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.
At the beginning this book reminded me of one I read from this era when in high school: a book in which a simpering female desperately wanted to catch a man. I soon decided that the only thing these two books shared was the time period! The Heiress of Winterwood is much, much better, and Amelia Barrett is no greedy, conniving husband hunter. Willing to put her life, her own future, and her fortune at someone else's mercy to keep the child she loves nearby, she epitomizes a strong and loving character.
Graham's no slouch, either. With demons in his past and an uncertain future, he needn't bother with acquiring a wife, running an estate, or dealing with a crazed ex-fiance, but he takes it all on willingly to provide the best future possible for his daughter - whom he has just met. Graham puts aside his own feelings and makes the best choices that he can for those around him. He makes a fabulous male lead as he is a great leader.
I couldn't put this book down. It's a great love story with a bit of adventure and suspense thrown in for good measure, all swirled around with wise faith lessons. Relationships are key in this book - those between husband and wife, parent and child, neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, mentor to mentee, even master and servant. Ladd writes each one with wisdom and drama by turn so that each interaction provides action to the plot. While in some books this type of 'action' makes for a dull read, in The Heiress of Winterwood it is these very relationships that provide both the action, the suspense, the drama, and the lessons learned.
This is definitely a top book of 2013 so far.
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 ofWinterwood 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 http://www.sarahladd.com.
I received a free copy of The Heiress of Winterwood from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.