Book Title: Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd
Category: Adult Fiction, 480 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction / Romance
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Release date: October 9, 2018
Content Rating: G
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.
Eleanor has been trained from childhood to be an evaluator of antiquities, working alongside her father and her uncle. But upon the death of her father and with her uncle declining in mental health, Eleanor finds herself in financial dire straights, even as she uses her wits and talents to support her family and household. As all this takes place, Eleanor's love interest Harry from her younger days comes back into her life and she must reconcile if she can trust him after he broke her heart.
I simply loved the character of Eleanor. Not only was she bright and talented, but she was also kind and generous. She had strong values and a good sense of justice. I also loved how the author brought Eleanor's trade to life. As a reader I enjoy learning new things and I learned how evaluators assessed objects of antiquities to determine their worth and if indeed they were genuine or fraudulent. The plot included a mystery too, and I found myself trying to guess along with Eleanor. The author's research was well incorporated into the novel and makes this book a worthy and intelligent read.
The only part of the book I found somewhat lacking was the romance. Harry was a noteworthy character but he seemed to be making only small appearances for most of the first half of the book until he was more involved later. He was not as well-developed a character as Eleanor was. There was a lack of passion between him and Eleanor that at one point I even wondered if another male character was going to make an appearance to liven the romance department a little! No sexual tension whatsoever. I've read plenty of Christian historical fiction novels that do this so well while keeping the novel clean.
Apart from this, Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a strong first book in The Victorian Ladies Series and aptly titled. The ending is beautiful and ties up all plot threads satisfyingly. I look forward to reading more in this series and other books from this 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, which 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.
Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype. You can also connect with Sandra on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
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