Lady of a Thousand Treasures

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

A lengthy novel, with more suspense & interest in the art world than a romance novel.  It almost comes as secondary to the longer more drawn out plot. 

At times I grew weary of Eleanor’s analyzing of Harry’s integrity which, she already seems to come to a solid conclusion on early on - yet it drags.  The personal interactions lacked warmth and were more descriptive than felt. 

There are many facets to this story, one which some may love it just wasn’t for me. 

Thanks to Netgalley for the eARC.  This is my honest review.
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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 story goes on from there, but did not hold my interest.  It was slow and at moments found myself skipping through it.  Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd started out slow for me and I wasn't finding it enjoyable to read. Maybe because it was written in first person and first person is not my favorite. But as I slowly made my way through the story, I began to notice all the details. This book is full of thousands of details! Since Eleanor, the main character (the same one who tells the story in first person) deals with antiques in Victorian England, I learned all kinds of things about the treasures of that time period. There were many instances when I had to stop reading to look up what a ring might have looked like, or a statue. There were even many Victorian games mentioned. Of course I had to go do more research because the games were really interesting to me. There was also a mystery involved, and the mystery was probably made more interesting because it was written in first person. You are only told what Eleanor thinks about people so when wondering who she should trust, you only know the same information that she knows. 

Was this a book worth reading? Definitely! It had many treasures inside once I really started noticing the details.  I would recommend this book for history lovers. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Lady of a Thousand Treasures
by Sandra Byrd
Tyndale House Publishers
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Historical Fiction ,  Romance
Pub Date 09 Oct 2018


I am reviewing a copy of Lady of A Thousand Treasures through Tyndall House Publishers and Netgalley:


In Victorian England Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquitie, able to tell the real deal from the fake but her Father’s decline and her others descent into dementia leads to a problem because unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

After a long time client, Baron Lydney offers an unexpected complication after Eleanor is appointed the trustee of the legendary collection of the Baron’s.  Eleanor finds herself having to donate these priceless treasures to a museum or let the Baron’s son take them.  His son Harry was the one who broke Eleanor‘s heart.  



Eleanor does not trust the Baron’s motives and her own ability to be biased when it comes to Harry’s future.  Harry claims to still love Eleanor but she’s not sure she can trust that either. After Eleanor learns of an Italian beauty returning with him from a trip from England her hope for a future with Harry grows darker.


With the threat of debtors prison closing in on her?  What will Eleanor choose?


I give Lady of A Thousand Treasures five out of five stars!


Happy Reading!
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This well written story is an absolute delight to read!

I loved the plot line and the characterisation was spot on, the characters worked so well with the story I was completely caught up in the story and I didn’t want to put it down, I couldn’t wait to see how it ended.

A brilliant historical fiction story and I can’t wait to read more from this author and very intrigued to see what she releases next, this one will be a hard act to follow!

4.5 stars from me, rounded up to 5 stars for Amazon and Goodreads – a thoroughly enjoyable story and very highly recommended!!
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A captivating romance of Victorian England by the accomplished author of The Daughters of Hampshire series, Sandra Byrd.  Eleanor Sheffield's life is invested in the family business of appraising antiquities and must continue through downturns of economy, her father's death, the failing of her uncle's health, stealth of an employee, and outstanding debts.  And the one she had hoped to count on has failed to return from his European travels.  Until Harry Lydney's father's death.  

The funeral is revelatory.  Eleanor has been chosen for the unusual task of determining what is to become of Lord Lydney's vast collection of reliquaries.  Two options, and one doesn't favour his son, Harry, the now Lord Lydney..  

The door has just swung open to the mysteries, gothic, and atmospheric of this unusual story. Told in first person, we travel the streets and alleys of London's working class with Eleanor to the houses of upper class London clients and clubs as she evaluates their riches to keep her own bills paid.  A tightrope that is never  balanced.  As is her heart.  In love, yet never sure if the focus of her love is committed to her.

Tension mounts as mysteries deepen and Eleanor's heart questions everything.  No one proves trustworthy and revelations of the wealthy create confusion as she determines to choose well for the outcome of her assignment.  I was totally immersed in the drama of Eleanor's day to day.  Emotions connected and propelled my reading with an urgency for her to reach just conclusions.

