Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

book cover
Lady of a Thousand Treasures
by Sandra Byrd

ISBN-13: 9781496426833
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House
Released: Oct. 9, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
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.

My Review:
Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a Christian historical romance set in 1866 in England. Eleanor is a skilled, kind, and well-meaning woman. Harry is honorable but made mistakes because he was desperate to find approval with his father. His father continued to punish them from beyond the grave by asking Eleanor to decide if Harry is trustworthy while providing her with inaccurate information. Eleanor is determined to find the truth, but in the process she may destroy her relationship with Harry through her doubts about him.

The story was suspenseful as Eleanor went from one trouble to the next, but most of these were brought on by illogical behavior. For example, she had full right to go into a locked room. Instead of going with everyone's full knowledge, though, she sneaked away at night (without a light) and broke into the room only to nearly be trapped where no one would know to look. She also did things like carry valuable items into dangerous areas. The suspense often seemed forced to me.

Other people also acted illogically to create suspense. When a treasure went missing, Eleanor was blamed because she was inventorying items at the time. Yet she was never entrusted with that treasure's safekeeping and didn't even know it existed until is was gone. No one questioned the people who actually did control treasure, they just blamed her and made finding it her responsibility. Another example is that the help at the antique shop was so obviously untrustworthy yet Eleanor fell for his manipulations until she had to face the consequences of his actions--for which, yet again, people were holding her responsible.

The book read like the author put a lot of historical research into it, but I found errors throughout it. Many of the details about prison and a woman's ability to take over financial control of her uncle's assets (signing for his debt, signing contracts, withdrawing his money, selling his things, etc.) without his knowledge don't match what I've read about that time period. If you don't care about perfect historical accuracy, the story should be enjoyable enough, but I felt frustrated by it.

The theme was not being afraid of being tested and found true. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable story even if it frustrated me at times.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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