Audiobook Mini-Review — Bride Of A Distant Isle

13 Apr

I listened to Bride of A Distant Isle, a historical romance set in Victorian England, a while back and failed to post a review! As always Sandra Byrd does a wonderful job of capturing settings. This audiobook was unturnoffable 😉 ! I loved the main character’s grit as she seeks to keep her independence and uncover the many secrets surrounding her family. If you need an audiobook for a road trip, this one is perfect.

An unforgettable romance set in Victorian England, Bride of A Distant Isle is the engrossing story of Annabel Ashton, who fights to save her family home and her mother’s honor while trying to figure out if the man she loves wants her—or just wants to use her to achieve his own ambitions.

Miss Annabel Ashton is a teacher at the Rogers School for Young Ladies in Winchester when she takes a brief visit to her family home, Highcliffe Hall at Milford-on-Sea. She believes her stay will be short but soon learns that she will not be returning to the safety of the school. Instead, she remains at Highcliffe, at the mercy of her cousin, Edward Everedge.

Annabel protests, but as the illegitimate daughter of a woman who died in an insane asylum, she has little say. Edward is running out of money and puts the house up for sale to avoid financial ruin. He insists that Annabel marry, promising her to a sinister, frightening man. But as the house gets packed for sale, it begins to reveal disquieting secrets. Jewelry, artifacts, and portraits mysteriously appear, suggesting that Annabel may be the true heir of Highcliffe.

She has only a few months to prove her legitimacy, perhaps with assistance from the handsome but troubled Maltese Captain Dell’Acqua. But does he have Annabel’s best interests at heart?

And then, a final, most ominous barrier to both her inheritance and her existence appears: a situation neither she nor anyone else could have expected. Will Annabel regain her life and property—and trust her heart—before it’s too late?

Sandra Byrd‘s first series of historically sound Gothic romances launched with the best-selling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice Award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, was named by the American Library Association’s Booklist as one of the Top Ten Inspirational Fiction Books of the year.

Her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books of the Year Pick, as was The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr.

Victorian Ladies, a new series, offered its first title, Lady of a Thousand Treasures, in 2018. Sandra has also authored many books for teens, tweens, and devotionals for both adults and children.

Connect with Sandra at or

My Impressions:

Gothically delicious! Yes it’s a thing — when it involves an historical novel by Sandra Byrd. I found the audiobook of Bride of A Distant Isle to be unturnoffable! This novel has it all — a determined heroine who rises above her circumstances and faces danger steadily, a mysterious and exotic love interest, appearing and disappearing personal items, and some very dastardly villains and creepy lechers. I was soon swept up in the plight of Annabel Ashton as she seeks to uncover the truth about her mother, while dodging marriage arrangements. The setting is all Victorian England with some nods to Malta. I promise you will be caught up in the narrative wondering how a happily-ever-after can ever be pulled off. Kudos to Byrd for a wonderful story!


Audience: adults.

(I borrowed the audiobook from Libby through my local library. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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