Christian historical fiction readers have come to expect Sandra Byrd to provide incredible detail along with a cast of characters who could be people in their own lives. Bride of a Distant Isle (Howard Books) is the latest title in the Daughters of Hampshire series and like every other book Byrd writes, this one will keep readers turning pages right up to the end. It definitely provides the reader with sweetness and light.
Annabel Ashton has been called back to Highcliffe Hall, her family’s ancestral home, by her cousin Edward Everedge. Due to Annabel’s illegitimate birth, Edward is the heir and has decided to sell what Annabel believes is her birthright. There is one chance to save the family from financial ruin though; as long as she cooperates with Edward’s plans to use her as a pawn in his business dealings.
Despite Annabel’s mother dying in an insane asylum and claims that her father was a Maltese man who was never married to her mother, she is convinced there is more to the story than she was told growing up. She doesn’t have long to prove she is the rightful heir to Highcliffe Hall before Edward uses her to make a business arrangement with the Maltese Captain Dell’Aqua and marries her off to the strange Nigel Morgan. Complicating things even further are the suspicions that Annabel has inherited her mother’s insanity. Suspicions by Edward and his wife, and even Annabel herself.
With a touch of the Victorian Gothic and old-fashioned storytelling, “Bride of a Distant Isle” is pure joy to read. Byrd is a master at imbuing her novels with just the right amount of mystery and spiritual truth. Whether she is writing about Henry VIII court in her Ladies in Waiting series or writing her Secret Sisters series for tweens and young adults, readers can rest assured they will be thoroughly entertained.
For now, readers will have to be satisfied with “Mist of Midnight” and “Bride of a Distant Isle.” The third title in the Ladies in Waiting series isn’t set to be released until 2017.
I received a free copy of this book for review.