In the Shadow of Croft Towers
From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France.An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man's charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.

In the Shadow of Croft Towers Details

TitleIn the Shadow of Croft Towers
Author
ReleaseJan 15th, 2019
PublisherThomas Nelson
ISBN-139780785223665
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Regency, Christian Fiction, Historical Romance

In the Shadow of Croft Towers Review

  • Rachel McMillan
    January 1, 1970
    Read for Endorsement:A sensory delight. With a keen eye for historical detail, Abigail Wilson spins a beautiful tale of intrigue, espionage and romance set amidst a world that will put readers yearning for Thornfield Hall or Northanger Abbey completely at home. Blending the unputdownable Regency flair of Georgette Heyer with the intricate plotting of Julie Klassen, Wilson not only places herself competently amidst beloved authors but carves out a unique place of her own.
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  • Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
    January 1, 1970
    “Everyone at the Towers had a secret. Every. Single. Person.”My first read of 2019 has gotten the year off to a very good start indeed! What a fabulous debut novel! Intrigue, secrets, romance, deception, murder, did I mention romance? My readerly heart sighed blissfully all the way through this delicious story.Sybil is a compelling heroine, an orphan swept into a household filled with secrets, a lady’s companion caught in the awkward middle ground between family and servant. Her charge – Mrs. Ch “Everyone at the Towers had a secret. Every. Single. Person.”My first read of 2019 has gotten the year off to a very good start indeed! What a fabulous debut novel! Intrigue, secrets, romance, deception, murder, did I mention romance? My readerly heart sighed blissfully all the way through this delicious story.Sybil is a compelling heroine, an orphan swept into a household filled with secrets, a lady’s companion caught in the awkward middle ground between family and servant. Her charge – Mrs. Chalcroft – is just as intriguing. But even before Sybil can arrive at Croft Towers, her coach is set upon by highwaymen and she arrives at the Towers quite bedraggled for the experience. Even as she’s processing the cast of characters in Mrs. Chalcroft’s family, she’s left reeling by the discovery that Mrs. Chalcroft’s godson Curtis Sinclair is one of the highwaymen who robbed her earlier that evening. Why did he do it? Is someone in the family a spy for the French? Is Sybil unwittingly a participant in treason? This sets off some delightful tension between the two characters, and Sinclair and Sybil form a rather unlikely partnership that hits all the right romantic and suspenseful notes.Sinclair is just the perfect Regency gentleman hero – the right blend of angst, wit, mystery, and swooniliciousness. You’ll want to trust him immediately but, just like Sybil, you’re not sure you can. He’s very good at distracting with his swooniness, though, so be forewarned lol.The setting becomes its own character, and Wilson excels at setting the tone with atmospheric details and tension. Croft Towers is a little bit spooky and a little bit comforting, all at once. It’s a refuge and a danger, a retreat and a breeding ground for secrets. The ideal place for such a story to unfold.Bottom Line: In the Shadow of Croft Towers is everything I love about Regency intrigue. The characters, the setting, the tension – all of it in just the right amounts to weave together a delicious story. The author’s smooth and engaging writing style draws readers in completely and will have them eagerly waiting for the next book after this highly-skilled debut!(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)first seen at Reading Is My SuperPower
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  • Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    Read for endorsement. 😍What a deliciously satisfying debut from Abigail Wilson! In the Shadow of Croft Towers is everything I love in a novel: a classic gothic feel from very well written first person storytelling, a regency setting, a mysterious hero... and secrets abounding! In the Shadow of Croft Towers is now counted as one of my very favorite books, and I can’t wait for more from this new author!
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    “In the Shadow of Croft Towers,” from debut author Abigail Wilson, has easily become one of my favorite books of 2018! I love a good Gothic romance and this book is certainly just that. Ms. Wilson is very good at setting the Gothic tone. The story starts off with danger and a highway robbery during a storm. I was hooked! Our hesitant heroine, Sybil, arrives at house shrouded in mystery and secrets. There are all the elements for a perfect Gothic read in this story: mysterious rooms, hidden motiv “In the Shadow of Croft Towers,” from debut author Abigail Wilson, has easily become one of my favorite books of 2018! I love a good Gothic romance and this book is certainly just that. Ms. Wilson is very good at setting the Gothic tone. The story starts off with danger and a highway robbery during a storm. I was hooked! Our hesitant heroine, Sybil, arrives at house shrouded in mystery and secrets. There are all the elements for a perfect Gothic read in this story: mysterious rooms, hidden motives and identities, secrets and resident ghosts. Not only that, but Ms. Wilson is a fabulous writer. The story and writing style can be described as a mix of Dickens and Daphne du Maurier. I loved this book and looked forward to reading it every night! I highly recommend it!Content: I give this book a PG rating for some content. Some examples of the content are: the word devil is used; mention of a woman’s bosom; people drink alcohol; mention of illegitimate children; mention of “ravishing” a woman; a man is drunk and tries to apprehend a woman.Rating: I obviously give this book 5 stars!Genre: Christian fiction; Historical; Gothic; Regency; Mystery; RomanceI want to thank Abigail Wilson, Celebrate Lit and Thomas Nelson 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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  • Cara Putman
    January 1, 1970
    Sybil Delafield's arrival at Croft Towers is marred by highwaymen stopping the mail carriage she's riding. Then when one of the highwaymen shows up at the estate she's working at, she's not sure who to trust. Thus begins a novel that gently tugged me through its pages with a story and characters that engaged me. Sybil just wants to know who she is and why she's sent on mysterious errands. Add the hints of romance with not one but two men, and it is an intriguing story. This was an enjoyable Rege Sybil Delafield's arrival at Croft Towers is marred by highwaymen stopping the mail carriage she's riding. Then when one of the highwaymen shows up at the estate she's working at, she's not sure who to trust. Thus begins a novel that gently tugged me through its pages with a story and characters that engaged me. Sybil just wants to know who she is and why she's sent on mysterious errands. Add the hints of romance with not one but two men, and it is an intriguing story. This was an enjoyable Regency story with overtones of mystery, romance, and a gothic feel with the large home. Abigail Wilson is a welcome addition to the Regency genre.
