Friday, April 19, 2013

Review of "The Heiress of Winterwood" by Sarah Ladd

Rating: 4 Stars
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Review: "The Heiress of Winterwood" is a promising beginning to Sarah Ladd's new series "Whispers on the Moors."  As a fan of period British dramas, this novel satiated my hunger for a elegant English love story, especially in the absence of Downton Abbey. There are hints of Austenesque qualities in Ladd's writing that surface throughout the pages.  The novel is a fairly fast read with elements of predictability and unpredictability in the plot.  The first half of the plot is as refined and placid as the stately scene on the front cover, but dark clouds soon surface and make way for a storm of danger.  
Amelia finds herself in a unique situation, especially for a woman in 1814. She is not only the future heiress to a grand estate, but she is also the adopted mother for an infant.  Most shockingly, she proposes to a stranger while promised to another gentleman.  This premise, while probably not completely realistic, adds interest and unpredictability to the novel. Amelia's actions at the beginning of the book set the stage for the forthcoming events.  As the motives of certain characters come into question and the shades of Winterwood are darkened by crime, suspense excites the otherwise sedate plot.  
Captain Graham Sterling is a proper British hero, definitely worthy of a Regency era novel.  He is the ideal compliment to Amelia, and combined with baby Lucy, they are an endearing trio. I hoped for more development in the love between Graham and Amelia.  Circumstances throw the unconventional family together. Initially, the interaction between Graham and Amelia is driven by necessity, and it slowly transforms into something deeper. While I support the growing relationship, I did not feel fully engaged in the feelings between the two characters. I remain more touched by the love between Amelia and Lucy.  Hopefully the future novels in the series will allow readers back into the lives of Amelia, Graham, and Lucy. 
"The Heiress of Winterwood" is a commendable novel with an appealing English flair.  The journey to Darbury, England and the stately manor of Winterwood will not leave readers who are looking for a British escape disappointed.

Purchase a copy:

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and LitFuse through their book review programs. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above 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.
Summary:  Darbury, England, 1814

Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend's baby. She'll risk everything to keep her word-even to the point of proposing to the child's father-a sea captain she's never met.
When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting at her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.
-Amelia's detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she's forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.
Graham's strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.
Both must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them. 
Meet Sarah: Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever. Find out more about Sarah at

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