Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bride of a Distant Isle by Sandra Byrd, © 2016

Daughters of Hampshire, Book Two

Alla fine andrà tutto bene se non andrà bene, non e le fine.
All will be well in the end; if it's not well, then it's not the end.


An Absolute Ten!

My review:
I am thrilled to have received Bride of a Distant Isle ~ I have read several of author Sandra Byrd's historicals and looked forward to reading book 2 in the Daughters of Hampshire series. So excellent, I began reading until the wee hours of the morning.

The story takes place from May to December 1851, with an Epilogue three years later. I love writings that you can envision and draw you in from the beginning. Thus, is so as Annabel Ashton prepares to leave Highcliffe Hall at Milford on Sea with her cousin, Edward Everedge, and his wife, Clementine, repairing to London to attend the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park.

Crystal Palace from the northeast from Dickinson's Comprehensive Pictures of the Great Exhibition of 1851. 1854.jpg
Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations
Hoping to meet with other investors, Edward greatly anticipated the outcome of having funds to retain Highcliffe, as heir to the country house. Annabel is looking forward to returning to her teaching position at the Rogers Day School for Young Ladies in Winchester following the remainder of the summer season.
   "A lifetime has unraveled and then been re-knit since I'd left Winchester seven months earlier, hoping for a quiet life as a teacher. I had learnt who I was, and that I was beloved, and that I could chance risk and prevail."
   Annabel ~ Bride of a Distant Isle, 359
Today is release day and you are in for a treat!

As much as I have enjoyed author Sandra Byrd's other historical fictions ~ I will have to say this was most *i*n*t*r*i*g*u*i*n*g. Pulling in the happenings of the time period, this story was magnificently written. Flawlessly crafted, riveting throughout.

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?
Sandra Byrd
***Thank you to author Sandra Byrd and to Howard Books for sending me a review copy of Bride of a Distant Isle. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd Book One

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd
Daughters of Hampshire, Book Three
Releases 2017

Enjoy this recipe from author Sandra Byrd:

Maltese Pastizzi

Maltese Pastizzi
The island-bound Maltese are famous for their tasty little pastry boats. These are most often filled with a blend of cheeses, and perhaps peas. My family enjoyed them just a little sweeter, with strawberry jam on top. The beautiful thing is – the recipe is so accommodating. So try them once, and then adjust to taste!

 · Preheat oven to 400


One sheet of frozen puff pastry dough
One cup whole milk ricotta cheese, softened
2 T sugar
2 eggs

Let the puff pastry come to room temperature according to the directions on the box. Roll out to about ¼ inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter, cut the dough into circles about 4” across.

Place the circles onto a baking sheet which has been lined with parchment paper. Then, pinch together the ends of each circle, causing the pastry to look like a canoe or little boat.

Mix, with a fork and until thoroughly blended, the ricotta, the sugar, and one egg. Whip, the second egg in another bowl, to be brushed onto pastries.

Spoon cheese mixture into the “boat” of each pastry until it is nearly filled.

Brush each boat with the beaten egg, and place in oven for about 20 minutes until pastry is completely cooked and the tops are golden brown.

Serve – and enjoy!!
Thank you, Sandra Byrd


  1. Thank you so much for this!! I'm thrilled that you loved it.

    1. Oh, my. You outdo yourself each time!! So excellent. How could this one have out-topped my favorite four ~ Ladies in Waiting and book one in this series? Amazing. I await A Lady in Disguise! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House