Susan Anne Mason. A Most Noble Heir. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2018.
I’m always amazed at how my mood impacts which book I want to read next. Sometimes I want something really funny, while other times I want to dive into a story that could win book of the year. In other situations, I’m looking for a story set in a specific historical time period and other times I really want to read contemporary storylines. This week manages to be a relatively casual historical read, with just enough detail to set it firmly in the nineteenth century.
Ms. Mason writes A Most Noble Heir, a stand-alone novel set in nineteenth-century Britain. Nolan Price and Hannah Burnham have both worked for the Earl of Stainsby since their early teens and have hoped to marry now that they are adults. However, a secret shared by Nolan’s dying mother destroys his plans, as he finds himself as the unexpected heir of the estate. In order to remain together, Nolan and Hannah secretly marry, but Lord Stainsby has other plans. He hopes to train Nolan to take his place among the aristocracy and leave behind his former life, including his kitchen maid wife. Nolan must somehow balance his newfound father’s wishes and those of his wife or he may find himself losing either one entirely.
Ms. Mason writes a compelling twist on the standard tropes about the British aristocracy in A Most Noble Heir. The view of the Earl of Stainsby’s world from the view of his stable hand and kitchen maid will be a particular thrill to those who enjoy Downton Abbey and other period dramas.
Overall, I enjoyed reading A Most Noble Heir. Ms. Mason writes an intriguing story that many readers will appreciate, especially those who love anything that relates to the British aristocracy. Personally, I found the novel to be somewhat short on historical details. However, Ms. Mason’s writing style still allowed for a surprisingly complete plotline and cast of characters that felt realistic to the setting. This novel did seem to have a somewhat more cohesive and tighter plot than some of her other works, which does show continued improvement in her writing and story development. A Most Noble Heir is a stand-alone book, which does feel somewhat disjointed from Ms. Mason’s other series in topic and setting. Her next novel, The Best of Intentions, starts off her Canadian Crossings series, which will be released in July of 2018.
Fans of Ms. Mason’s works will likely want to read A Most Noble Heir. Likewise, those who love to read anything related to the British aristocracy, especially set in the nineteenth century, will also likely find this book to be well worth the read.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for the advanced copy of A Most Noble Heir!
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