Sandra Z. Bruney
Narrator: Sandra Z. Bruney

Damaris Tilghman has lost everything at the throw of her father’s dice. He gambles away their home, all of his assets, and her future. Devastated from the loss, he commits suicide, leaving Damaris with nothing. Unsure of what else to do, she accepts the marriage proposal of wealthy planter Matthew Pope. For a time, they’re happy and their love seems to grow by the day. Then she discovers that her husband has a mistress in one of his slaves. A woman by the name of Zoe who also performs witchcraft. Convinced her husband is under her spell along with the rest of the plantation, Damaris is determined to do whatever it takes to win his love back.

“Riverbend” is a richly detailed historical thriller of a romance! Ms. Bruney has taken the time to make sure that the backdrop of her novel is accurate for both the time period and location, and it shows with her immersive writing. Damaris’ story is one full of intrigue and hope. Fast paced, it is hard to put down. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way that will keep readers guessing. Ms. Bruney does a wonderful job at touching on many of the time period’s hot topics like slavery and women’s rights. It is an incredibly deep novel that tells the story of a woman’s lifetime.

Narrated by the author, Ms. Bruney’s passion for her story comes through in her performance! Her narration is gentle and connected to the work, the emotions felt by the characters coming through strong. There are a few moments when the pacing feels a bit off: awkward pauses in the middle of the sentences, and similar quirks. While her voice doesn’t change dramatically for each character, they all still hold a life of their own making them distinct. Overall, it is a wonderful listen!

This is a great read for lovers of historical and suspenseful romances!

Chelsea Andersen