If you loved JANE EYRE, give LOVE’S LEGACY a read!
by Joan Avery
Release date: 11/10/14
About the book:
Grenada, British West Indies, 1875
English plantation owner Geoffrey Worth has misgivings about hiring an American widow as a governess. But while Geoffrey longs to forget the past—and the daughter who reminds him of it daily—there is still duty to consider. And Bellefleur, his plantation. This is his life now. Warmth, family, love; these things only bring pain. And scars he’ll carry forever…
Elizabeth Malfonte is certainly not the aged widow he had anticipated. She’s young and beautiful, with a determination that wakes something deep within Geoffrey. Yet Elizabeth hides her own secret―the babe within her womb. And despite Geoffrey’s handsome―yet scarred face―her new employer has a cold and unforgiving nature that unsettles her, even as Elizabeth’s wariness slowly heats to desire.
But the bright beauty of this land is no match for the dark, ominous clouds of the past…
If you took Jane Eyre but moved it back to the setting of Wide Sargasso Sea , subtracted the sympathy you normally feel for the main character in novel #2, cut out all the long and drawn out bits of JE that I tend to forget about between readings anyway, and made Jane a secretly pregnant, newly widowed American woman–you’d have a pretty good approximation of this novel.
Since I’m on board with all of that, I enjoyed it. 🙂
Love’s Legacy is part of the Worth Brothers series, but since the three brothers live in different parts of the planet, and Geoffrey Worth, the hero of this novel, mentions his father only once (I think) and his brothers not at all, this book, at least, works just fine as a stand alone.
I really liked Elizabeth’s character–and loved the fact that her love for her first husband stayed intact for the entire novel. Bravo! I may have mentioned once or twice (or a few hundred times) that widow/widower books that overuse the “vilifying the first spouse” plot point drive me nuts. For Elizabeth, at least, this was not at all true, and that alone is a huge mark in the plus column for this book. You’d think more romance novels would want to celebrate the fact that a person can have more than one love in their lives, wouldn’t you? But I digress…
Geoffrey was a worthy Gothic-inspired hero. To keep true to the inspiration of Mr. Rochester, of course his first spouse did need to be less-than ideal–unfortunate for him, but crucial to the plot. I liked that he could recognize in the beginning of the novel that he was the one at fault for the bad relations between himself and other characters (mostly his poor daughter) but doesn’t feel capable of fixing the situation on his own. That part seemed very realistic for his character. Elizabeth immediately called him out on his poor treatment of others, which he so had coming, and eventually becomes the one to help him heal his relationships with others. Two thumbs up!
The setting was fantastic, and definitely makes me want to add Grenada to my “must visit” list. 🙂
I only had two slight issues with the book. One, its writing has a tendency toward frequent use of short, choppy sentences which sometimes made it flow a bit jerkily. Overall, though, this didn’t detract measurably from my enjoyment of the story–it was just a bit disconcerting at times. Secondly, there were some things that were left unexplained and felt like loose ends. For example, whatexactly happened to Geoffrey’s face, and who is the mysterious Rajesh? He just seemed to pop in and out when needed to make something happen without ever having his presence and purpose fully explained, at least to my satisfaction.
Final verdict? An entertaining historical romance, and a nice homage to a classic story. I’ll definitely read more from this author in the future.
Rating: 4 stars / B
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
Joan Avery was an award-winning writer/producer at a major national advertising agency for over fifteen years before she retired to raise a family and write. Joan has been blessed with a daughter, two sons and two stepsons. She and her husband now have five grandchildren. Although she has lived in the Detroit area her entire life she has traveled extensively for both work and leisure. She and her husband, an attorney, have visited many fascinating parts of the world. Joan feels her travels enrich her writing. THE WORTH BROTHERS TRILOGY takes place in three of her favorite places.