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  • Karen R
    January 1, 1970
    “The more difficult the journey, the sweeter the reward.” A complex plot, mystery and a bit of romance spice up this Regency era tale set at an old manor in rural England. It is told through the first person viewpoint of the heroine, Sybil, a young woman sent from school to be a companion to an elderly woman. A colorful cast of characters surrounds her and everyone seems to be hiding something. It kept me guessing along with Sybil who could be trusted, and where the twisted path of seeking the t “The more difficult the journey, the sweeter the reward.” A complex plot, mystery and a bit of romance spice up this Regency era tale set at an old manor in rural England. It is told through the first person viewpoint of the heroine, Sybil, a young woman sent from school to be a companion to an elderly woman. A colorful cast of characters surrounds her and everyone seems to be hiding something. It kept me guessing along with Sybil who could be trusted, and where the twisted path of seeking the truth would eventually lead her. It was an interesting plot with a lot of potential 'bad guys'."Everyone at the Towers had a secret...And I could do nothing but claw my way through their web of lies." This was a satisfying read, well written, and held my interest until the very end when the truth is finally evident. The setting and first person viewpoint reminded me of Jane Eyre at first, with some Dickens elements. Readers who enjoy Gothic-type stories, or Regency romances with some mystery, like Sarah Ladd, Michelle Griep, or Joanna Politano's, will enjoy this clean romance. (There are no real references or overtly Christian messages other than the accepted morality of the time, a mention of a churchyard, and "thank God" exclamations.) 4.5 stars(I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)
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  • Miranda Atchley
    January 1, 1970
    Austen and Brontë meet in this sparkling debut, culminating in a thrilling Gothic mystery that Regency fans won’t want to miss.With an atmosphere as mysterious as its plot, In the Shadow of Croft Towers transports readers to Regency England with a story of mistaken identity, espionage, and murder. The mystery slowly unfolds, taking many twists and turns over the course of the book. Just when you think you’ve figured everything out, another truth is revealed, another layer to the mystery is uncov Austen and Brontë meet in this sparkling debut, culminating in a thrilling Gothic mystery that Regency fans won’t want to miss.With an atmosphere as mysterious as its plot, In the Shadow of Croft Towers transports readers to Regency England with a story of mistaken identity, espionage, and murder. The mystery slowly unfolds, taking many twists and turns over the course of the book. Just when you think you’ve figured everything out, another truth is revealed, another layer to the mystery is uncovered. The characters are as layered as the mystery. I found Sybil to be a likeable heroine, and was hoping the best for her throughout the novel. I also loved Mrs. Chalcroft. Mr. Sinclair was a mysterious hero indeed, whom I wasn’t very sure about in the beginning. Yet by the end of the story, I found him to a be a good hero and was happy with the way things played out between him and Sybil.There are influences of beloved authors like Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, ensuring fans of these timeless authors will love this book, yet Wilson’s is a distinct voice all her own, making her an author I expect will be in demand for years to come.All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for the complimentary copy of this thrilling novel.
