"This Victorian inspirational romance features everything fans of the genre expect: a plucky, relatable heroine with a visible Christian faith, a dashing but kind love interest, and a mystery element to foster tension until the dénouement and 'happy ever after' epilogue." (Booklist)
“With impeccable research and elegant writing, Sandra Byrd brings Victorian England to life in her latest novel, A Lady in Disguise. Readers of historical fiction will be delighted with the romance, mystery, and inspiration in this page turning story, and they will be kept guessing until the end to see how the heroine will uncover the truth behind her father’s death. Well done and highly recommended!” (Carrie Turansky, the author of A Refuge at Highland Hall and Shine Like the Dawn )
"Sandra Byrd's talent for keeping readers on the edges of their seats once again shines throughout this well written tale. Brimming with mysteries from the very first page, lovers of historical fiction and historical suspense will adore discovering the startling truths alongside the heroine in A Lady in Disguise." (Dawn Crandall, award winning author of The Everstone Chronicles )
“Fans of historical Victorian and Gothic romance will feel right at home in these tightly spun, suspenseful pages. Highly recommended!” (Serena Chase, USA Today's Happy Ever After, author of The Ryn )
A Lady in Disguise has everything I love in a good read a page turning mystery, engaging characters, shadowy figures, the hope of romance (or is the attraction misplaced?), and many secrets to be revealed. I was engaged to the very end!" (Cindy Coloma, bestselling author of Orchid House )
"Sandra Byrd's latest novel, A Lady in Disguise, explores the darker side of Victorian London. When Gillian Young's policeman father dies in suspicious and incriminating circumstances, she sets out to investigate the true facts of the matter. Helped along the way by the charming Viscount Lockwood, Gillian uncovers a trail of secret letters, mysterious money, and turncoat friends, bringing her to the realization that although the truth is there, sometimes it is hiding in disguise. This is a strong conclusion to the Daughters of Hampshire series and a novel I would heartily recommend to lovers of romantic suspense."
(Rosanne E. Lortz, author of The Duke's Last Hunt )
From the Author
What inspired you to take on the Gothic genre? I loved reading old-school Gothic romances, ones filled with atmosphere and suspense, such as those written by Victoria Holt, but I found it difficult to find many new ones still written with the "traditional ingredients."
As an author, I also wanted to update the concept a little for modern readers, and put my own spin on it, as authors will. I like more of the hero on the page than was present in many of the Gothic romance novels of years past, and I like my heroines to be a little bit less waifish and a little stronger minded than was popular then. I wanted to include just a wee bit more hard history, and I like weaving in an element of faith. But I tried my best to stick to the elements many readers expect from a Gothic romance, which might include:
- A large country house in need of attention and affection, already in disrepair. In some ways, the house represents the heroine.
- A Byronic hero, who might be questionable and always conflicted. The heroine falls in love, but she has to know before she commits - will he prove true?
- Characters--especially servants, but others, too--that may be untrustworthy; our heroine does not know and must puzzle it out.
- Psychological underpinnings, perhaps including madness or a suspicion of it.
- A supernatural element, whether naturally explained or not.
- Parents who are not present or who are dead, so the heroine must rely on her own wit and resources.
The very freedom of our age has wrought a new set of challenges. But we still find a way to triumph. Seeing women do that, then, encourages me as a woman to do that, now. If they can be contenders, so can I!
Also - we must all be risk-takers to gain what we want: love, respect, a meaningful life, and personal fulfillment. Today's readers certainly have that in common with yesterday's women, my historical heroines.
How does your faith shape the inspirational aspects of your fiction? My faith is central to my worldview and interests, so it informs the subjects I pursue in my books. Honestly, I felt it would be anachronistic to write about 19th Century England and not have any mention of or interaction with faith; it was completely integrated into daily and weekly life. It interests me how a strong Christian woman approaches challenges in her era and setting. I don't set out, in fiction, to teach, only to show and reveal and understand through the heroine's eyes. Hopefully, that makes a good story whether the reader is a Christian or not!