Lady of a Thousand Treasures (The Victorian Ladies #1)
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.

Lady of a Thousand Treasures (The Victorian Ladies #1) Details

TitleLady of a Thousand Treasures (The Victorian Ladies #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 9th, 2018
PublisherTyndale House Publishers
ISBN-139781496426833
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Christian Fiction, Fiction

Lady of a Thousand Treasures (The Victorian Ladies #1) Review

  • Michelle Griep
    January 1, 1970
    It’s a rare book that I put on my keeper shelf. Lady of a Thousand Treasures earns one of those coveted spots. Sandra Byrd’s writing is an absolute piece of art. The plot kept me guessing until the very end. The story, the characters, the intrigue all blend into a delicious read, making this tale one that lives on long after you close the cover. If I had to sum up this story all in one word, it would be satisfying.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Lady of a Thousand Treasures is truly a treasure of a Gothic romance, aptly named! Sandra Byrd is the rare writer whose evocative, atmospheric prose grabs hold and doesn’t let go, delivering a complex, intelligent novel infused with romance and faith, an enigmatic hero who will steal your heart along with a clever, antiquity-dealing heroine who will keep you on the edge of your Victorian parlor chair. The Victorian Ladies Series is off to a stunning start!
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Lady of a Thousand Treasures is another winning novel by Sandra Byrd. I was held fast by this story of Ellie Sheffield, a talented evaluator of antiquities, as well as a lady who has fallen on hard times. Trained by her father to spot the difference between a genuine artifact and a fake, Ellie is determined to keep her family business afloat. Of course, during this time, few women are trusted in this area of expertise, so Ellie work beneath the guise of her uncle, a talented man in his own right Lady of a Thousand Treasures is another winning novel by Sandra Byrd. I was held fast by this story of Ellie Sheffield, a talented evaluator of antiquities, as well as a lady who has fallen on hard times. Trained by her father to spot the difference between a genuine artifact and a fake, Ellie is determined to keep her family business afloat. Of course, during this time, few women are trusted in this area of expertise, so Ellie work beneath the guise of her uncle, a talented man in his own right, but whose health has recently declined.One thing that I always admire about Byrd’s characters is that they are fully creatures of their time. That is, they don’t unrealistically try to usurp all of the proprieties that society has thrust upon them. Ellie wishes to continue working, and in truth, must do so to support herself, but she is always fully aware of the precariousness of her situation. Did I wish she would speak out sometimes? Yes, of course! Would it have totally ruined the historical context? Yes! So, even when it was to her detriment, I only felt empathy for her, because she truly was doing all she could do.Once Ellie is appointed a temporary trustee of a wealthy client’s collection upon his death, she is tasked with the difficult decision of what to do with the priceless collection – donate it to a museum, or allow it to pass to the man who broke her heart and her faith in him, Harry. Circumstances and people themselves conspire to work against Ellie, and despite being nearly alone in her troubles, she can’t make herself forgive and trust him. Ultimately, when disaster strikes Ellie has to find a place of strength inside herself, apart from everyone – her dear father, her uncle, and even Harry.I truly felt that I learned so much while I read this story. The historical details are exquisite, of course, but as the reader, I also got an up close and personal view of how antiquities were forged and how the experts determined the real from the forgery. I don’t want to say too much about the plot, just that there is a bit of everything here – mystery, danger, despair, hope, and yes, a lovely romance. And that ending is so very lovely and well-deserved indeed!I was so eager to read this story, and now I’m so sad that it’s over. However, as this is book one of the Victorian Ladies series, my reader heart can rest assured that another wonderful historical is to come. Highly recommended to readers of inspirational, historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a review, positive or otherwise; this review is my honest opinion.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    Sandra Byrd does it again with her newest book “Lady of a Thousand Treasures!” Her first book in the “Victorian Ladies” series is full of mystery, history and romance!Sandra Byrd is one of my favorite contemporary authors because she writes history with such a depth and knowledge that few others in the genre achieve. “Lady of a Thousand Treasures” is a Gothic romance set in Victorian England and is a book to savor. The opening scene of a gloomy funeral, complete with a raging storm outside, will Sandra Byrd does it again with her newest book “Lady of a Thousand Treasures!” Her first book in the “Victorian Ladies” series is full of mystery, history and romance!Sandra Byrd is one of my favorite contemporary authors because she writes history with such a depth and knowledge that few others in the genre achieve. “Lady of a Thousand Treasures” is a Gothic romance set in Victorian England and is a book to savor. The opening scene of a gloomy funeral, complete with a raging storm outside, will immediately hook you. Ms. Byrd uses amazing descriptions, bringing the reader into the story and time period. I love the main character, Eleanor, who really grows as a character throughout the story, both in her faith and as a person. There is so much faith content in this story, which I love. Eleanor prays, visits women in prison, asks the Lord for wisdom and guidance and quotes scripture. I appreciate the realistic way she at time struggles in her relationship with the Lord. Eleanor is also trying to test what’s true and what’s false, not only in antiquities, but also in people. She struggles with pride and striving to earn others’ approval; which was encouraging to me as well, as I’m often a people pleaser. Eleanor’s love story is so romantic. It’s probably the most well written swoon-worthy romance of the year!“Lady of a Thousand Treasures” is a keeper for sure! This Gothic, Victorian romance includes a good dose of mystery and danger, and has a beautiful message about leaving our burdens with the Lord and learning to discern the true from the false. Content: This is a clean read with a PG for content. Some examples of the content are: mention of a man drinking himself to death; the devil is referred to; a man suggests a dalliance with a woman; a few subtle references to a couple’s wedding night.Rating: I give this book 5 stars!Genre: Christian fiction; Gothic; Romance; Victorian; MysteryI want to thank Tyndale House Publishers, Sandra Byrd and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    I am not at all surprised that this book is FABULOUS! *Mild spoiler* I am forever ruined for all other romantic heroes by Lord Harry Lyndey and his speech at the very end of the book. It has to do with the book title. Trust me, you will swoon. This book really is a treasure! Full review soon!ETA (10/9/18): Actual review below.Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a rare delight. From the very first chapter, Sandra Byrd pulls you into Miss Sheffield’s world, one dimmed by loss but sparkling with a hope I am not at all surprised that this book is FABULOUS! *Mild spoiler* I am forever ruined for all other romantic heroes by Lord Harry Lyndey and his speech at the very end of the book. It has to do with the book title. Trust me, you will swoon. This book really is a treasure! Full review soon!ETA (10/9/18): Actual review below.Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a rare delight. From the very first chapter, Sandra Byrd pulls you into Miss Sheffield’s world, one dimmed by loss but sparkling with a hope of love returned. Victorian England was not an easy place for a woman virtually alone to succeed. The struggles that Ellie faces in a man’s world aren’t unlike what women in the workplace deal with today, but the story remains authentic to the time in sensibilities, setting, and characters.Speaking of characters—the dashing Harry Lydney. *sigh* He has broken Eleanor’s heart in the past and it seems as though he may have returned to do it again. This hero has got to be one of the best of ALL TIME! He is always a gentleman but has a slight aura of mystery surrounding him that is quite intriguing! He’s wonderfully complex and compelling, and while Eleanor is the heroine and the focal point of this book, and amazing in her own right, I couldn’t help but favor Harry—prince of my heart. Insert heart eyes here.Lady of a Thousand Treasures is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I am eagerly awaiting the second book in this series. It promises to be yet another delight from Ms. Byrd’s pen. Bring on the swoony heroes!~ My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, A Favorite! ~*I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*
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  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    Sandra Byrd has become one of my favorite authors. I love the way she weaves a Gothic tale with a good measure of light. In the first of The Victorian Ladies Series, readers learn a great deal about the hobby of collecting and the need to have evaluators to determine the authenticity of pieces of art. Main character Eleanor Sheffield is the daughter and niece of evaluators Sheffield Brothers. With her father passed away and her uncle ill, she is in a difficult position to keep the family busines Sandra Byrd has become one of my favorite authors. I love the way she weaves a Gothic tale with a good measure of light. In the first of The Victorian Ladies Series, readers learn a great deal about the hobby of collecting and the need to have evaluators to determine the authenticity of pieces of art. Main character Eleanor Sheffield is the daughter and niece of evaluators Sheffield Brothers. With her father passed away and her uncle ill, she is in a difficult position to keep the family business moving forward. Eleanor is an admirable character and it was easy to want her to succeed.The main male character, Harry Lydney, had moments of adoration, but many more moments where I found myself beyond frustrated with his actions.While not my favorite Byrd novel, I certainly enjoyed Lady of a Thousand Treasures and look forward to the next in the series. My gratitude to publisher Tyndale for a complimentary copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Melanie Dobson
    January 1, 1970
    Like the antiquities prized in this novel, Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a rare treasure of its own. I was swept away from the first page, back to Victorian England and into the haunting mysteries of the Watchfield House. With endearing characters and impeccable research, Sandra Byrd has woven together an exquisite treasure hunt.
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  • Paula Shreckhise
    January 1, 1970
    Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd is a treasure indeed. I found it hard to put aside this exceptional novel to take care of my daily chores. Sandra immerses us into the lives of Eleanor Sheffield, a curator and evaluator of antiquities, and the wealthy collectors who seek authentication for their treasures. Eleanor has been taught by her father and uncle how to tell an original piece of art from a fraudulent copy. She has learned to trust her eye to spot a forgery. Can she also trust h Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd is a treasure indeed. I found it hard to put aside this exceptional novel to take care of my daily chores. Sandra immerses us into the lives of Eleanor Sheffield, a curator and evaluator of antiquities, and the wealthy collectors who seek authentication for their treasures. Eleanor has been taught by her father and uncle how to tell an original piece of art from a fraudulent copy. She has learned to trust her eye to spot a forgery. Can she also trust her instincts when it comes to people? Can she trust her uncle’s failing memory, her firm’s longtime employee, or her own perceptions of her beloved’s intentions? It is clear she trusts God to keep her through the many difficulties surrounding her since the death of her father. It has fallen on her to conserve the reputation of Sheffield Brothers, a firm bult by her father and uncle, while forging her way for women to take their place in the business world of Victorian England. Sandra has done extensive research and even incorporates a few famous people of the time into the story. The legends of the horse pictographs on the chalk cliffs and the Hawthorne brought from the Holy Land were fascinating and added depth and richness to the novel. The romance was not lacking and was sweetly represented. The object of Eleanor’s affections, Harry, Lord Lydney, is steadfast, thoughtful and loyal to his friends. Harry and Eleanor share a meaningful faith. They show it by living the scripture that they quote. Eleanor has a heart for the downtrodden and makes friends equally above and below her station. If you are looking for a sweeping tale filled with symbolism, romance, and a Gothic flair— look no farther! This book accomplishes the task. Sandra carefully crafts the plot and authentically captures the flavor of 1866 England. Definitely among my top picks for this year. *I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing on behalf of the author. I was not required to give favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    I’m all about trying out new authors and expanding my reading horizons, BUT I also love having my go-to authors, where I know each book I read will be (and is!) simply fabulous, entertaining, and always added to the bookshelf. Sandra Byrd is one such author and her latest, once again, did not disappoint.Lady of a Thousand Treasures brings about a fascinating piece of history – the wealthy and their love and obsession with artifacts. I found it fascinating that so much of history was stored in ho I’m all about trying out new authors and expanding my reading horizons, BUT I also love having my go-to authors, where I know each book I read will be (and is!) simply fabulous, entertaining, and always added to the bookshelf. Sandra Byrd is one such author and her latest, once again, did not disappoint.Lady of a Thousand Treasures brings about a fascinating piece of history – the wealthy and their love and obsession with artifacts. I found it fascinating that so much of history was stored in houses and mansions of the rich. I loved how Byrd brought that to life and how that played out in society.Plus Byrd knows how to write a romantic thread – never over the top, but always oh so fabulous. I definitely recommend adding this to your list, I promise you won’t be disappointed!Who is one of your go-to authors?(Thank you to Tyndale Publishers for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)
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  • Clara
    January 1, 1970
