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Secrets of the Mist

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  217 ratings  ·  39 reviews

A gorgeous timeslip romance for fans of Kate Mosse, Diana Gabaldon and Barbara Erskine.

Maddie is restless in London. She has friends, a job and a sort-of boyfriend, but something in her life is missing. Then she visits the ancient village of Walditch, deep in the Dorset countryside. Something stirs in her, and on a whim she buys a centuries-old cottage and moves there

Kindle Edition, 277 pages
Published September 19th 2019 by Aria (first published March 7th 2012)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  217 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars--somewhere between "I liked it" and "it was OK."

I would have given this book 3 stars ("I liked the book"), but I docked half a star for the annoying and unnecessary girl fighting. The main character in this book, Maddy, is jealous and catty with other women (and they with her), and all the fighting is over a man (ugh). There's even a physical altercation at one point! I find this trope really wearying and completely immature, and I'm disappointed that Kate Ryder would include these
Dorset set Secrets of the mist

Visit the locations in the novel Secrets of the Mist

There’s nothing like a mysterious remote cottage surrounded in Dorset mist to get the reader’s expectations tingling. This was a lovely novel to sink into and to time- slip into. You know sometimes when you see a place and feel you’ve been there before? Or when you go into a house and feel you know it and can sense someone else there, history in its walls perhaps? Well this novel has all that and more. I swear though, that mist really makes it
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
I love time travel and time slip novels and was looking forward to this one. Unfortunately it dragged for me. I couldn't take to any of the characters. There are two main guys in it, one is a wimp and the other is smug and self satisfied for most of the story. Maddie, the heroine, is annoying and couldn't decide what she wanted in life.
At 60% I was ready to DNF it but thought I'd give it another chapter. It picked up here with the time slip story coming more to the fore. I still didn't like the
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quite an unexpected read!! There are certain books which ask to be read at a particular time and moment of life. This was one of them. I tried reading it before when I was going through some mental anguish, and the book did not reveal its secrets to me. It didn't speak to me. Only when I decided to let go of my pain in real life, did the book unfurl and allow me to settle down in its pages. Such is the magic of certain books.

Maddie was restless, but when she visited the village of Walditch, in
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*I voluntarily reviewed this book from Netgalley.

I liked the idea of this book so when I picked it up to read I had high expectations and I'm delighted to say that SECRETS OF THE MIST by Kate Ryder went above and beyond everything I could have imagined.

When Maddie is on location with work in a picture-perfect Dorset village she is overcome with a feeling of familiarity that throws her because she has never been here before. And when she spots an old cottage that is for sale, she knows that it
Farshana S A
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
I'm so glad that a new author book is a 5* read for me. Kate Ryder's Secrets of the Mist was picked up on a whim; now why in the world I would do that instead of reading the infinite number of books added to my TBR not just in GR but across the libraries and book sites, well, I don't know. But I did and here I am with a goofy smile 'coz of the outpouring of goodness that this story evoked in me.

Madeleine O'Brien is an assistant director at Hawkstone Media filming a period drama in Dorset when
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enthralling! I was hooked from the first page. It was written in an easy to read style, the words just flowed. Whilst working in Dorset, Maddie feels a strong connection to a cottage in the village. After moving in, she experiences strange visions that has a link to the past. The characters were engaging, particularly Maddie and Nick. Although, this relationship was not straightforward. I enjoyed the connection with her family and friends. The story of the past that was eventually revealed was ...more
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
If you should ever ask me about the books I particularly enjoy, I guarantee that timeslip romance would feature prominently on my list. But it’s a genre that it’s very easy to get wrong – perhaps one thread stronger than the other, difficulties in the shift from one timeline to the other, failure to make it feel “real”. But there are no such problems here – everything is absolutely right, and I knew from the start that I was in the hands of an author with whom I could relax and escape into the ...more
Jo Barton
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On the surface, Maddie O'Brien seems to have everything she needs, a busy life in London working for a film production company and a semi-serious relationship with her boyfriend, Dan. And yet, there is something nagging away at Maddie, a desire for change, which shimmers just beyond reach.
When a film shoot in a pretty Dorset village leads her to a 17th century blacksmith cottage, Maddie is overcome with the sensation of having come home, and yet she has no logical reason for the emotion she
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful and bittersweet story that will be the delight for any romantic heart.
This is the love story of Maddie and Nick, but at the same time the story of Mary and Nat. Maybe you don’t believe in ghosts, but you have to admit that the past always leaves an imprint on the present, you only have to search for it to believe!
When Maddie connects with a beautiful house at the countryside, she doesn’t know how connected is she with their past owners and how much it will change her life
Sep 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
Had a hard time finishing this one despite the short length. The writing was stiff while the characters were dull and dim. Maddie especially seemed blind to anything happening around her.

Maddie getting involved with Nick despite him having a girlfriend, as well as Maddie happily getting intimate with Dan while his girlfriend (however nasty) slept in the next room was rather tacky overall. Poor Dan got a bad ending as well.

Overall this plot was not well thought out.

My copy was provided by
I’ve read a couple of titles from this author – but this is Kate Ryder’s debut novel, and is now released. With a mystery from the past that has encroached on and influences the present, all centered around two items found in the ‘bread oven’ in a small run-down cottage, the story gives a sense of destiny, past lives and second chances, all while providing us with a few moments of unnecessary drama, plenty of atmosphere, and an electric connection that will warm your heart. Maddie has a ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review excerpted from my blog post over at FanSciHist (

My Rating: 4 stars

Library recommendation: Recommended for public library romance and/or women’s fiction collections.

Warning: Hereafter, you chance spoilers. I will try never to reveal major plot points, but to review any book, you must reveal some parts of the story.


