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The Silent Touch of Shadows

(Shadows from the Past #1)

by
3.80  ·  Rating details ·  476 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Professional genealogist Melissa Grantham receives an invitation to visit her family’s ancestral home, Ashleigh Manor. From the moment she arrives, life-like dreams and visions haunt her. The spiritual connection to a medieval young woman and her forbidden lover have her questioning her sanity, but Melissa is determined to solve the mystery.

Jake Precy, owner of a nearby co
...more
Paperback, 323 pages
Published July 7th 2012 by Choc Lit (first published May 31st 2012)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  476 ratings  ·  69 reviews


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Aya Hamra
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
This is one of the lighter books that I seeked, it's a romantic ghost story built up between two eras of time. If the ghost and the hero wouldn't have been so HOT I certainly would have seized reading it. All in all it was a fun read and yes I would read the rest of the series which I think the books in it aren't related, but they are shadows from the past, and oh how exhilarating can the past be!
Hannah Stewart
Aug 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Incredibly disappointing. If this was the first of Christina Courtney's books that I had read, I wouldn't have bothered with Trade Winds, which I enjoyed.
The plot of this story is a very poor imitation of Mariana by Susanna Kearsley. The trouble with this one is none of the characters were likeable or believable in the least. The sentence structure was also super simplistic; to the point where I felt like I was ready something I had written for my high school English Literature class.
And what i
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Carly
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Silent Touch of Shadows is a beautifully written novel that is full of mystery, intrigue, twists, turns, well developed characters, ghostly spectres and best of all two amazing love stories. I was quickly wrapped up in this intriguing storyline that not only has present day characters but also a set of 1460's characters that play a big part in the main characters lives. I will admit that I was a little confused at the start when the story jumps from present day to the past, but once I got th ...more
Rhiannon Hart
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Quite a good medieval timeslip/ghost story with the main characters of 600 years ago mirrored in the present. I enjoyed the first two thirds of the book most as there was lots of atmosphere and the author took her time presenting you with a lot of information. You got to see all the events of the past, unlike the characters in the present, so it was interesting to see them struggle with what had happened as it unfolded for you in great detail.

The last third was slow and frustrating, however, wi
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Tara Chevrestt
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
First of all, this is a very different story from Courtenay's usual. It's a time slip, and though it has lots of "in the past" bits, I would say the majority is in the present. There was also a lot less man bits than usual. (I couldn't resist saying that!)

It was almost like reading an entirely different author, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Melissa is a genealogist. (This itself was utterly fascinating. What a unique occupation. I found these parts very educational.) She is struggling with her re
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Cynthia Green
Aug 17, 2015 rated it liked it
The blurb for this novel was enticing. I haven't read any of Christina Courtenay's books and was hoping her writing would be comparable to Susanna Kearsley, Barbara Erskine and Pamela Hartshorne, who are some of my favourite authors.

Unfortunately, this novel left me grating my teeth. First of all, the historical research is sadly lacking. In the past story, the main character, Sibell, is a young widow living with her abusive father instead of her late husband's family. Why do you think the brid
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Catherine
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's rare that I look forward to a book in the same way I might a film, but as soon as I read the blurb for The Silent Touch of Shadows the premise intrigued me. I'm glad to say it's lived up to my expectations. It's based in Ashleigh Manor, Kent and when Melissa moves in with her aunt, she starts to experience vivid dreams and is haunted by visions. The problem is a ghost called Roger and in order to rid herself of his presence she sets out to find out more about Ashleigh Manor and its history. ...more
Alison
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I have read by this author, and it won't be the last!

This is something of a time slip, something of a haunting - and the two time zones jog along well together for the most part. There were moments I felt I wanted to be more in the present to solve the mystery, but I enjoyed the characters and relationships in the past.