    I do so enjoy a well-crafted story."It is only by testing or being tested that we understand whether the substance or the person is at it appears to be or is merely masquerading"Exquisite. Full of twists turns and speculations to haunt as any good gothic novel must.Engaging, as we follow Miss Eleanor Sheffield as she is handed the daunting charge of overseeing the former Baron Lydney's legendary treasure. Five questions must she answer in honor to accomplish her task, all will test her heart, on I do so enjoy a well-crafted story."It is only by testing or being tested that we understand whether the substance or the person is at it appears to be or is merely masquerading"Exquisite. Full of twists turns and speculations to haunt as any good gothic novel must.Engaging, as we follow Miss Eleanor Sheffield as she is handed the daunting charge of overseeing the former Baron Lydney's legendary treasure. Five questions must she answer in honor to accomplish her task, all will test her heart, one holds the key to her happiness. Such responsibilities require a steady and thorough investigation. But with the threat of debtor's prison and her family's business success over her head, can Eleanor find enlightenment in time to take the best path?Alas, Ellie is overweighed with the responsibility of determining if Harry, who has already sorrowed her heart, is selfish. Can she still oversee her commision without her own selfishness and pride getting in the way? And, as she traipses her way along society, trying to be a woman of her own fate and pursuits, can love and admiration abound when things are seen for what they truly are, or is credibility to be found only in stories?Sandra Byrd paints a suspenseful setting that has more than a hair-raising thrill effect, but an achingly searching tone that promises to go through every nook and cranny, leaving nothing in the obscure. As it should be, for as the answers she's been looking for come to light, Eleanor finds more tangles into the mystery, and her gift as an evaluator might find its most difficult trial so far, that of determining character. I cannot finish off this review without commending the writer's research and genius craftsmanship. I truly cannot wait to see what the next book in the series will hold!*many thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy; this is my honest opinion.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    This much anticipated series starts off with a winner! Ms. Byrd is at the top of her game providing her readers with an original storyline rich with lyrical prose, filled with twists and unexpected turns, endearing characters and spiritual truths that kept me eagerly turning the pages to a very satisfying end. Sandra Byrd's historical research is impeccable, providing the reader with a wealth of knowledge about the collecting of antiques and historical objects. Eleanor is given the responsibili This much anticipated series starts off with a winner! Ms. Byrd is at the top of her game providing her readers with an original storyline rich with lyrical prose, filled with twists and unexpected turns, endearing characters and spiritual truths that kept me eagerly turning the pages to a very satisfying end. Sandra Byrd's historical research is impeccable, providing the reader with a wealth of knowledge about the collecting of antiques and historical objects. Eleanor is given the responsibility as trustee of determining who should receive a collection of treasures upon the death of a wealthy client. In Eleanor, the author has given us an intelligent heroine who is eager to prove herself in a field that is dominated by men. Yet, despite her independence, she is vulnerable. Will she ever be treasured, cherished by another? Where can she place her trust? This captivating book will remain on a shelf with my favorites to be returned to again and again. A most noble hero will have the reader swooning at a very satisfying conclusion. A couple of my favorite quotes:" I think treasures mean so much to me because they remind me of people, even when time has passed and I may no longer believe what I once did....They want a fragment of bone or true cross because when things seem dark, and it appears as if God is elusive and does not seem to be responding, they want something to hold on to. Something to prove that the one in whom they trust, at the deepest level, is who they believe them to be."" You are beautiful to me in every manifestation. You are clothed in strength and dignity.""It is only by testing, or being tested, that we understand whether the substance or the person is as it appears to be or is merely masquerading."I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Although I've heard so much about Sandra Byrd's books, this is the first time I've had the pleasure of reading one. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel set in 18th century England, with the strong and intelligent female heroine Eleanor Sheffield.Eleanor has been trained from childhood to be an evaluator of antiquities, working alongside her father and her uncle. But upon the death of her father and with her uncle declining in mental health, Eleanor finds herself in financial dire straights, even as Although I've heard so much about Sandra Byrd's books, this is the first time I've had the pleasure of reading one. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel set in 18th century England, with the strong and intelligent female heroine Eleanor Sheffield.Eleanor has been trained from childhood to be an evaluator of antiquities, working alongside her father and her uncle. But upon the death of her father and with her uncle declining in mental health, Eleanor finds herself in financial dire straights, even as she uses her wits and talents to support her family and household. As all this takes place, Eleanor's love interest Harry from her younger days comes back into her life and she must reconcile if she can trust him after he broke her heart.I simply loved the character of Eleanor. Not only was she bright and talented, but she was also kind and generous. She had strong values and a good sense of justice. I also loved how the author brought Eleanor's trade to life. As a reader I enjoy learning new things and I learned how evaluators assessed objects of antiquities to determine their worth and if indeed they were genuine or fraudulent. The plot included a mystery too, and I found myself trying to guess along with Eleanor. The author's research was well incorporated into the novel and makes this book a worthy and intelligent read.The only part of the book I found somewhat lacking was the romance. Harry was a noteworthy character but he seemed to be making only small appearances for most of the first half of the book until he was more involved later. He was not as well-developed a character as Eleanor was. There was a lack of passion between him and Eleanor that at one point I even wondered if another male character was going to make an appearance to liven the romance department a little! No sexual tension whatsoever. I've read plenty of Christian historical fiction novels that do this so well while keeping the novel clean.Apart from this, Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a strong first book in The Victorian Ladies Series and aptly titled. The ending is beautiful and ties up all plot threads satisfyingly. I look forward to reading more in this series and other books from this author.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    I have long been a fan of Sandra Byrd's books, because she can immerse you into a Gothic setting and help you feel like you are there (and you'll be thankful you are not, with some of the scenes in the jail I don't think I would be able to handle it!). This novel has it all--romance, intrigue, treasure hunting, hidden secrets, lies, and family devotion.I loved the character of Eleanor. She is headstrong, confident in her abilities to place value on treasures, yet she is also tender and loving. S I have long been a fan of Sandra Byrd's books, because she can immerse you into a Gothic setting and help you feel like you are there (and you'll be thankful you are not, with some of the scenes in the jail I don't think I would be able to handle it!). This novel has it all--romance, intrigue, treasure hunting, hidden secrets, lies, and family devotion.I loved the character of Eleanor. She is headstrong, confident in her abilities to place value on treasures, yet she is also tender and loving. She cares about her ailing uncle, even to the point where it could (and does) cause her personal and professional detriment. The one part of this novel that I wasn't as confident in was Harry. I did see the author's point of writing him the way she did (after everything is revealed), but it was a bit frustrating and didn't make me his biggest fan until the ending.The themes of redemption and trying to discover who is trustworthy are subtly woven throughout. This first novel in the Victorian Ladies series makes me anxious to read the next, as it is absolutely fascinating to see the lives of women woven in with the history of the times.I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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  • Phyllis