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  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    Delightful debut! I was quickly drawn into the mystery surrounding Sybil's parentage and the activities at Croft Towers. Beginning the novel with a stage coach robbery was attention grabbing.This novel contains a cast full of complex characters, plenty of intrigue and a dash of romance. I thoroughly enjoyed In the Shadow of Croft Towers. Bravo to Abigail for a stunning debut!My gratitude to Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions Delightful debut! I was quickly drawn into the mystery surrounding Sybil's parentage and the activities at Croft Towers. Beginning the novel with a stage coach robbery was attention grabbing.This novel contains a cast full of complex characters, plenty of intrigue and a dash of romance. I thoroughly enjoyed In the Shadow of Croft Towers. Bravo to Abigail for a stunning debut!My gratitude to Thomas Nelson 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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  • Clara
    January 1, 1970
    “Right and wrong are not always easy to define in the world we live in, my dear.”Sybil Delafield only wants answers to her past. As remarkable as it sounds, she knows they are somehow tied to Lord Stanton and the Croft Towers, therefore she gladly accepts the position as companion to the Lady Croft.As naive as Sybil May seem, she astute enough to know there’s much going on in the towers then meets the eyes, and her list of questions only grow upon arrival. The answers, however, seem with each pa “Right and wrong are not always easy to define in the world we live in, my dear.”Sybil Delafield only wants answers to her past. As remarkable as it sounds, she knows they are somehow tied to Lord Stanton and the Croft Towers, therefore she gladly accepts the position as companion to the Lady Croft.As naive as Sybil May seem, she astute enough to know there’s much going on in the towers then meets the eyes, and her list of questions only grow upon arrival. The answers, however, seem with each passing day impossible to be gained and she’s left to her own discernment. As secrets of the Towers are unraveled to be beyond the walls of the towers but also the Crown, can she found out who’s to be trusted to protect those she’s come to love?This was one of those books that with each page the mystery frustratingly and deliciously so intensified. Frustratingly because I had no clue what was happening. When I was SO sure I had figured things out... PLOT TWIST!!I have to admit though that though the mystery concluded in a satisfying way, when respite finally arrested the characters, the book abruptly ended.Nevertheless, I believe Abigail Wilson is an author to keep an eye out and I’m so excited for her next book!* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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  • Melissa Tagg
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book! The voice, especially, hooked me right from the beginning. I don't always love first-person POV. Sometimes it can feel like you're being told the story—narrated to—rather than feeling like you're actually experiencing everything right along with the characters. But that wasn't the case with this novel. The voice reminded me somewhat of Julianne Donaldson...I was sucked right in! I loved the action in the beginning, the sense of mystery and intrigue...and of course, the roman I enjoyed this book! The voice, especially, hooked me right from the beginning. I don't always love first-person POV. Sometimes it can feel like you're being told the story—narrated to—rather than feeling like you're actually experiencing everything right along with the characters. But that wasn't the case with this novel. The voice reminded me somewhat of Julianne Donaldson...I was sucked right in! I loved the action in the beginning, the sense of mystery and intrigue...and of course, the romance. An enjoyable debut novel...and I'll look forward to reading more from Abigail Wilson!*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • Dana Michael
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! It had all the essentials I want to read in a story. It had mystery, intrigue and romance to keep me up late in the night turning the pages. I was biting my nails several times and not able to breathe in certain scenes. The ending was amazing. By the way, the hero, Sinclair is my new book boyfriend. This author is new to me and I will certainly be following her for more books in the future. * I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Op I loved this book! It had all the essentials I want to read in a story. It had mystery, intrigue and romance to keep me up late in the night turning the pages. I was biting my nails several times and not able to breathe in certain scenes. The ending was amazing. By the way, the hero, Sinclair is my new book boyfriend. This author is new to me and I will certainly be following her for more books in the future. * I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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  • Chautona Havig
    January 1, 1970
    The Shadow Knows the Best Thing about This BookThere are a lot of excellent things about In the Shadow of Croft Towers, but I’ll get to them in a minute. I want to throw out the things that bothered me and get them out of the way before I get to the good stuff—the really good stuff.First, there were a few words that jumped out as out of place. I don’t know if it was a thing back then, but I suspect it was. Americans wear pants. The English wear trousers or breeches. While this was an ARC, I can’ The Shadow Knows the Best Thing about This BookThere are a lot of excellent things about In the Shadow of Croft Towers, but I’ll get to them in a minute. I want to throw out the things that bothered me and get them out of the way before I get to the good stuff—the really good stuff.First, there were a few words that jumped out as out of place. I don’t know if it was a thing back then, but I suspect it was. Americans wear pants. The English wear trousers or breeches. While this was an ARC, I can’t imagine that’s one of the things that’ll be caught at this stage. Reading along and seeing him give her pants (or was it that his pants were dirty? Can’t remember)… well, it jarred me out of the story.I have no idea if “exit wound” was a term during the Regency period, but I really don’t care. Because like many things we say or do today that make other things sound modern when they aren’t, it feels very modern. Too many crime shows talking about exit wounds—it makes any reference to it two hundred years earlier feel anachronous.There were also a few inconsistencies—one stood out in particular.At one point, Sybil reads over someone’s shoulder as the woman begins writing a letter. Later, she ruminates that she’d never seen