I just stumbled across this review of Upon Your Return, book one in the Heiresses in Love series, from the Paranormal Romance Guild:
Warning! There are some spoilers!
Book: Upon Your Return
Series: Heiresses in Love – Book 1
Author: Marie Lavender
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Genre: Historical Romance
In eighteen fifty-three in France, at the age of eight, Fara Bellamont lost her parents. When her parents went off to a business meeting by boat they never expected to be attacked and killed by pirates, leaving their little girl an orphan. Her only relative is her uncle Michel, whom both her parents disliked. He took over guardianship of Fara and immediately sent her off to the convent to learn to be a lady. She went from a home where she was loved to a life of loneliness. Her uncle was a firm and cold man who seemed incapable of doing anything that didn’t meet with the mores of society.
At the age of eighteen, Fara returned to her uncle’s home where she was in charge of making sure that everything ran correctly. It was her duty to make sure that when he entertained all went smoothly. At one such dinner she was shocked when her uncle just blurted out that she was to marry Jean LeCroix, a man she just saw for the first time at this dinner. She knew that women of her era were no more than chattel and as a socialite it was her duty to follow whatever choices her guardian made for her.
That evening when Jean asked her to accompany him for a talk, he asked her if she loved him, which given that they just met was impossible. Her honest answer was no, nor did she think love was in their future. A message came the next day apologizing for his behavior and asking her to meet him at the pier was the beginning of what would become a life changing experience for her. She was not met at the pier by Jean LeCroix, but by men he hired to get rid of her after they had their fun. Being saved by a man named Captain Grant Hill was the turning point in her life.
Grant also knew what it was to lose his parents. When they died, he was too young to inherit their title or estate so it was an orphanage for him. Going out to sea at a young age taught him that the sea was where he wanted to be. In time, he obtained his own boat, the Voyageur. Young and inexperienced in the ways of love and having just been betrayed by the man her uncle chose for her to marry, she begins to feel things for Grant she never felt before. Is it him or is it that he saved her?
When Fara’s uncle suddenly dies, she finds herself on her own and Grant insists on guarding her. Before long she is his mistress and has fallen in love with him but he never says the words “I love you”. Even when he offers to make her legitimate by marrying her she refuses; she will only accept love, the love she knew her parents had.
This is a story where we watch Fara grow into a woman, and a man who has secrets. It is his secrets that are causing him not to allow himself to feel love. What is his secret? Is there any hope in that day and age for a woman who is no longer a virgin? Is there any hope for Fara and Grant? It was interesting learning about the times and how women were less than nothing. It was a time when the poor and starving had no hope and the rich just treated them as objects.
Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team