    January 1, 1970
    Where your treasure is. . .My rating is 4.5 starsHarry was chronically late. Eleanor had even come to expect it of him. And she felt that his tardiness reflected a lack of care for her. In fact, there were so many little signs, and some bigger ones, that maybe he couldn’t be trusted. People all around her were cautioning her against him.Poor Eleanor was in a difficult situation. She didn’t really have anyone she could confide in and had gotten to the point that she really felt that no one cared Where your treasure is. . .My rating is 4.5 starsHarry was chronically late. Eleanor had even come to expect it of him. And she felt that his tardiness reflected a lack of care for her. In fact, there were so many little signs, and some bigger ones, that maybe he couldn’t be trusted. People all around her were cautioning her against him.Poor Eleanor was in a difficult situation. She didn’t really have anyone she could confide in and had gotten to the point that she really felt that no one cared about her. That she wasn’t treasured.Through many hardships, Eleanor clung tightly to her faith in God. At times that faith was little more than that of a mustard seed, but it was enough to see her through. In addition to her faith, I admired her greatly for her kindness to others, even in her difficulty. More than once, she sacrificed greatly to benefit others.Despite an overall tone of melancholy, Lady of a Thousand Treasures was a treat to read. The slightly Gothic style and feel of the writing made me think of Jane Eyre. There was a great mystery with danger and unexpected twists. The author wisely told the story only from Eleanor’s perspective to not give away any hints of what was going to come.In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I will refrain from saying more about the story itself save the fact that the absolutely most romantic moment in the book occurred in the most unexpected place. I would have never expected to give a swoony sigh in a location and circumstances like that.I learned so much about the collecting of antiquities and reliquaries in the Victorian era. I also got to go inside a prison (Eleanor visited some women there to minister to them). How abominable that one could be thrown in prison for stealing bacon and be sentenced to one year! And that those who had the means were treated better than those without.I had a delightful time reading this book. It was very different from the contemporary series of the author’s that I have read and yet I believe I enjoyed this one even more.This review was originally posted on Among the ReadsI was given a free copy of this item. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
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  • Rachel McMillan
    January 1, 1970
    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 ro 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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  • Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
    January 1, 1970
    I loved all the amazing historical details in this story! It was fascinating to see how a middle class family interacted with the wealthy upper crust of society, accepting commissions and providing them with rare and valuable collectibles and antiques. Eleanor is in a highly unique position for a woman of her time, and I admired her perseverance under the pressures she is facing from all aspects of her life. While I found this book enjoyable to read, it sometimes felt like it would never end. E I loved all the amazing historical details in this story! It was fascinating to see how a middle class family interacted with the wealthy upper crust of society, accepting commissions and providing them with rare and valuable collectibles and antiques. Eleanor is in a highly unique position for a woman of her time, and I admired her perseverance under the pressures she is facing from all aspects of her life. While I found this book enjoyable to read, it sometimes felt like it would never end. Ellie's constant questioning of and wavering over Harry's character made it harder for me to connect with him, and while it provided a higher element of intrigue, it also detracted from the romance of the story until the very end. I felt quite a bit of anxiety and worry over Ellie's struggles and it seemed every time she would overcome one obstacle, another would surface, or multiple ones, until she is completely overwhelmed and in desperate circumstances. The societal politics of the collectors and procurers was forefront to the plot as Ellie works to save her uncle's company.(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
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  • Tressa (Wishful Endings)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsLADY OF A THOUSAND TREASURES is a story set at a time when women were trying to take more control of their lives, but were still very much controlled by men and the whims of society. This creates an interesting backdrop for this story, where a woman who is trained in a "man's" profession is assigned the task of either donating a vast antiques collection worth a fortune to a museum or allowing it to remain with the son and heir after his father's death, a man she was in love with most of 4.5 StarsLADY OF A THOUSAND TREASURES is a story set at a time when women were trying to take more control of their lives, but were still very much controlled by men and the whims of society. This creates an interesting backdrop for this story, where a woman who is trained in a "man's" profession is assigned the task of either donating a vast antiques collection worth a fortune to a museum or allowing it to remain with the son and heir after his father's death, a man she was in love with most of her life. Not only does this create a difficult decision for her personally between her heart or her career, it also puts her in the middle of those who would gain or lose greatly from her decision. Her world is crashing all around her and she must learn who to trust, including God. Historical romance fans will find much to love in this story. An excellent beginning to a new series!This story intrigued me from the beginning. This time in history is always interesting to me because culture was changing and women's place in society was changing, yet the language and expectations were still very much traditional. Eleanor wants to trust Harry, but she doesn't know if she can and their interactions are still so formal. Sometimes I just wanted her to outright ask Harry about some things or to confront others, but she was held back by her fears and by what society expected of her.Eleanor, Harry, and the other characters were all quite likable, while Eleanor's enemies were quite unlikable (as they should be). The author did a good job of hiding some of the villains in friendly faces where I could tell that there was just something I didn't quite trust about them, but wasn't sure what it was. I would have enjoyed a little more interaction with Harry as he didn't feel quite as full of a character as I would have liked, but I still really liked him. Eleanor definitely takes the spotlight and the story is told through her POV. It's a story full of emotion, of desperate circumstances, of a trial of faith, and of risks and danger. In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! It has a little of everything I love in a story: inspiration, suspense, a great setting, marvelous characters, an intriguing plot, and a sweet romance. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series!Content: Some innuendo and mild violence, but clean.Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through JustRead Publicity Tours, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.
