Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Heiress of Winterwood - by Sarah E. Ladd

It's 1814, and Amelia Barrett has promised her friend Katherine that she will care for Katherine's daughter, Lucy, as her very own, as Katherine is dying.  However, her fiance Edward Littleton is deadset against raising a child who isn't his.  Amelia is committed to keeping Lucy, to the point of proposing a marriage of convenience to the child's father, Captain Graham Sterling, when he returns from sea, regardless of the scandal this could cause within her family.  In addition, Amelia's very inheritance is dependent on her being married before her 24th birthday, a mere 5 weeks away.  Will Amelia find a solution?  Will Captain Sterling agree to marry her?  Or will Edward agree to let her keep Lucy? Is everyone who they seem to be, or is someone looking for more than they say they are out of these arrangements?

The plot of this story was intriguing; the idea of a woman proposing marriage to a man she didn't know in 1814 did feel extreme and scandalous.  Amelia seemed to be a strong, confident woman for the time, and her commitment to Lucy was admirable.  Captain Sterling was also an interesting character of his own, dealing with his own issues and guilt from his past.  I especially enjoyed that both main characters had their own issues that were shaping their faith separate from each other.  Neither character was set up to be the savior of the other, and in fact, both Amelia and Captain Sterling had their own mentors in the form of an older woman and man, respectively.  That was a big reason that I enjoyed this book, watching each of them travel their own roads and deal with their own struggles without depending on the other.  And their mentors, Jane Hammond, and Captain Sulter, were able to talk them through by relaying their own difficult pasts, and how they had relied on God through their troubles.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  While the conclusion was fairly obvious from early in the book, and was a bit over-the-top drama wise, I did enjoy the main characters and their journey towards God and towards a relationship that was more than just convenient.  I did wish for a bit more of their story after where the book chose to end, but maybe that's the sign of a good book.  I give this book 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.  This is the first book in a series; I'll be interested to see where the series goes - whether it follows the same characters, or picks up with somebody new.

You can find The Heiress of Winterwood HERE.
Sarah E. Ladd's Goodreads page is HERE.  (While a page for the author comes up on Google, the link did not appear to be working.)

I received a copy of this e-book from Thomas Nelson, as part of their BookSneeze program, in exchange for my honest review.

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