Review: When I was a teenager, romance novels were all I read. I’m pretty sure I owned stock in Harlequin. My second favorite reads were murder mysteries. The Unwanted Heiress by Amy Corwin reminded me of how much fun a good romance can be, especially when combined with a murder and a scandalous scheme or two.
In Charlotte, Corwin provides us with a protagonist most of us have been, at one point or another. She has a great deal of moxy, but has been led to doubt herself due to repeated rejections. You have to admire her determination to achieve her dreams, regardless of society’s opinions about their propriety. And in Regency England, holding on to one’s unconventionality took some doing, especially if (insert irony here) you were a wealthy heiress who obviously couldn’t be expected to actually have a functioning brain. Corwin does a beautiful job of pointing out the foibles of a patriarchal society that consistently underestimated female intelligence and ability and she manages to amuse and intrigue the reader every step along the way.
One of the reasons that I turned to other genres in my twenties was that Romances tend heavily toward the formulaic. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and Romance is not a bad genre because of it. However, after you’ve read several thousand (probably) of them, they do tend to get a bit predictable. Rather than stopping with the traditional theme of “true love conquers all,” Corwin manages to turn this very predictability to her advantage as she makes a statement about the inherent dangers of uncritically accepting cultural stereotypes. And she does it with a light, often funny, always entertaining, touch.
For those who love Romance, and those who used to, The Unwanted Heiress is a must read.
Author Bio: Award-winning author Amy Corwin joined the Romance Writers of America as a charter member and has recently joined Mystery Writers of America. She has retired from a career as an enterprise computer systems administrator to write full time. She writes Regencies, paranormals, and mysteries, although to be truthful, most of her books include a bit of murder and mayhem since she discovered that killing off at least one character is a highly effective way to make the remaining ones toe the plot line. For more about Amy Corwin, check out her website, here.