My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Heir was a good read, although a little uneven at times.
Summary via the publisher:
An earl who can’t be bribed…
Gayle Windham, earl of Westhaven, is the first legitimate son and heir to the duke of Moreland. To escape his father’s inexorable pressure to marry, he decides to spend the summer at his townhouse in London, where he finds himself intrigued by the secretive ways of his beautiful housekeeper…
A lady who can’t be protected…
Anna Seaton is a beautiful, talented, educated woman, which is why it is so puzzling to Gayle Windham that she works as his housekeeper.
As the two draw closer and begin to lose their hearts to each other, Anna’s secrets threaten to bring the earl’s orderly life crashing down—and he doesn’t know how he’s going to protect her from the fallout…
The strengths of The Heir include the absolutely delightful supporting characters, particularly Morgan (Anna’s deaf companion) and Westhaven’s brothers. I think we’re going to see more of all of them in future books, and I’m really looking forward to reading more.
My opinion of Anna herself was also positive. I found her sympathetic, with some depth to her character. This depth includes some character flaws, situations where she did things she swore she wouldn’t only a few pages earlier. This struck me as her being a real person rather than as inconsistency in the writing.
Unfortunately, Westhaven’s foibles were more confusing to me. The character wandered back and forth between Sensitive Guy and Arrogant Nobility, and I wasn’t quite sure how I was supposed to be thinking of him. I often don’t see the appeal of romance novel heroes, and overall I did like him better than many, but I was a bit baffled at times.
Looking at the plot, it primarily involves the love/lust story and the unveiling of Anna’s Secret, with the Earl’s father’s prodding towards marriage serving to move the plot along when needed.
The romance was steamy. You can decide for yourself if this is a plus or minus. This aspect of the story was about lust before it was about love, but both aspects of the relationship did advance as the book moved along.
I enjoyed watching Anna’s back story unfold. The plot was generally well thought out, but with a couple of points where I felt plausibility was stretched as needed to make the book work overall. Even with those bits taken into account, I felt that it had a stronger story than many books I’ve read in the genre, which encourages me even more toward reading future books by this author.
This is an intriguing first novel, by an author I’m looking forward to following in the future.
I received my copy of The Heir from Sourcebooks so I could review it. I appreciate their providing me with this opportunity.