Bride of a Distant Isle by Sandra Byrd ~ Review

Bride of a Distant Isle (Daughters of Hampshire, #2)My Review:

Annabel Ashton enjoys her life as a teacher at an all girls school, and believes her trip home to be but for a visit, but when her cousin informs her that they can no loner afford for her to teach, and that she must contribute to the family and make an advantageous match--preferably to Edward's friend, Mr. Morgan.

Annabel has little say in her life, born out of wedlock to a woman committed to an insane asylum, she  is often reminded of the unspeakable fact of her history. But while at Highcliffe mysterious items begin to appear among her belongings, leading Annabel to question what she has been told of her heritage.

Meanwhile Edward is encouraging her to befriend Captain Dell'Acqua, a man who like her, shares both English and Maltese heritage.

Who can Annabel trust as she discovers that she may have a claim on her cousin's inheritance?

Ms. Byrd swept me away with Annabel's story, as she fights to learn the truth about her mother and who her father was. I liked the gothic feel to the novel that brings to mind classics like Jane Eyre, a novel of romance and mystery, and not all is as it seems, Annabel must lean on her faith to unravel the tangled web of her past.

Captain Marco Dell'Acqua is a man of two countries, but neither is one that he can call home, and so the sea is where he finds that he finally fits in. He is handsome, and a thoughtful businessman, with a natural charm and way with the ladies.

Overall, a wonderful tale that took me beyond the shores of England, giving me a taste for the exotic Malta and its treasures. I liked Annabel, she is strong of mind, and presents herself bravely in the light of all that she has endured. She is spunky, at times unconventional, and longs for a connection to her late mother. This is a swift moving read, filled with intrigue, mystery, romance, conspiracy, and plenty of tension. You will not want to put down this engrossing read, filled with a full cast of characters that bring to life the gothic tale. Highly recommend!

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