The Heiress - Lynsay Sands
Released March 2011
Usually, I don't hesitate to recommend reading a series out of order or missing the first book. With Lynsay Sand's The Heiress, I'm torn. The story could work by itself, but, on the other hand, there's a minor plot that carries through from the first book. That really makes me think it's better if you read this series in order.
If you read The Countess, you met the Madison sisters--Chrissy, Suzette and Lisa. If you didn't, here's a quick recap. After learning their father has gambled a huge amount of money, Suzette and Lisa head to their sister's house where they are virtually turned away by her new husband, "Dicky." When Chrissy's husband is poisoned, they learn that he's not who he said he was. He was actually an imposter posing as his supposedly deceased twin brother. The real Richard Fairgrave, owner of the estate, is very much alive and determined to keep Chrissy in his life. That's the premise to The Countess.
A good majority of The Heiress retells the events from The Countess. This time, things are told from Suzette's perspective. To spare her family from scandal caused by her father's gambling, she knows she must marry within two weeks. When she meets Richard's best friend, Daniel Woodrow, she's delighted. Daniel's poor, likely to want the huge dowry she offers and definitely makes her passionate nature come to life.
What Suzette doesn't know is that Daniel may have been poor in childhood, but he's actually incredibly wealthy now. While he's not as certain that they should marry quickly, he realizes no woman has made him feel this way before. Daniel clearly wants Suzette, but will the truth stand in their way?
I liked The Heiress, yet I didn't love it as much as The Countess. I think the problem here involves the duplicate story. On one side, I enjoyed seeing events play out from Suzette's point of view. But, it was exactly the same story, very little was different. After a while, it became tedious re-reading a story I'd read only a few weeks ago. Once the book reached the point where The Countess left off, I did quickly regain interest. Daniel's mother is a hoot and I'd love to see her feature prominently in more stories.