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?”
Mist of Midnight is the first book in Sandra Byrd’s Daughters of Hampshire series, and is also the first novel I have ever read by her. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I picked up this book, but based on the description, I had a feeling that this would be a story I would definitely love. Considering the way I was reacting during the final chapters, I am pretty sure that I was right. Sandra has now become one of my favorite authors, and I cannot wait to read more of her books. I absolutely fell in love with Rebecca, Luke, and their story; especially because Sandra did a flawless job of writing it.
Rebecca Ravenshaw and Captain Luke Whitfield are such an interesting pair! I cannot even talk about them separately since they just don’t ever need to be without each other, and besides, I feel like I couldn’t do either of them justice in general anyway. I know, I know, they aren’t together at the beginning of the book, and who’s to say they are ever together in the middle or end up together at the end, but still. Rebecca goes through so much before she returns to England, and that is very obvious throughout the entire course of this book, especially since she goes through even more as soon as she arrives. And Luke, struggling through all of the various things that he had faced before Rebecca’s arrival, makes them such an interesting pair. Both of them are so strong in their own ways, and they really are the best for each other. Whether they ever end up together or not.
Now, there are a couple of things that I absolutely have to address in this review, even at the risk of accidentally including spoilers. I’m going to try, however, to get across what I’m trying to say without ruining anything that I want for you to find out on your own. So, here goes. First off, this is something that I know that I won’t spoil—unless I include the actual quote, which I won’t, though I’m dying to—but you absolutely have to get excited for the perfectly quotable line you will find on page 351. Someday, I’ll write a post of tons of my favorite quotes, and that one will be at the top. Or at least close. Trust me, you’re going to die when you read it. Also, there are two special parts of this book that I am absolutely dying to describe to you. I’ll just leave it at this, there’s something really important and super sweet that has to do with lions. Just remember that. Oh, and there’s something wonderful about a certain important person in Rebecca’s life that just might surprise you at the end. I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t; that didn’t keep me from absolutely loving it, however.
All in all, I really, really loved this book, and cannot imagine not giving it all five bookshelves. I had added it to my all-time favorites list long before I actually finished it, and I cannot wait to read more in this series and more of Sandra’s books in general in the future. This novel is sweet, intriguing, captivating, and more than I ever imagined it would be, and I highly recommend it. Sandra is a very talented author, who deserves tons of praise for coming up with this fantastic story.
To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.
All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Sandra Byrd and Howard Books Publishing.