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The Silent Touch of Shadows [Paperback]

Christina Courtenay
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

7 July 2012
What will it take to put the past to rest?

Professional genealogist Melissa Grantham receives an invitation to visit her family's ancestral home, Ashleigh Manor. From the moment she arrives, life-like dreams and visions haunt her. The spiritual connection to a medieval young woman and her forbidden lover have her questioning her sanity, but Melissa is determined to solve the mystery.

Jake Precy, owner of a nearby cottage, has disturbing dreams too, but it's not until he meets Melissa that they begin to make sense. He hires her to research his family's history, unaware their lives are already entwined. Is the mutual attraction real or the result of ghostly interference?

A haunting love story set partly in the present and partly in fifteenth century Kent. Winner of the 2012 Best Historical Read Award from the Festival of Romance and shortlisted for the 2013 Romantic Historical Novel of the Year Award.

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The Silent Touch of Shadows + Time's Echo + The Memory of Midnight
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Choc Lit (7 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906931763
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906931766
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christina Courtenay lives in Herefordshire and is married with two children. Although born in England, she is half Swedish and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, the family moved to Japan and she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East and other parts of the world.

Christina is a committee member of the Romantic Novelists' Association (currently their Chairman). She has won three of their prizes - the Elizabeth Goudge Trophy for a historical short story in 2001, the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2006 and the RoNA for Best Historical in 2012 (see below).

Her debut novel Trade Winds was short-listed for the Pure Passion Award for Best Historical Fiction 2011. Her second novel, The Scarlet Kimono, received the Best Historical Fiction prize for the Big Red Read 2011, and her third novel, Highland Storms, won the RoNA (Romantic Novelists Association Award) for Best Historical Romantic Novel 2012. The Silent Touch of Shadows (time slip) won the Festival of Romance award for Best Historical in 2013. The Gilded Fan is shortlisted for this year's RoNAs in the Historical category, while New England Rocks is shortlisted for the RoNAs in the YA category. As well as her novels, Christina has had four Regency novellas published, all available in Large Print, three of them released as ebooks.

Her hobbies include genealogy, archaeology (the armchair variety), listening to loud rock music and collecting things. She loves dogs, reading and chocolate.

Product Description


This suspenseful, parallel, historical, time travel, paranormal is one huge page turner. It is not difficult to believe every scene and follow Melissa's frightening journey into the cruel past. This reader was thoroughly swept away by the good description, believable emotion, and language appropriate for the timeframe of each scene. Ms. Courtenay is a skilled storyteller. "

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Read! 8 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The Silent Touch of Shadows is a haunting love story set in the present and 15th century Kent. Melissa Grantham, a single parent and genealogist is troubled by vivid dreams after a visit to her aunt's ancient Manor House. The dreams are so real that she feels as if she is somehow actually back in the fifteenth century, and sharing a connection to a young medieval woman. The connection is so real that Melissa can practically feel, touch and smell the past. The feelings the woman has for a forbidden lover troubles Melissa also in more ways than one. Unable to get the ghosts of the past out of her mind, she harnesses her professional skills to try to solve the mystery of the Manor and her dreams.

Having read this fab story I can see why Christina Courtenay has won awards. Her story telling in general and description of the historical period in particular, makes the reader believe they are there alongside the main protagonist every step of the way. Beautiful writing! If you want an unusual and intriguing love story then look no further than this book. I loved it!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting romance! 4 July 2012
It's rare that I look forward to a book in the same way I might a film, but as soon as I read the blurb for The Silent Touch of Shadows the premise intrigued me. I'm glad to say it's lived up to my expectations. It's based in Ashleigh Manor, Kent and when Melissa moves in with her aunt, she starts to experience vivid dreams and is haunted by visions. The problem is a ghost called Roger and in order to rid herself of his presence she sets out to find out more about Ashleigh Manor and its history.

The story offers a perfect weaving between past and present in its time-slip style. For reader's of Christina Courtenay it's a departure from her historical novels, but still offers you the same quality. It's the kind of story I've always wanted to read and don't find enough of. A must-read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The past and the present 12 July 2012
At once I knew, this could not end well. Ok so not Melissa, but the other story. If there is a ghost there can't be happiness and I raced to see what had happened.

