Monday, April 22, 2013

The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd

cover of The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E Ladd shows a woman in a red gown facing a manor houseThe Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd. Thomas Nelson, 2013. 320p. (9781401688356) Series: Whispers on the Moors #1

Quite the adventure! I’d forgotten any details from the summary when I started reading this and was not expecting all the turmoil and danger that ensued.

Goodreads Summary:
Pride goes before the fall . . . but what comes after?

Darbury, England, 1814

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an ancestral estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s infant baby. She'll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father, Graham, a sea captain she’s never met.

Tragedy strikes when the child vanishes with little more than a sketchy ransom note hinting to her whereabouts. Fear for the child’s safety drives Amelia and Graham to test the boundaries of their love for this infant.

Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she examines her soul and must face her one weakness: pride.

Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline.

Both must learn to accept God’s sovereignty and relinquish control so they can grasp the future He has for planned for them.

My Review:
What seemed to start out as a potential marriage-of-convenience story turned into a tale of two people learning to let go and accept God’s plan, guidance and forgiveness. I really enjoyed the spiritual development of both Amelia and Graham.  

Amelia Barrett has lost many loved ones and is determined to do everything in her power not to lose little Lucy. At times it was hard to reconcile her independence and even defiance of her uncle and fiancé with my general impression of women of that era and also with Amelia herself. I really enjoyed her but at times things seemed a bit off.

Captain Graham Sterling was a great hero, full of flaws, wanting to do right. The spark between him and Amelia was fun to read. I wish we could have learned more about his childhood, I think that would have helped explain his brother’s behavior and the tension between the two men.

I also wish Helena, Amelia’s cousin, had been further developed. She didn’t seem to be the same person at the beginning and the end (and that’s not due to any character development, she just suddenly seemed to be someone else). For all that it still is an enjoyable read.

This is a debut novel that came about after the author won the Historical Romance category of the Genesis contest in 2011. The Genesis contest held by ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) is for unpublished Christian fiction authors. Quite glad she won and it appears as though this is the beginning of a series.

(Not sure if it's worth a re-read, but it's an enjoyable story with some good lessons)

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission. 
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