“Um, I forgot”- isn’t this a response that mom’s constantly hear from their darling cherubs who perhaps didn’t complete their list of chores? Well I have to say, after reading Sandra Byrd’s captivating Gothic Romance novel Mist of Midnight, that was my response- “Um, I forgot how much I love a great Gothic Romance novel!, especially when penned by the hugely talented Sandra Byrd who weaves the historical parts of the novel into the story seamlessly . It just adds to the enjoyment for the reader and lends some authenticity to the time period of the story. (Read the author’s notes in the back of the book- so fascinating!)
Mist of Midnight hits that perfect balance in the story between , that sort of dark Gothic mystery where things “go bump in the night” and a delightful romance that springs up between the two characters. We have the lovely Rebecca Ravenshaw, a child of missionaries who lost her whole family overseas in India to both illness as well as the Rebellion that took place there. She is now tired and heartbroken and is coming home to England to take up residence in her family’s estate Headbourne House in Hampshire England. One slight problem is that she discovers that there was an impostor who had come to Headbourne House just previous to her, posing as “Rebecca Ravenshaw” and claiming her inheritance as well as her home. She then died under suspicious circumstances. So when she, the real Rebecca Ravenshaw, shows up, the town is skeptical ,as many haven’t seen her since she was a little girl. In residence in Headbourne House, is the very handsome Captain Luke Whitfield who is a distant relative next in line to inherit Headbourne House with the supposed death of Rebecca Ravenshaw. Luke is everything that the perfect gothic hero needs to be, as he is completely swoonworthy, but has that edge to him where you wonder exactly what his secrets might be- (think Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre)- is he a good romantic hero or is he going to murder you in your sleep? This keeps Rebecca, and the reader, off balance throughout the story right till the end as the mystery of what happened at Headbourne House with the impostor comes to light.
Also in all good gothic tales the residence, or House, is almost always like a character unto itself within the story as there is usually some mystery within the house and Mist of Midnight does not disappoint in that respect either with mysterious messages showing up on the walls and rooms that are locked up where Rebecca cannot enter, letters hidden in the attic, etc. Sandra Byrd knows her stuff and I was completely engaged in this story from the beginning until the end (which was delightful by the way.) I would never give away an ending, but I will say that there was an especially endearing little twist that I was not expecting at the end that I thought was very charming and fun to read.
All in all, a really wonderful read and I was delighted to see that the author just mentioned via social media that she had finished the second book in this series and all I can say is – “sign me up, I’m in “ and this time, there will be no forgetting how much I loved this book and how I am thoroughly anticipating the next one!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.