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  • Alysha (For The Love of Christian Fiction)
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my word this book is a CHUNCKER, and honestly it was SO intimidating to me. It's almost 500 pages y'all! (Okay it's not actually, more like 450 story wise, but STILL!) The topic of this book is very intriguing to me, even though I'm not a treasure expert. 😅Sadly I think I'm going to be in the 1% who didn't really care for this story. It was super slow going for me to get into this book, and even when I did get "into" it I felt it was very drawn out and slow.There were a TON of scene, people, Oh my word this book is a CHUNCKER, and honestly it was SO intimidating to me. It's almost 500 pages y'all! (Okay it's not actually, more like 450 story wise, but STILL!) The topic of this book is very intriguing to me, even though I'm not a treasure expert. 😅Sadly I think I'm going to be in the 1% who didn't really care for this story. It was super slow going for me to get into this book, and even when I did get "into" it I felt it was very drawn out and slow.There were a TON of scene, people, emotion descriptions that honestly felt a bit unnecessary. To me they didn't add to the story, they were just there.Now I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I know a lot of people who enjoy descriptive stories, I just happen to be someone who doesn't.There was a subtle mystery story line running throughout, but it was anticlimactic to me because it was so drawn out. Then it was wrapped up so fast at the end, it felt a little incomplete. (Though I can't quite put my finger on what it was)The only character I enjoyed was Harry, but because the book was written from first person everyone kind of loved Harry because Eleanor did. He was sweet and considerate, and was honestly a really good guy. He was a protector for anyone he felt needed it.Eleanor was a very stubborn character who tried to be strong for everyone all the while facing an inner feeling of not being worth anything. She finally came to realization that she was God's treasure and He loved her.The proposal might just go down as one of my FAVORITE proposals in history!!!! I was utterly enchanted by it. *total heart eyes the ENTIRE time*No it wasn't my favorite book, but I am really interested to see who the next book is about, if it even follows someone close to this family. Anyone I THOUGHT the book might be about kind of "found" their special somebody at the end.Overall I rated it a 3/5 star. I know a ton of people enjoyed this book, and I really wish it was my thing. Maybe next time. 💗*I received this book from the author**I was not required to give a positive review**All review are my own*
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  • Suzie
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars I have so many thoughts running through my head after finishing this book, this may get a little long-winded (there’s just that much to say). But I’ll do my best to rein it in!First, let’s talks about Eleanor Sheffield. This young woman is a contradiction, much like the glass she collects, which she describes as “both fragile and strong, liquid and solid, opaque and clear, vibrant and strong. Complex as the best of us are.” Eleanor herself is strong yet vulnerable, self-sufficient yet 4.5 stars I have so many thoughts running through my head after finishing this book, this may get a little long-winded (there’s just that much to say). But I’ll do my best to rein it in!First, let’s talks about Eleanor Sheffield. This young woman is a contradiction, much like the glass she collects, which she describes as “both fragile and strong, liquid and solid, opaque and clear, vibrant and strong. Complex as the best of us are.” Eleanor herself is strong yet vulnerable, self-sufficient yet prideful, suspicious yet trusting, and so much more. A woman in a predominantly male world, our heroine has a lot to prove.Then there are the collectibles, the collectors, and the collections. Sandra Byrd presents all of this throughout the book in a way that is both entertaining and fascinating. With a bit of historical research, the author manages to make these physical objects another character in the book.Now, let’s get to the heart of this story: Character. Not the player in the story but the heart and intentions of that person. From the first chapter, Eleanor’s task of determining where the Lydney family collection will go after the death of the patriarch requires her to comprehend Harry Lydney’s character. Is he the man his father claimed him to be, the one she remembers with fondness, or someone else? As the story unfolds through Eleanor’s eyes, not only is Harry’s character revealed, so is Eleanor’s and a few others. As masks are removed and the truth is uncovered, integrity, honor, duplicity, and more are discovered.Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a treasure chest full of gems of insight into history and the human heart. If it’s not already on your TBR list, you best go add it now because you don’t want to miss this one.Disclosure statement:I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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  • Kelly Bridgewater
    January 1, 1970
    I have read Sandra Byrd's Renaissance series with Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth and her Daughters of Hampshire series, so I was ready to dive into the first book into her new series about Victorian ladies and their treasure. A good historical novel teaches me something about history and makes me believe that I am in that time period. Byrd does a wonderful job at inviting me into the Victorian age with her words and description. Her writing hits it out of the park and allows me to feel fully en I have read Sandra Byrd's Renaissance series with Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth and her Daughters of Hampshire series, so I was ready to dive into the first book into her new series about Victorian ladies and their treasure. A good historical novel teaches me something about history and makes me believe that I am in that time period. Byrd does a wonderful job at inviting me into the Victorian age with her words and description. Her writing hits it out of the park and allows me to feel fully engulfed into the setting.The plot really didn't wow me. The conflict centers around missing treasure, but it seemed like an oversight to the intitial storyline. Sometimes the story read like an invertory list for the Victorian shop. I got bored pretty easily and wanted so much more to the plotline. It didn't capture my attention.The characters' romance between Eleanor Sheffield and Harry didn't ring true. I honestly had no idea what Eleanor saw in Harry. They were in love when she was younger, but then he supposedly cheated on her while away on a different country and took a long time to come back. I saw no enduring qualities for Harry. He tried to come off as the hero, but I had a hard time liking him at all. The romance felt wrong and forced for the story.I did enjoy the aspect of dealing with the aging uncle. The story felt a little more full because of the love and respect shown to him as he hung around the side of the story.Overall, A Lady of a Thousand Treasures was populated with characters that I had no sympathy for and a plot that didn't capture my imagination as much as I wanted the plot to. Byrd's writing is top-notch, and I really enjoyed her ability to bring the Victorian era back to life for me, but I struggled with the plot overall.I received a complimentary copy of A Lady of Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
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  • Marylin
    January 1, 1970
    Have you ever felt worthless? All alone? Like life keeps turning round and round and you don’t know what will happen next? This is what Miss Eleanor Sheffield was experiencing. Her life seemed to be falling apart and all she wanted to do was keep her family business going as best as she could. Yet, at every turn, there were others trying to stop her. But who was it? Was it just because she was a woman, or was it something else? If you love suspense, historical romance, and learning about all the Have you ever felt worthless? All alone? Like life keeps turning round and round and you don’t know what will happen next? This is what Miss Eleanor Sheffield was experiencing. Her life seemed to be falling apart and all she wanted to do was keep her family business going as best as she could. Yet, at every turn, there were others trying to stop her. But who was it? Was it just because she was a woman, or was it something else? If you love suspense, historical romance, and learning about all the things which make up pretty treasures, then this is a book you will love to get your hands on. This book has so many beautiful images of wonderful treasures. I learned a lot about what makes a genuine piece of art. Now I look at my own things differently. It’s fun to think I might have an item which is really worth something.Sandra Byrd has written another amazing book which not only has treasured pieces of art, it will also leave you with treasures which you can apply to your heart. There are many quotes which have deep meaning. A quote Eleanor recalls a couple times which touched my heart is:“It is only by testing, or being tested, that we understand whether the substance or person is as it appears to be or is merely masquerading.”I honestly loved this book and will treasure each word in it. I highly recommend reading it. I received this book from the author to read. All opinions are my own.