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House of Shadows

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  2,622 ratings  ·  390 reviews
The wooded hills of Oxfordshire conceal the remains of the aptly named Ashdown House--a wasted pile of cinders and regret. Once home to the daughter of a king, its secrets will unite three women across four centuries in a tangle of romance, deceit and destiny...

1662--A queen

Bound by sex and birth to live for everyone but herself--and to love always in secret--Eli
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by Graydon House (first published December 5th 2015)
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Phyllis Fredericksen Definitely not a “ romance novel”, although I think that’s what the author is known for writing. It’s basically historical fiction with some romance w…moreDefinitely not a “ romance novel”, although I think that’s what the author is known for writing. It’s basically historical fiction with some romance weaving through. (less)
Adrienne B I would say maybe 2/3 present day and 1/3 the past. I personally found the present day narrative the best part. Hope that helps.
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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3 stars to Nicola Cornick's House of Shadows, an ARC I received through NetGalley last week in exchange for an honest review. I realized it takes time to build up a good rating before publishers choose you to read new releases by famous authors, and so I set about choosing books by new authors or unknown authors that I might enjoy. Little did I realize, Cornick has several published series I could have gotten familiar with. While this book's plot and setting initially attracted me, I feel it cou ...more
Thanks for Netgalley and respective publishers.

O o o o o o o o o o
MY GOODNESS.................................................
Magnificent , Wonderful, Incredible and Mysterious Historical Fiction.
Highly highly recommended not only for Historical fiction lovers, but Romance lover and mystery lovers too.
* It would be became a great movie, A perfect Drama movie.......
If screenplay would be great, it would turned a psychological mystery..

It had pe
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up to 4!

HOUSE OF SHADOWS by NICOLA CORNICK is a romantic, fascinating, suspenseful and a compelling historical fiction novel that was an enjoyable and entertaining read.

NICOLA CORNICK delivers an atmospheric and vividly descriptive novel here with interesting and complex characters told in three different time periods from three different women. I found all time periods equally intriguing and enjoyed the journey as I was transported into this fascinating tale of romance, disco
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tells the story of three women, and three relationships, linked by a crystal mirror and the Sistrin pearl, which were used by the Order of the Rosy Cross – an order which believed in the rebirth of the spirit. There is Elizabeth Stuart, wife of Frederick of Bohemia, sister of King Charles of England and known as ‘the Winter Queen,’ as her husband’s reign lasted only one winter before she found herself exiled. Then we have present day Holly Ansell, who idolises her brother Ben and is de ...more
“A house with old furniture has no need of ghosts to be haunted.”

----Hope Mirrlees

Nicola Cornick, an English international best-selling writer, pens her new deeply touching yet intriguing historical fiction, House of Shadows, that unfolds two stories layered over one another centered around an old house with three women from three different timeline connected by an antique mirror, an old diary and with their same-pattern of love stories. This is the perfect kind of tale which demands a reader
Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️
Have you been to a museum and wondered about the all the beautiful artifacts, about the stories that each item would say, if at all they had a voice? I have visited the Mysuru Palace ( in India umpteen number of times and each time the display has managed to bewitch me. The magnificent aura that those old palaces exude is frankly, beyond words.

House Of Shadows by Nicola Cornick is a book written with love for all fans of historical fiction. The story is so beauti
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2017
Reviewed on: 5171 Miles Book Blog.

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but the beautiful cover of House of Shadows immediately caught my attention, making me want this book in my hands. The image alone could sell the book without the interesting blurb or story inside! Upon flipping this book over, readers will learn it is set throughout the hills of Oxfordshire and partially in London, England. I don’t know about you, but I was sold! Since airfare is quite pricey to hop across the pond, I
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
The historical part was good. The story was okay. I was almost going to give it three stars, but then by the very end... suddenly it was not okay anymore.

The novel suffers the "main character is a helpless fawning ditz" syndrome that many a historical novel has, and that on its own would be okay. I can quietly roll my eyes every time "the room temperature goes up" when the love interest enters. Who is apparently good at everything, by the way, and is also instalove. But one thing I can't tolerat
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley, kindle, 2015, n
A beautiful story set in 3 timescales, starting in the 1600’s, then 1800’s and up to the present day. It really is beautifully written and truly atmpospheric.
In the present day Holly is looking for her brother who has disappeared, whilst researching their family tree. She travels to the Old Mill house and finds a diary from the 1800’s written by Lavinia. She looks for clues in the history that might help explain. She’s also drawn to a beautifully decorated mirror- just what connection does that
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
4+ Stars!

