Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd

March 21, 2017 Christian, giveaway, historical, mystery/suspense, romance, Sandra Byrd 36

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about the book

In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Drury Lane Theatre Royal. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

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SERIES: Daughters of Hampshire #3
GENRE: Inspirational Gothic Romance
PUBLISHER: Howard Books
RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2017
PAGES: 384

Other Books In This Series

 

“Women work a good many miracles.”

This weekend, I finally sat down and read the first two books in this series so I wouldn’t inadvertently spoil anything for myself when I started reading A Lady In Disguise. In doing so, I discovered two important things. First, each book really is a standalone, connected by location (Hampshire) and a twist in each book that I cannot reveal on pang of certain death. Second, I have now become a fan of gothic romance, particularly when Sandra Byrd is at the helm!

The brooding heroes who we want so desperately to believe are good, even while the evidence piles up to the contrary. The heroines in dire straits, yet still strong and independent. The shadowy mysteries that swirl around them. The rather spooky atmosphere that drapes across the page. The spotlight on both the fortunate and the less fortunate. I love it!!!

A bonus to Sandra Byrd’s books is the emphasis on faith, clear but not preachy, and the historical tidbits that make me want to do more research after finishing the novel. (Especially interesting to me were the valid-at-the-time reasons for being committed to an insane asylum, which you can discover in book 2, Bride of a Distant Isle.)

In A Lady in Disguise, there’s an added delight for me – the Cinderella theme to the story, both in the theatre as well as parallels to Gillian’s own life. I was quickly caught up in the costume designs with Gillian and more than slightly jealous of the gown she creates and wears to the Twin Ball. (Would anyone find it strange if I had someone make me one of those and just – you know – wore it to Walmart or something? Hmmm…) A scene near the end had me literally holding my breath at the exquisite swooniness of it all. Such a nice touch of sweetness and romance to offset the gothic gloom 😉

Bottom Line: A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd is a must-read for fans of romance, mystery, and Victorian England. Tie-ins with both Little Women and Cinderella – and how each is used to offer wisdom – will make bookish hearts smile fondly. The history is well-researched, and the early champions against human trafficking are given due honor. Gillian’s quest to learn the truth about her father kept me engaged and involved, and trying to determine which of her two suitors could be trusted had me nervous more than once! Make sure this one is on your TBR list!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion!

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about the author

Award-winning and bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published four dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including Mist of Midnight, Bride of a Distant Isle (A Romantic Times Book Reviews Top Pick), and her most recent, A Lady in Disguise. For nearly two decades, Sandra has shared her secrets with the many writers she edits, mentors, and coaches. She lives in the Seattle, Washington area.

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More Books by Sandra Byrd


Head over to Sandra’s website to enter for your chance to win 1 of 2 great prize packs!

 

What about you? Do you enjoy gothic romances or are you a newbie like me?

Carrie

36 Responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd”

  1. DeAnna Dodson

    Oh, this sounds delicious! 😀

    I love Gothic romance! More please!

    (I think, if I ever have time, this is what I want to try writing next.)

    • Carrie

      ooooo you would do a fantastic job! And yes, you really must read this series!

  2. Winnie Thomas

    Well, I think I may become a fan–after I read this book, which is going straight to my TBR list. It sounds fascinating!

  3. Andrea Stephens

    I am pretty much a newbie. This book sounds good!
    Look at me, spreading my wings into more genres 😉

  4. Connie Scruggs

    I haven’t read any gothic romances, yet. This one sounds great, though!

  5. Kim G

    Carrie, spot on review- as usual! Umm…I’m game for the costume Walmart trip!! ?I loved reading about those different costumes.

    Since I’ve only read book 3, I am dying to know what the twist is?!? Ya have my email….

  6. Pam K.

    I love this series. It reminds me so much of all those books I read as a teen by Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt, and Phyllis Whitney. So wonderfully romantic and creepy at the same time!

  7. Marilyn

    I love Gothic romances. Some of the authors my sisters and I have are Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. Some of their books might be out of print.
    Marilyn

  8. Winnie Thomas

    Carrie, we might have to make a deal. I’ll make the gown if you’ll wear it to Walmart–at rush hour. 😀

  9. Marylin Furumasu

    I loved loved loved this book! Sandra did a fantastic job! It’s a most read for everyone!

  10. Iola

    This was such a good book! I loved the suspense, I loved the attention to detail in the research, and I’m a big fan of first person point of view.

    • Carrie

      i never used to be a fan of 1st person but lately it has become one of my faves! Thanks to Dawn Crandall and others…and now Sandra too 🙂

  11. Sandra Byrd

    Thank you so much, Carrie, for your thoughtful review, for reading the book, and for putting the review on your blog. Mwah! I would absolutely do the dressed up WalMart with you!

    Thanks, too, to all of you who have read the book or who are willing to try it! I’m like you all – I love Gothic romances, loved Victoria Holt! Funny story – when I was younger and reading one of Holt’s books, my grandmother took it from my hand and paged through it looking for “language.” When she came upon the word baseborn, instead of the more vulgar word, she handed it back to me and I breathed a sigh of relief. 🙂

    I have more up my Cinderella sleeve, so to speak. So I hope you’ll keep reading!

  12. Debra Watson Duncan

    I LOVE gothic romance!! This book and the others in the series look so interesting!! I love the victorian era!! The fashion, the furnishings, just everything about it!! Will be ordering this!!

  13. Brenda Murphree

    I love Gothic Romance! I have everyone of Victoria Holt’s and Phyllis Whitney’s books. Some of them are really old because I searched far and near for them and a lot of the older ones in yard sales. Then I got a lot like new that I bought as they came out in hardback.
    I would love to win this book to go with the other two I have. I haven’t had time to read them yet but I will one day.

  14. Rebecca Maney

    Goodness, Carrie! You have given me yet another author to explore. This story sounds wonderful even though I would be a “newbie” to the Gothic reomance genre.

  15. Anne

    Gothic romances are enthralling and unique. They transport me to another realm and era.

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