Title: As Meat Loves Salt
Author: Maria McCann
Genre: Historical Fiction, LGBT Fiction, 17th- 19th Century
Stars: **** (4)
Summary: Born into nobility, Jacob Cullen was reduced to servant status after his father died. Years later he, and his two brothers, are living relatively comfortably as house servants. Jacob is also about to be wedded to a woman he loves. However, his past catches up with him when he realizes he was seen killing a man and the law is after him to bring him to justice. This leads to a series of events where, while battling his inner daemons, he creates a path of destruction through the lives of everyone he meets, strangers as well as those he loves.
Review: I loved and hated this novel at the same time. The back cover says that this is a dark erotic (nothing too graphic and not that much either) tale but it really is so much more. McCann weaves the dark and violent with sweet and innocent brilliantly. Jacob is really twisted; he has anger management issues and doesn’t seem to be able to control himself when emotions take over. And yet as he goes through life hurting people, strangers as well as those he loves, I couldn’t help but cheer for him and hope and beg of others for forgiveness (and a happy ending). What makes this book great is also what kept frustrating me. The destruction he leaves behind is painful, even revolting and he seems to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. It is like a train wreck that you see coming, over and over, and each time you are powerless to stop it and yet, yet you can’t stop watching.
McCann has a wonderful way with words and seems to grasp realistically a way of speaking in 17th century England. The book is long but beautifully written (each word as necessary the others around it), the words seem to flow of the page so it doesn’t take too long to get through it. She is one of those authors that can transport you into another time and place, straight into the lives of these characters.