Romantic, fascinating, and exceptionally absorbing!

In Cornick's latest novel, House of Shadows, she immerses us in an incredibly intriguing historical time-slip tale of love, life, duty, honour, friendship, family, passion, desire, and mystery.

The writing is fluid and vividly descriptive. The characters, in all time periods, are complex, independent, and strong. And the blended plot is a captivating, sometimes dangerous journey, from the Winter Queen's exiled court in The Hague to the b
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
I want to thank the publishers and the author for giving me the opportunity to read this in advance.

This was a nice story, intermixing the past and the present in a way that didn't aggravate me (!!), where I cared for both sides of the story equally. That's not an easy thing for me to do, I usually choose sides and get bored with the side that doesn't peak my interest as greatly.

I enjoyed the historical aspects of this novel, the English peerage and royalty that spanned nations and empires, marr
Intriguing! History, family secrets/mysteries, royal entanglements, historic buildings, love affairs... this book has a little of everything I love to read about!

There are 2 main storylines with a third told through a diary. Holly is our modern gal who is glass engraver. Her brother Ben whom she is very close to has suddenly gone missing and her world is turned upside down. Elizabeth (Stuart) of Bohemia, also known as the "Winter Queen," is the historic voice. I knew little to nothing about her
Elizabeth Bailey
This is a departure for Nicola Cornick, who is best known for her big sprawling historical romances. The story crosses three timelines, interweaving three separate stories, three different heroines. A fascinating mystery and a touch of the supernatural underlies the artefacts that tumble down through history, spreading mayhem and disaster wherever they land. Which of these heroines' passionate love affairs wins through to happiness I will not reveal, but they are all heart-rending in their own w ...more
This book tells a story in three parallel timelines. All three connected by a house in Oxfordshire, Ashdown, and by 2 magical antiques, a mirror and a pearl.

The first timeline tells the story of a 19th century courtesan, Lavinia. Lavinia wants to find a way to live a life free from being a courtesan.

The second timeline tells the story of Elizabeth Stuart, the "Winter Queen" in the 17th Century. When her husband's land is taken from them and they must take refuge in the Hague, he takes the instr
Doris Holtzner
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent read! It's very tastefully written! This novel is about a present-day love story with a twist of the 16th-century love, with betail, lust, and an excellent capture of history. This author has a way of capturing your attention and getting lost in the story. I find myself missing the characters in the story. ...more
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys ‘time slip’ novels.
Nicola Cornick’s House of Shadows is referred to as a ‘time slip’ novel. As this novel is my first by this author. I was not sure what to expect. The eras in this book are modern day England and the 1600s saga of The Winter Queen of Bohemia who was the first daughter of James I of England, heir to Elizabeth I. Elizabeth Stuart married Frederick of Bohemia at 16 years old. It became a love match which did not happen often with arranged marriages. The modern day part of the book takes place at 17t ...more
House of Shadows tells the story of two beautiful and dangerous paranormal objects across three different time periods.