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Lady of a Thousand Treasures is the fabulous beginning to Sandra Byrd’s newest series, The Victorian Ladies. She is among one of my favorite authors and this book does not disappoint. I enjoyed Eleanor’s story. The historical details were so vivid, I felt like I was transported back to her time. I am giving Lady of a Thousand Treasure five plus stars. I highly recommend it for those who love well written historical fiction. I can not wait to continue The Victorian Ladies to see what will happen Lady of a Thousand Treasures is the fabulous beginning to Sandra Byrd’s newest series, The Victorian Ladies. She is among one of my favorite authors and this book does not disappoint. I enjoyed Eleanor’s story. The historical details were so vivid, I felt like I was transported back to her time. I am giving Lady of a Thousand Treasure five plus stars. I highly recommend it for those who love well written historical fiction. I can not wait to continue The Victorian Ladies to see what will happen next. Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a great read. It should not be missed!I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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  • Lucy
    January 1, 1970
    A rare treasure is to be found amidst the pages . Sandra Byrd delivers a compelling story that keeps you on your toes. Well researched and informative of the mid 1800’s in England. You can picture all these antiquities that were collected and displayed while guessing who can be trusted. Lady of a Thousand Treasures is to be savored instead of devoured in one sitting. I found Eleanor to be a delightful character. A great start to the Victorian Ladies series. I look forward to reading the next one A rare treasure is to be found amidst the pages . Sandra Byrd delivers a compelling story that keeps you on your toes. Well researched and informative of the mid 1800’s in England. You can picture all these antiquities that were collected and displayed while guessing who can be trusted. Lady of a Thousand Treasures is to be savored instead of devoured in one sitting. I found Eleanor to be a delightful character. A great start to the Victorian Ladies series. I look forward to reading the next one. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
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  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd is a blend of Historical Mystery and Romance. Sandra Byrd has been a favorite writer of mine because of her different themes, fast paced stories with strong Christian values. Her readers can visualize each scene and each character. I look forward to reading all the books in this series. Thanks Sandra Byrd for another enjoyable book. JaneW cassiesbooks
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  • Trisha Robertson (Joy of Reading)
    January 1, 1970
    This story is filled with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Eleanore Sheffield’s life has centered around her love of antiques. Growing up her father taught her all he knew about evaluating and obtaining antiques and priceless treasures for the nobility. But now that her father has died and her uncle’s health is rapidly declining, the upkeep of not only the house but the business has fallen on her shoulders.With the death of Baron Lydney; Eleanore is tasked with not only ca This story is filled with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Eleanore Sheffield’s life has centered around her love of antiques. Growing up her father taught her all he knew about evaluating and obtaining antiques and priceless treasures for the nobility. But now that her father has died and her uncle’s health is rapidly declining, the upkeep of not only the house but the business has fallen on her shoulders.With the death of Baron Lydney; Eleanore is tasked with not only cataloging but deciding the fate of the items in his vast estate. Should the items be donated to the local museum or should the items be awarded to the Baron’s only son, Harry? Who should she trust?While this story is as artistic as the countless antiquities described within the pages, the plot seemed to drag in places. This story has an abundance of information and details, and I would suggest that it may be best enjoyed by someone who can carve out large chunks of time for reading it.For me personally, I recognized several places in the story where the Christian viewpoint would have added greatly to the story, however, it was missing. There were a few mentions of God and trusting in His plan. However, it seemed to fall flat when the characters didn’t act on the knowledge.Sandra Byrd writes with beautiful word imagery, and really sets up the scenes for the story beautifully. The mystery was expertly woven throughout the story and kept me guessing as to how it would turn out.While I enjoyed certain aspects of the story, I never could fully get into the story and identify with the characters. I give this story 3-stars.(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
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  • Trixi
    January 1, 1970
    This immediately caught my attention with it's centuries old antiques passed down from generation to generation. My mother instilled the love of all things old, especially glass items. So when I read about five hundred year Venetian glass, I had to look up pictures! Gorgeous pieces passed before my eyes as I gazed upon the priceless beauties and salivated over each one. I wished I had been in Eleanor's position, valuating and authenticating objects touched by many hands before her. It would have This immediately caught my attention with it's centuries old antiques passed down from generation to generation. My mother instilled the love of all things old, especially glass items. So when I read about five hundred year Venetian glass, I had to look up pictures! Gorgeous pieces passed before my eyes as I gazed upon the priceless beauties and salivated over each one. I wished I had been in Eleanor's position, valuating and authenticating objects touched by many hands before her. It would have been pure heaven! When she's tasked with the fate of the vast collection left by the late Baron Lydney to his son Harry, can she keep her objectivity professional or will her heart once again be tangled in the man she once thought to marry? Having learned at the feet of her father and uncle to spot the fake from the real, she must decipher his character in much the same way. Will he prove worthy of keeping the family treasure or will some flaw make her decide to donate the collection to South Kensington Museum? I do not envy her choice as the fate of Sheffield Brothers curators is on the line. "It is only by testing or being tested that we understand whether the substance or the person is as it appears to be or is merely masquerading." As with every novel I've read by Sandra, she completely enthralls me with her exquisite & provocative writing style. It's a story to get lost in, paying no attention to time or the real world around you. Her characters are those you can rub shoulders with, her plots entrance you, and the subject matter of A Lady of a Thousand Treasures is sure to please the palate of any antique enthusiast! I never knew which direction it would take off and that added to the bit of mystery of some missing pieces and shady characters. The romance was well paced and kept me near my Victorian couch in case I felt the vapors coming on. A beguiling start to a new series entitled The Victorian Ladies and I anxiously await for more! Oh yes, be sure to read the authors note in the back and find out what first prompted her to write this story and the intriguing discovers made while researching. Well worth a read! *I received an ARC copy from NetGalley and was under no obligation to leave a review. All opinions are my own. *
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  • Erika Messer
    January 1, 1970
