My rating: 3 stars / I liked it
Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. Though raised in the palace of Monaco, she’s British by birth and was brought to the Grimaldis under suspicious circumstances as a babe. When Brook’s friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.
The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook’s life is threatened do they draw close—but their loyalty may come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother.
As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that what began as friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?
And then, for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession—and this time only the servants of Whitby can save her.
I really did myself a disservice by reading the Ladies of the Manor series out of order! I started with the second book, the Reluctant Duchess (my favorite of them all), then read the third, A Lady Unrivaled, and only now got the first one read. Because there is a continuing plot thread between them all, I knew for the most part what would happen in The Lost Heiress and found myself skimming through much of the introduction of the various family members and cousins and their drama. I was mostly interested in the relationship between Brook and Justin, and how they went from best friends to in love. I was a bit disappointed with their transition since there were so many other distractions keeping them apart, but once they give in to their feelings and trust each other their romance is pretty amazing. Partway through the book the rare red diamonds known as the Fire Eyes come into play, which amps up the suspense and tension as villains stop at nothing to discover them. I especially enjoyed the closeness between Brook and her father after their reunion and was glad that she had someone steady to rely on.
(Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book; this is my honest review)