I loved Sarah's debut novel! The Heiress of Winterwood was such an unexpected good read because I felt it wasn't your typical Regency romance novel! There was much depth that brought the story to life in an unforgettable way since it wasn't just about two people falling in love!
From the very beginning I was hooked to the story and it only kept getting better! The intricacies of what was happening in the family had me thoroughly engaged as well as the interactions with the residents of two brothers at Eastmore Hall! Amelia's passion was so strongly felt through the pages as well as Graham's!
The characters and story were awesome, but the Gospel message was truly powerful! More times then once I have been in that same similar state with God as Amelia in struggling to trust Him with certain things in my life! I am grateful that Sarah made such a heroine who was not only believable in this aspect, but also easily relatable! Everything surrounding this novel had trust in God at the center of it as well as the truth that He will never leave us or forsake us!
I am eagerly looking forward to more novels by this author because she writes a not so typical romance mixed in with drama, action, and surprisingly mystery! I highly recommend this novel to any Regency era lovers!
Graham Sterling has spent what seems like a lifetime at sea. He is in Her Majesty's Navy and has been forced to put to port his battle-damaged ship for repairs. While on leave he returns home to find his older brother pretty much a drunkard and the family estate in major debt. His wife has died 10 months previous and he meets his 9-month-old baby daughter, Lucy, for the first time. She has been in the care of his wife's best friend, Amelia Barrett. Initially, all Graham wants to do is find someone to care for his daughter, get his ship repaired and return to the sea. Everything begins to change when he meets his daughter and Amelia.
Both main characters struggle with believing God has their best interests in mind when difficult circumstances in life come to the fore. They don't doubt the existence of God, but whether He cares for their day-to-day struggles as they both believe God has let them down in the past. There isn't a lot of action in this story and the plot moves along slowly. I would have liked more background information on these main characters to see what made them tick. I think this would have added depth to the characters and that would have helped me connect with them.
Amelia Barrett made a promise upon her friend's deathbed to take care of her baby, Lucy, as her very own. As heiress to the Winterwood estate upon marriage, Amelia finds herself betrothed to Edward Littleton, a man whose character is different than originally portrayed and who refuses to allow Lucy to stay. Upon Captain Graham Sterling's return from sea, Amelia must explain his wife's passing, introduce him to his daughter and make quick plans to ensure her bond with Lucy remains. Through many twists and turns, friends and foes, lies and loves, Amelia and Graham must learn to work together for a chance at their happily-ever-after.
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
This book was outstanding, even more so as it was Sarah Ladd's debut novel. The characters, faith, time frame (Darbury, England: 1814), writing style, word choice and story line all kept me fully engaged until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this story from start to finish_I was only disappointed when I read the last page! Fortunately, I have the sequel, The Headmistress of Rosemere, on my shelf to read next. Bravo!!