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Book Review: The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis

She crossed the sea to save a legacy … finding love was not part of her plan.

The Last Heiress

The Last Heiress is part of the Civil War Heroines series by Mary Ellis, but stands alone. It’s my favorite of the three books, both in story and character.

Set in 1864 and continuing to the end of the war, the story revolves around Amanda Dunn, the daughter of a English mill owner. When her father takes ill, he sends Amanda—the heir to his business—to Wilmington, North Carolina, to arrange for shipments of cotton held up by wartime port blockades.

Nathaniel Cooper is a shopkeeper from the mountains of North Carolina, considered well below Amanda in class. However, for the two of them it’s a matter of equal attraction. 

Slavery is a big issue in this book, with Amanda forced to decide whether there’s much difference between the life of a slave and that of her father’s economically-poor employees in England. Nate, on the other hand, must come to terms with his pacifist beliefs when he realizes the danger his brother is in. 

Amanda is well-drawn and her goal logical. However, I would have liked to have seen a little more interaction with regard to her purpose in Wilmington. While she’s a strong and noble character, she did little, personally, in achieving the task she’d been presented. Nate is a worthy hero. I felt for him in his attempt to be good enough for Amanda in the eyes of her sister and brother-in-law. However, his decision with regard to his brother’s safety fell a bit flat for me, since his brother seemed well able to take care of himself.

That said, The Last Heiress is an entertaining and quick read. It provides a little different glimpse into life in the South during the Civil War. 

This story is set in a port city. Do you have a favorite Civil War setting? (Battlefield, City, North, South?)

Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the publisher, Harvest House, with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

As an author of heartwarming historical and contemporary romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

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