GENRE: Regency Suspense/Romance
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
RELEASE DATE: January 15, 2019
From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.
Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France.
An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man’s charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.
“Everyone at the Towers had a secret. Every. Single. Person.”
My first read of 2019 has gotten the year off to a very good start indeed! What a fabulous debut novel! Intrigue, secrets, romance, deception, murder, did I mention romance? My readerly heart sighed blissfully all the way through this delicious story.
Sybil is a compelling heroine, an orphan swept into a household filled with secrets, a lady’s companion caught in the awkward middle ground between family and servant. Her charge – Mrs. Chalcroft – is just as intriguing. But even before Sybil can arrive at Croft Towers, her coach is set upon by highwaymen and she arrives at the Towers quite bedraggled for the experience. Even as she’s processing the cast of characters in Mrs. Chalcroft’s family, she’s left reeling by the discovery that Mrs. Chalcroft’s godson Curtis Sinclair is one of the highwaymen who robbed her earlier that evening. Why did he do it? Is someone in the family a spy for the French? Is Sybil unwittingly a participant in treason? This sets off some delightful tension between the two characters, and Sinclair and Sybil form a rather unlikely partnership that hits all the right romantic and suspenseful notes.
Sinclair is just the perfect Regency gentleman hero – the right blend of angst, wit, mystery, and swooniliciousness. You’ll want to trust him immediately but, just like Sybil, you’re not sure you can. He’s very good at distracting with his swooniness, though, so be forewarned 😉
The setting becomes its own character, and Wilson excels at setting the tone with atmospheric details and tension. Croft Towers is a little bit spooky and a little bit comforting, all at once. It’s a refuge and a danger, a retreat and a breeding ground for secrets. The ideal place for such a story to unfold.
Bottom Line: In the Shadow of Croft Towers is everything I love about Regency intrigue. The characters, the setting, the tension – all of it in just the right amounts to weave together a delicious story. The author’s smooth and engaging writing style draws readers in completely and will have them eagerly waiting for the next book after this highly-skilled debut!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. In the interest of full disclosure, I also received compensation from the publisher to coordinate a tour with JustRead Tours, my co-owned company. All views expressed are still only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / In a class of its own!
KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion
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.
To celebrate her tour, Abigail is giving away a grand prize of one finished copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
This giveaway is hosted by Celebrate Lit, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour for more chances to win!