A LADY OF A THOUSAND TREASURES by Sandra Byrd, reviewed by Trixi Oberembt
This immediately caught my attention with its 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 and 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 author's 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!
BACK COVER BLURB:
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.
*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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