I’ve read Sandra Byrd before and have loved her, she’s written a couple of different series all with a Christian base. I’ve always enjoyed her stories as they have a little romance and mystery mixed together with a sprinkling of Christian ideology.
This book has been one that I have been looking forward to reading since I heard about it. I love the Victorian era and Byrd’s stories are always well written and interesting. I was asked t review this book by two different tour groups and was excited to start it as soon as I got the copy!
Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.
The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.
Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.
With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured (summary from Goodreads).
I liked the idea of this book from the start. I love antiquities and I loved seeing how that worked its way into the plot of this book. I loved Eleanor, she was sweet and trusting and always seemed to remain true to herself and her heart which I also loved.
When the book started, I was totally put off by Harry. The author did a great job at crafting a seemingly weak character and put a lot of doubt in for the reader. At one point I even felt like how will she ever redeem him? He wasn’t a romantic interest that I could warm to right away, instead the author challenges the reader to look past what things appear to be and to try and look for the good in the character. I will admit, it wasn’t easy at times but as the book continued, Harry’s character grew on me and by the end I was besotted.
I truly enjoyed reading about the antiquities business and the accounting of family heirlooms in the Victorian era. It was clear that the author did a lot of research on this subject and it shows in her descriptions and believability in the narrative. It was interesting and I would have kept reading just for that part of the book.
The one thing that I struggled with in this book was the constant emotional descriptions. I liked that Eleanor was at odds over her feelings about Harry, her treasure shop, her faith…..it seemed like she questioned everything and was constantly at odds over her feelings. A little bit of that is fine but I felt like the entire book was her constantly questioning herself and her feelings which slowed the plot down for me.
This book is a lengthy one (almost 500 pages) and while I was able to read it in more or less one or two sittings, there were times when I was frustrated by the pace of the novel. There were too many times that Eleanor was questioning her decision and tasks throughout the novel and it slowed things down.
While this wasn’t my favorite Byrd novel, I still liked it and will gladly read the next book in the series as well as anything else by her, but this just wasn’t my favorite.
Kindle Edition, 480 pagesPublished October 9th 2018 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published October 2018)
- Review copy provided by: publisher/author in exchange for an honest review:, all opinions are my own
- Recommendation: 3 out of 5
- Genre: historical fiction, romance, christian fiction
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