Monday, March 14, 2016
Bride of A Distant Isle
Since Downton Abbey, I've grown to truly appreciate traditional regency genre's and one of the very best authors I have found is Sandra Byrd. I've read quite a few of her novels and the attention to detail is what really makes me feel like I'm part of the novel not simply reading it. I can't imagine how difficult life was in England in the mid to late 1800's and when the parents died leaving behind no male heir, the fortune went the way to the next male descendant in the family, be it cousins or even more removed than that. Daughters were left with nothing, and that is why many families chose to find suitable matches for the women in the family before anything happened to the father.
In Bride of A Distant Isle, Miss Annabel Ashton has found herself in such a precarious situation. Her mother died while being committed to an insane asylum and since she was born without a father being married to her mother, the family estate of Highcliffe Hall falls under the hands of her cousin Edward. Annabel's mother wasn't married, was committed an insane, so all the property that would have been hers has been handed over to the next male heir in line. Since Annabel was too young when her parents died, she is left destitute and the only thing Edward can do to cover the debts owed on the estate is to sell it or find a suitable match for Annabel even if she isn't interested in marriage.
While Edward struggles to find a way to salvage the estate, he asks Annabel to be a spy to a possible business partner to a sea captain from Malta, Captain Marco Dell'Acqua. She soon learns that her and Marco have more in common than physical attraction when Annabel discovers some mysterious family artifacts and jewelry that begin to appear in her things. They seem to have a Maltese background and all of them may lead to the fact that Annabel is the proper heir to the estate, unless of course the mental illness of her mother starts to manifest itself in her at the same time her mother was committed.
I received Bride of A Distant Isle by Sandra Byrd compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review and did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review. The opinions contained here are my own honest and personal evaluation of the novel. For fans of traditional regency, you will absolutely love this novel. It has a bit of suspense added to keep the reader engaged in the story line as Annabel makes some startling discoveries of her mother and of her family background that could be detrimental to her own safety if they are brought into the open. I love the subtle clues that Annabel and Marco give to one another based on a sense of propriety for ones reputation during that time frame. I personally believe this one deserved 5 out of 5 stars in this reader's opinion since I read it in one sitting in a matter of hours and could not put it down. This is the second novel in the Daughter's of Hampshire series with Mist of Midnight being the first!
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To read more reviews on Bride of A Distant Isle, please visit Howard Book's website.