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Within These Gilded Halls

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BOOK REVIEW: Within These Gilded Halls
BOOK BY: Abigail Wilson
Readers who loved A Rumored Fortune will enjoy the latest release from Abigail Wilson, Within These Gilded Halls.
Phebe Radcliff is a renowned painter running from her past. Finding refuge in restoring the artwork in Avonthorpe’s ballroom, Phebe finds herself thrust into a murder mystery and the hunt for rumored treasure. Lt. Graham Burke was never meant to inherit Avonthorpe but when his aunt is murdered, the estate and everything is given to him. Not knowing who to trust, Graham searches for the treasure that will save the estate from its financial woes but doesn’t expect a bigger crime taking place on his newly inherited property.
The story started slowly, but about three chapters in it starts to move. This was where my interest was piqued, and the story was engaging until the very end. There’s a slew of characters who aren’t who they seem  - including the hero and heroine. Money is the ultimate goal and a powerful motivator for each character, so the criminals aren’t easily guessed. 
The descriptions pull the reader into Phebe’s world. One can almost smell the fish in the air and the salty sea that borders the estate. 
Some fun twists and turns near the end of the story makes me wonder if there is a follow up book coming. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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This is the first novel I've read by Abigail Wilson. I finished the book in one day and was not disappointed! The story follows the daughter of Lord Torrington, Phoebe Radcliff who is an artist that has studied under a renowned painter. She left home after being betrayed and scandalized. She is employed by Miss Drake to complete a ballroom renovation. When Miss Drake is murdered, her whole life changes. Phoebe is left with a clue to solving a murder and finding a treasure. She is later joined by Lt. Graham Burke, the handsome nephew of Miss Drake.

Knowing the clue, Phoebe finds herself in danger and with help of Graham they travel to unravel clues before other individuals of Avonthorpe Hall beat them to the punch. This novel had scenes reminiscent of Jane Austen, with tension between the two main characters. I really enjoyed their interactions. The story was well-written and kept me engaged right to very end.
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Within These Gilded Halls
By Abigail Wilson
Series: None
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Rated: 4
Obtain: Borrow 

Back of the Book: “Hidden treasure and betrayal mingle with unexpected love within the walls of Avonthorpe Hall.
After studying art under Miss Drake, a renowned painter, Phoebe Radcliff is certain she can finally move beyond the childish mistake that’s kept her away from home. She is thrilled when Miss Drake employs her to complete a complicated ballroom renovation. Everything changes, however, the moment Miss Drake is murdered. With her last breath she imparts the location of a clue to Phoebe. Can the biggest secret of Avonthorpe Hall be true—the rumored treasure real? Phoebe is tasked to finish her work in the ballroom by Miss Drake’s infuriatingly regimented yet all-too-handsome nephew, Lt. Graham Burke. Determined to fulfill the promise she made to her beloved teacher to find the treasure, Phoebe also works to uncover the truth about Miss Drake’s death—and she must do so before Lt. Burke leases the house. But dark shadows line the gilded halls of Avonthorpe, and soon enough Phoebe realizes she’s not the only person who knows about the clues. What’s worse, she needs Lt. Burke’s help to stay ahead of whoever is hard on her heels. If only she weren’t so attracted to him.Caught up in a deadly race for answers, Phoebe must find a way to breach the shroud of lies that surrounds every last resident in the house and, more importantly, face a past she’s been running away from for far too long.”
Impressions: What’s a treasure without a hunt! I devoured this adventure quickly. I found the characters easy to like and cheer on in love. The mystery was quite fun to follow straight to the end. The one thing I found wanting was the basis for Phoebe being in the house. Her time would have been as a hired employee and although she is reference working she is more often found not working. I would also question why her “good” friend Daniel is not with her more often. Regardless, I enjoyed this adventure.

I received an ARC of this book via the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review shared here. For more book reviews go to: https://simplyannehere.wordpress.com
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This is my fifth novel by Abigail Wilson.  She is a recent find for me and I have really enjoyed her work, i.e. writing style.  I found this book a bit harder to get into, it started very slow, but it built as it went along and by the end, I was rushing to finish and get the answers.  There was a very slow burn love interest and a big mystery. Overall an enjoyable read.

Thank you to the Publisher and NetGalley for giving me this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I love Abigail Wilson books!  Her intriguing mysteries and endearing characters never fail to entertain.  I loved the ties to Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey.  It made me want to go back and read that story all over again..  Don't worry if you haven't read it, I think you could easily read this one on its own.  Within These Gilded Halls features two mysteries, a murder and a long buried treasure.  For once, I had a strong, unwaivering suspicion about the murderer and the location of the treasure!  All this mystery reading must be paying off!  Written in a Regency setting, the story has a tender romance, with a faith based message of redemption and forgiveness.  Abigail Wilson excelled at word imagery in this story.  There were paragraphs that were eerily descriptive sending "my nerves into chaos".  Mr. Montague, from Twilight at Morrington Cross , is a very minor character in this book, but it seems his story will continue as we "visit' Middlecrest Abbey and the Torringtons in the next book.  I can hardly wait!

