My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Reminiscent of stories by Victoria Holt, Sandra Byrd’s Mist of Midnight captures the gothic creepiness with an excellent atmospheric setting. Rebecca Ravenshaw the sole surviving member of her family has escaped the mutiny in India and only wishes to return to her homeland and find peace and security. However, upon her arrival, she discovers that another Rebecca Ravenshaw has already claimed her inheritance and passed away in mysterious circumstances. There are whispers about her death and suspicion cast on the current heir Captain Luke Whitfield.
The mists surrounding the estate, the dubious death of an impostor, and the doubtful motives of Captain Whitfield hamper Rebecca’s quest for the truth and her efforts to establish her identity adding a layer of mystique to this gothic romance. A la Mrs. Danvers, there’s the lady’s maid Michelin who adds the intrigue. The story progresses interestingly well and of course, all that talk of Tamil and Malayalam, Sitar, and Henna had me smiling throughout the story. I wasn’t aware that Henna was used so extensively by people in south India, as far as I know, it was distinctive to a particular section of the people only in Kerala. Well maybe I’m wrong, not that it is taking away anything in the story just that being aware of the customs here and also bcoz it has been used as a tool in the plot in many places, it kept knocking into my mind if at all the fact is true or just a ploy used by the author?
I loved Sandra Byrd’s storytelling and true to form as in gothic romances Captain Luke Whitfield and his actions remain mysterious until the end wherein every mysterious circumstance is revealed and viewed thru a different lens.
This is book #1 in the Daughters of Hampshire series but all of them are different stories and can be perfectly read as standalone. As a huge fan of this genre, no prize in guessing that the other books have already been added to my TBR 😆 😆 😆
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.
That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father’s investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?
A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.
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