Happy Halloween, everyone! We’re taking it easy at home today and nursing heavy colds. Hope your holiday is a great one!
Today I’m here with a review of The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White. This is the first book I’ve read by White and the first in her Ladies of the Manor Series.
This novel also continues my recent obsession with historical romance novels. Set primarily in Edwardian period England (1910’s), this novel was gripping from the first page. I found myself transported to another time and place that I had little experience with. I am really enjoying the historical fiction I have read lately for the unique time periods. I highly recommend them!
If I had to choose a favorite element in this novel, it would be the characters. White creates dynamic characters with complex personalities and vivid emotions. If anything, I want more stories giving us further background on other characters downstairs and upstairs. Excited to read more books in this series!
The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White follows the story of Brook Eden who was raised in Monaco but always wondered where she truly belonged. When her dearest friend Justin discovers that Brook is really a British heiress, she decides to move home to the English Moors. While her father immediately accepts her, Brook must win the loyalty and love of her extended family and the servants of Whitby Park. Soon, Brook finds herself at the center of an elaborate mystery about her mother’s death and her own future. Justin inherits the dukedom and must travel the world to manage his estates. Only then do Brook and Justin discover their love for each other only when they are driven far apart due to varying responsibilities and loyalties. Can they find a way to be together? And can Brook uncover the secrets of her mother’s death and save her own life?
Brook is a strong-minded and courageous protagonist who easily has readers routing for her. Brook is a lot like all of us. She wants to belong. She wants to find her family. She has doubts and fears about love and life. But she works to overcome those fears to find true happiness. I enjoyed experiencing her journey from unknown daughter of an opera singer to the heiress and favorite of London. I also appreciated her fierce loyalty and courage. Most of all, I admired Brook’s battle for faith. She is not always confident in the future. In fact, she has a rather grim view on love and marriage at the start of the novel. But I love her for her willingness to change and to fight for what she believes is right.
Brook’s relationship with Justin is one of the most exasperating and swoon-worthy love stories I have read recently. I knew (or hoped) they would end up together. But it seemed to take almost every page for them to figure things out. And that had me turning pages quickly to figure out if they get their happily ever after together. It’s a rocky road. They drive each other crazy. They share some lovely romantic moments. Then they say the wrong things. They are worried that love is not enough. But that all passes away when they finally meet under the right circumstances at the ruin of the abbey. That scene makes the whole love story worth it. Perhaps, because they are imperfect and their love has challenges as well, Justin and Brook are all the more relatable.
Perhaps this quote says it best:
“Love is always a miracle. Especially in this world.”
The Lost Heiress, page 171
One of my favorite characters was actually Deidre because she goes through such a drastic transformation throughout the novel. She begins as a very unlikable character with dangerous connections and dishonest intentions. But she forms a strong friendship with Brook as her lady’s maid and that changes her life. I love the ways Deidre fights for Brook and seeks to save her from the mystery and evil that would take Brook’s life like her mother’s.
What surprised me about this novel was the action and mystery that is interwoven throughout the story as frequently as the romance. I have not read many historical mysteries beyond Sherlock Holmes but I quite enjoyed this one. It was different for me and grabbed my attention refusing to let it go until the final page. At the heart of this story is the mystery of the “fire eyes” and how these rare jewels bring the death of Brook’s mother and several others. People will do anything to get their hands on them. And these jewels create a tone of intensity and excitement in the novel.
My favorite aspect of this novel was the dual perspectives. I love that we get inside the head of Brook, Justin, and Deidre for extended periods of time. I think that adds to the mystery and suspense of the novel because the point of view frequently shifts. And it helps readers get to know the characters better. Getting inside Deidre’s head was especially interesting. I loved hearing more about her complicated background and would have loved even more details about her complex past.
This novel, like many of my recent favorites, also includes a beautiful element of faith in it’s story. Brook’s struggle to trust God and have faith is an ongoing part of the story–as well as Deidre’s struggle to choose good over evil no matter the consequences. I appreciated the Bible verses that stuck out to Brook in her morning readings. Reading the word of God brings peace and strength to my life as well. I am impressed by the seamless way faith drives this story.
One of my favorite quotes comes near the end of the novel and sums up the way faith can lead us.
“God does not just instruct us to forgive–He instructs us to trust. To trust that, even though life hurts us, He will take care of us. That even if we lose the ones we love, He will sustain us through it.”
The Lost Heiress, page 342
Overall, a fabulous novel that has me excited for more to come! The ending was satisfying and left plenty open for sequels. Excited to read them!
Which time periods do you enjoy reading novels set in?