If you enjoy clean and wholesome reads, then I  recommend you move this one to the top of your reading list! 
Thank you Thomas Nelson and Net Galley for the free DRC of this book.  The opinions expressed here are my own.
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“A treasure hunt and a murder investigation and a man with a rather affecting grin.” What’s not to love about this book? I was intrigued by the book’s description and it was even better than that! Ms. Wilson’s books are some of my favorites because she always has intricate plots, a mystery, an uplifting message, and clean, wholesome romance.  I highly recommend reading Within These Gilded Halls for the following reasons: 
 
* Phoebe who was “daring, impulsive, intelligent” 
* Lt. Graham Burke- a “kind, deep thinker… a man filled with compassion and the propensity to love.”
* Scouring the seashore for shells
* Hidden coves
* Searching for clues to a rumored fortune
* Egyptian antiquities
* Mysterious happenings
* Political intrigue
* Plot twists 

Thank you to NetGalley and the author for an eARC of  the book. A positive review was not required, only my honest opinion. All thoughts are my own.
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This was a nice story with two mysteries. 
Phoebe has come to Avonthorpe Hall to complete a renovation on the ballroom.  She finds Miss Drake in her room shot and she dies before she can tell Phoebe who shot her.  Phoebe along with Graham race against others looking for a hidden treasure and who killed Miss Drake.
It’s a nice mystery with a sweet romance mixed it.
 Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy
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"Within These Gilded Halls" is a romance set in 1819 in England. The author used a noticeable number of incorrect words (like several times people were referred to as "lifeless" when those people were still alive) and odd phrases (like "she tethered her lip between her teeth" yet "tether" usually means to tie something up). I found these distracting.

The main characters were interesting enough but weren't very well developed. The focus was more on the clues for the treasure hunt and figuring out who's trying to get the treasure ahead of them. They didn't really try to uncover who killed Miss Drake, either, just get the treasure so they could save the Hall. I felt like a good bit of what was going on was pretty obvious from the hints dropped here and there, but they came as a surprise to Phoebe when she finally worked it all out in the end. Phoebe and Graham worked well together, and their friendship (and attraction) grew as they spent time hunting the treasure together. There was no sex or bad language. I guess I'd recommend this book to fans of treasure hunts.
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Within These Gilded Halls
by Abigail Wilson 
Pub Date: October 4, 2022
Thomas Nelson 
*Historical Fiction  *Christian 
Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book. 
An intriguing mystery with a sweet romance. A very enjoyable book for those who love regency romance. A slight gothic feel with a touch of international intrigue. The heroine's voice is strong yet leaves room for her to grow and change.
The cover was awesome and really drew me to the book!  I have never read this author before. 
4 stars
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An intriguing mystery with a sweet romance. Very enjoyable book for those who love regency romance. A slight gothic feel with a touch of international intrigue. The heroine's voice is strong yet leaves room for her to grow and change.
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Great characters that had awesome an storyline.  So good that I couldn't put down!
I love this author's style of writing. She makes it interesting and believable. 
I really enjoyed the mystery part of it.  That's usually my favorite thing.  In my opinion it's what makes a book
I highly recommend! It will most assuredly keep your attention. 
5 stars for a job well done!
My thanks for a copy of this book.  I was NOT required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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Within These Gilded Halls covers it all, murder, secrets, and romance.  Phoebe Radcliff left her childhood home 2 years ago due to a mistake and what she felt was an embarrassment to her family.  She wants to carve a new life for herself as a painter.  She takes a commission to renovate the ballroom trim in Avonthrope Hall back to it's original under the direction of owner and well known painter Miss Drake.

Josiah Drake, the original owner, is said to have hidden a treasure for his son Christopher to find when he returns from sea.  He never does and when Josiah dies, the clues to the treasure are included as an entail in all subsequent wills.  Miss Drake, a descendent, is found murdered.  Before she dies, she tells Phoebe where she has hidden the clues to find the treasure.

Phoebe sets out to try and locate the treasure, but she is unsure who she can trust in the household.  She teams up with Miss Drake's nephew Lt. Burke.  He inherits all after her death.  They discover all the clues and find the treasure but in the meantime, find Miss Drake's murderer as well as romance between each other.

Only thing I had a hard time with was the book's language.  Not being familiar with some of the terminology, it would have been nice to have a glossary in the back.  I found the book to be very descriptive and flowed well which certainly added to it for me.  It was a fast read as I couldn't wait to read who was good and who was not.

I have receiver a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own.
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I really feel it's almost unfair for me to write a review of this book because I couldn't make myself read enough of it to make a complete judgment.  I just knew after the first five chapters that I didn't care to read any more because I felt that I didn't "know" the characters enough to care about them and found that the premise for their presence at the "gilded halls" didn't make much sense.  I found it almost boring.  #NetGalley #WithinTheseGildedHalls
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I've read several books by Abigail Wilson in the past, and this did not disappoint! 