Well researched, the historic details intrigued with Byrd's competent research.  Readers were treated to the beauty and excesses of a bygone era.  Then the opposite, as Eleanor unceasingly cared for others of lower means and circumstances, servants, and women imprisoned by debts owed.  Eleanor's own efforts to keep the wolves from her door informed her concerns, care, and prayer for all those she connected with.

A book filled with discoveries, solutions, and resolutions.  But in the end, the romantic carried the reward of most worth.  Tangible. Expressive.  Two hearts find their home in trust and in truth.

A superb read.
An  outstanding novel.  
Recommended.  And certainly, perfect as a gift to delight any romantic.
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Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd.  Tyndale House Publishers, 2018.

This is a wonderful story.  As Eleanor takes over Sheffield Brothers, conservator to collectors, she finds very little that is simple or straightforward.   Her father has passed away and her uncle appears to be experiencing symptoms of dementia.  The reputation of her business is in jeopardy. She has been delegated the burden of deciding whether a collection of antiquities should go to a museum or stay in a family home.  There are many around her who are not what they seem.  She is not sure whether to trust the man she expected to spend the rest of her life with or his father; one of them has set out to deliberately deceive her.  Eleanor is a strong, kind, engaging character that we come to care about. We are not sure who Eleanor can safely trust either, though the story keeps us hoping.
This well written Victorian era romance is supported with a great deal of historical detail and facts about antiquities, so readers less familiar with appraising antiquities and the Victorian era learn as they read. 
I very much enjoyed Lady of a Thousand Treasures, and warmly recommend it.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of Lady of a Thousand Treasures free from Tyndale House Publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Sandra Byrd’s Lady of a Thousand Treasures has everything a reader wants in a historical novel.  Taking place in the Victorian time period this fabulous novel is filled with just the right amount of historical details and characters, as well as a fabulous combination of mystery and romance.  From the first page Byrd hooks her readers with an exciting mystery, causing them to not want to put the book down until the very end.  Along with the main historical mystery of the story, Byrd includes a bit of mystery mixed in with the romance, making readers wonder if people are who they say they are and if the love story will come together in the end.  This is a splendid and thrilling story that readers will absolutely not be able to put down!
 
Series: The Victorian Ladies
Genre: historical, Victorian, mystery, romance Christian,
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: October 9, 2018
Number of pages: 480
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This book is the first in the Victorian Ladies Series and is about Eleanor Sheffield and her family business. Her father has recently passed and she is trying to keep the business afloat. Her uncle, who was a twin to her father, has recently exhibited signs of dementia. Eleanor is an evaluator of antiquities and very talented. The death of a long time client of the business, Baron Lydney, left a provision in his will that Eleanor is supposed to evaluate the collection that he has. After evaluation, she is to determine whether the collection stays in the family in the care of his son Harry, or have it go into a museum.

Eleanor had had a relationship with Harry and when he never returned to her and propose she became disillusioned with him and does not trust him. Harry does come back but she does not think that there is a future for them, he has brought back an Italian beauty and she is not sure what their relationship is. Harry is nothing but persistent and the more time she spends with him the more her trust returns.

The problem is that her uncle has not paid any bills and the debt collectors are at her doorstep. In those days there was debtors prison if bills were not paid. Because she is a woman and her uncle is not well, the remaining clients of Sheffield Brothers have developed a distrust to her. She must do all she can to reclaim their trust. As time goes by and with her investigation, she does turn out to be a lady of a thousand treasures as she makes her determination about the Lydney collection.

As usual, Sandra Byrd has written another enjoyable first book to what I hope will be a great series. A gothic novel set during the mid to late 1800s in Victorian England, a time where women were not allowed to do much except stay in the home, Eleanor turns out to be a strong woman in a time dominated by men. I love reading about strong women and I love anything by Sandra as she does remarkable research. She always tells a great story and the characters are more than memorable! If you love a great historical fiction novel, then give this one a try!
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This was truly an amazing book! I thoroughly enjoyed this story and especially all the old things that the characters collected and I felt like I was walking through a museum in Henry's house. I was really hoping that the house would get to keep all of its relics. For, what is a house without it's pieces? A cold, empty one. 
This is a mystery that will keep you turning pages and thinking about the story long after it's finished!! 
I spent most of the evening and all of Sunday finishing this delightful book. 
This author has an amazing way of telling a story. It was through her Tudor books that I "met her." The Tudor era is my most favorite time period besides the Civil War.  Her writing style is marvelous!! 
The only thing I didn't really like was that even though Henry's father had passed on, I didn't care for the way he left things and Henry couldn't help things the way they were.  After all, these were Victorian times and I"m pretty sure that they didn't know about asthma back then. ( That's what I suffer from.) It's no fun and it' makes you feel like a fish out of water so I knew what Arthur was going through. 
I feel that Henry is his own person. A parent shouldn't favor one child over another . ( I seen first hand what that could do to the other child)
I strongly recommend this book if you love the Victorian style era. I received this copy from Netgalley. No compensations were received and all opinions are my own!!!
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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.

