To Gain What's Lost
My historical novel, To Gain What's Lost is set in Victorian England, around the York and Halifax areas of Yorkshire.
It's a historical saga of family secrets, betrayals, love, and of new beginnings.
It is the story of Anna Thornton's journey.
Anna Thornton leads a privileged life, but she's not content.
When the dashing Matt Cowan sweeps her off her feet, she thinks her boring existence has changed for the better, only all is not as it seems. Betrayed and faced with family secrets, Anna
flees her home. Taking her trusted maid with her, she begins a new life, which is filled with events that will test her strength and self belief.
However, fate sends a man to heal her heart, but will she trust herself to another again? Will the past recede enough for her to see a brighter future?
To Gain What's Lost is available in ebook and paperback from all normal avenues like Amazon.com and Amazon.uk
NB: This story was originally titled, Her Shadowed Heart in 2008
Her whole body ached with something she didn't understand. She simply knew that she wanted to sit beside
him until time stopped. It was madness really. They were strangers, having just met. In the past, she never
cared about the conservative judgments of others, and usually did or said whatever she wanted, but this
situation was all so new and different for her. She didn't want to make a mistake. It was suddenly vital she
didn't turn this man away with her unique way of doing things. No man had ever affected her the way this
fine, extraordinary man did.
Approaching footsteps broke the seductive spell woven around them. A gentleman marched past. A garden
torch lit his profile. Anna straightened. "Edwin?"
He turned. "There you are, Anna! I've been looking for you everywhere."
She stood, frowning at him. "What is the matter?"
Edwin glanced from Cowan to Anna. "It's your mother. She has taken ill and wants to go home. I believe it's
one of her headaches. Your father has ordered the carriage and asked me to find you and your sister."
Anna reluctantly handed Mr Cowan his coat. "I must go." Her tone belied her wish to do so. To walk away
from him after such a short time together seemed wrong and she hesitated.
"May I call on you tomorrow?" He took her hand and smiled. "Perhaps we could go riding?"
She felt dizzy with excitement and relief. "Yes. I would like that very much. Good night."
A discreet cough came from Edwin. "I will see you to the carriage now, Anna."
She stared at him, not liking his high-handed manner. Childhood friend or not, he didn't control her. With a
last lingering look at Mr Cowan, she walked away.
Matt watched her leave. His heartbeat quickened as he recalled every detail of Anna's lovely face. She
made his breath catch in his throat, and the blood race through his body, making him feel very much alive.
Taking a deep breath, he tried to slow his frantic pulse rate. It was absurd. He could not fathom why she
should affect him so strongly. A few hours ago he didn't know she existed. Now he wanted to know
everything about her. Feeling such a reaction, and not only physical, was not common to him. His customary
dealings with women consisted of polite conversation or bodily fulfilment. Marriage and children, he knew,
would interfere with his way of life. He needed the freedom to come and go as he pleased. Therefore, he
always made sure not to let a woman become too hopeful of him.
However, when he least expected, here was this splendid creature, and for the first time in his life, he
wondered what it would be like to have someone to love and for someone to love him in return.
This inner torment couldn't have happened at a worst time, when he was so busy collecting investors for the
mine and with the hope of leaving the country again by the summer.
He strolled back towards the house. He'd call on her tomorrow and then never see her again. He could do
that. Nodding at his strategy, he relaxed. Nothing would change his plans.
The story begins in Yorkshire in 1864. Anna Claire Thornton loves her house and the beautiful valley in which she lives.
This is her home and it gives her a sense of pride to know that she belongs here. However, when Anna meets the handsome, reckless Matt Cowan at a ball, a series of events begin that will lead to much pain and shame for Anna. She believes that she can never be happy again when she leaves her home, but it is only when she has travelled to a new country and learned a new way of life that she will find her true happiness for herself and her child.
This is an epic story with many twists and turns and heart wringing scenes.
Anne Whitfield has written another beautiful, tender love story. Her descriptions and her story telling are superb. T
his writer and this book deserve a bouquet of red roses!
Linda Sole ~ author
Anne Whitfield has written a heart-touching story about a woman who is doing her best to survive in a confusing and difficult time of her life. To Gain What's Lost will touch readers and this book will remain in their memory long after they finish the last page.
Carole Johnson ~ reader
From start to finish, Anne Whitfield draws the reader intensely into this well written, hard-luck tale. The primary and secondary characters are colorfully realistic. They draw on the reader's emotions and their memory will linger long after the book is finished. I have read several of Anne Whitfield's novels and they are all of exceptional quality and very well written.
There is no doubt she is a talented writer and one to continue to watch in the future. This is a wonderful tale about the power of one woman to overcome the hardships of life. I highly recommend it.
Mirella Patzer ~ Historical Novel reviews.