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The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis
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The Last Heiress

by Mary Ellis

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I really enjoyed this book set during the last year or so of the Civil War in around Wilmington, North Carolina. The author really did a good job with the characters and handled the chapters from Jackson (the brother-in-law) well. I as impatient to be out of his point-of-view, but knew that it was necessary for the whole story. Every plot twist was unexpected and I learned some things about the war I didn't know. ( )
  eliorajoy | Oct 16, 2015 |
Title: The Last Heiress
Author: Mary Ellis
Pages: 352
Year: 2015
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Amanda Dunn is tasked with saving the family business and fortune when her father is too ill to travel to the United States to negotiate a contract to supply their British textile mills with cotton from the South. However, there is one little thing going on that hampers her efforts…the Civil War. The President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, has made it illegal to trade with England until England acknowledges and supports the Confederacy. Also, Amanda has difficulty getting the businessmen in Wilmington, North Carolina to take her seriously. After all, she is just a woman and really has no place in the business world. However, Nate Cooper, owner of a local greengrocer’s store seems different. He listens to her and takes her opinions seriously.
As time goes on, Nate and Amanda spend more time together, but are just going to be friends due to their differences in social class. Plus Amanda plans to return to England to run the family textile mills as she is now the heir to the family business. Nate eventually wants to sell his store and become a commercial fisherman. So there really is no future together for them in both of their eyes as they begin their friendship. However, the Civil War intervenes in their plans and the future is very different from what Nate and Amanda previously thought it would be.
This story for me was just so-so. I found it unrealistic that at that time in history Amanda Dunn would have been sent to do business for her father’s company with no male council. I also thought she became too familiar with Nate too quickly for the time period and culture differences as well as social differences. This is marketed as a Christian book, but there are just a few brief references to God. I also didn’t like the characters of Jackson and Abigail as one moment they were rude, arrogant and obnoxious, but then they seemed to realize the error of their ways and do something good. I was never sure what side of the fence they were on. I did like the setting of the story and the character of Nate Cooper.
My rating is 3 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Jul 13, 2015 |
Upper class, lower class , slaves - does social status matter during a war? Or when you're in love?

This is an excellent Christian Historical Romance set during the Civil War, representing points of view from England as well as America. From a personal view as well as a mercenary view, how people live, who they depend on. It's apparent that the author did a lot of research. There was nothing simple about the Civil War, and that depth is brought to this story.

Amanda's family owns textile mills in England. Her twin sister has already moved to America, so it addresses two issues for Amanda to sail over as well. The textile mills desperately need cotton, and have been supplied by her sister's husband and his family business for some time. But with war starting up, the cotton hasn't been coming in as expected. It's essential to their business and their lifestyle that the shipments come in on a regular basis, affecting the lives of the workers as well.

After arriving in America Amanda meets Nathaniel, who is a merchant near her sister's house. He's from the hills of Tennessee, looking for a better life. And there's more to him than meets the eye.

During a war skills to live and personal integrity come into play on a daily basis. Secrets can be essential. These characters find that social status does not make a difference when it comes right down to their families and staying alive. But trusting in God and doing the right thing will always see you through.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Harvest House Publishers and the Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”. http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html. ( )
  Robin.Willson | Apr 19, 2015 |
The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis is an historical romance novel. It is starts in 1864 in Manchester, England. Amanda is the heiress to Dunn Mills. Her father is not feeling well (and Amanda does not realize how ill he really is) and needs someone to go to the states and see about their cotton shipments. Amanda is looking forward to going as it will give her a chance to visit with her twin sister, Abigail. She has not seen her sister since she ran away and got married five years previously. Amanda travels to North Carolina (this is during the Civil War) with her ladies maid, Helene.

Amanda will be staying with her sister, Abigail and her brother-in-law, Jackson Henthorne. Jackson does not think that women have a place in business and does his best to ignore Amanda’s request regarding cotton. Jackson believes that Amanda’s father just sent her to America so she would be away when he passed away. Amanda has trouble living with the Henthorne’s because they own slaves. It creates conflict especially because of Amanda’s maid, Helene.

Nathaniel Cooper is from the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. He has opened Cooper’s Greengrocery in Wilmington, North Carolina. Amanda meets him one day and is instantly attracted to him. Jackson does everything to discourage Amanda’s interest in this “unsuitable” man. But Jackson does not realize how stubborn and determined Amanda can be when she sets her mind on something.

The war starts to heat up and the Yankees are coming closer to their town. Loyalties will be tested, romances will be tested, and fortunes lost before the war and the book draws to a close.

I found The Last Heiress a normal historical romance novel. It was okay, but it did not grab me or draw me in. I did not find the storyline to be believable (who would send their daughter to a country in the middle of war to conduct business especially in 1864). I give The Last Heiress 3 out of 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Apr 11, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0736950524, Paperback)

Bestselling author Mary Ellis (A Widow's Hope) presents The Last Heiress, a new romantic standalone that intertwines the lives of a British manufacturing heiress and an American merchant caught in the turbulent time of the War Between the States.

Amanda Dunn set sail from England for Wilmington, North Carolina, hoping to somehow restore shipments of cotton for her family's textile mills, which have been severely disrupted by the American Civil War. But when she meets Nathaniel Cooper, her desire to conduct business and quickly return to England changes.

Amanda's family across the sea deems the hardworking merchant unsuitable for the lovey and accomplished heiress. And when Nate himself begins to draw away, Amanda has her own battle for a happy future on her hands.

As the War Between the States heats up, Nate's brother, a Confederate officer, comes for a visit. Nate begins to think about joining up--not in support of slavery but to watch his brother's back. Yet will this potentially life-changing decision put the union between him and Amanda she so wishes for in jeopardy?

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Apr 2015 01:16:27 -0400)

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