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In the Shadow of Croft Towers

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4.40  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  90 reviews
From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.

Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actual
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Thomas Nelson (first published January 2019)
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Rachel McMillan
Read for Endorsement:

A sensory delight. With a keen eye for historical detail, Abigail Wilson spins a beautiful tale of intrigue, espionage and romance set amidst a world that will put readers yearning for Thornfield Hall or Northanger Abbey completely at home. Blending the unputdownable Regency flair of Georgette Heyer with the intricate plotting of Julie Klassen, Wilson not only places herself competently amidst beloved authors but carves out a unique place of her own.
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
“Everyone at the Towers had a secret. Every. Single. Person.”

My first read of 2019 has gotten the year off to a very good start indeed! What a fabulous debut novel! Intrigue, secrets, romance, deception, murder, did I mention romance? My readerly heart sighed blissfully all the way through this delicious story.

Sybil is a compelling heroine, an orphan swept into a household filled with secrets, a lady’s companion caught in the awkward middle ground between family and servant. Her charge – Mrs. Ch
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Dawn
Read for endorsement. 😍

What a deliciously satisfying debut from Abigail Wilson! In the Shadow of Croft Towers is everything I love in a novel: a classic gothic feel from very well written first person storytelling, a regency setting, a mysterious hero... and secrets abounding! In the Shadow of Croft Towers is now counted as one of my very favorite books, and I can’t wait for more from this new author!
Megan
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“In the Shadow of Croft Towers,” from debut author Abigail Wilson, has easily become one of my favorite books of 2018! I love a good Gothic romance and this book is certainly just that. Ms. Wilson is very good at setting the Gothic tone.

The story starts off with danger and a highway robbery during a storm. I was hooked! Our hesitant heroine, Sybil, arrives at house shrouded in mystery and secrets. There are all the elements for a perfect Gothic read in this story: mysterious rooms, hidden motiv
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Cara Putman
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sybil Delafield's arrival at Croft Towers is marred by highwaymen stopping the mail carriage she's riding. Then when one of the highwaymen shows up at the estate she's working at, she's not sure who to trust. Thus begins a novel that gently tugged me through its pages with a story and characters that engaged me. Sybil just wants to know who she is and why she's sent on mysterious errands. Add the hints of romance with not one but two men, and it is an intriguing story. This was an enjoyable Rege ...more
Karen R
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“The more difficult the journey, the sweeter the reward.”
A complex plot, mystery and a bit of romance spice up this Regency era tale set at an old manor in rural England. It is told through the first person viewpoint of the heroine, Sybil, a young woman sent from school to be a companion to an elderly woman. A colorful cast of characters surrounds her and everyone seems to be hiding something. It kept me guessing along with Sybil who could be trusted, and where the twisted path of seeking the t
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Miranda Atchley
Austen and Brontë meet in this sparkling debut, culminating in a thrilling Gothic mystery that Regency fans won’t want to miss.

With an atmosphere as mysterious as its plot, In the Shadow of Croft Towers transports readers to Regency England with a story of mistaken identity, espionage, and murder. The mystery slowly unfolds, taking many twists and turns over the course of the book. Just when you think you’ve figured everything out, another truth is revealed, another layer to the mystery is uncov
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Staci
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Delightful debut! I was quickly drawn into the mystery surrounding Sybil's parentage and the activities at Croft Towers. Beginning the novel with a stage coach robbery was attention grabbing.

This novel contains a cast full of complex characters, plenty of intrigue and a dash of romance. I thoroughly enjoyed In the Shadow of Croft Towers. Bravo to Abigail for a stunning debut!

My gratitude to Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions
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Clara
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Right and wrong are not always easy to define in the world we live in, my dear.”

Sybil Delafield only wants answers to her past. As remarkable as it sounds, she knows they are somehow tied to Lord Stanton and the Croft Towers, therefore she gladly accepts the position as companion to the Lady Croft.

