Saturday, December 22, 2018

Review: Seeing Miss Heartstone by Nichole Van

Heidi Reads... Seeing Miss Heartstone by Nichole Van

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Miss Belle Heartstone—heiress and savvy businesswoman—needs a husband. Immediately. As in, yesterday would not have been soon enough. Her mother’s attempts at matchmaking have been disastrous. So Belle decides to solve the problem her way—survey the market and purchase the best groom available.

Colin Radcliffe, Marquess of Blake—debt-ridden and penniless—needs a large infusion of cash. Desperately. Preferably cash that does not come with a wife attached. It is no surprise, then, when he receives Miss Heartstone’s brazen proposal—her cash, his title, their marriage—that he politely declines.

But before he leaves her, Blake suggests something truly radical: Maybe before finding a husband, Belle should find herself.

His simple words send them both on an unexpected journey, spanning continents and years, entwining their lives in ways neither could have foreseen. Can two lonely souls move past societal expectations and forge a unique life together?

Please note: The basic storyline of Seeing Miss Heartstone was originally published as a novella titled, An Invisible Heiress, in the Spring in Hyde Park anthology. This current novel is a greatly expanded version of that plot, adding over 200 pages of text and creating a more robust, well-developed story.

My Review

I enjoyed the characters in this Regency story because of how they sought to expand their horizons and were courageous enough to make changes to achieve their goals. Belle and Colin challenge each other in the best ways, complementing each others strengths and forming a strong business and friendship. I liked that they helped those less fortunate, especially veterans of the Napoleonic wars and their families. I felt bad for Colin that he was kept in the dark for so long, but understood why. There is plenty of angst as Belle and Colin both struggle with how to reveal/expose the secret identity of LHF. The storytelling is enhanced with letters between the two over the years, and I can't imagine waiting six months for replies! I liked the story when it was a novella, and even better as a novel with more themes explored and a deepening of the thoughts and emotions of Belle and Colin. A sweet romance with ups and downs between two people who are perfect for each other- if only they can manage to forgive and trust. 

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

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