The Last Heiress
By: Mary Ellis
Harvest House Publishing
Publish Date: February 1, 2015
British textile-manufacturing heiress Amanda Dunn sails from her home in England as her father’s emissary to try and restore the shipping of cotton to their mills that has been disrupted by the civil war and to check up on her twin sister, Abigail, who married an American aristocrat five years earlier. Upon arriving in Wilmington, North Carolina she finds herself in the middle of turmoil-filled war and is unaccepted as an equal in the world of business…because she’s a woman. Jackson Henthorne, her brother-in-law is a shipping tycoon and has warehouses filled with cotton that he is unable to ship because it is forbidden by the president of the Confederacy to ship to England. All Amanda wants to do is conduct the business she was sent to do, visit with her sister and return to England until she meets a common shop keeper, Nathaniel “Nate” Cooper. Her family both in England and America are not pleased with her relationship with Nate and do all they can to thwart their friendship. As the war escalates Jackson finds a way to ship product that Dunn Mills desperately needs even if he does have to deal with some unsavory characters. Also Nate’s Confederate soldier brother visits him and Nate although a pacifist joins the Confederate army, not to fight for or against slavery but to keep an eye on his younger brother.
This book grabbed my attention from the first page. It has more twists and turns than a cork-screw noodle that kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one setting. Amanda was disgusted to find her sister and brother-in-law had slaves. She felt superior because in England they had paid servants. However she soon began to realize there was a fine line between the squalor conditions of those working in the mills, living in employer-provided housing and slavery. Her determination to change those conditions and treat the American slaves as equals caused division between her and her family. As the war progressed her faith and her relationship with Nate was pushed to the limit. I was amazed that MS Ellis, who is a well-known Amish writer, could change genres in such an effortless manner. It is a superbly written book, with a storyline that is compelling and the characters are completely believable. What is not to love in a historical romance during the civil war and an English Heiress? In my opinion it is a must-read. I can’t wait to read MS Ellis’ next book in this genre.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Harvest House, through NetGalley blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.