In fact, there were parts that made eye leakage possible. I really recommend this book for anyone that likes their contemporary novels spiced with history,
...more
Julia Bell
I'm giving The Silent Touch of Shadows three stars as I did like it and enjoyed the time slip element of the story.
But I did find it over dramatic. At the beginning there was a great deal of emphasis on the extreme attraction between the hero and heroine. Again, no build up of feelings, but an immediate case of sparks flying and mesmerising glances between them . After the relationship was established, there then seemed a similar extreme reaction to the events that unfolded. Sometimes I felt th
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Erica Olsen
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars (I’ve got a lot of these recently!)

This book was really really intriguing. From the start to the end it had me completely captured. I loved how it was set in two ages throughout and how the stories were intertwined! It was all very lovely!

I will write a fuller review if I get the time for it! Now I’ll go on to the next book.
Joy
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy a CC book. She is very good at the timeslip plot.
Lori
May 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Enjoyed this once I got into it. Easy read. Would be ideal for those who like period books.
Lisa
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. Would recommend to anyone who loves historical fact and fiction. xx
Tosha
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes based on the storyline but the characters were weak. The writing was weak. This could have been an interesting story. I skipped so many sections to get the story moving.
Susan
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ghosts, Genealogy, a dual narrative; what's not to love?
Kim Chalker
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shadows from the Past

I enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to reading the other books in the series. Well worth it
Shaz Goodwin
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
(This story is based on a real house and a real ghost)

The scene in the Prologue is so descriptive I could feel the restless energy of the past! A brilliant start to what underpins the whole story.

Chapter One finds us in present day Kent as Melissa and daughter Jolie are arriving at Ashleigh Manor. They’re visiting Great Aunt Dorothy… someone who has never been a part of Melissa’s life so the invite had been totally unexpected.

Straight away the reader is drawn into Melissa’s sense of déjà vu. Not
...more
Laura Summers
Reviewed for www.bookchickcity.com

THE SILENT TOUCH OF SHADOWS is the fourth Christina Courtenay novel I’ve read. It’s really two stories in one. The main story of Melissa is a contemporary romance, with a paranormal twist. And the second story a historical romance.

The main story tells of Melissa, a young mother recovering from a divorce who goes to stay with her great-aunt in the haunted Ashleigh Manor. There she begins to have dreams and strange experiences about a knight called Roger. This int
...more
Sheryl Browne
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Silent Touch of Shadows was my final holiday read and it definitely left me with book withdrawal symptoms. Time slip and historical novels are not generally my first choice – and now I have no idea why that would be. This author has definitely convinced me I must read more. Set in the present and fifteenth century Kent, the story centres on Melissa, a genealogist attempting to move on with her life and provide for her daughter after an acrimonious divorce. That her ex-husband has a family wi ...more
Amanda
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Silent Touch of Shadows is a little different to Christina Courtenay’s previous purely historical novels as it is set partly in the present and partly in the past. Having loved all of Christina’s historical fiction I was intrigued to see how she would deal with a contemporary element and I’m pleased to say that her gift for weaving a gripping story and creating wonderful chemistry between her leading men and women is just as good in a contemporary setting as it is in an historical one!

Meliss
...more
Anne
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
I think I might just have mentioned before how impressed I am by the wonderful books and authors being brought to the reading public by Choc Lit. This was one novel that I allowed to sit unread on my Kindle for far too long. It had every element I love in a book, the historical setting, the strong heroine, the dual time narrative with both strands holding their own, a touch of the supernatural... you can tell I loved it, can’t you?

Melissa is a genealogist by profession, but also a single mother
...more
PrettyFlamingo
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another book with all my favourite ingredients in the mix. History, genealogy, magical realism, a touch of spookiness, maybe reincarnation? Melissa has recently been contacted by a distant relative to visit Ashleigh Manor, a house belonging to her family. She's also recovering from her divorce from Steve and caring for her daughter whilst working as a professional genealogist. She bonds very quickly with her great aunt Dorothy whom she's never met before, and the house itself. Whilst there thoug ...more
The Commuting Bookworm
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Silent Touch of Shadows by Christina Courtenay

Melissa Granthem has split from her husband and father of her daughter, the promise of ‘to have and to hold forever’ was broken and not by her. Jake Precy, is a widower with a daughter the same age as Melissa’s and the two girls become friends through school once Melissa moves from London, into her ancestral home.

