Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shades of the Past” as Want to Read:
Shades of the Past
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Shades of the Past

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  248 Ratings  ·  29 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shades of the Past, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shades of the Past

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
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 01, 2012 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,
Gloria Hansen
May 01, 2012 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosemary Hughes
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I submitted this review after reading this book as part of "Kathleen Kirkwood Collection #1".
This is a story of those that have been wronged receiving restitution, even after death.
I warn you, it it suspensionful and dramatic, having you afraid of what may befall the hero. Our heroine is a feisty, widowed photographer, who captures the very essence of life, with her photos.
Diane Gail Burgess
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Somewhat predictable but still enjoyable

I would recommend as a very easy read, ideal holiday reading and it is easy to lose yourself in the story
Melodye Johnson
Nov 23, 2016 rated it liked it

Stayed up until almost four in the morning finishing this book. Not one bit sorry for the loss of sleep.
Paranormal Romance
Grieving the death of friend and employer, the heroine returns with the family to the estate for burial. Welcomed by some of the family and looked down upon by others, the heroine neither the less knows where she stands. She is a widow, and without a fortune to live on she must find a new position posthaste. But when she sees the hero, she is struck stunned by his presence and dark beauty. She may have frowned upon the man's tardiness to his own aunts funeral but when witnessing the grief and lo ...more
Aug 29, 2015 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
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
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
Sep 06, 2015 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 rated it really liked it
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,
Aug 31, 2015 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
Mar 29, 2013 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!
Jun 18, 2015 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.
Misha Crews
Oct 04, 2012 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!
Aug 28, 2015 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.
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Giddy love story

I could not put this story down. Every time I sat down, I was excited about reading the next segment of this story. I enjoyed the adventure of the ghosts, intrigue, and mystery. This is a keeper. I will read this again.
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!

Kirkwood has done an excellent job of writing the story of Marrable and Vanessa. A tortured hero, a lonely, but brave heroine, jealous relations, dead wives, and some ghosts all make this a story you can't put down until the happily ever after.
Kathleen Ruggio
Jan 13, 2016 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.
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Is a great book to read
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting mystery book with ghosts and a love story.
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!
Jul 27, 2013 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.
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
AKA Gordon, Anita
linda bilger
Sep 13, 2015 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.
Aug 27, 2015 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.
Mrs J. Dudbridge
rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dark Obsession (Blackheath Moor #1)
  • A Moment In Time
  • The Devil of Jedburgh
  • When the Music Stops
  • Creighton Manor
  • Lespada
  • The Affair of the Porcelain Dog (Ira Adler #1)
  • Too Sinful To Deny (Scoundrels & Secrets, #2)
  • The Haunting of a Duke (Dark Regency, #1)
  • Body and Soul
  • The Station
  • The Autumn Lord
  • Bride of a Stranger (Classic Gothics Collection, #2)
  • A Tryst in Time
  • Mere Mortals
  • Highland Fling (Highland Dream, #2)
  • To the Castle
  • Tangled Memories

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
More about Kathleen Kirkwood

Romance Deals

  • Hidden Secrets
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Breath of Malice
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Kian (Undercover Billionaire, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Greensleeves
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Everything We Keep (Everything #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • From Thin Air (A Black Swan Historical Romance, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Sweet Caroline (Lowcountry Romance #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • All the Breaking Waves
    $4.99 $1.99
  • To Hope (The Broken Roads #5)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Royally Bad (Bad Boy Royals #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Royally Ruined (Bad Boy Royals #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Finishing Touches
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Roses
    $11.99 $3.99
  • Accidentally in Love with...a God? (Accidentally Yours, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Splinter (Reliquary, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Claimed (Servants of Fate, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Keeping You a Secret
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The PMS Club
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Gypsy (The Promised Land, #3)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Bodyguard (Hollywood A-List, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Willow (The Promised Land #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Mosaic (Reliquary #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lullaby Sky
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Secretly Hers (Sterling Canyon, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Tycoon Takedown (Lone Star Burn, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Come High Water (A Black Swan Historical Romance, #3)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Before I Knew (The Cabots, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Paradise of Glass (The Glassblower Trilogy #3)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Trusting You & Other Lies
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Once Haunted, Twice Shy (Peyton Clark, #2)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Story of Beautiful Girl
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Lullaby Girl (Angie Pallorino, #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Say Goodbye for Now
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Bridged (Callahan & McLane, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Love Is
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Unimaginable
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Hating Game
    $11.24 $1.99
  • Unbeautifully (Undeniable, #2)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • His Darling Bride (Echoes of the Heart #2)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Traitor's Kiss (The Traitor's Circle, #1)
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Augusta (The Promised Land, #5)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Twisted Truth (Rogue Justice #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Morning Glory (Drifters & Dreamers, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Worth the Wait (St. James, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • My Best Friend's Ex (Binghamton #2)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • A Totally Awkward Love Story
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Charmingly Yours (Morning Glory, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Sit! Stay! Speak!
    $8.99 $1.99
  • In the Barren Ground
    $4.99 $1.99
  • About the Night
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Violet's Wish (Oklahoma Land Rush, #2)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Exploited (Zero Day, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • About That Fling
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Promises to Keep (Love in Provence Book 2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Taken Home (Lone Star Burn, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hard to Handle (Caine Cousins, #2)
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Austen Escape
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Garnet (The Promised Land, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Strawberry Hearts Diner
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Truth Be Told (Rogue Justice #2)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Born of Shadows (The League, #4)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • A Merciful Death (Mercy Kilpatrick #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • From Wine to Water (Angels & Outlaws, #1)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Worth the Risk (St. James #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Dove
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Ladies' Room
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Too Hot to Handle (Romancing the Clarksons, #1)
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Accidentally Hers (Sterling Canyon, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kissing Max Holden
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Known (Bone Secrets, #5)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Omega (Penton Legacy, #3)
    $4.99 $0.99
  • Taking Charge (Lone Star Burn, #4)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Vanished (Callahan & McLane #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • All the Lies We Tell (Quarry Road, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hidden (Bone Secrets, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (Sons of Sin, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Ivy Tree
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Evening Star (The Drifters & Dreamers #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Misadventures of the First Daughter (Misadventures, #3)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Daisies in the Canyon
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Claiming Felicity (Ace Security, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • All the Beautiful Brides (Graveyard Falls, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Barefoot in the Rain (Barefoot Bay, #2; Barefoot Bay Universe, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Only You (Sweet Torment, #2)
    $4.49 $0.99
  • A Merciful Truth (Mercy Kilpatrick, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Claiming Alexis (Ace Security, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Unlucky in Love (Lucky, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Merciful Secret (Mercy Kilpatrick, #3)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Difference Between Us (Opposites Attract #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Bullets & Bonfires
    $3.99 $1.49
  • White Lace and Promises
    $3.99 $0.99
  • To Commit (The Broken Roads #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Yard Rose
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Otherkin
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Driven by Fire (Fire, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Taken, Not Spurred (Lone Star Burn, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • One Summer Day in Rome
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson, #6)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Chasing Down a Dream: A Blessings Novel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Pursuit of Love
    $11.99 $1.99
  • After the War Is Over: A Novel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Kissing Mr. Right (Colorado Hearts #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Riding the Storm (ACRO, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • It Had to Be Him (It Had to Be #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Love Goddess' Cooking School
    $10.99 $2.99
  • That Way Again
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Never Let Go (Haven, Montana #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Forever Surprised (Forever Bluegrass #6)
    $2.99 $1.49