Tag Archives: Regency Era

In the Shadow of Croft Towers

In the Shadow of Croft Towers

By Abigail Wilson

 

The Story

Croft Towers holds more than its share of secrets . . . and Sybil is determined to uncover them all.

When Sybil Delafield’s coach to Croft Towers was robbed by highwaymen, she should have realized that her new position as companion to old Mrs. Chalcroft would be no ordinary job. Upon Sybil’s arrival, Mrs. Chalcroft sneaks into her room in the dark of night, imploring her to relay messages to town that are to stay hidden from the rest of the family. Who exactly is she working for and what do the messages contain?

When fellow passengers of the robbed coach are later murdered, Sybil’s hunt for the truth takes on a new urgency. The only person she can rely on is Mr. Sinclair, Mrs. Chalcroft’s godson, but under all his charms he too leads a double life. Sybil must decide if he is the one honest voice she can trust, or if he is simply using her for his own advances.

With murderers, smugglers, and spies on the loose, nothing—and no one—in Regency England is what they claim. Can Sybil even trust what she knows about herself?

(Back cover summary from Thomas Nelson Publishers)

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I took on In the Shadow of Croft Towers as a last-minute book to review after hearing the rave recommendations from others, especially those at Hope By the Book magazine. And I’m so glad I did!

This regency romance/mystery is unlike any other I’ve read. Filled with secrets and shadows so tangled, In the Shadow of Croft Towers presents a delicious mystery. Sybil’s story is told in first person point of view, which is a little-used viewpoint in historical fiction, but one I love. Sybil’s growth as a character, from fearful into the bold, adventurous person she truly is, felt believable. Her search for her true identity, while not spelled out as in some books, was really found as she exercised her courage in various situations. So that in the end, it really didn’t matter who her parents were, because she owned who she had been all the time.

The romance in this book is so good, with enough second-guessing from various characters to keep me from being completely certain of the hero, at least at the beginning. Mr. Sinclair, a shadowy and uncertain figure, was so much fun trying to figure out. Mrs. Chalcroft, for all her blustery ways, worked her way into my heart.

This book, this author, is excellent. I read the Kindle version of this book, but I’ll be finding myself a hard copy to take up permanent residence on my shelf, to be read again in the not-so-distant future.

Whether or not you’re a fan of the Regency era, this is not a book to pass up.

About the Author

Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five Contest and ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children. Connect with Abigail at acwilsonbooks.com; Instagram: acwilsonbooks; Facebook: ACWilsonbooks; Twitter: @acwilsonbooks.

(Biography from Thomas Nelson Publishers)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

A Defense of Honor

A Defense of Honor

By Kristi Ann Hunter

The Story

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and to raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. But as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, the risk of revealing the truth may come at too high a price for those she loves.

(Back cover summary from Bethany House)

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A Defense of Honor is a refreshing breath of air to the Regency genre. It’s very different from any other novel I’ve read set in that era—and I loved it!

Kristi Ann Hunter’s Hawthorne House series hooked me first, but now I’m a forever-fan. Her characters are unforgettable. Kit is not your average lady of the period. She’s strong, to the point of weakness, and she’s driven. Graham is searching for an aim, a purpose, before he even knows it. I loved how he pursued Kit, with a desire to know her, not an easy task to achieve. The secondary characters, from Kit’s fellow workers and charges, to Graham’s friends and Priscilla, are all stellar as well. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series!

The faith element of this book is boots-on-the-ground Christianity. It is easy to say one is trusting Christ, but it is another thing entirely to live like it. I appreciated that Kristi didn’t skirt around this, but faced it head-on in an honest, and sometimes painful, way.

If you’re looking for a story that’s a bit out of the norm, yet still has a strong plot, excellent historical detail, and an engaging romance, all in the genre you love (Regency) then you MUST try A Defense of Honor. If any of the above qualities in fiction appeal to you, then this story is for you too.

About the Author

Kristi Ann Hunter is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.

(Biography from Bethany House)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.