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Shades of the Past

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  200 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A Widowed Victorian Lady: Traveling companion to an elderly, aristocratic lady, Vanessa Wynters is drawn to Royal Sherringham upon her employer's death. Little does she expect to remain at the estate beyond the funeral itself, or to find herself caught up in the secrets of Sherringham’s turbulent past or those of the deceased noblewoman’s dark, brooding nephew ― Viscount A ...more
Kindle Edition
Published March 8th 2012 by Anita Gordon (first published October 2nd 1999)
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Reviewed By BlackTulip for Booked Up

It is not so often that I come across, in my opinion, such a great Victorian Gothic mystery ! I have found here, absolutely everything I could hope for and beyond ... Hidden family secrets, scandal, passion, jealousy, deception and murder, a very nasty constable and a Ghost !

From the very beginning this story grabs you and throws you into a whirlwind of very powerful emotions. Royal Sherringham, ancient seat of the Viscounts Marrable has its very own identity
May 11, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, favorites
I want to thank Goodreads First Reads for awarding me the opportunity to read this wonderful book. It was a free book that I won through their giveaway.

Ms. Kirkwood did a marvelous job with writing this book. I hated it for it to end.

Vanessa Wynters was a traveling companion to an elderly aristocratic lady, Gwendolyn Marrable. On their travels, Lady Marrable dies from a stroke. She returns with the body to Royal Sherringham and attends the funeral. As Vanessa is about to depart back to her home,
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gloria Hansen
May 25, 2012 Gloria Hansen rated it really liked it

This is the first book I got free and I'm so happy I did

The story time is amazing, I loved every detail giving in this book about the places Vanessa was photographing, her story with the Viscount was so beautiful even when there was time that I wanted to pull my hair out with the stress I was beginning to feel, I couldn't wait for Vanessa and Adrian to get together and for someone to make Lawrence be gone.
I do wish To read more about them and hope for a second book.
Thanks for the chance you hav
Originally posted at Bunny's Review

***Disclosure: Digital book was purchased at Amazon.***

The original paperback cover for this book was not similar to the story inside. Upon seeing the original paperback cover I thought the story would be set in the 12th or 13th century. However this book is set in the late 19th century. The original cover is better but they really need to remove the eyes at the top. Those are just freaking looking.

I am always on the lookout for older published book that have b
Aug 29, 2015 booksthrubifocals rated it really liked it
Victorian ghost tale...a very haunting romance

Royal Sherrington, the family estate (castle) of the Marrable family and the site of many battles from earliest English history on, is also thought to be home for the many restless spirits who died violently there over the ages. The current viscount, Adrian, believes himself cursed due to the untimely demise of his first two wives. The local constable and residents believe him culpable for their deaths, given the gossip that he had motive and opportu
Sep 06, 2015 Jennette rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
This started exactly as I expected, then it became a ghost story. I probably wouldn't have opened it if I had realized that before I started reading, but by the time the ghost was introduced I was already hooked. I wanted to slove the "mystery" (don't worry this is a romance). I was very pleased that the main characters were adults. I seem to find too many stories set in this time period with 18 year old girls and while all that coming of age stuff can be entertaining, there is only so much one ...more
Jan 16, 2016 Mandor rated it it was amazing
Shades of the Past deserves a wayyyyy better cover. Please give this book a cover worthy of the story because the current one leads a person to think that this is a pretty trashy, poorly written novel. Truly, it's the opposite - this story is ridiculously good. If you liked the movie Crimson Peak, I think you'll probably love this.

What we've got here is an excellent Gothic romance/murder-mystery/ghost story. The paranormal elements are spectacular, and our protagonist specializes in photography,
Sep 01, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it
well, it was a much better murder mystery than it was romance novel. In fact, the romance was nonexistent. I don't really understand how you go from "I'm grumpy all the time, twice widowed, and I've barely spoken to her" to proclaiming that you love her. Likewise I don't understand being knocked down a staircase, being unconscious for several hours, to making live all night long right after waking up. On the other hand, the mystery was fairly good, though I certainly suspected whom, I didn't kno ...more
Shades of the Past by Kathleen Kirkwood

This was a good story.

The description of the book I am listing below is from the back jacket of the book. I'm adding it because I believe the one on the Goodreads page does not depict this story.

Upon the death of her elderly traveling companion, Vanessa Wynters returns to England, desperate to uncover the reasons for her friend's lengthy exile from her beloved home. But the mystery deepens when Vanessa meets the deceased noblewoman's dark, brooding nephew
Jun 18, 2015 Heidi rated it it was ok
Shelves: hf-romance
Purchased this by mistake but was pleasantly surprised by how good it started out. Until about half-way, I was thinking it was turning out to be a fun gothic novel. Unfortunately, as with the last book of hers, the author loses her way and the book turned into a trite, fairly unoriginal novel with silly declarations of love between people who have barely spoken. Some may enjoy this style, but I like a little more depth in my gothic travels.
Aug 28, 2015 SuzyHD rated it it was amazing

This book didn't grab me at first but as I continued on I found myself becoming more interested and involved in the storyline. I found myself wanting to know more about the characters. The mystery around the family was intriguing which gave way to a well written story. Character development was excellent holding true up to the end of the story. Highly recommend.
linda bilger
Sep 13, 2015 linda bilger rated it it was amazing
Good story

I really enjoyed this story of ghostly deeds. Want to read more of this author's work. Very enjoyable story for the era.
Kathleen Ruggio
Jan 21, 2016 Kathleen Ruggio rated it it was amazing
Ghostly Love

Delightful read that had all the ingredients you expect in a intriguing story. Love, passion, mystery, and in this case some ghosts. Fast moving read with some great twists.
Kathy Jackson
Aug 29, 2015 Kathy Jackson rated it really liked it
Interesting mystery book with ghosts and a love story.
Mar 29, 2013 VK-RC rated it it was amazing
I haven't read a lot of historical paranormals, but if Kathleen Kirkwood is an example I'll be looking for more. Shades of the Past is the compelling story of an aristocratic family with secrets and a castle with a mysterious past. The richly detailed setting pulled me in and I truly enjoyed the photographer-heroine, Vanessa's character growth as she unravels the mystery and finds herself growing closer to the darkly brooding Lord Adrian. Delicious fun!
Sep 19, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it
Good read

I read just see who the murderer would be. Was not surprised but the writer add a surprise twist towards the end.
Misha Crews
Oct 04, 2012 Misha Crews rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
This is the kind of book that I love: Victorian romance meets murder mystery meets haunted house. All of the elements are woven together beautifully. I also really admired the author's knowledge of early photography, and how that burgeoning art form was used in this story. I will definitely look for more books by this author!
Victoria Newman
Oct 15, 2015 Victoria Newman rated it it was amazing
Is a great book to read
Jul 29, 2013 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good gothic-style novel with brooding Lord and spirits, murder mystery in the border land of England and Wales with a little romance mixed in.
So far, I like it! Not my usual fare, but reading it out of curiosity. The author's brother mentioned it to me, so i thought I'd give it a try!
Apr 09, 2016 Janice rated it really liked it
AKA Gordon, Anita
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Kathleen Kirkwood is the pseudonym for award-winning, best-selling author Anita Gordon. She is the recipient of the Romance Writers of America's 1989 Golden Heart Award and winner of RWA's Desert Rose Chapter's 2002 Golden Quill Award, among other honors and recognitions. Having an abiding love for history, she enjoys setting her stories in distant times and places long past. They include a Viking
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