that name before. Um, yeah. Ya did.Also… amid excellent writing (and really, for first person it was excellent), we come to those romantical moments… and the declarations of love. Gag. Seriously, gag. They read like a third-rate dime novel. “Oh, my darling… my dear… my precious… my pet…” Wait. I think that was Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Still, it felt like it.Not my cuppa (my nod to the English and their love of tea).Finally, there was the Christian element. Or, rather, lack of it. My biggest complaint, if you want to know.In fact, the way some scenes begin and then cut off abruptly, I would have sworn this book was written for a mainstream market with more of a PG-13 rating and cleaned up for the Christian market instead. I just finished the book a few hours ago, and I can’t even remember if there was a prayer in the book.Token prayers to “baptize”fiction are annoyances in themselves, but a lack of faith at all in a book by a Christian publisher… Yeah. I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve noticed a lot more of that in Thomas Nelson’s recent offerings. Regardless if it’s there and I missed it or not, I got no spiritual lessons out of it aside from those I dug out myself. I just enjoy seeing characters benefit from those lessons.That said, at least it wasn’t preachy! THAT is a blessing.Speaking of the good stuff… nay the best thing the shadows of Croft Towers can tell us…This is a fabulous mystery-slash-suspense novel with enough twists and turns and edge-of-your-seat moments to keep you going right until the end. I saw elements used in ways I haven’t before, and not too many anachronisms or attitudes that reflect modern sentiments and foisted on a mindset that didn’t hold them.That’s a problem in historical fiction today, and the only one I really saw fit the scenario and the character who showed it. Thank you for that, Ms. Wilson.Well written with a lovely balance of description and interwoven backstory—I seriously enjoyed this book. I didn’t love it, but I liked it enough that I’ll be looking for more from Abigail Wilson. I’m so glad I requested this review copy—despite my “criticisms.”Considering Abigail Wilson was a finalist for a Daphne Du Maurier award, I suspect I’m going to find some wonderful books among her backlist. And I look forward to the next.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    What a wonderful debut! I need to clear some room on my bookshelves for a new author. It did not take long to draw me into the story filled with enough intrigue and romance to please this reader's heart. With an unexpected twist at the end, this story filled with highwaymen, spies, and family secrets will appeal to fans of Gothic romance. Wilson's original voice, attention to historical detail and vivid setting draw her reader's into a story that deserves to be placed on a keeper shelf. I look f What a wonderful debut! I need to clear some room on my bookshelves for a new author. It did not take long to draw me into the story filled with enough intrigue and romance to please this reader's heart. With an unexpected twist at the end, this story filled with highwaymen, spies, and family secrets will appeal to fans of Gothic romance. Wilson's original voice, attention to historical detail and vivid setting draw her reader's into a story that deserves to be placed on a keeper shelf. I look forward to reading more by this author.I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher through NetGalley and I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    This was a Gothic regency that was a bit much for me. I enjoyed most of it. The mystery I thought I had figured out and then got thrown completely off track and then figured some of it out. Lots of the end was a surprise to me tho and I liked that a lot. It was a fun story line and the characters were interesting. The part that could have been more developed was the romance. It was just there all the sudden. The mystery and the stupidity of the leading lady got a little old. It drug a little for This was a Gothic regency that was a bit much for me. I enjoyed most of it. The mystery I thought I had figured out and then got thrown completely off track and then figured some of it out. Lots of the end was a surprise to me tho and I liked that a lot. It was a fun story line and the characters were interesting. The part that could have been more developed was the romance. It was just there all the sudden. The mystery and the stupidity of the leading lady got a little old. It drug a little for me near the end and I just wanted it to get over with. For a first book the author shows promise.
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  • Tarissa
    January 1, 1970
    A positively delightful tale! I was hooked from the first page. Each chapter held me in suspense and never let me go. To be honest, I am loathe to leave the shadow of Croft Towers even now, after being transported back to my house in modern day, where I now sit in despair. I wish to go back immediately. The Towers are calling me. "I hated secrets with a passion, for they were usually kept from me. However, within two days of my arrival to the Towers, I had become the unlikely bearer of three."Th A positively delightful tale! I was hooked from the first page. Each chapter held me in suspense and never let me go. To be honest, I am loathe to leave the shadow of Croft Towers even now, after being transported back to my house in modern day, where I now sit in despair. I wish to go back immediately. The Towers are calling me. "I hated secrets with a passion, for they were usually kept from me. However, within two days of my arrival to the Towers, I had become the unlikely bearer of three."This is a debut novel? My mind is just stuck in a stutter. I can't get past the fact that this is only the first (of many, I can hope) from this author. I'm particularly pleased to know that a sequel is arriving in just a few short months! I hope to catch it and read it as soon as possible. "It must have looked like a great production, the three of us descending the main staircase -- Mrs. Chalcroft in her elderly dignity; Hodge with his arrogant, butler airs; and me scared out of my wits."I'm also impressed with the attention to detail in the historical aspects of the story. The setting, the characters, their clothing, and the places they visit... It's all described so perfectly for the time period. I can see it all in my mind's eye; it rather feels like a movie instead of a book. Oh! And the delightful vocabulary! That's another whole thing in itself... Overall, I just love the author's writing style. "Everyone at the Towers had a secret. Every. Single. Person. And I could do nothing but claw my way through their web of lies."Plus, there's even an actual sword fight, you guys. I still can't take it all in...If you like historical fiction... or mysteries... Yes! This is for you!
