Disclaimer: The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White was provided by Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. When her friend Justin uncovers the fact that she is possibly a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea and the estate of her supposed family. The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook’s life is threatened do they draw close—but will their loyalty come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother? As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that their friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together? And then for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession—and those who can save her still aren’t sure whom to trust.
The Lost Heiress is one of the better historical romance novels I’ve gotten from Bethany House. The book is long, but engaging, and the writing is good as well. It’s clear that a lot of research went into this book and it is all the better for it. While I would have liked to seen less “Strange Girl Enchants Everyone and Gets Away with Breaking Society’s Rules,” White does a good job of balancing the enchantment of Brook with the realism of grumpy servants and shock at familiar terms. There are times when it goes a little too much in the enchantment direction, but not often.
I did feel that some of the mystery and tension got a little contrived, especially towards the end. In fact, the suspense parts of the books were my least favorite—I thought the story was engaging enough simply telling the tale of an heiress returning to her lost family without adding diamonds and pistols and kidnappers galore.
So, yes, the tension did feel contrived, mostly at the end, and the absolutely bonkers ending didn’t help at all. I was torn between confusion and disgruntlement at the strange, obtuse epilogue—and in no way did I feel as if it were a satisfactory conclusion to the story. It was more of a “Let me focus on the fact that the main characters are getting a happy ending and let’s just hand-wave away that little bit there about the danger that is now being invoked on another character,” and I didn’t like that at all. I also didn’t like how the obvious villain turned out to be the obvious villain, but even so, the book was engaging and fun despite that—and the romance was decent for once, too, although I prefer my romantic angst to be the more quiet type and less the “We can never be friends again if I love him!” type.
My rating: 4/5
Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction
You can buy this here: The Lost Heiress