Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review: An Heiress At Heart

Author: Jennifer Delamere
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Forever
Series: Love’s Grace # 1

A New Beginning

A youthful indiscretion has cost Lizzie Poole more than just her honor. After five years living in exile, she’s finally returning home, but she’s still living a secret life. Her best friend, Ria’s dying wish was for Lizzie to assume her identity, return to London, and make amends that Ria herself would never live to make. Bearing a striking resemblance to her friend, and harboring more secrets than ever before, Lizzie embarks on a journey that tempts her reckless heart once again . . .

A committed clergyman, Geoffrey Somerville’s world is upended when he suddenly inherits the title of Lord Somerville. Now he’s invited to every ball and sought after by the matchmaking mothers of London society. Yet the only woman to capture his heart is the one he cannot have: his brother’s young widow, Ria. Duty demands he deny his feelings, but his heart longs for the mysterious beauty. With both their futures at stake, will Lizzie be able to keep up her façade? Or will she find the strength to share her secret and put her faith in true love?
“In a few minutes she would be going downstairs for the first time as Victoria Somerville. She certainly looked the part. The gown Lady Thornborough had bought for her was a deep gray silk with muted pinstripes. It was expensive, flattering and perfectly suited to the occasion.” – Finished Copy pg. 50

“Lizzie gripped the railing. She looked across the open expanse to the other side of the whispering gallery, remembering how her brother had stood there, alive with joy and excitement of youth. Now she saw that he had been standing beneath the mural of a shipwreck. ‘All hope lost,’ she repeated sadly.” – Finished Copy pg. 143

“Through the window Lizzie saw a young woman making her way down the street, wrapping an inadequate shawl around her shoulders, her poorly shod feet slipping on the wet cobblestones. Her heart went out to the girl. That once was me, she thought. She remembered walking down the streets, watching the passing carriages, envying the people within. They had not a care in the world, she had thought then. How wrong she had been.” – Finished Copy pg. 190

"It was startling, that first touch of his lips on hers. He realized then that he had been wanting this from the moment he had laid eyes upon her. Even bruised and bleeding in the street, she had drawn him to her with that curious mix of strength and vulnerability that he had never seen in any woman.” – Finished Copy pg. 251

Lizzie Poole led a simple and enjoyable life until one act of foolishness forced her to leave her home in London and head to Australia to start a new life. That is, until she met Ria, her new friend and sister. Ria’s dying wish was for Lizzie to go back to London and reclaim her life. The only catch is that she will be impersonating Ria and trying her best to keep Ria’s family from believe otherwise. From the start Lizzie is faced with a long and tiresome road ahead of her, not to mention all the colorful and cruel characters she meets along the way.
What I loved most about this book was that our heroine is not your typical hopeless romantic with her head in the air. She is a real woman with real values and a smart head on her shoulders. She is not naïve and is certainly not waiting for some man to come and sweep her off her feet unexpectedly. She is a character that you can put stock in and really feel sympathy for because her lot in life has not been the easiest one to face. I had such an emotional tie to Lizzie and I was definitely on her team. I love realistic characters like her and although Jennifer writes Lizzie as vulnerable sometimes, I think it only illuminates her depth as a character and her ability to overcome even the most extenuating circumstances.
Geoffrey was probably the character that Lizzie interacted with the most, and I must admit that I wasn’t too fond of him at first. When we meet Geoffrey, he has been given a new title because of the recent death of his two brothers. He seems like a noble and intelligent man, but I almost wanted to tell him to lighten up at times. He knew that something wasn’t right with Ria (Lizzie), but he also knew that he couldn’t stay away from her. I loved their relationship because it was once that I would have never picked the couple and paired them together. I guess that’s why I am just the reader and not the writer!
This book was nicely paced and a highly enjoyable read! I am ready to see what is next from this author and in this series!
***Hugs and love to the author, Jennifer Delamere, for sending me my very own copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

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