I had trouble getting into this book. I have read other books by Ms Byrd that were better.  It seemed to drag in a lot of sports.  I found myself skimming in a lot of places.   It did have a happy ending.  But it seemed to take a long time to get there. I did have the bad guy figured out before we were told who it was.

I was given this book by Tyndale Publishing by way of NetGalley for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.
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This is an intriguing Victorian historical mystery that has an unusual storyline.  I don’t remember that I’ve read another book in this time period that the storyline revolves largely around the collection of antiques.  Eleanor struggles to keep her family’s firm on a solid foundation of both trust and financial stability.  She comes to a point that she is not sure who she can trust, and finds that she is being betrayed by friends she trusted most.  Even as Eleanor’s situation deteriorates to the point of her worst fear becoming a reality, she holds on to her “mustard seed” of faith to carry her through.  There’s danger and romance all through this book. I was interested in finding out if Eleanor’s faith would be enough to help her hold on through the darkest of times.

The author’s  historical research for this book gave the story depth.  It’s a longer story, but well worth reading.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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I’ve read Sandra Byrd before and have loved her, she’s written a couple of different series all with a Christian base. I’ve always enjoyed her stories as they have a little romance and mystery mixed together with a sprinkling of Christian ideology.

This book has been one that I have been looking forward to reading since I heard about it. I love the Victorian era and Byrd’s stories are always well written and interesting. I was asked t review this book by two different tour groups and was excited to start it as soon as I got the copy!

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 (summary from Goodreads). 

I liked the idea of this book from the start. I love antiquities and I loved seeing how that worked its way into the plot of this book. I loved Eleanor, she was sweet and trusting and always seemed to remain true to herself and her heart which I also loved.

When the book started, I was totally put off by Harry. The author did a great job at crafting a seemingly weak character and put a lot of doubt in for the reader. At one point I even felt like how will she ever redeem him? He wasn’t a romantic interest that I could warm to right away, instead the author challenges the reader to look past what things appear to be and to try and look for the good in the character. I will admit, it wasn’t easy at times but as the book continued, Harry’s character grew on me and by the end I was besotted.

I truly enjoyed reading about the antiquities business and the accounting of family heirlooms in the Victorian era. It was clear that the author did a lot of research on this subject and it shows in her descriptions and believability in the narrative. It was interesting and I would have kept reading just for that part of the book.

The one thing that I struggled with in this book was the constant emotional descriptions. I liked that Eleanor was at odds over her feelings about Harry, her treasure shop, her faith…..it seemed like she questioned everything and was constantly at odds over her feelings. A little bit of that is fine but I felt like the entire book was her constantly questioning herself and her feelings which slowed the plot down for me.

This book is a lengthy one (almost 500 pages) and while I was able to read it in more or less one or two sittings, there were times when I was frustrated by the pace of the novel. There were too many times that Eleanor was questioning her decision and tasks throughout the novel and it slowed things down.

While this wasn’t my favorite Byrd novel, I still liked it and will gladly read the next book in the series as well as anything else by her, but this just wasn’t my favorite.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Lady of a Thousand Treasures (The Victorian Ladies #1) by Sandra Byrd 

