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Susan Carroll 
Fawcett, February 1999 
400 pages; ISBN# 0449003884

Category: Historical Paranormal Romance
Reviewed by: Sheila

bookcover Bride Finder by Carroll
The Bride Finder is a great Paranormal Tortured Hero Romance.   Antonio St. Leger is ready to marry.  But for members of his unusual family to have a happy marriage they have to use The Bride Finder.   All who don't, their marriages are doomed, like Antonio's parents.   So Antonio makes a list of all the qualities he wants in a wife and calls Reverend Septimus Fitzleger, the family Bride Finder, and gives him the list telling him the kind of bride he wants.  However this unusual family has a ghost, Prospero,   the ancestor responsible for the unusual talents of this family and the thorn in Antonio's side.   With a puff of wind Prospero switches the list.   So when Fitzleger brings home the chosen bride, Madeline Breton, she doesn't fit Antonio's list  at all but she fits Prospero's list perfectly.   And you can hear the ghost laugh. 

Each member of the St. Leger family has a special supernatural talent.  Antonio considers his a curse, and for good reason.   Antonio sees glimpses of the future.  But what he sees is always something bad, like his own mother's death.  He can also move objects  with his mind, and he knows when, and  who visitors are when they approach his home; with the exception of Madeline, he can't detect her presence.   Antonio is feared for his abilities.  People think he's responsible for the disaster's that he sees in their lives instead of taking it as a warning to stay away from what he sees.   His mother was terrified of him.   As a child he tried to float a bouquet of flowers to her and she threw a vase at him that broke and scarred his forehead (a scar he still has and still pains him), and had him locked out of the house.   Antonio blames himself for his mother's death.  He's never been close to anyone and he wants to keep his family abilities a secret from Madeline. 

Madeline never quite fit in with her family, and she doesn't know what to make of Antonio.   Things definitely don't start out well.   Antonio mistakes her spinster cousin Harriet for his bride and kisses her and sends the poor woman running for her life.   He isn't the quiet gentle man the miniature (his painting) she has makes her to believe.   But Madeline isn't a delicate flower.  She wants her own home and family, and with Fitzleger's help, she comes to understand what a remarkable man her husband is. 

I loved this book.  I think its one of the best that I have ever read.  In one of my favorite scenes, Antonio goes to see Prospero (the ghost).  He hates Prospero but Prospero was a well known ladies man.  So he asks how he can win Madeline.  Prospero acts like he's writing some secret love potion but when Antonio reads it, it says "Simply love her".  Antonio gets so mad he thinks Prospero's tricked him. But he finds out that Prospero  was right. 

At one point in the book Antonio is talking to Fitzleger and he remarks "It would be a wonderful thing Fitzleger to have an ancestor that when one bid them rest in peace they had the courtesy to do so."   I think this line really sums up the St. Leger family pretty well. 

Night Drifter is the sequel and I hope that there are more books with this remarkable St. Leger family.  I absolutely loved this book.

Sheila Bragg / October, 1999 
Copyright © 1999 for ParaNormal Romance Reviews