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  • MJSH
    January 1, 1970
    What a fantastic debut novel! Abigail Wilson is a gifted writer who is able to transport the reader back into Regency England, full of pomp and circumstance but also filled with mystery, intrigue, and dark shadows in the midst of an intelligence war against France. Though the writing is in the first person narrative from Sybil, the story flows smoothly and the writing is easy to understand. The plot is detailed and well-crafted and has delicious twists and turns as everyone has a secret and an u What a fantastic debut novel! Abigail Wilson is a gifted writer who is able to transport the reader back into Regency England, full of pomp and circumstance but also filled with mystery, intrigue, and dark shadows in the midst of an intelligence war against France. Though the writing is in the first person narrative from Sybil, the story flows smoothly and the writing is easy to understand. The plot is detailed and well-crafted and has delicious twists and turns as everyone has a secret and an ulterior motive for being at the Croft Towers. And since it’s written from Sybil’s perspective, the reader can never be sure who the villain is until the end. If you enjoy historical mystery/suspense, you will absolutely love this book. Sybil is a kind-hearted soul, though somewhat lost in the world since she’s an orphan and her greatest wish is to find her parentage. This desire drives her to Croft Towers to be an aging woman’s companion, where she meets an interesting and diverse set of people who turns her world upside down and sideways. She’s also spirited, determined, and resourceful. Curtis (or Mr. Sinclair, as he’s addressed mostly) is a gallant gentleman, thoughtful and tender, yet shrouded in mystery, especially given how he and Sybil meet. The entire story clicks into place one piece at a time as Sybil unravels the threads of secrecy tangled up in the Croft Towers. I can’t wait for her next book!I was given a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
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  • Caitlyn Santi
    January 1, 1970
    I love regency stories and I also love suspense and mysteries, so when I first heard about this book I knew I HAD to read it! This is a great book! I instantly liked the main character, Sybil and was cheering her on throughout the book. I did predict several of the plot twists, but that did not at all lessen my enjoyment of the story, and there were a couple surprises that I did not expect, it's always super fun when that happens! The suspense and romance in this book were both so great and in m I love regency stories and I also love suspense and mysteries, so when I first heard about this book I knew I HAD to read it! This is a great book! I instantly liked the main character, Sybil and was cheering her on throughout the book. I did predict several of the plot twists, but that did not at all lessen my enjoyment of the story, and there were a couple surprises that I did not expect, it's always super fun when that happens! The suspense and romance in this book were both so great and in my opinion there was the perfect ratio of romance and suspense, all of which were brilliantly written! Speaking of the writing, this book is written in first person POV, my personal favorite so I was super excited to discover that was how this author chose to write her story! I definitely consider this book to be a clean read, the only problem I had with it was that I was expecting a faith story of some kind and I was disappointed that there did not seem to be one at all! Overall, I enjoyed this book very much and I am so glad I read it! I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. If you are looking for a clean read that combines the regency era with suspense and romance I highly recommend In the Shadow of Croft Towers.(4 Stars!)I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. Which did not influence my review in any way, all thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.
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  • Kelly Bridgewater
    January 1, 1970
    Abigail Wilson is a debut author with her Regency novel In the Shadow of Croft Towers. I have read a number of Regency novels, so I had a pretty good idea of what the genre consists of. First, there is going to be romance and a world I haven't lived in. Majority of Regency novels are in honor of Jane Austen's novels, but I can't stand Jane Austen, so I believe the authors today write more captivating stories than Austen ever have. Wilson does a better job than Austen.Her writing is clear and co Abigail Wilson is a debut author with her Regency novel In the Shadow of Croft Towers. I have read a number of Regency novels, so I had a pretty good idea of what the genre consists of. First, there is going to be romance and a world I haven't lived in. Majority of Regency novels are in honor of Jane Austen's novels, but I can't stand Jane Austen, so I believe the authors today write more captivating stories than Austen ever have. Wilson does a better job than Austen.Her writing is clear and concise. I had no problem visualizing the setting of Croft Towers. Wilson dives in and allows me to see the surroundings for the first time just like the heroine does. She takes me on a journey just like the first person heroine. I explore the world and wonder about Mrs. Chalcroft and the death surrounding Anne.Wilson does write the story in the first person point of view. I only knew the main character's name because she