Sibell’s husband was killed in 1459 and she was then forced to move back with her abusive father and brothers until they signed the de
...more
Anna Belfrage
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
There are some authors that have a style so distinctive the reader immediately recognises it. Ms Courtenay is one such author, relating her stories with a balanced mix of dialogue and descriptive writing. The Silent Touch of Shadows is a gripping read with two story lines, one set in the present and one set in the time of the War of the Roses.

Main character Melissa is plagued by realistic dreams and visions of another life in a distant past, and despite the fear these nightmares inspire, Meliss
...more
Rosario (http://rosario.blogspot.com/)
The plot of this one made me think of the wonderful Mariana, by Susanna Kearsley, so I picked it up even though I'd never heard of the author before. The heroine, Melissa, is invited to visit her estranged aunt at the ancestral family home. As soon as she arrives, she begins to have visions about a mysterious knight, for whom she feels a strange attraction. Then she meets a young vet in town, and faints at his feet, because he's so similar to her dream man. And it turns out he's been dreaming ab ...more
Louise Graham
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Slighty different style to this book to the previous books I have read by Christina but still just as wonderful as the other books by her.

This book is set in two periods of time with over 600 years between them. What is wonderful is how Christina expertly weaves together the two stories together so smoothly that there is no confusion at all of where you are. The chilling references of the “ghosts” in the present day keeps you alert and on edge of what they may do next! Christina writes historica
...more
Goddess Of Blah
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was requested to review this book (and several others by this author) as a favour to a colleague who works at the same publishers as me.

Its an enjoyable read. Not long, can be read in a few hours.

The book doesn't have Pulitzer caliber prose, lacks detail and isn't big on descriptions but its fine for a quick, absorbing read. The characters are enduring and the plot has a satisfying ending.

The thing I've noticed and admired about the author's books (Scarlet Kimono and The Silent Touch of Shad
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Blodeuedd Finland
At once I knew, this could not end well. Ok so not Melissa, but the other story. If there is a ghost there can't be happiness and I raced to see what had happened.

The book is two stories in one. First we have Melissa, a single mother trying to get by. A history lover (and this made me like her even more) who goes to live with an aunt. And yes in a spooky big house. I should also mention a nice neighbor who is a widower ;)

Then there is the story set in the past. During the War of the Roses a youn
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Alison
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
A thoroughly enjoyable read; I am a fan of timeslip as well as traditional history. Melissa is well-drawn: hurt, prickly, despairing at first, gradually unfurling as she meets with kindness. Aunt Dorothy is a little too nice; I think she was meant to parallel Lady Maud in the earlier story, but Maud projects more bustling personality.
Roger's character attracts not only Sibell, but also the reader. Tough and a tad domineering, he shows his sense of humour and innate sense of honour in his dealing
...more
Lucie Wheeler
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is my first time reading a time-slip novel, and I must say, I was not disappointed.

I really enjoyed how Christina switched between the two time periods, and she did it with such fluidity and ease. There wasn't the feeling of being thrown to and fro between the periods, it was very well done. The way the stories were woven into eachother was very clever.

The story is about a young woman, Melissa, who comes to live with her aunt in Ashleigh Manor, with her daughter, Jolie. Once she is there, s
...more
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Half English/half Swedish, grew up in Sweden, then moved to Japan for a while.
Writes historical romance/adventure stories and time slip. Also YA romance as Pia Fenton.
Former Chairman of Romantic Novelist's Association.

Other books in the series

Shadows from the Past (4 books)
  • The Secret Kiss of Darkness (Shadows from the Past #2)
  • The Soft Whisper of Dreams (Shadows from the Past #3)
  • The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight (Shadows from the Past #4)

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