STORY: RIVALS OF FORTUNE – Joanna Rowntree thought she would die of a broken heart when her one true love married another-until not one but two fascinating newcomers appear on neighboring estates. As the roughhewn Jonathan Erland and the polished Sir Rollin Denby engage in a heated competition for her hand, Joanna realizes her heart is alive and well-but to whom will she give it?
THE IMPETUOUS HEIRESS – When spoiled Lady Alicia Alston, privileged daughter of a duke, is accidentally tossed into a ravine after a wild gallop with Ian MacClain, Earl of Cairnyllan, she expects a proposal as soon as is convenient. The stubborn Scot has other ideas. It takes a headlong journey to prevent an elopement to give Alicia and Ian a chance to clear up misunderstandings and figure out what they find so damnably passion-inducing about one another…
REVIEW: “Rivals of Fortune”
Miss Joanna Rowntree, age 18, lives with her father at their small home in Oxford. Joanna’s heart is breaking because Peter Finley has just married Adrienne. Joanna is deeply hurt because she understood that she and Peter would marry. When Joanna learns that Peter and his new wife will be coming to town soon, she doesn’t know how she will react. Hearing that Peter’s wife is older than he is and a bit of a shrew to boot, is shocking When she actually meets Adrienne, she finds the woman to be haughty. When Joanna sees how arrogant the woman is, she feels sorry for Peter. while realizing that she never truly cared for him that much. Adrienne’s brother, Sir Rollin Denby, is staying with is sister and Peter. He catches Joanna’s attention with his good looks, but he acts superior to everyone else as well..
When Joanna’s younger brother, Frederick, is brought home by a neighbor after injuring his ankle, Joanna meets Jonathan Erland. He has moved into the nearby Abbey that his uncle left him. It is rumored that the uncle had been quite wealthy and some think he has hidden treasure on the grounds. Jonathan has moved from Canada where he had spent 10 years.
Joanna’s father is a scholar and enlists the help of a few other men to assist Jonathan in searching for the treasure that is supposed to be hidden on the man’s property. In addition, they are hoping to find an ancient crypt buried underground.
As the digging ensues, it appears that there is an unknown person who is also trying to find the treasure by searching at night. Joanna becomes involved with the group by drawing sketches of different stages of the digging. Soon, the search becomes dangerous because someone is desperate to find the treasure and will stop at nothing to get it.
This book had a good plot, but there is way too much dialogue in the story. It really could have used a good editor to crop it down. However, I do like the author and her newer books are a great improvement over this one.
“The Impetuous Heiress”
Lady Alicia Alston, age 25, is the daughter of the Duke of Morland. She is beautiful, smart, easily bored, and somewhat spoiled. She remains unmarried simply because no one she has met has yet to win her heart. Her mother has passed away and her father is a busy diplomat.
The Honorable Roderick (Roddy) Massingham, age 26, is the second son of the Earl of Murne. He and Alicia are guests at a house party hosted by their friend, Viscount Perdon (Perdy) of Perdon Abbey.
Alicia has become bored at the house party but is intrigued when she finds that Perdy’s Aunt Sophia has insisted that Perdy invite his cousins, Ian, the Earl of Cairnyllan, and his sister Lady Marianne MacClain, along with their widowed mother. Ian’s father was a very famous rake which makes Ian very protective of his mother and sister almost to the point of smothering them. Ian comes across in an arrogant manner, whereas Marianne is quite sweet and amenable. She is also preparing for her come out. Ian’s supercilious manner irritates Alicia who is determined to not let him best her. He has become quite a challenge. She soon finds that they are both horse experts. After spending some time together riding and just chatting, she realizes that she has met her match. But, as much as Alicia tries to get along with Ian, his constant snubbing her results in her being even more moody and she begins to wonder if she has fallen in love with him.
Once again, we have a good plot. However, the constant angst between Ian and Alicia became grating. Ian is a total jerk and I never could find myself liking him. But again, I know that the author has since written some very good books.
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
Connie for b2b