April 30, 2013

Book Review - The Heiress of Winterwood

Author: Sarah Ladd
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Whispers on the Moors
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 310

I have to admit, I was a little surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this book. I was expecting just another run-of-the-mill historical fiction read, (i.e. lots of mush) but this was a great story!
Amelia, the main character and heiress of a vast estate, promised her dying best friend that she would always look after her friend's then-newborn daughter. Nearly a year later, Amelia is engaged to marry Edward, a man who doesn't want the baby to stay with them after they're married. And the baby's sea captain father is coming home for his first leave since the birth of his daughter and the death of his wife. Desperate not to lose the baby, who has become like her own daughter, and increasingly suspicious that Edward might just be after her money, Amelia concocts an outrageous plan: propose a marriage of convenience to the baby's father.
What follows is a very exciting and intriguing adventure that I really enjoyed reading. The characters and their relationships to each other were very well done, I thought. While some of the dialogue felt a little bit awkward (not consistently, just in a few places), the interactions resulting from differing personalities, histories, and personal struggles were very deep and believable. And while a love story does develop over the course of the book, it was a far cry from the typical sappiness fest that books like this all too often turn into. The love story was very low-key, and felt very natural, while the action of the story was kept at the forefront.
And the plot itself was quite unique from anything I have read before. Uniqueness and originality always get bonus points from me!
There were a few editing issues scattered throughout the book... enough to irritate me. For instance, a dress worn by one of the characters was described as two different colors in the same scene, there were a few typos, and a few word choices that are inaccurate to the time period.
I certainly would have enjoyed the book more had those issues not been present, but it was still a good read.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Sounds interesting. I am not a romance reader, though this sounds like something more than romance. I might have to look into it.

    1. I'm not a romance reader either - honestly, it makes me gag - but this was a great story. There was a little bit of mush at the end, but not enough to really bother me. I was much more bothered by the typos. ; )

  2. What period of history was it exactly? Anything of historical importance happen in the book? I'm asking because...I enjoy historical fiction that, you know, has some HISTORY...:)

    1. It's set in 1814, but aside from a few references to the war (one of the main characters is a sea captain) there is little of what one would call "historical substance". I thought it offered a nice look into the social atmosphere of the time, though, for what it's worth.

    2. Part of Les Miserables is set in that time period...I'm currently reading that in French (and it's taking a LONG time to do so)...but yeah, that's an interesting era. Thanks for the review!


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