4 of 5 stars
Lord Somerton's Heir by Alison Stuart is a 2014 Escape Publishing release. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Sebastian goes through some pretty heavy duty life changes and events in a short period of time. First of all he is wounded in the war at Waterloo. He will most likely always walk with a limp. While burning with a fever, he is discovered by the Dowager Lady Somerton and from that moment on his life will never be the same.
Shocking revelations about his heritage will thrust Sebastian into the role of being the new Lord Somerton. He believes his fortune has changed but soon discovers things are not as they appear.
Isabel is still in mourning for her child who apparently passed away from SIDS. The death of her husband Anthony has given her the hope of freeing herself from the Somerton duties so she can open her own school for girls. So, finding Anthony's heir is a must. As soon as she finds Sebastian she takes him to his new home and begins to nurse him back to health. The sooner he heals and adjust to his new title and responsibilities, the sooner she can escape and begin her independent life.
Alas, things don't work out quite as planned for Sebastian or Isabel. It appears that Anthony squandered all of Isabel's money which ruins her plans for the school. To put the cherry on the cake it becomes evident that Anthony did not die from an accident after all. It seems he was murdered and Isabel is the only likely suspect.
This story got off to a really slow start for me. The first half of the book dragged along as Sebastian recovers from his wound, meets relatives he didn't know he had, and begins to realize the estate is in debt and he learns of Isabel's cold and loveless upbringing and he discerns her marriage to Anthony was one of duty and love was not a part of the partnership. It wasn't until nearly half way into the book the plot picked up steam. This is where the murder mystery really starts to become intriguing. Many stunning revelations will come to light as Isabel will learn things about Anthony she didn't know. While there is romance, I think the book was more along the lines of historical fiction/mystery. If you go into it knowing that upfront you will like this story a lot. If you are expecting a lot romantic angst and steamy sheet twisting, that doesn't happen in this one. In fact the romance was really low key. However, the mystery part of the story makes up for that and I was really into the second half of the book. There were lots of twist and turns in the murder plot and I also liked the super sweet and sentimental ending of the book. Overall this is good effort and the author shows a lot of promise. I 'm giving this on a 3.5 and rounding it up to four mainly because I love a good historical mystery.
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