An unforgettable romance set in Victorian England, Bride of A Distant Isle is the engrossing story of Annabel Ashton, who fights to save her family home and her mother's honor while trying to figure out if the man she loves wants her—or just wants to use her to achieve his own ambitions.
Miss Annabel Ashton is a teacher at the Rogers School for Young Ladies in Winchester when she takes a brief visit to her family home, Highcliffe Hall at Milford-on-Sea. She believes her stay will be short but soon learns that she will not be returning to the safety of the school. Instead, she remains at Highcliffe, at the mercy of her cousin, Edward Everedge.
Annabel protests, but as the illegitimate daughter of a woman who died in an insane asylum, she has little say. Edward is running out of money and puts the house up for sale to avoid financial ruin. He insists that Annabel marry, promising her to a sinister, frightening man. But as the house gets packed for sale, it begins to reveal disquieting secrets. Jewelry, artifacts, and portraits mysteriously appear, suggesting that Annabel may be the true heir of Highcliffe.
She has only a few months to prove her legitimacy, perhaps with assistance from the handsome but troubled Maltese Captain Dell’Acqua. But does he have Annabel’s best interests at heart?
And then, a final, most ominous barrier to both her inheritance and her existence appears: a situation neither she nor anyone else could have expected. Will Annabel regain her life and property—and trust her heart—before it’s too late?
Award-winning and bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published four dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including Mist of Midnight, Bride of a Distant Isle (A Romantic Times Book Reviews Top Pick), and her most recent, A Lady in Disguise. For nearly two decades, Sandra has shared her secrets with the many writers she edits, mentors, and coaches. She lives in the Seattle, Washington area.
“The stunning second novel in Byrd’s Daughters of Hampshire series is captivating and compelling…The intriguing Victorian England settings will appeal to Anglophiles everywhere.”
– RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
"Fans of Victoria Holt and Charlotte Brontë will be enthralled by Byrd’s atmospheric storytelling, while those new to the Gothic style will find themselves transported to Hampshire, navigating a murky landscape of greed, desperation, madness and romance alongside Annabel."
– USA Today
"The traditional hallmarks of Victorian Gothic novel receive a fresh rendering in this lively second installment of Byrd's Daughters of Hampshire historical series... a sweet and gratifying read"
– Publishers Weekly
"An absorbing, transportive Victorian romance infused with intriguing details and delicious imagery. Sandra is a master of the historical novel. Engaging to the last page."
– Susan Meissner, Author of Secrets of a Charmed Life
"Lovers of wind-swept moors and Bronte-esque intrigue will devour Byrd’s latest romance! Annabel Ashton, like Jane Eyre before her, doesn’t accept her circumstances or let mysteries rest unsolved, but instead invites you along as she proactively uncovers truths and searches out her own happily ever after."
– Katherine Reay, author of The Bronte Plot
"An irresistible blend of mystery, impeccable research and haunting plot twists make Bride of a Distant Isle a feast for lovers of Gothic Romance! Not since I discovered the Brontës have I been so deeply engrossed in a Gothic Romance. Fans of Jane Eyre and Rebecca, prepare to be dazzled by Sandra Byrd’s magnificent Bride of a Distant Isle!"
– Ella March Chase, author of The Queen's Dwarf
"Bride of a Distant Isle is an enthralling novel filled with mystery, intrigue, and a compelling romance. Sandra Byrd’s twisting plot and vibrant characters weave a rich and satisfying story that absorbs the mind and captivates the heart."