For when you need a Downton Abbey style fix: Review of The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd

I won’t lie: I’m having Downton Abbey withdrawal.

Which makes great timing for the release of Sarah Ladd’s debut novel, The Heiress of Winterwood. Heiress-of-Winterwood-e1358525232377

Ladd’s novel takes place a century earlier than the Downton series but it had the same ability to sweep me away to another time and place.

Here’s the gist of the story:

Darbury, England, 1814
Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.
Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word-even to the point of proposing to the child’s father-a sea captain she’s never met.
When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting at her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.
Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she’s forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.
Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.
Both must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them.

I loved the love and loyalty Amelia Barrett displayed in keeping her friend’s promise and raising a baby that wasn’t her own. She was willing to risk everything–her inheritance, her reputation, her engagement, her family–to keep the child. It’s a position few of us would have the guts to take, and I admired her boldness at proposing marriage to a man she’d never met for the benefit of his daughter.

Ladd creates a believable conflict between the characters and provides enough suspense at just the right time to keep the pages turning. My only regret when I read these sorts of stories is that they’re over too soon because I couldn’t put them down.

There were a couple of scenes from Captain Sterling’s point of view that I found unrealistic. I doubted a sea captain would notice the fabric of the drapes or the style of clothes a lady was wearing. But it was a minor hiccup and didn’t stop me from enjoying the story.

The setting is enchanting, and I look forward to reading more in this series.

For more about the author, click here.

Now for the goodies:

Sarah Ladd is celebrating the release of The Heiress of Winterwood with a Downton Abbey Kindle Prize Pack Giveaway!

One winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Downton Abbey, seasons 1-3

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 30th. Winner will be announced on 5/2/13 {HERE}.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.


In exchange for my review, I received a free digital copy of The Heiress of Winterwood from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity Group.