Adam Herbert seemed destined for the church, although his inclinations lie elsewhere. Then a strong-minded young lady brings light into his somber existence.
The Madcap Heiress
by Emily Hendrickson
Adam Herbert is an adorable man--attractive, sweet-natured, patient, and loving. But he seems doomed to a life as a clergyman, and he feels no enthusiasm for following in his father's footsteps. What he loves is managing the land, but since Fate did not choose to make him heir to an estate, he must find another path. While seeking an answer to his problem, he decides to travel a bit and look up some of his relatives. He manages to obtain a horse and carriage, and sets out at once on his adventure.
One of his first actions is to save a young woman from a brutal man whom he remembers from Cambridge as a real rotter. (I said he was sweet, not that he was a wimp.) The young lady seems to feel that she could have handled the matter herself, but nevertheless appreciates the gallantry. He finds himself intrigued with the independent young lady, who directs him to the home of his uncle and seems kindly disposed toward him.
Emma Lawrence fails to mention to her would-be hero that she is an heiress. By the time he discovers this fact, he already has feelings for her, but now is concerned that he will be looked upon as a fortune hunter--indeed, that he would truly be one! For the first time, he deeply regrets his lack of fortune, because it proves an obstacle to his desire to be accepted as a suitor. How can he achieve his dream of loving and protecting her?
I very much enjoyed this Regency story, with its sense of place and time and its likeable protagonists. It did not take me long to fall in love with Adam and start hoping for his happiness. Adam deals well with his disappointments and gives his heart freely. Sigh. This book is a treasure for those who like stories about people who deserve to find love, and in the end receive even more than they had hoped for.
The title refers to the heroine, and I find her admirable, but it is the hero who stands out in my mind. He is a classic beta hero--but there's enough alpha in him to be interesting!
September 2004, 220 pages
Young, spirited, and independent of mind, Emma Lawrence refuses to give herself to any man on a whim. As heiress to a vast estate, she had had more than her share of hopeful suitors--including her pompous, bullying cousin, Claude--who are more interested in her purse than in pursuing her heart.
Of little means but of proud bearing, Adam Herbert is loath to follow in his father's footsteps as a humble rector. So he sets off to find out what else the world has to offer. What he finds is an unexpected treasure in beguiling Emma, who will soon learn that love is worth far more than any fortune. . . .