mentions it to others, but the story is told completely in her point of view. This is a difficult to write in. I have only read one other author, that I can think of right now, who did the first person point of view justice. Dawn Crandall writes Regency novels in the same fashion. Wilson does a wonderful job at staying in the heroine's perspective and not jumping into others.The plot is interesting. I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding Anne's death and the reality of the heroine's connections to the family of the Chalcrofts. The plot moved pretty quickly, capturing my imagination as the story dealt with the mysterious death and the idea of spies for the opposite side. It really kept my mystery-loving imagination.Overall, In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson is a thrill of a Regency novel that I haven't seen written before. It had a couple of mysteries thrown in to capture my imagination, but it also had a number of Regency items to keep the regency fans happy. I believe fans of Julie Klassen, Jane Austen, and Dawn Crandall would adore this novel. I received a complimentary copy of In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
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  • English
    January 1, 1970
    In the Shadow of Croft Towers in an excellent debut novel. There's a bit of an expectation these days for Regency novels not just to be 'bonnet dramas' so to speak, but to contain other elements such as intrigue, an espionage subplot or a mystery. Wilson delivers a sterling Regency Romance with all of the above, as well as a tight plot and memorable characters. Stories narrated in the First Person as this one is, don't always work well. Yet the heroine is able to guide the reader complex and dan In the Shadow of Croft Towers in an excellent debut novel. There's a bit of an expectation these days for Regency novels not just to be 'bonnet dramas' so to speak, but to contain other elements such as intrigue, an espionage subplot or a mystery. Wilson delivers a sterling Regency Romance with all of the above, as well as a tight plot and memorable characters. Stories narrated in the First Person as this one is, don't always work well. Yet the heroine is able to guide the reader complex and dangerous adventures in Croft Towers, seeking to unravel the mysteries of her past, whilst running errands for her mistress with highwaymen, dragoons and a potential murderer at large. So overall, this is an exciting, engaging and atmospheric Regency tale. There was not quite as much of a strong sense of place as in Julie Klassen's work, probably because that author visits many of the areas she writes about. Wilson does however do well in recreating something of a sense of the period, the the environment the characters inhabit in a grand country house with many secrets during turbulent times. Sadly, there were some of the Americanisms common to stories like this (characters eating with only forks, saying 'gotten', or other things). There's also the common issue of distinguishing between England and Britain. This was over a century after Acts of Union, which made England and Scotland into a United Kingdom, sharing a government and Monarch. It was Britain- including Scotland and Wales- that was at war with Napoleon, not 'England', and spying for the French would have been treason against Britain, not England. Recommended for all lovers of historical fiction and Regencies, as well as fans of Julie Klassen and Sarah Ladd. I requested this title from Booklook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Sybil Delafield is an orphan, an orphan who has had a mysterious benefactor and who now is on her way to be a lady’s companion to a Mrs. Chalcroft at Croft Towers. Told solely from Sybil’s view point we step into a mysterious home, an eccentric family, and plenty of secrets. What Sybil thought her role would be in this household is far different than what she prepared for.There are family secrets and “ghosts” that still “haunt” the Towers. On top of all that there are soldiers in town intent on Sybil Delafield is an orphan, an orphan who has had a mysterious benefactor and who now is on her way to be a lady’s companion to a Mrs. Chalcroft at Croft Towers. Told solely from Sybil’s view point we step into a mysterious home, an eccentric family, and plenty of secrets. What Sybil thought her role would be in this household is far different than what she prepared for.There are family secrets and “ghosts” that still “haunt” the Towers. On top of all that there are soldiers in town intent on finding spies for France, highwaymen (which Sybil had an unfortunate meeting with), a murder, and almost everyone has a secret for Sybil to keep. From the first words of this story I was drawn into Sybil’s journey. Who is the he she said she would never have met? Does she find out who she is and why she has been given an education for the upper class? As for the family themselves, they certainly do not act normal. Each of them seem to be hiding something and or have ulterior motives in which involves who will be bestowed the title of heir when their Aunt Chalcroft dies. Many times I wondered if Sybil should just leave, but where would she go?This was a moody read with a perfectly creepy setting, not really the place but all the players in the home and the town that surround Sybil with her comings and goings. If you are looking for a gothic read, this is a perfect one to curl up with.I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.https://pausefortales.blogspot.com/20...
