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?
Bride of a Distant Isle is the second book in Sandra Byrd's latest series, The Daughters of Hampshire and I love it! I loved the book and this series! As a fan of historical fiction and a huge fan of Sandra Byrd's writing, I was drawn to this book especially after having read the first book in this series and really enjoying it. In Bride of a Distant Isle is a Christian Historical Fiction Book with some romance, mystery, and crime. Sandra Byrd writes with authority about the 1800's, England and the U.S., art, hierarchy, social manners, arranged marriages, illegitimate births, mental health issues of the time, and mental hospitals. I found myself unable to put this book down, there was so much happening that I didn't want to miss anything! I also took every extra minute I had to read it. I found all of the characters very interesting in this book but my favorite was Annabel. She was a very, very strong woman who understood her reality and accepted what she had to but did everything in her power to change what she could. All of the characters in this book including Annabel were human and were not perfect. They all had their flaws and their messy lives. I have always enjoyed Sandra Byrd's writing and that has NOT changed. I love reading her books, I feel like I am there watching the events unfold right in front of me. I truly feel transported to that time and place. This story was a pretty serious book but definitely had some moments that made me smile and chuckle but others that made me cry, just ache. I truly enjoyed this book from start to finish and I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed! I cannot wait for the next book in this great series!! I give this book 5 STARS.