Her Dear & Loving Husband review from San Francisco Book Review

Her Dear & Loving Husband

By Meredith Allard

Copperfield Press, $9.99, 262 pages

To escape the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and a bad divorce, Sarah Alexander moves to Salem, Massachusetts, known for the infamous Salem Witch Trials held in the 1600s. Within days of arriving, Sarah meets the man of her dreams, literally. Handsome English professor James Wentworth is the man she sees herself with every night in a reoccurring dream. James’ first impression of Sarah is that he has just seen his dead wife’s ghost. James is not about to tell Sarah, because his wife died hundreds of years ago during the hysteria of the witch trials. Author Meredith Allard weaves a fascinating story in Her Dear and Loving Husband, book one of The Loving Husband Trilogy.

Readers learn early on that James is a vampire. He has lived without his beloved wife for decades and cannot seem to move on. Sarah has secrets of her own. She has always suffered from nightmares that leave her shaken when she wakes up. In Salem, they get worse and she begins to experience dreams about the witch trials filled with arrests, hangings, death, and despair. Are Sarah and James connected? Can James dodge a snoopy reporter set on revealing what he is? The title of the book refers to a poem by a woman declaring her eternal love to her husband.

Allard combines historical fiction, romance, and paranormal fantasy. She does a nice job of setting the scene and readers feel like they are walking through the shaded streets of Salem along with the characters. It is clear that she has done her research about Salem and the witch trials. Allard tackles themes of reincarnation, eternal love, second chances, and redemption. It is a very ambitious project and the author succeeds in tying everything together to create a unique, mysterious, memorable story. Allard’s second book comes out in Spring 2012.

Review from Emma Harrison

I’ve never been a vampire fan, so I shouldn’t read vampire novels.  Twilight didn’t appeal to me (too much teen angst) and I’m not a blood and guts person. I’m glad I read this book because what I do like is a good story, and that’s what Her Dear and Loving Husband is–a good, romantic story with enough plot twists and turns to keep the interest high and the reader guessing. 

Sarah Alexander moves to Salem after her divorce. She works at the local college and meets James Wentworth, a handsome professor. She dreams about the Salem Witch Trials, though she won’t tell anyone, not even her closest friends. James also has something he won’t tell anyone, but a reporter for the local paper discovers his secret. The more James and Sarah learn about each other, the more they realize that their stories piece together in an odd way. James and Sarah fall in love, but that is not the end for them. James still has to fight against the reporter who wants to tell everyone that James Wentworth is not what he seems to be.

One thing I liked about the book was that the paranormal characters are treated in a normal way. They seem like regular people living regular lives who just happen to be special in these different ways. There are some traditional vampire moments for those who are into that genre, but not enough to gross me out. It’s far more of a love story than a horror novel.

I thought the love story between James and Sarah was sweet, and I wouldn’t mind having a handsome vampire like James Wentworth in my life. I read the whole book in just a couple of days because I couldn’t wait to see how their stories tied together next.  There’s a strong ending, too, that leaves a lot of room for the next book in the series. I’ll be looking for it.

Emma Harrison is a writer who is starting a blog reviewing books, movies, television, and anything else that needs reviewing. She will be open to receiving books for review this fall. Contact her at emmaharrison17@yahoo.com. Look for her blog coming soon.

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