Monday, April 29, 2013

Fantastic Debut Novel from Sarah E. Ladd

The Heiress of Winterwood
by Sarah E. Ladd
Whispers on the Moors series, Book 1
Christian Fiction / Romance
Available April 2013
Thomas Nelson
320 pages

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About the Book
Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.

Darbury, England, 1814

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 to 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 accept God’s sovereignty and relinquish control so they can grasp the future He has for planned for them.

My Thoughts
If you're a fan of Christian romance—or if you've just walked the aisles of a bookstore recently—I'm sure you're aware that "regency romance" is all the rage right now. I've fallen in love with the genre and was thrilled for the opportunity to read The Heiress of Winterwood, Sarah Ladd's debut novel. And wow ... did this new author deliver!

The story itself was a little different than many of the others that I've read recently. Amelia, an heiress, has promised to care for her dying friend's baby until the baby's father returns from sea. However, when Graham returns with plans to return to his ship shortly thereafter, Amelia offers to keep caring for the baby. The problem? Her fiance is having none of it. Amelia is torn between keeping her promise to her friend and the child she's come to love as her own and the man she must marry in order to save her estate.

Seriously. This was an incredible book. There was so much going on—but not too much—and I was pulled into the story immediately. I liked Amelia so much, and Graham ... sigh! I wanted them to fall in love so badly!

At the same time, though, I just felt so bad for Amelia's situation. It must have been terrible to be a wealthy woman and have to rely on a man—even marry a man you didn't love!—in order to keep your wealth. And then it became your husband's! Ladd's story really made these realities come alive, and I enjoyed how she wove those historical details into the story.

With the mystery of the kidnapping (happens fairly late in the story) and all of the tension between Amelia and Graham, I stayed up far too late in the night to see how the story ended! The only negative thing I can find to say about this book is that it ended at all. Thankfully, though, this is only the first in the series!

I'm so pleased to recommend The Heiress of Winterwood! If you love regency romances, I'm confident you'll enjoy this one. If you haven't checked out the genre yet, this would be a great book to start with! Kudos to Sarah Ladd on a fantastic debut novel! [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson & Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
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. The 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.

Sarah Ladd Online
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