Monday, September 11, 2023

The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins

When Ruby McTavish Callahan Woodward Miller Kenmore dies, she’s not only North Carolina’s richest woman, she’s also its most notorious. The victim of a famous kidnapping as a child and a widow four times over, Ruby ruled the tiny town of Tavistock from Ashby House, her family’s estate high in the Blue Ridge mountains. In the aftermath of her death, that estate—along with a nine-figure fortune and the complicated legacy of being a McTavish—pass to her adopted son, Camden.

But to everyone’s surprise, Cam wants little to do with the house or the money—and even less to do with the surviving McTavishes. Instead, he rejects his inheritance, settling into a normal life as an English teacher in Colorado and marrying Jules, a woman just as eager to escape her own messy past.

Ten years later, Camden is a McTavish in name only, but a summons in the wake of his uncle’s death brings him and Jules back into the family fold at Ashby House. Its views are just as stunning as ever, its rooms just as elegant, but coming home reminds Cam why he was so quick to leave in the first place.

Jules, however, has other ideas, and the more she learns about Cam’s estranged family—and the twisted secrets they keep—the more determined she is for her husband to claim everything Ruby once intended for him to have.

But Ruby’s plans were always more complicated than they appeared. As Ashby House tightens its grip on Jules and Camden, questions about the infamous heiress come to light. Was there any truth to the persistent rumors following her disappearance as a girl? What really happened to those four husbands, who all died under mysterious circumstances? And why did she adopt Cam in the first place? Soon, Jules and Cam realize that an inheritance can entail far more than what’s written in a will––and that the bonds of family stretch far beyond the grave.

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication January 9, 2024
 by St. Martin's Press
4/5 stars

Despite her popularity, Rachel Hawkins is a new-to-me author. Releasing in January I grabbed a digital arc for The Heiress.

The Heiress is a story about a dysfunctional family, greed and mayhem. It was twisty with a somewhat Gothic setting and unsavory characters.  It's literally a book full of secrets.

I really enjoyed reading this book, it was well written with its many twists and turns. The chapters were actually nice and short as it alternated between Camden and Jules - the perfect setting for JustOneMoreChapter. It was very much a character driven story and though it didn't have as much of a Gothic feel that I was hoping for the plot made up for that.  As well, it had an ending that I liked.  

An addictive, entertaining read. I'm off now to check out other books by Rachel Hawkins now.

My thanks to St. Martin's Press for a digital ARC in exchange for a honest review.

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