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The Third Heiress Kindle Edition

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Length: 421 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews Review

Setting: London, present day and early 20th century
Sensuality Rating: 5

Bestselling author Brenda Joyce makes her hardcover debut with The Third Heiress, a tale of suspense and romance that spans a century. Following a car crash, professional dancer Jill Gallagher holds her dying fiancé in her arms as he whispers, "I love you... Kate." Left with the wretched task of returning Hal's body to London and the aristocratic Sheldon family, Jill encounters hostility, malevolence, and a 90-year-old mystery involving a beautiful young American woman named Kate Gallagher and her impossible love affair with Edward Sheldon, Viscount Braxton.

A tangled web of love, lies, and murder begins to unravel as Jill digs into the scandal, revealing that very little has changed in the century since Kate Gallagher first caught Edward Sheldon's fancy--especially when the blue-blooded family lineage is threatened by an American upstart. When someone begins warning Jill off her research by ransacking her rented flat and slicing her car brakes, she isn't sure if Hal's American-born cousin Alex Preston is friend or foe. Alex claims to want to help, but Jill suspects that he is not telling her the truth. And with the threats against her life intensifying, Jill is running out of options quickly. A well-crafted novel infused with passion and suspense, The Third Heiress will both delight Joyce's devoted fans and attract new readers. --Alison Trinkle

From Publishers Weekly

The heroine of romance novelist Joyce's (The Finer Things) hardcover debut thinks she will live happily ever after, and instead unearths a nest of family secrets. Born into a working-class family, talented ballerina-turned-Broadway-dancer Jill Gallagher is ecstatic with her new fianc?, aristocratic Brit Harold "Hal" Sheldon. But as they drive along a New York highway, he breaks off their engagement, saying he wants to return to his family in London. A devastated Jill turns to confront himAand wraps the car around a tree. Though Jill escapes unscathed, Hal dies in her arms, his last words, "I love you... Kate." Accompanying Hal's body to London, Jill obsesses: who is Kate? Was Hal leaving her for another woman? Hal's family blames Jill for the accident, except for his cousin Alex Preston, who's just a bit less prickly than the Sheldons. In Hal's old bedroom, Jill discovers a 1906 photo of two young women, Kate Gallagher and Anne Bensonhurst. Anne was Hal's grandmother, but Kate, a nouveau-riche American heiress (with Jill's last name), mysteriously disappeared the year she turned 18. As Jill abandons her life in New York in her single-minded hunt for Kate (whom she believes is her own ancestor), Alex becomes a provocateur, helper and saboteur on the case. The mystery deepens when Jill finds a decapitated cat on her porch and discovers that the brakes on her car are cut. Joyce's occasionally trite prose ("Hal is dead. Ghosts make poor lovers") is easily ignored as she blends the stories of Jill and Kate, piecing together sexual intrigue, betrayals and century-old coverups that connect them. This genealogical thriller is a page turner that should please the readers of Joyce's previous 24 paperback romances (with seven million copies in print) and could perhaps prove her breakout novel. (Sept.) in August, and Joyce's Web site ( is already advertising her hardcover launch.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 673 KB
  • Print Length: 421 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312998848
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004L62EQW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #684,122 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Brenda Joyce is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fourty-nine novels and five novellas. There are over fourteen million copies of her novels in print and she is published in over a dozen foreign countries. A native New Yorker, she now lives in southern Arizona with her son, dogs and numerous Arabian and Half-Arabian reining horses. Brenda divides her time between her twin passions' writing powerful love stories and her quest to become a nationally ranked Top Ten equestrian. For more information about Brenda and her upcoming novels, please visit her websites:, and

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I picked up "The Third Heiress" because I have always enjoyed Brenda Joyce's works. This book has more of a suspense edge to it; as do a lot of romances now.
The problem with The Third Heiress is that the principle characters and their motives were not established early on in the book. One hundred pages into the book, I was still wondering what was going on in the book and why I should care.
Going to a fiancee's funeral with his bitter hateful family, seeing a photo with the name "Kate," and her last name on the of it does not make for a compelling mystery or much of a drama. Believe me, I did not stay up all night reading this one. There was no reason to. I did not like any of the characters, or care what happened to them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Love to read on November 16, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't like to read books where the "good guys" lose. Kate was such a lively character and in spite of the fact she disappeared nearly 90 years ago, the explanation of how she "ends" was horrible! Edward never found happiness and was estranged from the son he should have loved more than life itself. Anne's complete transformation to a hateful woman was hard to believe. Alex falling for Jill was tough to swallow, as she lost control of the car that killed his cousin. Hal's obsession and stalking of Jill was never fully explained. The ending was not only unsatisfying, it didn't bring closure to the "Kate" mystery. Pick up another one of Brenda's books to read...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I first would like to say that I was a true Brenda Joyce fan. For anyone who read "Promise of the Rose", you know what I am talking about. I love all types of romance ---comtemp. hist. funny. suspense, ect...Unfortunately, this book, "The third Heiress" did not live up to the hype. I felt no emotional involvement with the characters at all. There was nothing about Jill for me to want to read about! The mystery was lacking and I did not care for the whole "Who am I" plot line. It was played! I know Brenda Joyce has written five star books before, I have read them. This book fell short. I hope she can lure me back with something better in the future.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I've read EVERY book written by Ms. Joyce, and I was desperately waiting the release of this one. Unfortunately, I am currently about 300 pages into it (almost finished) and I am heartbroken. If you are planning on picking this up, expecting another incredible love story full of romantic turmoil and strong passionate characters, THINK TWICE before you buy. Ms. Joyce does a wonderful job writing contemporary suspense and mystery, but there is NO ROMANCE to speak of. I am proud of her ability to break into a new genre, but I am saddened that this book lacks the passion and fire her others (like "The Game" and "The Conqueror") are famous for. 200 pages into it, and there still hasn't been an intimate scene between the heroine and the man you assume is the hero! Two sloppy love scenes by the end of the book (both animalistic and extremely impersonal) are too cold and lacking in any real mental involvement between the two characters. I spent more time feeling frustrated and depressed (due to the morbid story line) than feeling excitement, passion, and hot desperation that is usually drawn out in her incredible stories. Ms. Joyce, I congratulate you on your courage to write a new and different book, but please weave some of your incredible romantic magic into the next one!!! ...Meanwhile, I'm off to read the ending (with reluctance), and hope that it will not disappoint too much.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 2, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback

I started reading the De Warenne books earlier this year, and since I've essentially read everything there (at least the 7 books starting with "The Prize"), I started looking at Brenda Joyce's other books. I picked up three of her books at the library: Splendor, House of Dreams and The Third Heiress. I liked Splendor and House of Dreams, but The Third Heiress really annoyed and irritated me. It kept my interest, and I actually cried throughout about the last quarter of the book, but I was horribly disaeppointed at the end, and it left me feeling completely unsatisfied.

I don't recall ever reading a book where I didn't want the two main characters together in the end, but Jill was WAY too accepting of Alex and what he and his family did to her. Doesn't she have any self-respect? The murder that they are so desperate to keep buried occurred almost 100 years before the modern day setting of the book. All of the people involved have died. And, there probably wouldn't have even been a mystery had Hal's family not acted so suspiciously to begin with. All they had to do was behave themselves through the funeral, and she would have left. But then, of course, there wouldn't have been a book.

I didn't like who Alex was revealed to be. It might have helped if we had gotten the story from both Jill and Alex's points of view, because then we would have the opportunity to view Alex's motivations and values. Of course, that might have meant giving away some of the secrets that Alex kept throughout the story. The way it was written, Alex came off as the family's gigalo.
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