The Unwanted Heiress by Olivia Ritch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This regency novella by Olivia Ritch proves that even the most desirable woman can have a hard time finding real love.
Adriana Lizonby is a new heiress, having inherited her father's fortune. She just arrived in London from her country home to stay with her aunt, who is determined to find her a husband. At 21, she'll soon be labeled an old maid if she doesn't take some vows soon.
The trouble is, her poor old aunt dresses Adriana like the bride of Frankenstein, and even with her vast wealth, the men at all the soirees aren't interested. Adriana has had enough and decides to go out on her own to buy some decent clothes and have her hair done properly, which would have been completely normal in this day and age. Unfortunately, instead of looking like a lady after her makeover, Adriana resembles a rich man's mistress.
Enter Jason Hume, Earl of Coldesdowne, who just happens to stop in for a haircut. He's instantly attracted to Adriana, who's instantly flattered by his attentions, except she doesn't realize why. She fears he might be attracted to her because of her title, so she gives him a fake name. He asks her to accompany him to the races, where they spend a fabulous and flirtatious day together. It's not until Jason and she attend the same party, that she realizes the kind of woman he thought he was dealing with. Now the question is: Was their attraction for each other real or a complete waste of time for both of them?
Normally, I'm not a fan of naive heroines in romance, but in this case, Ms. Ritch portrays Adriana's ignorance well. After all, the young woman spent her life in the country, far from London's tricky social stigmas. She's much more accustomed to a cow pasture than Bond Street.
The only things I could really nitpick were that the story felt like it wrapped up much too quickly. The characters should have worked harder for the resolution, and Jason just didn't grow on me as a good hero in such a short amount of time.
However, for a quick read, you'll love Olivia Ritch's beautiful language and attention to time-period detail. I'd recommend this book to any regency romance fans out there. Go grab a copy today!
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