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The Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers On The Moors) Paperback – April 8, 2013
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“If you are a fan of Jane Austen and Jane Eyre, you will love Sarah E. Ladd’s debut.” (USAToday.com)
“This debut novel hits all the right notes with a skillful and delicate touch, breathing fresh new life into standard romance tropes.” (Romantic Times)
“Ladd’s charming Regency debut is enhanced with rich detail and well-defined characters. It should be enjoyed by fans of Gilbert Morris.” (Library Journal)
“This adventure is fashioned to encourage love, trust, and faith especially in the Lord and to pray continually, especially in times of strife.” (CBA Retailers + Resources)
About the Author
Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky Golden Retriever. Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor
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The obvious first thing to stand out about the book is the stunning cover. I’m positively in love with it! But what really caught my eye about the story was the unique plot…..a woman plans on marry her best friend’s widow to keep a family for the child…..that’s definitely a different take on romance.
I enjoyed Amelia as a heroine….she was loyal, strong, confident, and tenacious. Though pride was her greatest character flaw, it was annoying or frustrating at all. Sometimes when a lead character is overly prideful, it can put me off a little but Ladd did a marvelous job at making Amelia the perfect mixture of prideful and yet humble.
The romance between Captain Sterling and Amelia was a little wanting for me. While it was tender and sweet, I wanted more tension between the two. I thought the circumstances of the story made it difficult for them to really develop a romance….however I thought in the beginning there could have been a lot more tension between the two.
There were some bits of the novel that I questioned their relevance…..one being Captain Sterling’s injury. I don’t know that it added a lot to the romance or the overall story. Same with his mentor…..I guess they could both show the development of faith in his character but I thought his faith could have been tested in other ways that had more to do with the overall story.
Or maybe introduce those issues early on in the novel instead of toward the end. For me they just didn’t work as well as I would have liked.
All that said I still thought it was a nice, easy read and it filled the need I had to read a historic romance. I was hoping for a little more in the story but overall it wasn’t a bad read. I also have the next book in the series to read (which I plan on) so that tells me that I liked it enough to want to read more books by her!
I do admire Amelia... taking care of her deceased friend's baby daughter. However, she did not listen. Graham told her he was going by himself to Liverpool. She did not listen. He told her to stay in the Sutlers' house. She did not listen... she went to the market and I know how well that turned out. She did, though, apologize to Graham and I suppose that made it okay... her overcoming her pride and finally falling in love with the man she had proposed to.
Amelia Barrett is the heiress of a large estate called Winterwood. There's one caveat to her inheritance. She must marry before her 24th birthday or the estate will pass to some distant cousins and she will be cut out entirely. To add to this burden, she's made a promise to a dying friend to care for her daughter. Amelia hatches a plan that involves proposing to the child's father, Captain Graham Sterling. He was married to Lucy's mother but due to his duties at sea, has never actually met his now 9 month old daughter.
Little Lucy is kidnapped and a chilling ransom note is delivered. There is the mystery of who has taken her and the suspense of trying to get her back. Who has taken her and why? Will they be able to get her back?
The heavy-handed way that religion was used in the book was what kept me from rating it higher. I have nothing wrong with religion in books. I've read my share of religious fiction and have enjoyed many of them. But it was done with a very heavy hand in this case, it didn't really belong. Both Graham Sterling and Amelia Barrett seemed to be having a crisis of faith, but why? What was accomplished by spouting random Bible verses? A little back-story would have gone a long way in this case. Not only with the religion aspect, but also with many of the characters who were introduced. They were merely window dressing with the barest of connections to the main characters. And even the main characters needed more dimension to them, more depth.
A good beach or airplane read. Something that you don't have to put a lot of thought or effort into. An enjoyable but predictable tale of love and loss with a little suspense thrown in.