Phoebe studies art under Miss Drake and is restoring the original art in her large ballroom. Graham Burke, a relative of Miss Drake, is visiting when the old woman is murdered. With her dying breath, Miss Drake reveals a clue as to where a magnificent treasure is located on the property. The Drake family has been trying to determine its location or generations, but no one has found it yet. Together with Graham, Phoebe sets off to solve the clues and find the treasure before the murderer can. As they search, their attraction to each other grows, but circumstances keep the pair from giving into their feelings. 

The mystery and treasure hunt in this book were so fun! There were aspects of the clues that I could solve and some that I couldn't. I loved all the surprises and trying to figure out why characters were behaving in the ways that they were. Like the clues, there were some characters whose motivations I could ascertain and others who surprised me. Graham was a wonderful hero, and I cheered for the pair as they searched together. I thought Phoebe was perhaps a bit immature in some of her actions and thinking about her past, but the author led her on a believable path of growth and the character development was well done. 

I would definitely recommend this book to people who love a clean mystery and romance. While Miss Drake was murdered and there were other incidents of violence, there were no graphic details. The love story between Graham and Phoebe was sweet and satisfying. 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and opinion.
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This was my first book by this author and the premise of the story sounded good.

Sadly I had trouble getting through the book. I had to start several times. The writingstyle just wasn’t for me and I felt the characters were flat. I ddn’t connect to the story or the characters..
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I selected this book based on the period and the description and was hoping for no political agenda in my face in a fiction book.  I also selected this as a Net Gallery offering and chose to review.

 While the writer worked hard to create in interesting and conflicted mystery plot, she overwhelms the reader with too many words including repetitious phrases when describing characters thoughts and actions..  Because it was a free book and I rarely put a book down (good or bad) without finishing it, I felt like the story and writing needed one more really strong, good edit.  The introductory pages were confusing initially and it felt like the reader walked into a conversation that needed some sort of context.  It was only by chapter 3 that the opening conversation fully made sense.  Also, the transition from bad guy to good good for the main character's love interest seemed to happen very suddenly rather that over time and actions as I think was the author's intent.  

The book was very ambitious and at times the characters seemed to grow and evolve, but I feel that the plot twists were stronger than the character development.  If you enjoy Regency writing without the bodice busting and heavy breathing, this is a good choice for an easy read.
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Within These Gilded Halls by Abigail Wilson is a unique treasure hunt set on the cliffs of an estate in England. Right from the beginning, readers are introduced to Phoebe and her love of doing things in the correct way especially with restoring Miss Drake’s ballroom to its previous glory. The hunt for treasure was different, and I love the idea of one clue leading to another rhyme clue that made no sense at first glance. It reminded me a lot of the movie National Treasure with Nicholas Cage. The plot was handled nicely with plenty of twists and turns as Phoebe hunts for the treasure with the help of Graham Burke. As for the romance, it is lightly handled. Not thrown into the readers face but does come down to the predictable happily-ever-after moment near the end of the novel. As for Phoebe, she is a woman who is running from what she assumes in an error in her past, but she realizes the love of a father overpowers any wrong that she thinks she has done. Overall, Within These Gilded Halls by Abigail Wilson was a wonderful treasure hunt through the Regency era filled with bad guys and historical treasure. I definitely want a copy of this novel to add to my Abigail Wilson shelf. 

I received a complimentary copy of Within These Gilded Halls by Abigail Wilson from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
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I am a loyal fan of Abigail Wilson, and have read all of her books. Her characters are endearing and there is always a mystery in her stories. This book, however,  lacked the excitement of some of her previous books. Although the mystery is complex and I wanted to know how it would end, there wasn’t enough action outside of that one pursuit to make this book more interesting. It has a completely linear storyline with one plot. 

Some of the things I didn’t like were that the misunderstandings were avoidable; Phoebe is too impulsive; and the secondary characters were totally unlikeable. 

Some of the things I did like were: Lt. Burke! He was a gentleman with integrity and he had the most enchanting way of getting ruffled by his attraction to Phoebe. I liked that we got a chance to see her father again, who I like very much. I also like the references and connections between the characters in her previous books and the way they are linked. 

I would definitely read another Abigail Wilson book. I think she is an excellent writer! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

#WithinTheseGildedHalls #NetGalley
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2.5 stars

I was intrigued by the premise: gothic suspense, a treasure hunt, and a regency romance. However, it fell a bit flat for me. There were a couple unexpected twists. The dialogue was a bit flat and there were numerous info dumps. Characters weren't that distinct. The treasure hunt helped with the pace and engagement, but it wasn't quite enough.
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This is a Regency romance with a twist – there’s also some treasure hunting adventures to be had.

Phoebe is a great character. Confident and independent, she is artistic and training to paint and restore under the tutelage of Miss Drake, the owner of Avonthorpe Hall. Despite her insecurities and fears that a past mistake will have a long term effect on her future, she is sparky and determined to to find happiness in her own terms.

Her relationship with Lt. Burke develops through the book as they are brought together to solve tge mysteries hidden in the house.

The treasure hunt clues are clever and fun. As tge treasure hunt was set with a specific person in mind the clues are hard to decipher. While some can be researched, some answers are stumbled upon.

There’s lots of fun and lots of twists. Altogether a great read. Thank you Netgalley for my gifted digital copy.
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