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.
This story is filled with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Eleanore Sheffield’s life has centered around her love of antiques. Growing up her father taught her all he knew about evaluating and obtaining antiques and priceless treasures for the nobility. But now that her father has died and her uncle’s health is rapidly declining, the upkeep of not only the house but the business has fallen on her shoulders.
With the death of Baron Lydney; Eleanore is tasked with not only cataloging but deciding the fate of the items in his vast estate. Should the items be donated to the local museum or should the items be awarded to the Baron’s only son, Harry? Who should she trust?
While this story is as artistic as the countless antiquities described within the pages, the plot seemed to drag in places. This story has an abundance of information and details, and I would suggest that it may be best enjoyed by someone who can carve out large chunks of time for reading it.
For me personally, I recognized several places in the story where the Christian viewpoint would have added greatly to the story, however, it was missing. There were a few mentions of God and trusting in His plan. However, it seemed to fall flat when the characters didn’t act on the knowledge.
Sandra Byrd writes with beautiful word imagery, and really sets up the scenes for the story beautifully. The mystery was expertly woven throughout the story and kept me guessing as to how it would turn out.
While I enjoyed certain aspects of the story, I never could fully get into the story and identify with the characters. I give this story 3-stars.
(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
About the Author:
Bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published more than fifty books over her editing and writing career. Her traditionally published books include titles by Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, Tyndale House Publishers, WaterBrook Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, and Bethany House. She’s also an independent author.
Sandra’s series of historically sound Gothic romances launched with the best-selling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, published in 2017 and was named by the American Library Association’s Booklist as one of the Top Ten Inspirational Fiction books of the year.
Her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.
Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a nonfiction author with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions. The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional was named by Called Magazine, the #1 magazine for Christian Women, as among their favorite, must-read books for Fall, 2017.
Sandra is passionate about helping writers develop their talents and their work through content coaching and line editing, and has mentored hundreds of writers. For testimonials about her editing and coaching, please visit novelcoaching.com.