BRIDE OF A DISTANT ISLE
Miss Annabel Ashton is a teacher at the Rogers Day School for Young Ladies in Winchester when she makes a brief visit to her family home, Highcliffe Hall, at Milford on Sea. She believes her stay will be short but soon learns that she will not be returning to the safety of the school. Instead, she remains at Highcliffe, at the mercy of her cousin, Edward Everedge.
Annabel protests, but as the illegitimate daughter of a woman who died in an insane asylum she has little say. Edward is running out of money and puts the house up for sale to avoid financial ruin. He insists that Annabel marry, promising her to a sinister, frightening man. But as the house is readied for sale, disquieting secrets are revealed. Jewelry, artifacts, and portraits mysteriously appear, suggesting that Annabel may be the true heir of Highcliffe.
She has only a few months to prove her legitimacy, perhaps with assistance from the handsome but troubled Maltese Captain Dell'Acqua. But does he have Annabel's best interests at heart?
Will Annabel regain her life and property -- and trust her heart -- before it's too late?
I'm basking in the warm glow of Gothic Romance Reader Bliss right now. I've mentioned before how much I adore this genre, right? Ever since junior high when I discovered Victoria Holt. And good Gothics are few and far between in the Christian market. So you can just imagine the sweet ecstasy I've been in since I first opened this book.
Each page is steeped in mystery. Deliciously thrilling plot twists, sinister foreshadowing, and a bevy of intriguing characters who run the gamut from bad to good. And it's up to Annabel to figure out where their loyalties lie.
I adore Annabel. She refuses to allow herself to be defined by her circumstances. As a woman, she has little say in her future but that doesn't stop her from digging in her heels and engaging in her own game of subterfuge. Her faith is the beacon of hope that sees her through the most trying of times. I loved her dedication, her desire to seek divine counsel and her strength to stand for what she believes to be true. Very inspiring.
And now it's time for me to wax poetic over the Maltese captain. A swoonworthy hero with his own agenda. Even though Annabel can't be certain whether he is friend or foe, she can't resist his charm...and either could I. Oh goodness, but you'll need a fan for this read. Or maybe just stick your feet in the freezer periodically. This captain exudes toe-curling masculinity at every turn of the page. Be. Still. My. Heart.
Sinister tension builds as the story progresses. Who is for Annabel? Who is against her? And who will emerge triumphant at the end? With all that page-turning intrigue, Byrd held me captive right up to the very last page. .
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of A Bride of a Distant Isle please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday May 22 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!