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  • Trisha Robertson (Joy of Reading)
    January 1, 1970
    Filled with suspense and page-turning mystery this story is sure to keep you guessing. With plenty of surprises and secrets to uncover you are sure to enjoy time spent reading this debut novel from Abigail Wilson.Sybil Delafield is a little too trusting, and often blindly goes along with others when I wished she'd push for answers and ask more questions. Of course, this kept me guessing, which after all is the point!About the time I'd decide who could be trusted, something would happen and my to Filled with suspense and page-turning mystery this story is sure to keep you guessing. With plenty of surprises and secrets to uncover you are sure to enjoy time spent reading this debut novel from Abigail Wilson.Sybil Delafield is a little too trusting, and often blindly goes along with others when I wished she'd push for answers and ask more questions. Of course, this kept me guessing, which after all is the point!About the time I'd decide who could be trusted, something would happen and my tower of cards would tumble down, only for another character to emerge as the one to believe. This story has a colorful cast of eccentric characters that are sure to keep you on your toes! I enjoyed reading this page-turning story!While this book is published by a Christian publisher, and listed as Christian Fiction there is no mention of God, and lacking in Christian content. I would label this a clean, Regency, Gothic romance.(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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  • Courtney Clark
    January 1, 1970
    In the Shadow of Croft Towers is an engrossing escape to the countryside of Regency England. With a web of mystery, Sybil Delafield navigates the secrets of the inhabitants of a grand estate, all the while searching for her own answers. The rare first person POV enhances the swirling secrets and makes Sybil's character endearing. The mystery itself is a brilliant web with some elements that kept me guessing until the very end, and a couple I saw coming -- but nonetheless, I enjoyed the reactions In the Shadow of Croft Towers is an engrossing escape to the countryside of Regency England. With a web of mystery, Sybil Delafield navigates the secrets of the inhabitants of a grand estate, all the while searching for her own answers. The rare first person POV enhances the swirling secrets and makes Sybil's character endearing. The mystery itself is a brilliant web with some elements that kept me guessing until the very end, and a couple I saw coming -- but nonetheless, I enjoyed the reactions of the characters as they discovered the true answers and reasons for certain characters' behavior. The hero of the story, Mr. Sinclair, is as dashing, chivalrous, and witty as one could hope for -- and a smart match to Sybil, treating her as an equal yet being wonderfully protective when the situation required.This is a debut novel worthy of your time, especially if you are a fan of historical romance and mystery. I look forward to the next book in the series, Midnight on the River Grey, and anything else Ms. Wilson plans to write!Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is my honest review.
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  • Fiction Aficionado
    January 1, 1970
    I’m so excited to have found another author writing historical romances with Gothic overtones! I absolutely adore the delicious sense of uncertainty they evoke, and if this novel is anything to go by, Abigail Wilson will be on my “must read” list in the future.This story had some of the best ingredients for a Gothic romance—a grand old home; a heroine who is an outsider, brought into a family situation fraught with subtle tension; a hero who is dangerously intriguing (but also possibly just plai I’m so excited to have found another author writing historical romances with Gothic overtones! I absolutely adore the delicious sense of uncertainty they evoke, and if this novel is anything to go by, Abigail Wilson will be on my “must read” list in the future.This story had some of the best ingredients for a Gothic romance—a grand old home; a heroine who is an outsider, brought into a family situation fraught with subtle tension; a hero who is dangerously intriguing (but also possibly just plain dangerous); and a whole passel of secrets that might end up weaving a web to ensnare Sybil if she isn’t careful. Add in some highwaymen, a potential spy or two, a couple of mysterious murders, and a group of over-zealous and possibly misguided dragoons, and you have action aplenty as well!The first-person narrative read effortlessly and was sprinkled with brief but effective descriptions that engaged all the senses, and I couldn’t help but feel an extra zap of energy every time the hero showed up on the page. The plot twisted and turned, keeping both Sybil and me on our toes, and even saved a few surprises right up until the end—although I have to say I wasn’t totally convinced by one of those surprises. I’m not sure I can even say why without reading the whole story again, and even if I could it would be a major spoiler, but it’s probably enough to simply conclude by saying this story definitely satisfied on the whole.I have the feeling that Abigail Wilson will just get better with each book she writes, and I can’t wait to read her next offering.I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoy a good Gothic tale, and this one definitely hit the spot. I was hooked from the very beginning. There's an ominous feel to the story; secrets, storms, and spies abound (among other things that could well spoil the story for you). And as with any book of said genre, first impressions are not to be trusted. I'm not sure what it is about highwaymen that is so romantic (since I'm sure the reality of them was anything but), but it is hard to resist the dashing Mr. Sinclair. Sybil herself is a I enjoy a good Gothic tale, and this one definitely hit the spot. I was hooked from the very beginning. There's an ominous feel to the story; secrets, storms, and spies abound (among other things that could well spoil the story for you). And as with any book of said genre, first impressions are not to be trusted. I'm not sure what it is about highwaymen that is so romantic (since I'm sure the reality of them was anything but), but it is hard to resist the dashing Mr. Sinclair. Sybil herself is a compelling heroine, and I enjoyed the first-person viewpoint. While it wasn't hard to figure out the mystery of Sybil's family, I was thoroughly surprised by several other revelations in this complex tale. I didn't catch a single spiritual element to the story, but it was a clean read and highly enjoyable. I really enjoyed the author's voice, and I will gladly read whatever else she