By Meredith Allard
Publisher: Copperfield Press, 2011
262 pages, eARC (PDF file)
Date Finished: 15/7/2011
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Fantasy
How long would you wait for the one you loved?~First Line: "I am looking lovingly in to the eyes of a man, though I cannot see his face because it is featureless, like a blank slate."
Her Dear & Loving Husband, the new novel from Meredith Allard, is part literary fiction, part historical fiction, part romance, and part paranormal fantasy. With elements of Twilight and The Crucible, Her Dear & Loving Husband is a story for anyone who believes that true love never dies.
James Wentworth has a secret. He lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties anywhere. 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. With the help of their friends, witches Jennifer and Olivia, 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?
~Last Line: "Some things never change."
Review: Her Dear and Loving Husband was a really awesome book! The first few chapters took a minute for me to get into, but as I got farther along I didn't want to put my Kindle down! Meredith Allard is one name I'll be on the lookout for!
Our main character, Sarah Alexander, is a young woman just divorced and new to Salem, Massachusetts, historical real-life setting of the Salem Witch Trials from three centuries earlier. Then add in James Wentworth, the the 30-something college professor with a secret. Together, the two are the most romantic couple, and they can't be spereated by anyone or anything.
The plot was most definitely original. I'd never read about something like this before. I love how the book included soo much history from the Salem Witch Trials. It was kind of like a history lesson mixed into a really awesome novel. Between the plot and the history alone, I wasn't able to put the book down!
The characters were super-awesome as well. Sarah and James were my ultimate favorites, of course, but I also loved James's "family" friend Jennifer. Jennifer is definitely the sarcastic one! In the two quotes below, she's present and she's the reason why I loved those scenes in the book.
There's so many great things about this series debut . . . Wow! I can't say all I want to, sadly, because then I'd have to give this review a ginormous spoiler alert. LOL. But I definitely recommend the book! :D
Plot Rating: 5
Character Rating: 4.5
Cover Rating: 4
and three-eighths :)
Quotes from the book:
" 'Do you think we should put some sunblack on him?'
'Sure, Mom. You have any SPF 400 laying around?' "
Sarah pulled a medical bag from the refrigerator. She sliced open the top with a knife she found in a drawer, pulled a stryofoam cup from the cupboard, poured the red liquid into the cup, and put it in the microwave.
'That doesn't gross you out?' Jennifer asked.
'It's what he drinks.'
'You really are the right girl for him.' "
And now, I have an interview with Ms. Meredith Allard! Help me give her a warm Butterfly welcome! :p
1. What made you want to be an author?
For whatever reason, writing always came easier for me than it seemed to for other people I knew. Teachers were always using my writing as an example for the class, and then when I was in high school one of my English teachers suggested I choose a career where I could use my writing skills—perhaps something like journalism. I took one journalism class and realized that was not the route for me—too formal and structured for my taste—but I still loved to write. I was an English major in college, and when we read David Copperfield by Charles Dickens the bells and whistles went off and I realized that’s what I wanted to do—write novels.
2. Did you love to read as a child growing up?
Absolutely. Books were a great escape for me when I was younger. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on, and often my school librarians knew me by name. My favorites were The Little House on the Prairie series, and anything by Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary. I still smile when I remember reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle and Shel Silverstein’s poetry for the first time. I remember reading Roots by Alex Haley when I was in third grade.
3. What are some of your favorite hobbies when you're not writing?
The truth is, most of my free time is spent writing. As crazy as it is, writing really is my favorite thing in the world to do. But I do have other interests! I love taking dance classes such as belly dancing, Zumba, and Polynesian dance. I enjoy yoga. Sometimes I scrapbook. I still read everything I can get my hands on. I like to cook, and I enjoy listening to music and watching movies.
4. How did you come up with the idea for Her Dear and Loving Husband?
After I had read a few vampire books, it occurred to me that, though vampires live forever, the people they love would have died at some point. How would vampires deal with that? Would they mourn their dearly departed for centuries? Would they forget and move on? I started seeing scenes of a vampire finding a woman who looked like his dead wife, and then I wondered what would happen to them because of that resemblance. At first, I didn’t realize there was enough there for a novel. Like most storytellers, crazy ideas just spring up out of nowhere for me sometimes, and usually I dismiss the crazy ideas and they go away. But this one wouldn’t leave. I fell asleep at night and woke up in the morning thinking about it. Finally, after about six months, I decided to see if there was anything to this idea about the vampire and his wife and I started writing out the story.
The idea for the heart of the novel came about when I decided to set the story in Salem, Massachusetts. I didn’t originally intend to have any historical fiction in the story, but once I chose Salem as the setting I had to incorporate the Salem Witch Trials somehow. I’m glad I did because the historical context gives the story meaning and depth in a way I didn’t originally intend, and a lot of readers have said that the history is their favorite part of the book.
5. What can we expect from you in the next couple of years bookwise?
Her Dear & Loving Husband is book one of the Loving Husband Trilogy, so right now I’m working on book 2, Her Loving Husband’s Curse. After that is book 3, so I’m going to be busy telling James and Sarah’s story for the next two or three years.
6. Do you like to sing and/or dance?
I do love to dance! As I said for question 3, I love belly dancing, Zumba, and Polynesian dance classes. And I didn’t realize until I was in my thirties that I had some talent for dance. I always assumed that I couldn’t dance—I don’t know why, I just thought that since I was a teacher and a writer I couldn’t dance. Doesn’t even make sense, right? Then one day a few years ago I saw a belly dancing class going on in the gym while I was on the treadmill. The dance class looked a lot more fun than the treadmill, so I took the class and I realized I could learn the moves and follow the routines fairly easily. Now I love to go to dance class. Just goes to show—we should all be willing to try new things because you never know when you’ll find something you connect with.
7. How can my followers and I keep up with you and your books?
The easiest way is to follow my website at http://www.meredithallard.com/. I keep the website up to date with the latest information about my books. Purchasing information is available there as well.
Thanks for coming by the blog, Meredith! :D
Make sure you come back tomorrow for a guest post by Meredith herself!! :D