Apr 17, 2013

The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd

Fantastic Regency era romance full of intrigue and faith values!

The Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers on the Moors Book #1) by Sarah E. Ladd
Christian Historical Romance
Thomas Nelson; April 9, 2013
Paperback 320 pages
Review copy provided by publisher via LitFuse in exchange for this review, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating:Totally Awesome!

Purchase your copy here
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I edited out some of the plot in the following synopsis....
Pride goes before the fall . . . but what comes after?
Darbury, England, 1814
Amelia Barrett, heiress to an ancestral estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s infant baby. She'll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father, Graham, a sea captain she’s never met.

Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she examines her soul and must 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.
Both must learn to accept God’s sovereignty and relinquish control so they can grasp the future He has for planned for them.


I must say I devoured this one, I could NOT put it down. I am VERY glad I didn't read the synopsis or back cover thoroughly, or I would have been anticipating what was a big twist in the story. (I HATE when marketing gives away the plot!) ..vent over..The above synopsis is safe for consumption since I deleted the middle.

The story is set during England's Regency era where Amelia Barrett finds herself as a temporary guardian of an infant. Nine months later, the father of the infant comes back to retrieve her, and Amelia is willing to stop at nothing so that the baby can remain in her custody. Captain Graham Sterling is a neighbor to Amelia, but he has been away at sea for most of his life. Upon his return to his estate he finds his brother William has ran it into debt, and he is not worthy of caring for his daughter. Amelia is the best person for the job, but Amelia's intended does not want anything to do with the Sterling baby.

Turns out this is really not just a romance - as there is more suspense and intrigue that you can shake a stick at!! Amelia realizes that her engagement to a shady Edward Littleton must not be acted upon, but it turns out that Littleton doesn't really want Amelia anyway - he wants her estate and is ready to move heaven and earth to get it. In an era where a woman is bound to be loyal to a man and her family, Amelia has little hope of achieving her dreams of being a mother to her friend's baby when scoundrels like Littleton stand in her way.

Many plot twists occur which have us losing breath as we try and keep up with Amelia's headstrong ways as one disaster after the other happen at breakneck speed - which is why I could not put this novel down! I loved how the faith factor was skillfully inserted, both Amelia and Graham have to mend their ways and the novel shows how they approach their faith in order for them to have a happy outcome. The narrative seamlessly shifts from both of the main character's point of views and we are eager to see them both succeed. The love story was achingly slow, as we knew these two are made for each other, but it was a nice backdrop to the fast paced intrigue. A fantastic debut for author Sarah Ladd, and I CANNOT wait to see what is next.. since this is book one of a series, I am guessing that the ill-fated cousin Helen will be featured in book two.... (no spoilers, so I'll hush!!)

The journey towards absolute trust in God + idyllic setting + good vs. evil + sweet romance + a plethora of interesting characters = a new favorite novel and five star read!!

My Goodreads Reading Progress:

04/07page 320
100.0%"Squeeeeeee.. Loved it!!!"
04/07page 262
81.0%"I love this book - will be sad to see it end. But I can't stop myself from reading it!"
04/06page 135
42.0%"Methinks they shouldn't leave Amelia unprotected tonight, after that shocking announcement!"
04/06page 82
25.0%"Amelia is betrothed to a cad."
04/05page 1
0.0%"OOHH first lines: 'Katherine was going to die. And Amelia could do nothing to prevent it
Sarah Ladd is celebrating the release of The Heiress of Winterwood with a Downton Abbey Kindle Prize Pack Giveaway!
Heiress-of-Winterwood-giveaway300
 One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Downton Abbey, seasons 1-3
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 30th. Winner will be announced on 5/2/13 {HERE}.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

10 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, this one sounds awesome! I believe I already have it on my Amazon wishlist but I will need to make sure. Thanks for making me want to read it even more Marie :).

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    1. Definitely worth the splurge!

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  2. Thank you, Marie, for the lovely review!

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  3. A five-star review! I don't remember the last time I saw this rating on your blog. Well, I'm all curious now and I'm going to research this book!

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  4. That's a convincing review! My goal is to read a few of your five star inspiration reads, since I liked the Sandra Byrd novel. Should this be one of them? (I'm going to email you for recs! :))

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  5. Can't remember where I saw this one recently, but I already had marked it as to-read. Looks like now I'll have to get my hands on a copy. Thank you for the warning about the synopsis, I will make sure I don't read it beforehand!!! :-) Great review!

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  6. Your review definitely leaves me wanting to read this book!

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  7. Thanks for the great review Marie. I have added it to my NOOK wishlist to read this summer. Take care, LA

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  8. Been listening to the audiobook of this, not far through but liking it! As a British person I do have issues with some books like this at times, as the depiction of British people or culture can be very stereotyped, or the accents totally wrong. I guess I notice those things where others don't!

    All the best, UK

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But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6