: he will never marry. According to history, should he defy his destiny and wed, his unfortunate bride would be doomed to an early death. Though he aches for the one woman who knows all his secrets, he cannot return her passion. Until a night of magic transforms Val into a different man, a man with desires he can no longer resist. Kate Fitzleger has loved Val almost her entire life and is not about to let a foolish superstition ruin her chance for happiness.
"It is always dangerous to use magic to trifle with the human heart." This declaration, uttered by Prospero, the ghost of a once powerful medieval sorcerer and now a ghost, offers a one-line plot summary of this simplistic yet bewitching 19th-century historical romance. Carroll continues the St. Leger family saga (The Bride Finder; The Night Drifter) with the story of Dr. Valentine St. Leger, a shy descendant of Prospero who possesses a supernatural gift for healing others by absorbing their pain into his own body. The 32-year-old Val has been condemned to a solitary life by a family superstition, which, if ignored, would result in tragedy. Beautiful and feisty Kate Fitzleger, however, has loved Val ever since she came to his English country village when she was adopted by a local. Not one to let family tradition stand in her way, Kate sets out to find a book of sorcery in Prospero's deserted tower. She steals the wizard's tome and, disregarding his warning, casts a spell on her beloved. In the meantime, a sickly midnight visitor appears at Val's home bearing a magic crystal that once belonged to the St. Legers. The talisman has a strange effect on Val, curing his disabled leg and stirring his darker passions. The stranger, whom Val recognizes as Rafe Mortmain, sworn enemy to the St. Leger family, escapes, but not without feeling a change in himself as well. Believing that her spell is the cause of Val's corruption, Kate desperately tries to revoke it. But the only one who can help her is Rafe, and that will mean ending a centuries-old feud. Carroll's swift-moving tale won't disappoint her fans. National ad/promo.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 26, 2006
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Excerpt from Midnight Bride by Susan Carroll
The wind rattled the cottage windowpanes, the pale sun presiding over a day that seemed endless to the young woman who writhed upon the bed. As the next contraction hit in a hard wave, Carrie Trewithan clutched her fingers across her distended belly and was unable to stifle a sharp cry.
The midwife hovered over her, patting a cool cloth to Carrie's perspiring brow. "There, there, dearie. Try to hold on. 'Twill all be over soon enough, I'll be bound." Sarah gave her a broad toothless smile, but the fear in the old woman's eyes was unmistakable.
Something was going terribly wrong this time. Carrie had labored hard for seventeen hours, all through last night, the morning and into the afternoon, longer than she'd ever done before, and still no babe. She sank back weakly against the pillows of the rough wooden bedstead, her lank brown hair tumbling about her. She couldn't endure much more of this. She could feel her strength fading with each fresh wave of pain.
I'm going to die, she thought, closing her eyes tight to stem the flood of tears. Not for herself but for the helpless little ones she'd be forced to leave behind. The new babe if it lived and her other children, Janey, Tom, Sam, and Aggie. What would become of them with no mother to look after them?