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Publisher's Summary

The exquisite Frederica der Esslingen fled from her father's castle to the herbalist's cottage, vowing she could never give in to her father's wishes and marry the man her twin sister loved. Another man, a stranger forbidden to her, touched her very soul. A man who listened when she spoke...a man with a tumble of black curls and clever lips.... He understood her bold, searching heart. Yet he was denied her forever.

A Bed of Spices is a wildly romantic tale of forbidden love set in the turbulent middle ages. Solomon and Rica meet by chance at the herbalist's cottage and fall in love despite the divisions of religion, class, and expectations - but how can they possibly find a happy ending with so many things stacked against them? Dark, beautiful, and ultimately uplifting, this is a romance you won't easily forget.

©1993, 2010 Barbara Samuel (P)2013 Barbara Samuel

What listeners say about A Bed of Spices

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ok...good...hurry up... Better....geez

Would you try another book from Barbara Samuel and/or Anne Johnstonbrown?

Not sure. Mixed reviews on this one. Started slow with barely passable and bearable narration....then it picked up a bit and it got better after I became use to the narration (Really difficult in beginning HALF) .......I got bored again but listened anyway..... then.....it got better. (Hope u get the drift). Finally about 3/4 of the way through I found myself anticipating the end with a keen interest after listening for an eternity (it seemed forever!). Then it ended just as I thought it would with a bit of chagrin. Oh but wait.....THE EPILOGUE! The 'epilogue' really ruined it for me! I really wanted to like this one but just can't.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Too much 'reading' and not enough character distinction

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story of how forbidden love can change lives

What made the experience of listening to A Bed of Spices the most enjoyable?

This a very good story, but there is darkness in it that makes want to throw up you hands and walk away from the story.

What did you like best about this story?

How authentic the story line was from true history.

Which character – as performed by Anne Johnstonbrown – was your favorite?

Frederica because she perseveres under tremendous odds and some how survives.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, when the Jews are gather into a synagogue and burn to death, it my breath stop and made me want to cry for those lose souls.

Any additional comments?

Barbara Samuels or Barbara O'neal stories are fantastic, they will make you think, laugh, sigh and fall in love with all her characters.

1 person found this helpful

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Audio problem

Great book but the prologue appears at the very end of the recording, about the last 10 minutes

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  • Alex
  • 07-17-21

Wow and more wow!

I have only given it 3 overall because the prologue is at the end - Chapter 30 - so start there!!!

I found the narrstor quite difficult at first but then got used to her.

I don't know where to start except to say that I feel emotionally wrecked and if I could give the story 10*, I would!

In simple terms it's about forbidden love in terms of class and religion and the love story touches your very soul.

It is so beautifully written that you feel every nuance and every pain and wonder if there will indeed be a happy ending.

It is set in Strassbourg in 1346 when the plague is rife and the progroms have started to take hold.

There is deep tragedy and villainy and I would seriously suggest that this is not for the faint hearted and who need trigger warnings!

These were indeed very dark times and the book is a slow burn, making you feel it through and through.

Now to find some light reading!