Book Reviews

The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for my advanced reader copy of The Heiress! This book is available (in the US) on January 9, 2024.

The Story

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.

My Thoughts

I try and remember that The Heiress is a family drama. Well, I think so. That’s how I make the most sense of it not being as dramatic of a book as I think it could have been. The backstabbing and secrets, that whole thing. Well written, but not as suspenseful as you would think.

I’m a fan of Rachel Hawkins. For the most part, her books are all at least a little bit different. I wasn’t terribly impressed with The Villa, but I did like The Heiress better.

Money will make anyone do crazy things. Plus, you can get away with just about anything if you have money. That’s how conflict was created in this novel. Not super innovative, but also not substance abuse, so I’ll take it.

As a whole, none of the characters were likable. I’ve read very few books in my life where I wanted them all to go down with the ship, but this was definitely one of them.

Overall, I am still excited for the opportunity to read Rachel Hawkins’ books. She’s a great writer and her books are always entertaining.

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