Author: Nichole Van
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: eBook, Print
Date: November 1, 2018
Publisher: Fiorenza Publishing
Miss Belle Heartstone—heiress and savvy businesswoman—needs a husband. Immediately. As in, yesterday would not have been soon enough. Her mother’s attempts at matchmaking have been disastrous. So Belle decides to solve the problem her way—survey the market and purchase the best groom available.
Colin Radcliffe, Marquess of Blake—debt-ridden and penniless—needs a large infusion of cash. Desperately. Preferably cash that does not come with a wife attached. It is no surprise, then, when he receives Miss Heartstone’s brazen proposal—her cash, his title, their marriage—that he politely declines.
But before he leaves her, Blake suggests something truly radical: Maybe before finding a husband, Belle should find herself.
His simple words send them both on an unexpected journey, spanning continents and years, entwining their lives in ways neither could have foreseen. Can two lonely souls move past societal expectations and forge a unique life together?
Please note: The basic storyline of Seeing Miss Heartstone was originally published as a novella titled, An Invisible Heiress, in the Spring in Hyde Park anthology. This current novel is a greatly expanded version of that plot, adding over 200 pages of text and creating a more robust, well-developed story.
I liked this story a lot. As I was reading the beginning of the book I kept thinking the story was so familiar. Had I read this book before? Is this a typical story line? Is this plagiarized? These were questions I asked myself multiple times. I was so relieved to see that this is the extended version of Van’s novella in Spring in Hyde Park. Whew! I HAD read it before. Kinda. It ISN’T a typical story line and NO plagiarism. I should have checked it more thoroughly before I started reading and then I wouldn’t have been distracted by my own thoughts. Ha!
This isn’t a typical regency romance. In this story we have a female who bucks the system on so many levels yet still manages to remain part of polite society. And we have a male who is basically a feminist. Or at least he thinks he is. What happens to his feminist beliefs when they are put to the test though? This book also takes place over years with the two main characters living on separate continents for most of that time. They build their relationship through letters. But he doesn’t know who she is. And the conflict took a long time to resolve. So yeah, not your typical romance.
Both these characters undergo great changes in their personal make up. Both are tested. Both fail and succeed. There is symbolism in the title and in other aspects of the book. I left like I was reading a romance with some layers and depth. When is a betrayal not a betrayal? Can a friend’s lie really be the best thing? “Is the pain of losing her greater than the humility required to forgive her?” So many things to think about in addition to just enjoying the story.
I love strong female stories. I love a man who believes in women’s abilities. So I loved both the main characters. Fun read. Well done Miss Van!
Sex: some kisses
Language: a few times, mild.
Violence: References to needing to fire male employees violating female underlings.