I was recently in a bit of a reading slump (as you may have noticed by the absence of new book reviews that I have posted recently). So I went on NetGalley again, to find some inspiration. That’s when I stumbled upon this American romance novel by Laurie Alice Eakes which I downloaded in exchange for an honest review. I’ll start with the blurb which convinced me to read The Honorable Heir:
An American heiress and widow of a rakish English Earl, Catherine has returned to New York high society determined to make amends for the scandal she caused when she crossed the Atlantic to elope with her best friend’s suitor and win the title of Lady Bisterne. But a ruined reputation isn’t the only thing that’s followed her home: Lord Tristram Wolfe, the rightful heir to the Bisterne estate, has vowed to track down his family’s stolen jewels—gems he’s certain Catherine stole.
Catherine has more to think about than charming, handsome Tristram and his accusations, even if he’s beginning to change her mind about never returning to England. Back at her family’s Tuxedo Park estate, she resolves to restore her honour by earning the forgiveness of her best friend and protecting her younger sister from other fortune-seeking Englishmen with dubious titles, all while abiding by the etiquette of the Gilded Age.
Yet when Tristram’s quest takes a dangerous turn, she must decide whether to follow the rules or save her accuser’s life.
The story sounds very good, but I was a little disappointed by the execution. I liked the story well enough, but would not read it again – which is probably just as much due to my own reading preferences as the story itself. You see, most of the romance I read, especially the historical romance, are written by British authors and based in and around England with English main characters. So seeing one based in America, weirded me out a little. Also, I felt that they mixed British and American worlds a little bit too much, which led to mistakes in vocabulary (pants VS trousers for example). The American author is also really focussed on morality and has her characters fight against them, in this case, she specifically criticises the Brits’ involvement in the Boer War (as if America never did anything wrong?).
But besides all that, the story itself was fine. It contained all your typical romance clichés: people who don’t like each other in the beginning, something to overcome and a happy ending. The fact that they fell in love was not really believable in my opinion. The male character is convinced the female character stole from him, so all through the book he is constantly accusing her and trying to get her to confess and at the same time recover the stolen jewels. Of course, he spends a lot of time with her, so I guess I could see that he fell in love with her but fought it because he thought she was a thief. But why in the world did she fall in love with an annoying relative of her abusive ex-husband who accuses her of stealing and is trying to trip her up to prove it and punish her. The end was also handled a little too quickly: oh right, here is the real thief, let’s kiss and be together forever because all of a sudden we are in love!
But you know, it is a somewhat run-of-the-mill romance novel, set in America this time with a happy ending. It’s a quick and easy read if you’re in the mood for a little something in between, or to read by the pool!
Have you read this book yet? I’d love to hear your comments!