Number of titles I have read by this author: 1

Love story speed: Incredibly Slow burn

Relationship dynamics: The Village
Jane Hunt
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I live in a sixteenth-century converted barn, and just standing in it, thinking how long it has stood over looking the Exmoor landscape is awe inspiring. So, I can fully appreciate the inspiration behind, this lovely timeslip romance set in Dorset.

Serendipity plays an important part in this book. I was drawn to Maddie's story, as soon as I read about her unexplained, and out of character attraction to the old cottage, formerly a blacksmith's, when she visited the village as part of her work. The
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Secrets of the Mist is my kind of story. I love a supernatural time slip novel. The story follows Maddie an assistant director for a company that makes mini series. She sees a cottage while on location in Dorset and falls in love with it. The cottage seems to call to her. She buys the cottage, quits her job and moves to Dorset. She starts renovating the cottage and weird things start to happen. She see a mist in the cottage, a strange yet familiar man, and has weird dreams. Oh and her friend Dan ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book had me captivated from the start. Whilst I am not always a fan of the first-person narrative, this story was told in such an easy manner. Whilst filming in Dorset, Maddie is captivated by a cottage that she sees. So, taken with the place, she decides to leave her job and buy the place, surprising her boyfriend Dan, with whom she has a casual relationship. Soon after moving in, she begins to have unusual dreams, and sees events, linking her to a family, who lived in the cottage 400 ...more
Grace J Reviewerlady
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a bit different from my usual type of read; as a skeptic it took me a bit longer to get into it, but it's a good story!

Maddie is a bit of a high-flyer; working for a production company she finds herself on location in Dorset when she spots a cottage for sale, and just knows it's meant for her! Three months later she moves in, and it definitely feels like home, but then there are some strange goings on which puzzle her. When it happens again, Maddie knows she needs to find out more about
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I usually enjoy timeslip stories so having liked the sound of the blurb, was really looking forward to diving into this one.

This is the story of Maddie, an Irish girl who inexplicably finds herself drawn to a little cottage in a village in Dorset in England, so she buys it. However, right away, strange things start to happen which although not particularly scary, are quite unsettling, so Maddie sets out to try and work out what, if anything, is her connection to the cottage.

Unfortunately, I
I usually enjoy timeslip stories so having liked the sound of the blurb, was really looking forward to diving into this one.

This is the story of Maddie, an Irish girl who inexplicably finds herself drawn to a little cottage in a village in Dorset in England, so she buys it. However, right away, strange things start to happen which although not particularly scary, are quite unsettling, so Maddie sets out to try and work out what, if anything, is her connection to the cottage.

Unfortunately, I
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love time-slip novels and this one was fabulous. I couldn't put it down and stayed up late into the night to finish it as I couldn't wait to find out what happened.

The story pulled me in from the start and I found it intriguing throughout. Beautifully written, with superb characterisation and fantastic descriptions of the setting of the book and surrounding countryside. The past and present stories blended beautifully.

I can't recommend this book highly enough - thoroughly captivating.

Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Maddie finds herself in a small Dorset village and is drawn to an old cottage which she buys. After moving in she hears and sees unexplainable things and is then on a mission to discover the history of her cottage and village. A lovely time slip novel with an enticing cover. I loved the story from start to finish, the wonderful descriptions of Dorset make the book worth reading on its own. Just one niggle - too many mentions of feeding the cat! This is the first book I’ve read by this author and ...more
Comfy Couch Book Reviews
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, time-travel
I think that I can easily add Kate Ryder to my list of amazing time slip romance writers. Wow this book just grabbed me on page one and never let go.

While working in a village in Dorset, Maddie O'Brien is drawn to an historic house called the Olde Smithy. When she sees that the house is for sale Maddie just has to buy it. To the surprise of all her friends and her on-off boyfriend Dan she uproots her London job and life and moves into the house. Immediately after moving in, Maddie, Dan and
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
I really enjoyed this one. I was immediately drawn to the beautiful cover and the promise of time travel. I do love historical settings and enjoyed the details of British village life. Good sense of slow burn romance and intrigue. I'll be sure to check out other titles by the author as well as the publisher after reading this one.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria Books for providing this review copy.
Julie Allwood
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Secrets of the mist was a brilliant fabulous fantastic book to read .

Secrets of the mist was a brilliant fabulous fantastic book to read I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading books.
Enjoyed it very much l loved reading the story and the dogs names in the book and the romance in the story to.
Helen Jackson
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A good old-fashioned love story. Descriptive images, clever historical referencing, clear characterisation and a sound plot allows for strong visualisation; it would adapt well into film. In terms of use of language, I particularly enjoyed the shifts in tone of the author's voice when working across different periods of time. Well done, a good debut novel.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. This romance tells the story of true love transcending time and generations. Easy to follow time slip format set in a beautiful part of the country. The telling of the story in the past adds some intrigue to the tale with how it unfolds and ends. I read this in record time as I wanted to see how it ended. I wasn’t disappointed.

Thank you Netgalley
Cristie Underwood
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
This was an enjoyable read that I couldn't put down. The author's words flowed beautifully and the characters were well developed and realistic. I will be seeking out more of this author's books in the future!
Susan Elkington
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ghostly cottage

I could put this book down no tv for two day had to fix out what happened and it sad worth it the minute I saw you had written another book I brought it straight away
Well done another brilliant book
Nicole Pinto
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought this was really good and intriguing. I really enjoyed it although I did feel there was loose ends with the Lucy and dan situation and some editing that could have been done. But I overall give it 4 stars. Thank you to netgalley for the arc!
Kathy Wainwright
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hardly ever give a book five stars but I adored this time slip novel
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