Kindle Edition, 480 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published October 2018)
ASIN B07B7QTZYN
Review copy provided by: publisher/author in exchange for an honest review:, all opinions are my own
Recommendation: 3 out of 5
Genre: historical fiction, romance, christian fiction
Memorable lines/quotes:
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This is the first time I’ve read a novel by Sandra Byrd and I quite enjoyed it. 
The novel is told from the point of view of Eleanor Sheffield, an antiquities evaluator who has been trained by her father and uncle. With her father’s recent passing, and her uncle’s decline into dementia Eleanor is at a loss as to how to keep the family business afloat and wonders at its future. In Victorian England, an unmarried daughter doesn’t inherit or have the opportunity to own a business of her own.
The story begins at the wake of one of her father’s most loyal patrons, and a most unusual request given beyond the grave. Eleanor must evaluate, catalogue, and decide the fate of his thousand piece collection. Her choices: donate the entire collection to the museum or leave it to his second and least trusted son, who also happens to have been Eleanor’s beau who left her not once, but twice.
Throw in a band of Italian thieves, beautiful heiresses, a conniving employee, and elements of mystery to make Lady of a Thousand Treasures intriguing. Eleanor must answer questions and dig for the truth but all is not as it seems.
The plot is solid and the characters are likeable, though one questions the integrity of some. It’s rich with history and tastefully mixes historical figures with the fictional world. I learned so many things about the Victorian collectables world.
I look forward to reading more books by Ms. Byrd.
I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Historical fiction may be my favorite genre, and that is really saying something, because there are few genres I won’t read.  If nothing else, historical fiction is the genre that I can lose myself in best.  There's something about another time and place that I can never see, but can imagine living in its idealistic setting, that takes me entirely away from the present.

With Lady of a Thousand Treasures, it is really easy to slide into this story.  Not only does the mystery and intrigue begin immediately, but the reader can instantly sympathize with Eleanor’s struggles.  I think most women can effortlessly relate to a woman trying to forge her life and career in a world created for men.  We can also relate to the confusion and insecurity of a complicated romance.


Eleanor was a slightly frustrating character, but so honest and heartfelt that I liked her a lot regardless.  The frustration mostly comes from her indecision, which is probably unfair.  I know I am far worse when trying to make small decisions, let alone life altering ones.  So, I am going to tell myself to give some grace.  Everyone has flaws, and I would hate to read a book about a perfect character.

The overall story was emotional, heart-warming, and mysterious.  I could really feel the struggle Eleanor faced and was rooting for her, even when I wasn’t sure what to root for.  She also taught me a great deal about antiques, which is something I love about books.  I get to escape into a good story while learning.  Be still my bibliophile heart.
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I don't dive into this type of historical fiction very often, but this read was so much more than I expected and quickly made me a fan of Sandra Byrd.

Eleanor is in a difficult position. At the death of a long term client of her uncle's business, she is declared the proprietor over every collection on the estate. It is her decision to either donate the pieces to a museum or other appropriate place, or leave them and allow the son, Harry, to keep them. As Harry does not enjoy a positive image, the decision appears easy for those around her, especially since Eleanor expected to be engaged to him, but he lied to her and returned from abroad not only half a year later but with another female in his company. This is, however, only the beginning of Eleanor's difficulties.

The author does a wonderful job of allowing the reader to be swallowed up into the time. The descriptions create a believable and vivid world without growing heavy or mundane. Even the antiques which Eleanor constantly handles are well explained and prove the author did her research without growing boring or feeling as if the facts are being forced into the story. It's a lovely mixture, which makes the setting rich and believable.

Eleanor is an extraordinary woman, although she holds just enough of vulnerability to keep her interesting and easy to empathize with. Although she runs into difficult situations time and again, she never demands pity or a loss of hope. Her ability to continue forward and maneuver through the situations makes her a true heroine to follow until the last page.

The tension remains steady as the layers of troubles grow and mystery increases. It's not a fast-paced book but holds the reader in the pages. Eleanor experiences occasional flashbacks, which let emotions, memories and hints slide in when needed. I'll admit, I caught myself skimming these at times.

The romance is subdued and if the reader expects much tension on this end, they will be disappointed. Harry is a mystery for himself, one that Eleanor must discover the truth about. While his attitude and hers make sense, especially as the tale unfolds, there is a lack of spark even at the end. This does, however, allow the other aspects of the story to maintain the attention they need.

This is an engaging read with a wonderful historical richness as well as a grabbing plot. Friends of Victorian fiction with a strong heroine and bit of tension and mystery are sure to enjoy this one.
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With the flair and panache of a lush Dickensian feast married with a stark and realistic look at the quick drop to a life of debtor's prison, Byrd spins a gilt-tinted world of betrayal, mystery and opulence. A slow-burn love story woven in expert prose, Byrd uses her unparalleled sense of verisimilitude to build on a faith- driven book that drives the theme that not all that glitters is gold. A rare treat, Lady of a Thousand Treasures works best at differentiating itself from other historical romances due to its careful execution of the world of antiques and appraisals. Its heroine has ingenuity and agency not often afforded women of her era and it is this unique tenet that loans the book its immediate spark.