    Well if you are familiar with my blog you know I am a HUGE fan of anything historical and historical fiction is probably my favorite genre. I absolutely adore this novel because it is so well researched and I love the background and I fell in love immediately with Eleanor. This is not just a story about history, but also a story about love - but not just romantic love, but about a love for treasures - as Eleanor's family has dealt in antiquities and treasures for many many years. Her father has Well if you are familiar with my blog you know I am a HUGE fan of anything historical and historical fiction is probably my favorite genre. I absolutely adore this novel because it is so well researched and I love the background and I fell in love immediately with Eleanor. This is not just a story about history, but also a story about love - but not just romantic love, but about a love for treasures - as Eleanor's family has dealt in antiquities and treasures for many many years. Her father has just passed away at the beginning of the novel, and Eleanor is now in charge of the family business - and she is MORE than qualified to do so. I think I loved her so much because in Victorian times, ladies were not usually seen as being proficient in anything other than being pretty or being maids or governesses or trophy wives. So for Eleanor to be this amazing, interesting and highly intelligent young woman is something new. She is independent and she is in love. She had been engaged to a young man from another very wealthy family, but he had gone away and kept her at bay with letters that at the time she believed, but is now clearly becoming confusing for her. And to top it all off, his father has passed away as well and she is put in charge of the entire estate of antiquities, heirlooms and pretty much everything that Harry Lydney could possibly inherit. His entire future is in HER hands now, his father had entrusted the choice of whether he should inherit it all or whether it should be given to the museum. But now that Harry - or rather the new Lord Lydney - has returned, he is trying to make her believe he had to stay to help his ailing father and all the other excuses. But unfortunately for Harry, his father had left letters for Eleanor as well - and they do not match Harry's stories at all. I totally felt Eleanor's conflicting emotions as she knows that with her father gone and her uncle not doing well, she has to do something to save the family business - but she also knows that she cannot do it alone. Eleanor is an expert at spotting fakes amongst the gems, but it becomes clear from the very beginning that her expertise in artifacts does not extend to people. She has such strong feelings for Harry that comes across every second of the book, but she also is not stupid and the fact that she does not immediately choose in his favor shows her strength of character and independence. She was all set to marry him, but how can she do that now, knowing what she knows and especially being given this task? If she chooses him to inherit and marries him, it will look like she was greedy and would she ever know if he truly loved her; if she chooses for him to not inherit, will he marry her even if he does love her? It's a staggering decision for everyone involved, and it's one she cannot turn down even if she wants to. Because the truth she discovers is that Sheffield Brothers is in serious debt, and if she does not figure something out very soon, she could end up in the debtors prison. This book had everything including loss, love, mystery and a convincing historical background that is reminiscent of some of my favorite classic authors. I did not expect to find the mysteries that came into the storyline regarding the Watchfield House, but it definitely made the novel so much better because it is just something else for Eleanor to figure out. In some ways I honestly feel bad for her because she is so put upon in every way - her father's death and her uncle's ill health; being saddled with ALL the responsibility for the business; being unmarried at her age; having to decide whether Harry is the man she wants him to be or if he is just a rogue; all of it is what makes this novel a page-turner for me. I can't imagine being in her position during the Victorian era. Along the way we also meet a lot of interesting secondary characters such as Mr Clarkson, who not only helps out at Sheffield Brothers and is very much aware of the difference between real and fake artifacts; the sweet housekeeper Orchie as Eleanor lovingly refers to her; Mrs Denholm, a friend of Eleanor's and someone she holds in high regard; Mr Denholm, who seems like he does not expect Eleanor to succeed in her endeavors; and of course Marguerite, a very good friend and confidante of Eleanor. They all play their roles in the novel, and they all help in some way to bring it all together. One theme that runs through the book that I love was the way the author weaved in alliterations such as "a murder of crows" or "a madness of marmots" to hint at society as a whole during that time. It is used in a joking manner, but I could clearly see the truth of it running deeper than that - in those times people were grouped together - you were either wealthy or poor and male or female, and you kept to your own. Stepping outside those groups was just not something you did in Victorian times. Somehow though Eleanor is able to do just that - she is able to break every stereotype of a Victorian woman and yet still BE that Victorian woman. I am not going to give away any spoilers or the ending, but I must say that I love the way everything ended and I was impressed with the truth of so many things coming out at last. I am not a fan of cliffhangers, and this book did not disappoint me because everything was pretty neatly sewn up at the end. But you have to read it to find out if Lord Harry Lydney is truly the embodiment of Eleanor's dreams; was Baron Lydney all that Eleanor had thought?; and of course the big question - can Eleanor distinguish the human forgeries as well as she can distinguish the artifact forgeries? I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction, but also to those who love art. Because I learned quite a bit about artifacts that I was unaware of from this book :) 5 stars!!!I received a free copy of this book to read.
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  • Faye
    January 1, 1970
    Eleanor Sheffield is an identifier of antiquities, trained by her father and her uncle. Since the death of her father and the continuing decline of her uncle's mental state, Eleanor finds herself responsible for keeping her humble household afloat. In addition to that she has been tasked by her late father's loyal client, Lord Lydney, upon the recent occurrence of his death to deliberate over the fate of his treasures, whether they will go to a museum or go to his heir and only living son, Harry Eleanor Sheffield is an identifier of antiquities, trained by her father and her uncle. Since the death of her father and the continuing decline of her uncle's mental state, Eleanor finds herself responsible for keeping her humble household afloat. In addition to that she has been tasked by her late father's loyal client, Lord Lydney, upon the recent occurrence of his death to deliberate over the fate of his treasures, whether they will go to a museum or go to his heir and only living son, Harry--who broke Eleanor's heart.Eleanor must rely on her faith to make her decision and keep her family's business above water, valuable pieces go missing, some reappear, while her uncle's business associate Mr. Clarkson presses his suit. Eleanor struggles to be taken seriously in a man's world, and she had few friends that she can rely on. Also, Harry seems interested in rekindling their romance, but does he really care for her, or does he have ulterior motives?Spellbinding. I was swept into this book from the first page, and didn't want to put it down. Ms. Byrd weaves a captivating tale of mystery, high stakes, romance, faith, and misdirection. I loved how the author's skilled use of language, through structure and vocabulary brought Eleanor's Victorian world to life, the dialog is excellently crafted, fitting for the time period, yet by no means stiff. This book was remarkably well researched, and I loved how it showed me a side of upper class society that I had never thought of very deeply, and how their collections showed off their taste, standing, and status.Eleanor is a relatable heroine, flawed, vulnerable, strong, compassionate, honest, and honorable. She is determined to make the best of the situation handed to her, and to represent her father and uncle's business well. She takes her duty seriously, and her deep knowledge of antiquities help her to test what rings true and what is false. I liked how she visits the ladies in prison, praying with them, and treating them as equals. She is a faithful friend, and talented appraiser.There are so many well built characters, and even though I didn't like them all, I could definitely picture them in my mind's eye, like Harry, Marguerite, Orchie, Alice, Mrs. Denholm, the ladies in the prison, Uncle Lewis, and more. There was so much going on in the book, one mystery after another, and just when it seemed that there was finally someone she could trust, their character was again thrown into question. I liked the way that snapshots of Harry and Eleanor's past was shown, so that I could see the significance of little gestures, which made the story richer and more moving as a whole. As well as the way that the stories behind many of the pieces was woven into the fabric of the story, showing the love that the collectors and acquisitioners had for their passion. Overall, a well crafted novel, that was hard to put down, and brimming with intrigue, and tension filled scenes. Very well researched, with a strong heroine, definitely worth the read, and perfect for fans of Victorian Era reads! I could say so much more, but I don't want to give any surprises away. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."
