The Last Heiress

Title:  The Last Heiress
Author:  Mary Ellis
Pages:  352
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers
Amanda Dunn is tasked with saving the family business and fortune when her father is too ill to travel to the United States to negotiate a contract to supply their British textile mills with cotton from the South.  However, there is one little thing going on that hampers her efforts…the Civil War.  The President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, has made it illegal to trade with England until England acknowledges and supports the Confederacy.  Also, Amanda has difficulty getting the businessmen in Wilmington, North Carolina to take her seriously.  After all, she is just a woman and really has no place in the business world.  However, Nate Cooper, owner of a local greengrocer’s store seems different.  He listens to her and takes her opinions seriously.
As time goes on, Nate and Amanda spend more time together, but are just going to be friends due to their differences in social class.  Plus Amanda plans to return to England to run the family textile mills as she is now the heir to the family business.  Nate eventually wants to sell his store and become a commercial fisherman.  So there really is no future together for them in both of their eyes as they begin their friendship.  However, the Civil War intervenes in their plans and the future is very different from what Nate and Amanda previously thought it would be.
This story for me was just so-so.  I found it unrealistic that at that time in history Amanda Dunn would have been sent to do business for her father’s company with no male council.  I also thought she became too familiar with Nate too quickly for the time period and culture differences as well as social differences.  This is marketed as a Christian book, but there are just a few brief references to God.  I also didn’t like the characters of Jackson and Abigail as one moment they were rude, arrogant and obnoxious, but then they seemed to realize the error of their ways and do something good.  I was never sure what side of the fence they were on.  I did like the setting of the story and the character of Nate Cooper.
My rating is 3 stars.

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