Title: Heiress in Love
Author: Christina Brooke
Copyright: 2011 (St. Martin’s); 352 pgs.
Series: Ministry of Marriage #1
Genre: Historical Romance
The Widow: Jane, Lady Roxdale. Her marriage was arrange by her guardian, the Duke of Montford. Now that Frederick has passed, Jane hopes that Montford will not expect her to enter into another one. Frederick has left her financially well-off, but he has left the care of his young ward to that of his disreputable cousin and heir. Jane loves the boy like he was her own. She’d give up the fortune, if that’s what it took, to keep Luke with her. She’d even contemplate marrying the new Lord Roxdale.
The Black Sheep: Constantine Black. The estate, title, and young ward are his, but Frederick left the money to Jane. Without it, Constantine has no hope of maintaining the estate. His personal fortune is not enough and selling his family’s property out from under his younger brother is something he rather not do. He’d been hoping that inheriting Lazenby would be his fresh start. He wants to do right by those who rely on him, but Frederick’s inexplicable decision has set him up for failure before he’s even begun. His only other course of action is to marry an heiress. Like Jane.
Comments: I chose this book because of the mostly positive reviews and I thought I might enjoy it. The idea of a group of wealthy, titled individuals arranging various marriages may seem like a bit of a stretch, but the more I thought about it, the more it sounded plausible. These men and women were doing their best to strengthen their family fortunes and political positions.
I liked Jane. She made the best of her marriage, though deeply hurt knowing it wasn’t the love match she thought it would be when Frederick first started paying his addresses to her. Frederick wasn’t an abusive husband, just a selfish one. I can understand why she’d find it hard to trust Constantine, what with his reputation and the rumors.
Constantine is a man who is still paying for the stupid mistakes of his wild youth and his own pride. I love a tortured hero and Constantine fits the bill. Not too broody. He’s a honorable person, though society doesn’t see that. Jane is the first person who’s opinion of him mattered to him, and she’s also the first woman in a very long time that he’s allowed himself to fall in love with.
I liked the author’s voice. I particularly liked the Ministry’s minutes, at the start of Chapter 14. They me chuckle. I look forward to reading the next book.
Started: 17 August 2011
Finished: 20 August 2011