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REVIEW

"delightful 3rd in the Bride Finder series"

Midnight Bride is the third in the series about the men of the St. Ledger family, cursed to marry only the woman selected for them by the Bride Finder. If they marry someone other than a bride selected by the Fitzledger Bride Finder, they are doomed. This time the story is about Val St. Ledger, son of Anatole and Madeline (The Bride Finder, January 1999) and twin brother to Lance St. Ledger (The Night Drifter, February 2000). Val is the local doctor, but he heals through his magical powers. He has the ability to lay hands upon a person and take their troubles, sorrow or pain from them. When his brother Lance was wounded at Waterloo, Val saved his life by using his magic, only something went wrong. Not only did Val absorb Lance's pain from his damaged leg, he accepted the wound, and has limped ever since because of this.

Kate Fitzledger grew up around Lance and Val, and while Lance was her play buddy, Val was always more to her. Now fully grown, she loves Val, but is in despair. Her guardian, Effy Fitzledger is the current Bride Finder, and while she has matched Lance, who is now married, has a son and his wife is expecting their second child, Effy has decreed she will not find a bride for Val. On Kate's birthday, she confesses her love for Val, but he refuses to listen because the Bride Finder has spoken, condemning him to go without a wife through life.

Desperate to win Val, Kate cast a spell using Prospero St. Ledgers spell book. And she is shocked to find Val is declaring his love. But so is his cousin Victor. The Bride Finder has declared Victor is to wed Molly Grey, but he refuses the match and declares suddenly he is in love with Kate. Kate seeks out Prospero to undo the spell, not only on Victor, but Val as well for she fears the spell is destroying him. Prospero senses evil to the St. Ledger family, but fears Kate did not really create magic from his spells, there is something else at work here.

What Kate does not know is the mortal enemy of the St. Ledgers, Rafe Mortimer visited Val the night Kate cast her spell. Rafe is dying and his final wish is to pass on a necklace with a piece of the crystal stolen from the St. Ledger sword. When he attempts to pass it, he locks hands with Val and a transfer takes place. All of Val's goodness is passed to the dying man, as well, Val heals the man's illness. No longer burdened by the past, Rafe is suddenly happy in life. Only, Val absorbed all the pain, unhappiness and evil of Rafe. So Kate and the ghostly Prospero must try to save Val's life before it's too late.

It's a strong tale that lives up to the first two books. Kate and Val are vividly portrayed. The book is a very enjoyable fast read. Here's to looking forward to more St. Ledger books.

Posted August 13, 2004

Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted January 3, 2007

SUMMARY

For generations, the St. Legers of Cornwall have borne strange talents: visions of the future, spirit walking, healing - their inheritance from the sorcerer Prospero St. Leger. For each generation there is a Bride Finder, whose gift brings to each St. Leger a love that will last forever, even through death and beyond.

To reject the Bride Finder's choice is said to guarantee tragedy. Valentine St. Leger is a compassionate doctor whose touch can perform miracles, though he must bear the pain of those he tends. Years ago Val used his talent to save his twin - and was left lame, haunted by constant pain. But his greatest burden is facing his empty future - for the Bride Finder has decreed that there will never be a bride for him. Kate Fitzleger loves Val more than life itself and is certain they are meant for each other. So the wild, passionate beauty steals powerful sorcery, intending to bend fate to her will - even as an old enemy unleashes a treacherous plot to refashion Val St. Leger's destiny.

 

Midnight Bride
(St. Leger series, Book 3)
by Susan Carroll

Ballantine Books
April 1, 2001
ISBN #0345433971
EAN #9780345433978
336 pages
Hardcover
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Other Books by
Susan Carroll

The Silver Rose
The Dark Queen
The Night Drifter
The Bride Finder


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