THE BRIDE FINDER is one of those magical books that touches all the right buttons, bringing you joy and a deep sigh of true, pure pleasure. Its a beautiful, tender, funny, unique story that captures the essence of romance. Susan Carroll takes historical romance to new heights by combining a love story with mysticism, legend and the emotional depth of humankind. This is a beautifully rendered tale, but its magic lies not in words alone, but in the emotions it elicits from the reader. BRIDE FINDER is a book I wished would never end.

On the rocky crags of Cornwall lies a castle that abounds with legends that might chill ones soul, and within its walls lives one lonely, isolated man and a few faithful servants. Its time for Anatole St. Leger to marry, so he sends for his cousin, Septimus, the family bride finder to choose the perfect woman for him.

Gifted with the ability to bring each St. Leger their ideal mate, Septimus travels to London and returns with the chosen bride, Madeline Breton.

Practical, intelligent, loyal Madeline believes Septimus when he says she is all Anatole could ever want until she arrives in Cornwall.

Anatole desires a buxom blonde, not a petite brunette and not a woman who would fear his warrior size, brisk manners or temper. He knows nothing about women and less about a woman like Madeline. What will she think if she discovers his unusual St. Leger gift?

Like the beast in Beauty and the Beast, Anatole must learn, with the help of his faithful servants, how to woo Madeline. On his own he must discover why the bride finder chose her as his perfect mate. Like Beauty, Madeline must see the man beneath the mask of uncertainty and unearthly power to experience unconditional love.

While they strive to find the spellbinding joy of love, forces are working to destroy them, as Madeline has seen shimmering in the St. Leger swords crystal.

(Mar., 325 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin