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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lord of Always by Cynthia Wicklund

Lord of Always by Cynthia Wicklund
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (210 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

How does a good and honorable man atone for wicked deeds he committed when he was neither good nor honorable? How does he tell the woman forced to marry him of the supernatural event that transformed his life, cleansing him of the darkness? Above all, how does he convince his wife that he loves her, that he too is worthy of being loved, when all she feels for him is hatred?

Evan Richmond, a spoiled, debauched aristocrat, is confronted by an obligation he can’t ignore. He must marry, and Brenna Hilliard is to be his bride. On his wedding night, Evan commits an unforgivable sin, stirring the wrath of something beyond this world. In the guise of a raging storm, he is “struck” unconscious. When he awakens his life is forever changed, for he no longer carries the soul he was born with. Another has taken its place.

Thus Brenna is faced with a choice. Does she reject her husband because of whom he has always been…or love the man he is becoming?

Breath-catching love scenes, eerie happenings, and characters that range from enchanting to sickening make Lord of Always sizzle with emotions.

Naïve Brenna, a victim of circumstance, quakes at the thought of marriage to Evan Richmond, Lord Rutherford, but, little does she know how bad it will be until she finds herself in a willow grove on a stormy night where eerie, supernatural things happen. Change occurs. Evil is thwarted but still lurks ever threatening to gain supremacy again.

The wealthy, depraved Lord Rutherford, much in need of redemption, consorts with his twin sister Geline to make Brenna’s life miserable even though she is his betrothed. When it seems his actions have gone beyond all reason, the supernatural power that must be watching over Brenna intervenes. My goodness, what an intervention!

The story takes a dramatic turn at this point. Evan Richmond, Lord Rutherford, is different when he wakes. He is a complex character that is sickened by what he had done in the past and senses he has a second chance after a long, long time. His is an astonishing and sometime painful journey as he deals with his depraved, despicable past while trying to build a life with integrity and convince Brenna they are meant for each other. The inner conflicts of both Brenna and Evan are major.

The antagonists give Lord of Always an undercurrent of evil that seethes just waiting to corrupt all that’s good. Geline, totally possessive of Evan, is a psychological mess that gets even messier with the encouragement of Jason Frickers, a self- proclaimed religious leader. The price she pays for her deeds is high indeed, not to mention what happened to Jason.

Cynthia Wicklund has an alluring writing style that makes scenes come alive whether they are scenes of evil doings or scenes of incredible lovemaking. She creates a compelling story with the premise of a chance at a “do-over” to make right a love that went awry in a time long ago.

Lord of Always is a story to curl up with and read long into the night savoring every minute of the journey toward a happy-ever-after.