Reviewed by JenI had no idea when I started reading this book that it was an inspirational romance. I tend to like my romance with a sexy kick --and frankly, the last thing I am looking for is a sermon or even a "message" while I am trying to get my lovin' going on. Had I known this could fall under that category, I would have never picked it up. But I would have missed out. This was a sweet love story and I actually enjoyed it. I didn't really miss the sex (*gasp*) and I never felt beat over the head with a lesson to be learned.
The story follows a young woman named Lizzie who fled London with her brother after she was shamed by an affair, and her brother shot the man in a duel. They made a new home for themselves in Australia where fate put her in the path of a woman who could be her twin. A woman who Lizzie came to believe truly was her half sister. Sadly, the woman --Ria-- and her husband died in Australia, along with Lizzie's brother, but not before Ria could convince Lizzie to return to London and assume her identity. Ria had left town in an elopement a decade earlier and she hoped to make things rights with her family through Lizzie. Having no one else --and really believing that she was part of Ria's family-- Lizzie honors Ria's wish.
The deception goes amazingly well. But there's a big hitch. Lizzie falls in love with a man Ria could never have. Geoffrey was younger brother to Ria's husband. And he turns to Lizzie for answers about what happened to Edward. He thinks he is getting close with his brother's widow, who could never be his. Yet he can't fight his growing feelings. Neither can Lizzie.
You know it's only a matter of time before the secrets and lies are exposed, but it's hard not to empathize with the main characters. Lizzie's motives are understandable and her feelings for Geoffrey are true. And Geoffrey is trying so hard to do the right thing, but his heart belongs to the woman he thinks was his brother's wife.
The writing is good, even if the story plays out in a somewhat predictable fashion. The characters are likeable, though I wish Geoffrey, especially, had been a bit more fleshed out. It's a sweet and gentle romance with a feel good ending and just a liiittle bit of a message.
*ARC Provided by Forever via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
An Heiress at Heartby Jennifer DelamereRelease Date: October 30, 2012Publisher: Forever