In the 17th century, Cornick fictionalises the story of a real historical character, Elizabeth of Bohemia. Elizabeth Stuart was an English princess who married Frederick V, Elector Palatine. Frederick lost his kingdom, and Cornick's story starts as Elizabeth and Frederick are in exile in The Hague. Cornick's addition is that Elizabeth inherited two powerful objects from Mary Que
Maria Grazia
It is fast paced, intriguing, well written and thoroughly researched and it includes all the elements to make it my “cup of coffee” (yes, I like coffee more than tea): fascinating historical eras, beautiful English landscapes, gripping plot and, last but not least, passionate romance.
Three parallels narrative threads unroll in three different time settings keeping the reader hooked and, little by little, interweaving to form the tapestry that is the solution of the initial mystery: the sudden, i
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was really disappointing - it had been promoted as great for fans of Kate Morton, but whilst 'borrowing' some of the devices (e.g. linking past to present) this book could not be further from the quality of writing from Kate Morton. The plot of House of Shadows could have been really interesting but it was badly written and really lacked depth. Certainly the sections which dealt with Elizabeth of Bohemia, known as the Winter Queen, and her squire William, Earl of Craven were the 'most' (in ...more
Clare O'Beara
I enjoyed the modern story, and the presentation of one of the less well covered figures in European royalty; the Winter Queen Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I, sister of Charles I, so-titled because she only sat on the throne with her husband Frederick of Bohemia for one winter before he was forced into exile. This move away from better-covered royal figures will have you Googling the lady and paintings of her appearance and clothing, looking for the mirror and pearl she carries in the sto ...more
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story begins in the 1600's and centers around a very famous Elizabeth . She is gifted a mirror and pearl that would be the downfall of generations of her bloodline and almost all who had anything to do with them. In present day a woman called Holly gets a phone call from her niece saying that Holly's brother Ben has vanished and she is in need of help. From here we almost work backwards in learning all about Elizabeth's life as well as Holly's family history .
If you are a fan of Kate Morton
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway
Fun, interesting book.... Switches from Elizabeth, a Queen in 1631 to Lavinia Flyte, a Courtesan in 1801, to Holly present day London to Ashdown Park, manages to deftly handle the time changes, keeps things interesting & a very well written novel. The mystery that ties them together is a pear-shaped mirror set with diamonds & a pear-shaped Pearl hung on a heavy gold chain! The legend goes that when the two are together they can predict the future. Strong women are the story & some are fey strong ...more
Charlotte Miller
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-2-read
Evocative, enthralling and historically rich, Nicola Cornick’s House of Shadows captures the attention from page one and never lets go. The stories of three women across three different time periods interweave to tell an intriguing tale of romance, hope and destiny. Those who love romance mixed with mystery and a touch of the supernatural will not want to miss this latest offering from USA Today bestselling author Cornick.

(Advance Reading Copy obtained by request from NetGalley.)
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3 stars--I liked the book. This is a pretty standard time-slip/past lives romance novel, standing above most in the genre due to the author's historical knowledge. This is the second Nicola Cornick novel I've read, and they both have demonstrated a solid grasp of history and ability to make it come alive on the page.

In this case, I found the modern day storyline and characters to be dull--in contrast with the historical narratives, both of which were fascinating.
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can not say enough about how much I enjoyed this book. Great book for mystery and historical fiction fans. I enjoyed the three time periods and could not put this book down as I wanted to know what was going to happen in each.
I would recommend this book to friends and looking forward to the next book by this author.
Carol (Reading Ladies)
3.5 stars

Recommended for fans of histfic, romance, and mystery. Also, readers that enjoy paranormal and reincarnation themes will enjoy this story more than me. Although well written and engaging, I couldn’t connect with these themes in a meaningful way. Even though the story is told from three different time periods, it’s easy to follow. The writing flows in a way that allows you to read the story quickly despite what the length would indicate. I think it could have been edited to trim 50 pages
Bridget Vollmer
The ending seemed a bit rushed and did not match flow of the story. I love slow burn mysteries with altering timelines, but this one fell a bit flat to me. I wish the author had spent more time on the ending. Still a decent read.
Jeanne Bufkin
** Received from NetGalley for an honest review **

This was a fantastic story that swept me through time and place! Even with the dual POV, there was never a question of who was narrating and who's story was being told.

This is a story about finally finding your own happiness and of closing the patterns of life. I related well to both Holly and Elizabeth, and I would recommend this wholeheartedly to anyone looking to take a glimpse into history, while knowing some things are never as far away as
Booktrail your adventure to the house of Shadows here

This book is the perfect read to get engrossed in and to keep you there. With three time periods, three heroines and their love stories, and two objects defining their fate an their journey in life, I was hooked. I’ve always been chilled by history and wondered whose hands have touched the objects I see in museums, the people they’ve affected and how they came to be in our possession now. This book gives you some of those answers and as I pass
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International bestselling author Nicola Cornick writes dual-time historical mysteries that draw on her love for genealogy and local history. She studied History at London and Oxford and worked in academia for a number of years before becoming a full time author. Nicola acts as a guide and researcher at the stunning 17th century hunting lodge, Ashdown House and is a member of the Board of Trustees ...more

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