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  • Cheryl Olson
    January 1, 1970
    Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a novel full of journeys for the reader. First off, it’s a journey back in time and to Victorian England where we meet our heroine Eleanor Sheffield, who is surprisingly (for the time) a woman who is a curator and evaluator of antiquities. As it has been a family business, her father, who is deceased and her uncle, who’s health is failing, as is his memory, as He is suffering from Alzheimers, the only person able to represent the Sheffield brothers is Eleanor. Her Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a novel full of journeys for the reader. First off, it’s a journey back in time and to Victorian England where we meet our heroine Eleanor Sheffield, who is surprisingly (for the time) a woman who is a curator and evaluator of antiquities. As it has been a family business, her father, who is deceased and her uncle, who’s health is failing, as is his memory, as He is suffering from Alzheimers, the only person able to represent the Sheffield brothers is Eleanor. Her journey at being a woman trying to keep her head afloat in business as there are major debts that suddenly come to light. Another journey she is on is her journey in her faith and finding her value. Lastly, her journey in love, and the conflicting emotions involved with it is a journey fraught with twists and turns that this lovely Victorian gothic novel delivers in spades. Eleanor is a character that you just want to stand up and cheer for as she continues to face the challenges that come her way with courage, compassion and great faith in God.Her journey in business as well as in love intersect as the death of a loyal client places Eleanor suddenly in charge of disseminating his collection of antiquities. His legendary collection will either be donated to a local museum for all to enjoy, or be given to his son Harry, whom he has very little regard for, and who also happens to be Eleanor’s former beau, and the one who still has her under his spell. A lovely part to the novel, is Sandra’s flashbacks of this couple, to show you their past and brings meaning into what is happening in the present in their relationship. This is very well done as you effortlessly slip back and forth into the different timeframes. With Harry you are initially a bit off balance as Sandra is a master at writing a hero that keeps you just a little bit off balance, in terms of you constantly asking yourself, is this guy a good guy, or a bad guy?! There are many other characters who play special roles here, Orchie, the family servant , a treasured friend Marguerite, who speaks the truth in love, as well as the delightful Lady Charlotte Schreiber. She is a particularly wonderful character because she was a real person in Victorian England. Sandra Byrd did that wonderful thing that good historical fiction writers do, in that they do a vast amount of research and then incorporate real people of the time into the story. It just brings it alive and transports us into the past in such a special way. This wonderful novel has all the makings of a great gothic tale and journey as well ,a likable but flawed heroine thrown into a very tough situation, people who aren’t really who they claim to be, secrets, treasures disappearing and a wonderfully romantic storyline. These are the kinds of books that just transport you to another time and place and where the pages keep turning because you really want to know how it all comes out in the end. Surprises, intrigue and much more awaits you in the pages of this book. To leave you with a quote from this book that I just loved- “You have your Maker’s design all over you. His mark is stamped in your loyalty, your kindness, the way you put others before yourself.” This wonderful line begs the question,”how is the maker’s design over your life showing to others, because if you know Him, it is assuredly there. 5 starsSpecial thanks to the author and Tyndale publishing for a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Sally
    January 1, 1970
    On the surface, Eleanor’s task seems simple enough. She must decide whether to donate the collection her father and uncle curated to an up and coming museum, or to allow the son to inherit. Given what she’s observed of Harry and the opinions of others, she tells a confidante early on that she should just donate and be done with it. The family business would profit handsomely in terms of reputation. But, if she did that, we’d have broken hearts and not much of a novel.The decision itself is resol On the surface, Eleanor’s task seems simple enough. She must decide whether to donate the collection her father and uncle curated to an up and coming museum, or to allow the son to inherit. Given what she’s observed of Harry and the opinions of others, she tells a confidante early on that she should just donate and be done with it. The family business would profit handsomely in terms of reputation. But, if she did that, we’d have broken hearts and not much of a novel.The decision itself is resolved midway through the book after Eleanor completes a careful study of Harry’s actions since his father’s death and compares it to her knowledge of the museum and its sponsors. But her own reputation is falling apart: the invitation to join an important club does not come as expected, and her father’s employee is furious with her decision. Is it because she’s a woman trying to live independently, or is there something more at stake? And what about a collection of Venetian objects that have disappeared while supposedly under her watch? What starts as a matter of heart versus head now becomes a tense affair involving possibly stolen goods and a crime ring.Harry and Eleanor appear, on the outside, to be confident in all that they do. But Harry is a man who could never measure up to his older, deceased brother and tried in vain to please his father. Eleanor believes herself to be unloved, especially since her mother left the family and Harry deserted her. “I am no one’s treasure,” she tells a friend. As she searches for the truth regarding Harry, she’s also on a search for God. Just as she evaluates and determines the cost of antiquities, will she be able to determine her true worth in the eyes of her maker?A Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a fascinating book set in 1866 London. Eleanor crosses the divide between classes, spending time not just with nobility but also in her volunteering duties with women imprisoned in an unnamed jail. In her lonely state, she has come to see the incarcerated as friends. The appalling conditions are described, just as are the opulent salons she also visits. There are appearances by historical figures such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Dr. Elizabeth Garrett, and another that I’d not heard of prior to reading but is a good fit within the narrative. I also found the time frame interesting: a couple of vital plot points involve the unification of Italy. I only knew the slightest about it, and didn’t know wars had been waged over the process. Therefore, I was fascinated by that aspect of the novel. Overall, this was a great page turner that I enjoyed reading. It is, apparently, the first in a new Victorian Ladies series. But we’ll have to wait until Spring 2020 for the next installment.I received a complimentary copy of Lady of a Thousand Treasures from the publishers. The words and thoughts in the above review, however, are entirely my own.
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