has to offer!I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    In the Shadow of Croft Towers is a good debut for Abigail Wilson. This Regency era historical involves mystery, suspense, spice, secrets, and adventure. Sybil Delafield has endured some hardships in her life, including being an orphan. When she is offered a position at Croft Towers, she jumped at the chance. She was to be a caretaker for a terminal resident. However, other events occur, making her rethink why she was hired in the first place. How will these events impact Sybil’s life?I enjoyed I In the Shadow of Croft Towers is a good debut for Abigail Wilson. This Regency era historical involves mystery, suspense, spice, secrets, and adventure. Sybil Delafield has endured some hardships in her life, including being an orphan. When she is offered a position at Croft Towers, she jumped at the chance. She was to be a caretaker for a terminal resident. However, other events occur, making her rethink why she was hired in the first place. How will these events impact Sybil’s life?I enjoyed In the Shadow of Croft Towers. It is what I would expect from a Gothic era novel. It has action, danger, secrets, ghosts, and mystery. I love Sybil from the start and I admired her courage and bravery. I never knew what would happen with her each time I turned a page. This is not a book that I could have predicted. It is quite spooky.I’m giving In the Shadow of Croft Towers 4 and a half stars. I recommend it. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    This is an outstanding debut! I was fully engrossed by this story I couldn't put it down. I loved the characters and Sinclair is now a favorite hero of mine. The best part of the story was all of the mystery surrounding every single person in the book. I love a good mystery that you can't solve within the first few chapters. While there was a constant intrigue there was also some rather humorous parts that had me giggling. The romance was very well done and not over the top all while being swoon This is an outstanding debut! I was fully engrossed by this story I couldn't put it down. I loved the characters and Sinclair is now a favorite hero of mine. The best part of the story was all of the mystery surrounding every single person in the book. I love a good mystery that you can't solve within the first few chapters. While there was a constant intrigue there was also some rather humorous parts that had me giggling. The romance was very well done and not over the top all while being swoon-worthy. This book reminded me a bit of a Julie Klassen novel. Needless to say this was a wonderful read and I am eager to get my hands on Abigail's next book!FIVE STARS"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."
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  • Patti Whitson Stephenson
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. This is an outstanding debut novel for author Abigail Wilson. I’d classify this book as Christian historical fiction with a regency gothic twist. This is a clean story with no foul language.We follow this story through Sybil’s viewpoint. The tension begins building in the book from the very first scene and it grows all throughout the story until the end of the last chapter. Sybil is in a quest to discover her parentage. She’s a strong, intelligent, brave, resourceful, and compassionate hero Wow. This is an outstanding debut novel for author Abigail Wilson. I’d classify this book as Christian historical fiction with a regency gothic twist. This is a clean story with no foul language.We follow this story through Sybil’s viewpoint. The tension begins building in the book from the very first scene and it grows all throughout the story until the end of the last chapter. Sybil is in a quest to discover her parentage. She’s a strong, intelligent, brave, resourceful, and compassionate heroine. Colin is a great counterpart to her, as he is also trying to unravel a mystery and keep Sybil safe. Everyone—and I mean everyone— in Croft Tower has a secret and a personal goal in everything that happens in this story. You feel the tension build to a point; you think all is coming out well; and then there’s another suspenseful twist in the plot that raises up the tension to an even higher level than before. No one, except Sybil, is who they appear to be, and she’s no sure who she really is. There are surprises ahead for the reader as it becomes clearer who is to be trusted and who is to be feared.This story is suspenseful, intriguing, and romantic. The writing is excellent. This author writes dialogue like a seasoned author. If this is her debut novel, I can’t wait to see what she write next.I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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  • Bree
    January 1, 1970
    this was an impressive story and one that many readers can fall in love with. I couldn’t stop reading this book once I started and I have eagerly expressed my joy with my coworkers in this book. It is one that will have your keen interest to the very last page. I look forward to the next book by this author.
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  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful debut! This is an "unputdownable" book filled with action, mystery and romance. So compelling to read how Miss.Delafield escapes from the many tight corners she finds herself in.
  • Riley
    January 1, 1970
    The blurb In the Shadow of Croft Towers hints at a possible mystery and a possible romance. You get both. Which makes the historical/romance/mystery reader in me very happy. But really, there was so much more! Which makes this reader that likes to be surprised even happier!What do I mean by ‘so much more’? Mainly, nothing is what it appears to be. And nobody is what he or she appears to be. Pretty much without exception. Even heroine Sybil hasn’t told the complete truth. This soap opera atmosphe The blurb In the Shadow of Croft Towers hints at a possible mystery and a possible romance. You get both. Which makes the historical/romance/mystery reader in me very happy. But really, there was so much more! Which makes this reader that likes to be surprised even happier!What do I mean by ‘so much more’? Mainly, nothing is what it appears to be. And nobody is what he or she appears to be. Pretty much without exception. Even heroine Sybil hasn’t told the complete truth. This soap opera atmosphere starts gently, but intensifies as the story continues.As a reader, I was able to guess at some of it. Some of it was a complete surprised. But I never realized the entire truth until it was revealed in the story. In the Shadow of Croft Towers quickly became one of those books that I could not put down.Through Netgalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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