Bride of a Distant Isle by Sandra Byrd

"All will be well in the end; if it's not well, then it's not the end."

Title:  Bride of a Distant Isle
Series: The Daughters of Hampshire Book 2
Author: Sandra Byrd
Publisher:  Howard Books
Release Date:  March 22, 2016
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction


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?



My first experience with Sandra Byrd as an author, and one that can not be easily forgotten. Bride of a Distant Isle have woven together history, culture, mystery and romance all in a bound book of 363 pages. My thoughts are tangled into the the mystery and suspense of Annabel's parentage and what her family have in store for her, while absorbing the intricacy of Catholicism amongst the different class of society. Then there's the sweet romance unfolding before our eyes between Annabel and Captain Dell'Acqua.  Ahhh, their first encounter deserved a smile, if not a chuckle!

"What? He looked English.  This was the young Maltese Dell'Acqua? 'You are a man, not a lad,' I burst out, immediately wishing I could reclaim those words..." (18)

And eventually the culmination of words as such,

"I found a new star to navigate by - you, Bella - and changed course because you saw something good in me." (342)

Granted, the romance was not the highlight, but rather part of everything that makes this novel worthwhile and intriguing. It has the essence of Jane Eyre that I find so riveting, and just must read on until the end, so I can satisfy all the questions & suspense quenching inside of me.  To top it off, a message of trusting in God's plans, His use of others and His presence makes this one not to pass on.

"You are not mute in the dark, Father, though I may not always be able to see Your hand or recognize Your servants, or who they are, at work. You've never left me. You've never forsaken nor forgotten me." (347)

Amen to that.

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Howard Books for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.





After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. 

Sandra's new series, Daughters of Hampshire, historically sound Gothic romances, launched in 2015 with best-selling Book One: Mist of Midnight. That book earned a coveted Editor's Choice from the Historical Novel Society. The second book in the series, Bride of a Distant Isle, released in March 2016 and has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. Her latest nonfiction title, The One Year Home and Garden Devotions, published on October 1, 2015.

Check out 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 by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012. 

Sandra has published dozens of books for tweens and teens, including the best-selling, The One Year Be-Tween You and God, Devotions For Girls. 

She is passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self-publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year via 

Please visit to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype.

TO CONNECT WITH SANDRA:  website,  facebook,  twitter




  1. I love all her books! If you loved this one, you have to read Mist of Midnight. One of my favs from last year!

  2. I've read some of hers before and enjoyed them and this one and Mist of Midnight I have arcs for and really need to get to, especially since you really enjoyed this and it has a Jane Eyre vibe (love Jane Eyre!). Thanks for the review!

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings


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