Monday, February 16, 2015

Sandra Byrd's "Mist of Midnight"--a Gothic Victorian treat

I've become a slightly more impatient reader in recent years.  If a book doesn't grab me fairly soon after I open it, I have trouble making myself keep reading.

Mist of Midnight, by Sandra Byrd, offered no such problem. As soon as the reader meets Rebecca Ravenshaw, then finds out her extraordinary quandary, you're in.

This from

"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."
Rebecca is a likable heroine, and I kept turning pages to find out how she would deal with her plight and her growing attraction to Captain Luke Whitfield, who has taken over her family's estate. In true Gothic novel fashion, we have to question whether the handsome captain is friend or foe. (We're hoping it's friend, because we're a little in love with him ourselves.)

In fact, the entire story has that Gothic atmosphere that I used to enjoy in writers like Victoria Holt.

About Sandra Byrd

Sandra Byrd

Sandra Byrd first drew me in with her contemporary French Twist  series about a young woman who becomes a pastry chef in France,  Then I loved her Tudor series, Ladies in Waiting.  I'm not surprised that her Victorian series, Daughters of Hampshire, should be any different.

I've read dozens, if not hundreds, of Christian fiction books.  Sandra Byrd has that something extra that makes a writer stand out in the genre.  Faith is naturally infused into her books in, as she once told me in an interview, an "organic" way.

Most of all, her books have the quality I ask for of any writer:  Make me care about the story and characters.  Give me the sheer enjoyment of reading that makes me keep turning the pages.  Sandra Byrd does that, in spades.

Disclosure: I was provided an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.  This is my honest review.


Barbara London said...

I LOVE reading - and I LOVE reading Victorian novels...this sounds like one I would LOVE to read...I am putting it on my list; in fact, I have an order almost ready to send through Amazon; maybe I'll go ahead and order it! (I usually buy second hand books from a place that also takes books in for trade!).

Thanks for the review!

Karrilee Aggett said...

Oh I think all of these books sound so wonderful! I haven't read any fiction for WAY too long... I am going to have to keep an eye out for her books! Thanks so much!

Susan Shipe said...

I just finished the French Twist Series and found the three books delightful. I'll check into the Victorian novels. Thanks!

The Momma said...

I absolutely LOVE a good book and am always looking for a good read. I used to read a fair amount of Christian fiction but got away from it because so often it was just not anything that was inviting or something that made me want to keep turning pages. I think a lot of this stems from the fact that the faith of the characters wasn't very organic. It was either just thrown in there occasionally or you were kind of beat over the head with it. Not to mention that much of the writing in these books was just poor quality writing too. I'm glad you posted a review of this. This author sounds like someone I might enjoy reading. I'll add her to my list! :)

Natalie Busch said...

Sounds great. I love that it's faith based. I don't only read christian fiction, but it is nice when you know the spiritual direction of the book and you don't have to wonder if things are going to get weird!

Cindy Swanson said...

Natalie, agreed! I read all kinds of fiction, but I also don't like it when things "get weird."

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