Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd

"They were gone now, every last one of them. Gone, but not completely gone. I still saw them at midnight. I surrendered too, by leaving. The ship pulled from the shore whilst I beheld the distancing plumage of saris - azure and emerald and flame - the soft brown arms, necks, and noses circled with gold, like exquisite birds of paradise. A threadbare charity dress trhe Lord Mayor of London had provided, to me and to all survivors who had nothing of their own to claim, pasted to my skin with a familiar fine grit of dust and sweat." Opening Sentences

Synopsis: In the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands.

Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her...and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca's name, but her home and incomes. 

That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father's investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”? 

A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.

What a book! Mist of Midnight is another winning novel by author Sandra Byrd! Definitely one of her best! It is the first book in the new Daughters of Hampshire series. Set in Victorian England, this gothic novel echoes the work of Jane Eyre. There is everything - an old manor, a mysterious past, suspense, romance, and a definite haunting atmosphere from cover to cover. 

A young woman, Rebecca Ravenshaw, has survived the Indian Mutiny alone. Her missionary parents were both killed. She retuns to her family home in Hampshire only to find that an imposter had previously claimed her inheritance. After the mysterious death of the imposter, a distant relative, the handsome and kind, Captain Luke Winfield, had since inheritted the estate. Of course, Rebecca's sudden appearance only sheds doubt on who is the real Rebecca Ravenshaw.    

Crafty characters, a blooming romance, an elegant old manor that has seen better days, and a courageous, forthright heroine grace the pages of this wonderful book. Everything about this novel impresses - from its cover to the rich story that unfolds!  I could not put this book down! Yup, it was that good!

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