An Heir of Uncertainty, by Alyssa Everett

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Lina, Lady Radbourne, thought being a countess would rescue her from poverty. Unfortunately, her young groom failed to plan for the future, and his drunken accident left her widowed and pregnant. Now Colonel Winstead Vaughan — Win — will inherit her late husband’s fortune … unless she gives birth to a boy. Win is her natural enemy, so why can’t she stop thinking about him?

Win is stunned to learn he stands to inherit a vast fortune. He’s even more surprised to find himself falling for the beautiful, spirited Lady Radbourne, who is the one woman who stands in the way of a life he’d only imagined.

When someone tries to poison Lady Radbourne, suspicion falls on Win. There’s a clever killer in their midst, and if Win doesn’t solve the mystery fast, Lina may perish. He needs to win her trust, but how can he prove it’s she he wants, and not the fortune?

Publisher and Release Date: Carina Press, March 2014

RHR Classifications:
Time and setting: 1820, England
Genre: Historical Romance with Mystery
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Jill

When her young husband dies from a fall, Lina, Lady Radbourne’s hopes of putting poverty and instability behind her are once again tested. Now without her husband or a male heir, the title and lands will go to a distant relation; and she and her sister are destined for a life of insecurity and possible poverty, relying on the goodness of the heir presumptive.

For Colonel Win Vaughan and his family, the title and estates are a much-needed blessing. Having returned from the war, and now a widower with a young daughter and a nineteen year-old brother to support, life is financially difficult.

No sooner has Win arrived to claim his inheritance, than Lina discovers she is pregnant. If she has a boy, both her and her son’s futures are secure. If she has a girl, Win will inherit as the nearest male relation. With strange happenings, poisonings and mysterious accidents Win knows that someone is keen to see that neither he nor Lina’s baby inherit.

An Heir of Uncertainty is yet another beautifully-written romance as well as an engrossing mystery from Alyssa Everett containing lovely prose, two likable leads, a gentle, slowly-building romance and a captivating whodunit.

Her subtle, comedic voice comes through in some of the best lines and scenes from Win’s brother, Freddie. Written with a respectful and keen insight, Ms Everett’s characterisation of Freddie is simply delightful. Freddie has Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. His characterisation with his (over)interest in pigeons, his forthright manner and his lack of guile is one of the very best and most realistic depictions I’ve read. (It would be wonderful to see Freddie as the hero of one of her future romances.)

For readers who enjoy more depth to their historical romances (in a similar vein to Mary Balogh), lovely prose, a clever mystery and well-researched plot, An Heir of Uncertainty is highly recommended.

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