As naive as Sybil May seem, she astute enough to know there’s much going on in the towers then meets the eyes, and her list of questions only grow upon arrival. The answers, however, seem with each pa
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Melissa Tagg
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book! The voice, especially, hooked me right from the beginning. I don't always love first-person POV. Sometimes it can feel like you're being told the story—narrated to—rather than feeling like you're actually experiencing everything right along with the characters. But that wasn't the case with this novel. The voice reminded me somewhat of Julianne Donaldson...I was sucked right in! I loved the action in the beginning, the sense of mystery and intrigue...and of course, the roman ...more
Dana Michael
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It had all the essentials I want to read in a story. It had mystery, intrigue and romance to keep me up late in the night turning the pages. I was biting my nails several times and not able to breathe in certain scenes. The ending was amazing. By the way, the hero, Sinclair is my new book boyfriend.
This author is new to me and I will certainly be following her for more books in the future.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Op
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Chautona Havig
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Shadow Knows the Best Thing about This Book
There are a lot of excellent things about In the Shadow of Croft Towers, but I’ll get to them in a minute. I want to throw out the things that bothered me and get them out of the way before I get to the good stuff—the really good stuff.

First, there were a few words that jumped out as out of place. I don’t know if it was a thing back then, but I suspect it was. Americans wear pants. The English wear trousers or breeches. While this was an ARC, I can’
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Susan
What a wonderful debut! I need to clear some room on my bookshelves for a new author. It did not take long to draw me into the story filled with enough intrigue and romance to please this reader's heart. With an unexpected twist at the end, this story filled with highwaymen, spies, and family secrets will appeal to fans of Gothic romance. Wilson's original voice, attention to historical detail and vivid setting draw her reader's into a story that deserves to be placed on a keeper shelf. I look f ...more
Melissa
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This was a Gothic regency that was a bit much for me. I enjoyed most of it. The mystery I thought I had figured out and then got thrown completely off track and then figured some of it out. Lots of the end was a surprise to me tho and I liked that a lot. It was a fun story line and the characters were interesting. The part that could have been more developed was the romance. It was just there all the sudden. The mystery and the stupidity of the leading lady got a little old. It drug a little for ...more
Tarissa
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A positively delightful tale! I was hooked from the first page. Each chapter held me in suspense and never let me go. To be honest, I am loathe to leave the shadow of Croft Towers even now, after being transported back to my house in modern day, where I now sit in despair. I wish to go back immediately. The Towers are calling me.

"I hated secrets with a passion, for they were usually kept from me. However, within two days of my arrival to the Towers, I had become the unlikely bearer of three."

Th
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MJSH
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic debut novel! Abigail Wilson is a gifted writer who is able to transport the reader back into Regency England, full of pomp and circumstance but also filled with mystery, intrigue, and dark shadows in the midst of an intelligence war against France. Though the writing is in the first person narrative from Sybil, the story flows smoothly and the writing is easy to understand. The plot is detailed and well-crafted and has delicious twists and turns as everyone has a secret and an u ...more
Caitlyn Santi
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love regency stories and I also love suspense and mysteries, so when I first heard about this book I knew I HAD to read it!
This is a great book! I instantly liked the main character, Sybil and was cheering her on throughout the book. I did predict several of the plot twists, but that did not at all lessen my enjoyment of the story, and there were a couple surprises that I did not expect, it's always super fun when that happens! The suspense and romance in this book were both so great and in m
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Kelly Bridgewater
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Abigail Wilson is a debut author with her Regency novel In the Shadow of Croft Towers. I have read a number of Regency novels, so I had a pretty good idea of what the genre consists of. First, there is going to be romance and a world I haven't lived in. Majority of Regency novels are in honor of Jane Austen's novels, but I can't stand Jane Austen, so I believe the authors today write more captivating stories than Austen ever have. Wilson does a better job than Austen.

Her writing is clear and co
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English
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the Shadow of Croft Towers in an excellent debut novel. There's a bit of an expectation these days for Regency novels not just to be 'bonnet dramas' so to speak, but to contain other elements such as intrigue, an espionage subplot or a mystery.

Wilson delivers a sterling Regency Romance with all of the above, as well as a tight plot and memorable characters.
Stories narrated in the First Person as this one is, don't always work well. Yet the heroine is able to guide the reader complex and dan
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Amy
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sybil Delafield is an orphan, an orphan who has had a mysterious benefactor and who now is on her way to be a lady’s companion to a Mrs. Chalcroft at Croft Towers. Told solely from Sybil’s view point we step into a mysterious home, an eccentric family, and plenty of secrets. What Sybil thought her role would be in this household is far different than what she prepared for.

