RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Heiress in Love by Christina Brooke


Title: Heiress in Love
Author: Christina Brooke
Publication Info: St. Martin's 2011
ISBN: 978-0312534127
Genre: Historical: European

Heiress in Love, who has had her legs waxed This review was written by Hydecat. This story was nominated in the Regency Historical Romance category.

The summary:     

Jane, Lady Roxdale, has endured one marriage of convenience decreed by the Ministry of Marriage. While she deeply regrets her late husband’s death, she is relieved to be free at last. But when a dissolute rake threatens everything Jane holds dear, she must contemplate marrying a second time…

Disgraced libertine Constantine Black inherits his cousin Roxdale’s land and title—while Roxdale’s prim widow is left all the wealth. Constantine is not a marrying man, but wedding Jane is the only way to save the estate from ruin. Jane resists the smoldering heat between them, desperate not to fall in love with an unrepentant rake. But for the first time ever, Constantine wants more than seduction. He wants all of her—body, heart, and soul…

And here is Hydecat's review:

Heiress in Love is the first book in Brooke’s Ministry of Marriage series. I was intrigued by the concept of the Ministry. A group of Machievellian aristocrats working behind closed doors to broker advantageous marriages for the most important members of the ton? Awesome! I love story plots that involve scheming and counter-scheming. However, I was disappointed by how little the reader sees of the Ministry’s inner workings in this novel. I would have enjoyed sitting in on at least one meeting to get a more clear idea of how the rules of the organization work. We might learn more in the next two novels, which were clearly forshadowed in this book.

Jane is a likeable heroine. She is smart and strong-minded, but not perfect. Her first marriage of convenience left her with emotional issues that need to be worked through before she can be happy with the hero. Constantine is less immediately likeable, but develops into an interesting character with his own emotional baggage that stands between him and happiness. Though I don’t always like the plot where a hero has been damaged by one woman and sworn to Never Trust A Woman Again, Constantine does have legitimate reasons for the chip on his shoulder. Both characters know the difference between lust and love, which made their ultimate affection for each other more real.

One thing I really enjoyed about this novel is its focus on the estate as an actual working concern, not just a setting for balls and parties. Both Jane and Constantine are motivated by their strong sense of duty towards their tenants and staff. The legal tangle of inheritance that pushes them together is realistic for the time and highlights the frustrating legal limits placed on women during the Regency period.

The novel’s tension is split between Jane and Constantine’s interpersonal conflicts and the actions of a villain who threatens the estate and Jane and Constantine’s emotional connection. The threat to the estate was an interesting twist, but the villain’s motivation was never fully explained and the conclusion to that part of the plot was not as satisfying as it could have been. There are also a few small inconsistencies in the plotline that bothered me as I thought back through the novel, but overall this novel is quite enjoyable, and I will probably look for the next books in the series.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | All Romance eBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Bnbsrose says:

    One more for the tbr pile, not because of the ministry, but the whole estate as a working concern element. I always like it better it’s treated with respect as the home and livelihood of A LOT of people, rather than the setting for naughty house parties, or disgrace exile.

    By the way, when did Keanu Reeves start posing for book covers? Look to your right. Isn’t that him hugging up to the Rogue’s Pawn?

  2. 2
    PhyllisLaatsch says:

    This book was great up until about the last 10%. I was sorely disappointed that the Black Moment came down to Constantine stomping off in a huff with a Big Mis, which was so totally a Little Mis. It’s like it fell apart right at the end. But I gave it a high B because up until then, it was great.

  3. 3
    Rebecca says:

    Wouldn’t the “Ministry of Marriage” double the chancery court?  If Gilbert and Sullivan has taught me anything it’s that the marriages of wards in chancery are tricky things.  Why invent something when a perfectly valid historical institution exists?  (I would probably pay money for a series of romance novels spinning off the Lord Chancellor’s song in Iolanthe.  Oooh, and it could be partly straight historical and partly para-normal with the fairies thrown into the mix.  Someone write this please.)

  4. 4
    Ren says:

    Why do you assume he’s the rogue and she’s the pawn? I am offend.

  5. 5
    Hydecat says:

    Well, wards in chancery were always orphans who were left to the guardianship of the court. In that case, the court would decide who they could marry. The characters in this book (and the others in the series, I assume) are all children with parents or orphans left to the guardianship of their families, and it is the heads of the most powerful families who are negotiating with each other to arrange matches.

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