The Lost Heiress
By Roseanna M. White
Published by Bethany House
ISBN# 978-0-7642-1350-2
439 Pages

Back Cover: Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. Though raised in the palace of Monaco, she's British by birth and was brought to the Grimaldis under suspicious circumstances as a babe. When Brook's friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother's death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook's life is threatened do they draw close--but their loyalty may come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother.

As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that what began as friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

REVIEW: The two page list of characters before the book started was a little intimidating; I wondered if I could keep up with the list of who’s who while reading. My hesitation vanished when the author opened the story with eighteen year old Brook Eden.I loved the opening scene. “Gleaming silver, green leather, the nearly silent rumble of engine…Brook trailed a gloved hand along the door, cast one glance over her shoulder, and let herself in. She couldn’t stop the grin as she gripped the wheel of the Rolls-Royce.”

Brook’s not like the women of her time. She’s curious, spunky, a well-educated, an independent thinker. She’s a young lady I instantly connected with. She adores the family that raised her but a part of her heart was missing. She had to know who her parents were and where she came from.

I loved Brook’s free-spirit, passionate ways and her zest for life. She asked her dear friend Justin to find her lost family and oh, teach her to drive. Grin! It was his car she slipped into on page one. Justin Wildon was a gentlemen – who was also known as Lord Harlow. He and Brook grow up together in Monaco. He was noticing more and more she was turning into quite a beautiful young lady.

Justin had gone through great lengths to verify who Brook’s family was. He told her what her full name was; Elizabeth Brook Eden, Baroness of Berkley. She’s surprised. It’s not what Brook expected. Justin then takes her to meet her loving father; the famed Lord Ambrose Whitly who is overjoyed at finally meeting his daughter in England.

Not everyone in England is willing to believe Brook is who she claims to be. She undergoes scrutiny and is treated coldly by servants and some family members. Brook soon discovers that other girls have claimed to be Lord Ambrose Whitly’s long lost daughter. Brook knows people wonder what makes her any different from the others. Brook could not foresee all she would encounter after meeting her new family.

Justin is unexpectedly pulled away from Brook to attend to his own family crisis, at a time when Brook needs him most and just when they begin to wonder if they could be more than friends.

I like how this author deals with the faith element in the story naturally. There is a divine intervention that transforms Brook’s fear into faith as she learns to trust God even when she doesn’t understand what’s happening. In hopeless times fear tries to take over Brooks’ life. Her close friend Justin is far away which forces her to learn to trust God not only in the happy times, but also in the hard times. She soon realizes that God can turn terrifying storms into things of beauty.

Will Justin save the day? Will she find a safe place? Will she trust God in the storm?

I enjoyed the rich history of the Era and this author does an amazing job of making me feel as if I were there among the characters watching this royal family go about their daily routines as protocol demands. This story is told in the POV of Brook and Justin. I liked that. I was surprised at how much I disliked the villains in the story who took joy in plotting Brooks’s demise.

I liked how this author brilliantly wove several story lines into the mix and added the perfect blend of danger, mystery, romance and intrigue for a fun memorable read. The stage is set for book two in the Ladies of the Manor series. I’m looking forward to it! You will too!

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. 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’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog

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