I first fell in love with Sandra Byrd’s novels with her ladies-in-waiting books set during the Tudor Era. I was thrilled to learn that she would be reI first fell in love with Sandra Byrd’s novels with her ladies-in-waiting books set during the Tudor Era. I was thrilled to learn that she would be releasing a novel of romantic suspense set during the Victorian Era, and now having read it, I must say that Mist of Midnight did not disappoint.
Rebecca Ravenshaw returns to England after her missionary parents were massacred during an uprising in India. When she arrives, she discovers that another young woman had come before her, deceitfully claiming the Ravenshaw inheritance and family estate. In the intervening months before Rebecca’s return, this young woman died, and Captain Luke Whitfield, a dashing Hussar and distant relative, is now in possession of the estate.
Suspected of being an imposter herself, Rebecca must prove her identity to a doubtful solicitor, to hostile servants, and to the new heir, Captain Whitfield. She finds herself falling prey to Captain Whitfield’s good looks and charm, but when she begins to suspect that the previous claimant died not by suicide but by murder, she has to decide whether the captain is trustworthy or treacherous.
I devoured this book, starting it in the afternoon the day it arrived in the mail and finishing it that evening. The historical detail and mysterious atmosphere were impeccably done. The characters, especially the first-person narrator Rebecca, were well-fleshed out and believable. One thing I like about Byrd’s prose is that instead of telling you everything her main character is thinking or feeling, she lets you read between the lines. She also uses clever word play and double meanings in conversations between the characters.
Besides the heroine and her love interest, I also particularly enjoyed the mercenary French maid. There was one “twist” with a secondary character at the very end of the book that jolted me out of the story–I think I would have preferred the story without it, but even so, the book was a tremendously satisfying read. The book could be classified as Christian fiction, but just like in her Tudor Era books, Byrd manages to portray authentic Christian characters and convey redemptive Christian messages without sacrificing her craft or undermining her storyline–Christian fiction at its best!
Mist of Midnight is the first in a series, and I am very much looking forward to the next books in Daughters of Hampshire.
***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.***...more
I gave this book two stars because it kept me reading till the end. As an adaptation of the Cinderella story, it was...okay. The characters weren't paI gave this book two stars because it kept me reading till the end. As an adaptation of the Cinderella story, it was...okay. The characters weren't particularly well-rounded. The hero was ridiculous good-looking and manly. The heroine was, of course, incredibly beautiful and sufficiently spunky...yet needy at the same time. The villain was superlatively bad...but not bad enough to rape the heroine, because that would have been inappropriate in a Christian YA book.
The medieval setting felt forced...I found myself skimming through the jousting scenes because there was just so much history-lesson-style detail and it was, frankly, somewhat boring. I tend to think that Dickerson might do better to set her stories in a fantasy, quasi-Medieval world than in one where she tries to be accurate to a certain time period....more
This book contains an essay each day about an event in British History. I loved the diversity of topics--battles, births and deaths of historical figuThis book contains an essay each day about an event in British History. I loved the diversity of topics--battles, births and deaths of historical figures, balloon crossings, explorations, weddings--but I especially loved the way Huebner tied each event into the larger picture of British history, providing a context that is both educational and interesting.
The essays are a page or two long, easily digestible in a five or ten minute sitting. They are, by virtue of their length and by necessity, a simplified view of the event discussed. Those with a detailed knowledge of a person or period might desire more nuance, but for the majority of us, the essays provide a great overview and excite us to learn more.
I am interested to see Huebner publish the rest of the months in this series. ...more
Set during the turbulent English Civil War between Stephen and Matilda, this novel is the story of John Marshal's life and the measures he took to keeSet during the turbulent English Civil War between Stephen and Matilda, this novel is the story of John Marshal's life and the measures he took to keep his family's fortunes alive.
This book was a little slow at first and it had the same thing that bothered me about The Scarlet Lion (it felt like the main characters were having sex in every. single. chapter.), BUT when we actually do find out the reason why the book is titled as it is and learn about the gamble that John Marshal takes, the drama is unparalleled--I'm giving it five stars just because of that!
I really enjoy the way Chadwick interpreted this historical story. ...more
Really, really loved this book! It was a sort of Romeo and Juliet story set in the early 1800s in America...but without all the dying. Well, there migReally, really loved this book! It was a sort of Romeo and Juliet story set in the early 1800s in America...but without all the dying. Well, there might have been some dying, but you'll just have to read it to find out who. I loved the heroine's relationship to her father and how he wanted her to find someone who truly loved her as well as could take care of her. The book also gave an interesting picture of pre-Civil War slavery in America.
Frantz is a Christian author who really knows how to tell a beautiful story (instead of simply writing a tract), and she is steadily becoming one of my favorite authors. Can't wait for the next book in this Ballantyne Legacy series!...more
This wasn't quite as good as The Tutor's Daughter or The Apothecary's Daughter, but it had a lot of the great qualities that I enjoy in Klassen's bookThis wasn't quite as good as The Tutor's Daughter or The Apothecary's Daughter, but it had a lot of the great qualities that I enjoy in Klassen's books--a sense of mystery, a clean story line that isn't excessively preachy, and a view of many levels of society during the Regency period....more
This was an exciting thriller with a well-depicted historical milieu. I must admit that I didn't think it quite as good as The Midwife's Tale, and wasThis was an exciting thriller with a well-depicted historical milieu. I must admit that I didn't think it quite as good as The Midwife's Tale, and was thus a tad disappointed. I also get a little annoyed when all the religious characters in a book turn out to be the baddies (whoops, was that a spoiler?), but all in all, a good page-turning read. ...more
At first, I didn't really *like* either of the main characters, but I was definitely intrigued by them. By the end IShort version: I loved this book.
At first, I didn't really *like* either of the main characters, but I was definitely intrigued by them. By the end I was completely immersed in their stories. This book reminded me of The Mill on the Floss in the way you think it's going to be a romance but it ends up being more about a brother-sister relationship. The expulsion of the Moors from Spain is a piece of history I'm fairly unfamiliar with, and it was interesting to learn more about it.
A Divided Inheritance is a glorious story of learning to live unselfishly in community. Deborah Swift is a very skillful wordsmith and I'm looking forward to reading more of her books. ...more