There are family secrets and “ghosts” that still “haunt” the Towers. On top of all that there are soldiers in town intent on
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Trisha Robertson (Joy of Reading)
Filled with suspense and page-turning mystery this story is sure to keep you guessing. With plenty of surprises and secrets to uncover you are sure to enjoy time spent reading this debut novel from Abigail Wilson.

Sybil Delafield is a little too trusting, and often blindly goes along with others when I wished she'd push for answers and ask more questions. Of course, this kept me guessing, which after all is the point!

About the time I'd decide who could be trusted, something would happen and my to
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Rachael
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy a good Gothic tale, and this one definitely hit the spot. I was hooked from the very beginning. There's an ominous feel to the story; secrets, storms, and spies abound (among other things that could well spoil the story for you). And as with any book of said genre, first impressions are not to be trusted.

I'm not sure what it is about highwaymen that is so romantic (since I'm sure the reality of them was anything but), but it is hard to resist the dashing Mr. Sinclair. Sybil herself is a
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Amy
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the Shadow of Croft Towers is a good debut for Abigail Wilson. This Regency era historical involves mystery, suspense, spice, secrets, and adventure. Sybil Delafield has endured some hardships in her life, including being an orphan. When she is offered a position at Croft Towers, she jumped at the chance. She was to be a caretaker for a terminal resident. However, other events occur, making her rethink why she was hired in the first place. How will these events impact Sybil’s life?

I enjoyed I
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Michelle
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an outstanding debut! I was fully engrossed by this story I couldn't put it down. I loved the characters and Sinclair is now a favorite hero of mine. The best part of the story was all of the mystery surrounding every single person in the book. I love a good mystery that you can't solve within the first few chapters. While there was a constant intrigue there was also some rather humorous parts that had me giggling. The romance was very well done and not over the top all while being swoon ...more
Patti Whitson Stephenson
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is an outstanding debut novel for author Abigail Wilson. I’d classify this book as Christian historical fiction with a regency gothic twist. This is a clean story with no foul language.

We follow this story through Sybil’s viewpoint. The tension begins building in the book from the very first scene and it grows all throughout the story until the end of the last chapter. Sybil is in a quest to discover her parentage. She’s a strong, intelligent, brave, resourceful, and compassionate hero
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Bree
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this was an impressive story and one that many readers can fall in love with. I couldn’t stop reading this book once I started and I have eagerly expressed my joy with my coworkers in this book. It is one that will have your keen interest to the very last page. I look forward to the next book by this author.
Riley
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The blurb In the Shadow of Croft Towers hints at a possible mystery and a possible romance. You get both. Which makes the historical/romance/mystery reader in me very happy. But really, there was so much more! Which makes this reader that likes to be surprised even happier!

What do I mean by ‘so much more’? Mainly, nothing is what it appears to be. And nobody is what he or she appears to be. Pretty much without exception. Even heroine Sybil hasn’t told the complete truth. This soap opera atmosphe
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Suzie Waltner
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
There’s a new voice in Regency fiction you don’t want to miss. With her debut, Abigail Wilson brings readers a story of treason, intrigue, secrets, and more.

Sybil Delacourt wants nothing more than to discover who her parents were. When an offer of employment brings her to the country estate of Croft Towers, she finds secrets abound.
From the first chapter, Wilson engaged me and kept me reading with her curious cast of characters and gorgeous setting that sometimes leans towards Gothic.

While Sybi
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Becca (Reflections From My Bookshelves)
I loved this book. This story captured my attention from the very beginning.  I couldn't put it down and when I did, I found myself thinking about it.  Abigal Wilson blends mystery, romance, and adventure in her story and out comes this unique and fascinating tale. The characters especially Sybil and Mr. Sinclair and their relationship made me wish they were real. Each person in this story played their part well. I wasn't sure who to trust and believe as differing things kept coming up.  Abigal ...more
Nicole
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the Shadow of Croft Towers is an intense book from page 1 until the end. And, it’s so intricately layered. So much so that I would uncover what I thought was an answer or two only to realize that I still had no idea what was going on (in a good way). This story definitely kept me guessing right up until the very end, which made reading this book a serious page-turner. I kept turning even after I should have been in bed for the night because I just had to find out what happened next!

One of my
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Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and in 2016, ACFW’s First Im ...more