The book is two stories in one. First we have Melissa, a single mother trying to get by. A history lover (and this made me like her even more) who goes to live with an aunt. And yes in a spooky big house. I should also mention a nice neighbor who is a widower ;)

Then there is the story set in the past. During the War of the Roses a young woman falls in love, but he is not meant for her. I really liked this story even I knew there could not be happiness. But I wanted to know what happened, why the ghost is around. Also the setting for it was nice. Even if I guessed something would happen it was not a sad book, it was just meant to happen and I liked the idea of seeing memories from the past. I always loved that idea ever since I read my first book dealing with it.

The sad and past mingled with each other, and Melissa tried to solve the mystery.

A good lovestory that gives you a bit more than the usual things. It's not romance, it's passion, hope and despair. And of course, happy endings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A chilling romance 7 July 2012
By carly
The Silent Touch of Shadows is a beautifully written novel that is full of mystery, intrigue, twists, turns, well developed characters, ghostly spectres and best of all two amazing love stories. I was quickly wrapped up in this intriguing storyline that not only has present day characters but also a set of 1460's characters that play a big part in the main characters lives. I will admit that I was a little confused at the start when the story jumps from present day to the past, but once I got the gist of who was who the transitions were flawless. I am new to the authors work, but I will most definitely be keeping an eye out for more works from Christina Courtenay in the future.

Melissa Grantham is a professional genealogist, she has recently separated from her partner, she moves around quite a bit and has never really settled. Melissa receives an invitation to visit her great aunt Dorothy in her families ancestral home 'Ashleigh Manor'. So Melissa and her daughter Jolie head down there for a visit. As soon as they arrive Melissa has strange dreams and visions that seem real. She is haunted by a medieval knight who is looking her help, to do what she does not know. Her dreams play out a story of a medieval woman and a forbidden lover, this leaves Melissa questioning if she is going out of her mind.

Melissa decides to put her genealogist skills to work and try to work out if these people from her dreams are even real and what her ghostly visitor wants with her. A neighbour called Jake hires Melissa to research his family tree, but it is a real shocker to Melissa that he is the spitting image of her medieval knight! Turns out Jake is plagued with similar dreams, could their histories be intertwined?

Well the ending was spectacular, I loved every page.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed spending time in the past! 7 July 2012
By Shazjera TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The scene in the Prologue is so descriptive I could feel the restless energy of the past! A brilliant start to what underpins the whole story.

Chapter One finds us in present day Kent as Melissa and daughter Jolie are arriving at Ashleigh Manor. They're visiting Great Aunt Dorothy... someone who has never been a part of Melissa's life so the invite had been totally unexpected.

Straight away the reader is drawn into Melissa's sense of déjà vu. Not only does she experience uneasiness but she also has flashbacks.

Chapter Two we're transported to Ashleigh Manor in 1460 which is experienced through Melissa's dream. Here we get to meet Sibell, the owners daughter, and Sir Roger Langford who is journeying to Idenhurst in a quest to find answers.

Jake Precy is the local vet and living in Ashleigh Cottage. He is experiencing the same dreams as Melissa ...

With Melissa's lease due for renewal and Jolie unhappy at her school, the invite to live with Great Aunt Dorothy comes at the right time. Melissa tries to analyse why she is reluctant but eventually compromises by saying they will stay with her until they find their own place.

What follows is time spent in present day Kent with Melissa researching the history of the house and becoming confused about how she truly feels about present day hero Jake ... and regressing back to 15th century Kent being a part of Sibell and Sir Roger's love story. Two love stories entwined...

The conflict comes in present day with Melissa's ex and in the past with Sibell's family. We find out the reason why the ghost has tried through the years to find a resolution and find peace.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
A truly gripping page turner, with a superb ending. I would recommend to anyone who loves a good ghost story.
Published 4 days ago by Lesa Clarke
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Disappointing. This could have been a great book if the writing style was not so amateurish and the story so predictable. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book
Brilliant book, could not put it down once I started reading, off to search for more by this brillInt author
Published 6 days ago by Helen Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous read!
Genealogist Melissa goes to her family's Manor and from the moment she walks in, she is plagued with de ja vu. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Robyn K
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another fab read by Christina
Published 10 days ago by V M Mather
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 14 days ago by marlene wakeford
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed
Good interesting read
Published 14 days ago by Alicia Horbury
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
A new author for me. I am a Barbara Erskine fan so loved all of this book as it was so much in the vane of Barbara's writings. It is a super ghost story in many ways. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Linz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a really good story. Enjoyed it.
Published 1 month ago by Janet L Greeves
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This is the first book I've read of this Author, keeps you riveted, would recommend it and will read more of her novels
Published 1 month ago by olive
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