Sunday, May 28, 2006

Her Rightful Inheritance by Benita Brown

Author: Benita Brown
ISBN # 0747267758
Publisher: Headline
1st Published: 2002
406 pages

Orphaned as a child and the product of a mixed marriage, eighteen-year-old Lorna Cunningham has been brought up by her wealthy grandmother, who neither loves nor likes her. When she meets the sensitive and intelligent Edwin Randall she is delighted to have finally found companionship and shares his passion to do something to improve the terrible conditions in the Newcastle slums. However, their deepening friendship is overshadowed by her infatuation with the handsome but unscrupulous Maurice Haldane, who is engaged to her cousin Rose. When her grandmother dies, a family secret is revealed that will change Lorna's life forever, but will she be able to break free of the past and see where her true happiness lies?

I’ve never been one for genre romances, but I picked up this novel, usually stuck in the romance section of book shops, because it was written by a member of On the Shelf, Benita Brown. Not only was I pleasantly surprised, I was mightily impressed. It possibly helped that the story was set against the backdrop of turn-of-the-century Newcastle, so that I recognized many of the places and the style of language, but even without that, Brown is an accomplished writer who deserves much praise. The story was never once slushy; the characters never melodramatic. In short, this was a historical drama with both a crime thriller and a romantic element which was both engaging and refreshing. I shall certainly be on the lookout for more by this author who now has the honour of being the person who got me to read romance!

Rating: 7


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