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Lord Iverbrook's Heir by Carola Dunn
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Lord Iverbrook's Heir

by Carola Dunn

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Dunn is one of my favorite regency writers, so I had high hopes for this one. Alas, the pacing is uneven and the plot requires far too much suspension of disbelief. The basic tale is that Lord Iverbrook returns from his estates in Jamaica* to find his brother dead and his nephew his heir. But young boy is in the charge of an aunt, which Lord Iverbrook thinks utterly inappropriate. He goes in search of the aunt with the intention of forcing her to give the boy up. But of course, he almost immediately falls in love with her instead. They are kept apart by a number of increasingly hard to believe circumstances--how many drastic misunderstandings could possibly occur between two people so otherwise sensible and well-suited? Plus, the villains are rather too silly and two-dimensional--I never felt anyone was in any danger. Overall, a fun few hours spent in Regency England, but nothing to truly recommend.

*Iverbrook freed his slaves and is coming back to the UK to convince the government to stand strong against the slave-trade. Although I appreciated the reminder that money in a colonial power is not blood-free, that subplot only takes up a page or two, and exists mainly to show off Iverbrook as a hero and the servants as prejudiced bumpkins. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
When Hugh Carrick, Viscount Iverbrook, returns to England from Jamaica upon the death of his brother and sister-in-law, he is at first incensed to learn that his young nephew, Peter, has been left to the guardianship of his maternal aunt, Miss Selena Whitton. Believing that no "hubble-bubble female" could be a fit guardian for his heir, Iverbrook heads to Milford Manor, the Whitton home in Berkshire. Here he is much surprised to discover that Miss Whitton is no fashionable lady, but a competent young woman with a mind of her own. Caught between admiration for her excellent management of her farmland, left to her by her father, and irritation at her outspoken ways, Iverbrook soon finds himself entangled in life at the Whitton home, developing a genuine affection for his nephew, and for the formidable Selena. But will that affection survive their many misunderstandings? Or will the appearance on the scene of his former amour, Amabel Parcott, spell disaster for their growing understanding...?

After reading and enjoying Carola Dunn's Smuggler's Summer, I was keen to try another of her Regency novels, and Lord Iverbrook's Heir being another of her books available through my library, I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. It started well enough, with an entertaining albeit fairly common premise, and some likable characters. I was impressed that Dunn didn't ignore the historical realities attached to plantation farming in Jamaica, and addressed the issue of slavery by having her hero become an Abolitionist. Unrealistically ideal, perhaps, but better than the alternative of ignoring the facts, or making Iverbrook indifferent to them. I also greatly enjoyed Dunn's depiction of Lady Whitton, an accomplished herbalist.

In many ways, this was just the sort of light-hearted and entertaining reading I've been wanting recently. But midway through the book, as the unrealistic melodrama began to build, I started to lose my patience. Dunn's narrative simply isn't strong enough to pull off some of the swashbuckling villainy she depicts, from the drugging of Iverbrook's brandy, to the plot to force Selena into a marriage with her obnoxious cousin. The final kidnapping sequence was the last straw. This would have been a much stronger story, if Dunn had kept it short and simple. Although not enough to put me off this author (I did enjoy Smuggler's Summer, after all), it is certainly not one I would recommend very strongly. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 6, 2013 |
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On his return from Jamaica, Viscount Iverbrook learns that his sister-in-law, Selena Whitton, has been made guardian of his brother's son. With every intention of restoring the child to the family estate, Iverbrook appears at Milford Manor where Selena, her mother, sister and young Peter compose a delightful household. Would it be fair to remove the child--and why has Iverbrook grown so fond of pretty, outspoken Selena? Regency Romance by Carola Dunn.
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On his return from Jamaica, Viscount Iverbrook learns that his sister-in-law, Selena Whitton, has been made guardian of his brother's son. With every intention of restoring the child to the family estate, Iverbrook appears at Milford Manor where Selena, her mother, sister and young Peter compose a delightful household. Would it be fair to remove the child--and why has Iverbrook grown so fond of pretty, outspoken Selena? Regency Romance by Carola Dunn; originally published by Walker… (more)

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