While the hero takes a longer time to warm to, it is due to his deep characterization and the role he plays in the outcome of a whirling world of deception and riches. By the end, you will want to return to the beginning to see how each careful scene plays out again and again.

Attention to the most minute historical detail and period appropriate dialogue aid in creating this well-formed Victorian world. 

A fine piece of historical romance, intelligently wrought and meaty enough to spread over several chilly autumn nights.
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Antiquities and Intrigue!

What an interesting story! The plot in this novel drew me into the story immediately. The novel opens in the fall of 1866 at Watchfield House in Oxfordshire, England, home of the late Lord Lydney. Eleanor Sheffield, a lovely young woman who loves all things antique, is handed an intriguing assignment which will take her years of experience as the daughter of a conservator and evaluator of antiquities and her personal knowledge and judgment to assess and unravel. To complicate matters the new Lord Lydney, a potential heir, is home from abroad bringing heartbreak and uncertainty with him.

Eleanor loves her work in dealing with antiquities. However, she struggles with her own difficult personal life since her father’s death facing great uncertainty during this time when women were not expected to be knowledgeable or capable of working. As she deals with an ailing uncle and an employee with too much interest in the business, Eleanor will have to work hard to maintain her integrity and hold on to her business. As she strives to hold her family’s life and business together, she must also sort out the affairs of her heart. 

So many questions trouble her as she seeks to unravel the mysteries that keep cropping up. Who can she trust? Where can she turn for help? Who should she believe? The intricate twists and turns will pull you right into the story. The historical components of the book are very detailed and interesting. Sandra Byrd does an excellent job of incorporating real historical elements into the story. The characters are intriguing and well developed. I personally love books with strong women and this story certainly delivers. Readers of historical fiction and romance will definitely enjoy this book. 

This ARC copy was received from Tyndale House Publishers and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21) — this verse kept running through my mind as I read the newest historical romance/mystery by Sandra Byrd. As I have come to expect from this talented author, Lady of A Thousand Treasures, is outstanding! Set in the Victorian-era, this novel uses as its premise the collecting-fever of the monied men and women of the time. The historic details whisk you back to the resplendent drawing rooms displaying the artifacts of ancient civilizations and priceless art, while also exposing the downtrodden poor that the rich sought to ignore. I loved this complexly crafted work and highly recommend it.

Eleanor Sheffield struggles to keep her late father’s valuating business afloat despite the dwindling commissions of patrons and the infirmity of her uncle. Her entire life has been dedicated to examining and valuing treasures — Roman coins, glassware, pottery, etc. — but a woman of her time is expected to take second place to father or husband. Given a challenging task by her childhood friend’s deceased father, she endeavors to act in a just manner, but there are many foes known and unknown that are acting against her.

Lady of A Thousand Treasures has an air of mystery from the outset. Indeed, there are a number of puzzling circumstances that Eleanor encounters. She is doggedly determined to meet every challenge, a trait that is both admirable and foolish. Her pride in her strength and self-sufficiency leads her to trouble time and time again. The novel is told in the first person, and the reader gets a genuine look into Eleanor’s motives and thoughts. She holds nothing back. Her take on those around her is not always accurate, but enough is shared for the reader to come to his/her own conclusions. I found myself questioning all who Eleanor encounters. Even her lifelong friend (and true love) is open to doubt. Attention to historic detail gives this book a great deal of authenticity. The scenes involving life in prison are particularly eye-opening. Eleanor’s faith is tested throughout the novel, and she sometimes wavers in her trust in God’s goodness and provision. I found that made Eleanor even more real and relatable. Her feeling of being un-treasured touched my heart. Her assertion that “I am no one’s treasure” truly struck a chord.

Lady of A Thousand Treasures is a treasure of its own. A beautifully written book, it will keep you enthralled until the very last page is turned. I was sorry to have to leave Eleanor’s world. I know this story will stay with me for quite a long time.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.
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This book is an absolute treasure. I love historical fiction and this story was the perfection combination of history, romance and mystery. I enjoyed the characters and the way the author was able to bring them to life. The plot kept me interested until the very end and the writing flowed easily. The setting is just gloomy enough to give off all the Gothic romance vibes but also not overly done. Overall I really enjoyed this book and will be looking for more books by the author!
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