The Heir (Reid Family Series #1)

The Heir (Reid Family Series #1)

3.9 101
by Johanna Lindsey

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The many wondrous gifts of Johanna Lindsey—her fiery and endearing characters, her enthralling stories, her ingenious blending of passion, wit, and emotion—are all on glorious display in this unforgettable tale about an unwanted title and an unexpected love.

Has anyone in London ever taken part in the coming-out Season with less


The many wondrous gifts of Johanna Lindsey—her fiery and endearing characters, her enthralling stories, her ingenious blending of passion, wit, and emotion—are all on glorious display in this unforgettable tale about an unwanted title and an unexpected love.

Has anyone in London ever taken part in the coming-out Season with less enthusiasm than Sabrina? Luckily, the most sought-after lady in the city has agreed to usher this young, lovely country girl through the perils and pitfalls of her all-important first season.

Dashing highlander Duncan MacTavish is even less keen to be in London. Having recently learned he is the sole heir of an English marquis, Duncan is now required to assume his grandfather's title and estates—and to marry Sabrina's ravishing, viper-tongued guide, who has been heard to make scathing statements in public about her "Scottish barbarian" groom-to-be.

His unwanted betrothal, however, has brought Duncan into close proximity with the enchanting Sabrina—a kindred spirit whose wit delights him . . . and whose essence is the exquisite stuff of dreams. But duty, station, and a secret that dwells in the lady's past forbid Sabrina's and Duncan's desired union—unless true love can somehow miraculously find a way.

Editorial Reviews

Kathe Robin
Charming and very witty, with delightful dialogue, this comedy of manners is a light frothy tale that borrows from a traditional Regency plotline. Johanna Lindsey writes with joy and pleasure that is infectious and sure to make you smile.
Romantic Times
People Magazine
Johanna Lindsey displays her usual talents for creating intriguing entertaining read.
New York Daily News
First rate romance.
Newport News Daily Press
Johanna Lindsey has a sure touch where historical romance is concerned.
Cincinnati Enquirer
One of the most reliable authors around. Her books are well-paced and well-written, filled with stong character, humor, interesting plots — and,of, course, romance.
Cathy Sova
The Heir is the story of an arranged marriage that is desired by neither party. Sabrina Lambert has come to London for a Season, one scraped together by her maiden aunts. She’ll be assisted by lovely Ophelia Reid, who is already the toast of society for her beauty and is enjoying a Season of her own. Ophelia has plans, however. Her parents have arranged a marriage for her with a future Marquis, Duncan MacTavish. He’s a Scotsman, a barbarian, no doubt. If Ophelia can manage to make him the laughingstock of London before he even arrives there, then perhaps her parents will be mortified and let her out of the engagement.

Sabrina is bemused by all these machinations, and soon finds out that Ophelia’s vicious tongue can spread gossip in all directions even over Sabrina, whose family history of suspicious deaths have led most to believe she’ll soon take her own life. The fact that most of those deaths were rationally explained means nothing. When Sabrina’s sense of humor and sunny disposition garner her a few too many dance partners at her first party, Ophelia’s true nature rises to the fore. Soon all of London has heard about the scandal.

Duncan MacTavish is in a bind as well. His English mother and Scots father are both long dead, and he has just been told by his Scottish grandfather that he is the heir to an English title of Marquis. Duncan is outraged. Leave the Scottish estate and travel to bleak England, all to please a grandfather he’s never met? And marry an unknown English girl into the bargain? Never. The most he’ll agree to is making a visit and looking over the crop of English misses. But he won’t marry to please his grandfathers.

When Ophelia and Duncan meet at his grandfather’s estate, neither is impressed. Ophelia insults Duncan, who declares he’ll never marry such a woman. Sabrina, however, soon becomes good friends with Duncan. When Ophelia decides to reinstate the engagement rather than face Society’s scorn for being dumped, events are set in motion that will be difficult to stop.

The Heir contains some of what readers might call Classic Lindsey. The dialogue is witty, most of the characterizations are clear, and the settings are well-drawn without overwhelming the story. The “falling in love with a friend” plot isn’t new, but here it works well, especially on the part of Sabrina. She’s easily the most engaging character in the book. Short, a bit plump, possessing remarkable eyes but little else in the way of traditional beauty, she’s well aware of her shortcomings and uses humor to cope. This approach wins her friends and admirers, though she’s unable to believe that men might find her attractive.

Duncan was much blander. Other than rail at his grandfathers for trying to arrange his life, we never find out much about what he does want. He’s handsome enough, and seems to be a nice guy, until a climactic point about two-thirds through when he does something so loutish that it left this reader’s mouth hanging open. I won’t reveal the plot point, except to say that his utter lack of regard or even thought for Sabrina’s welfare was inexcusable. That it helped set up Duncan’s and Ophelia’s re-engagement was contrived, weak plotting. From that point on, I didn’t care a hoot in Hades for Duncan. Marrying Ophelia would have been exactly what he deserved.

As for Ophelia, she’s a lead character too, for all the space that is devoted to her. A more self-centered and despicable character would be hard to find, and no doubt that’s exactly what she was intended to be. However, it says something about the book that her comeuppance was far more interesting than any romance developing between Sabrina or Duncan.

Ultimately, the romance in this romance novel misses the mark. Diehard Lindsey fans may not blink at paying $24.00 for The Heir, but my advice is to get it from the library. The story just doesn’t justify the price.
The Romance Reader
Library Journal
A Scottish heir is engaged to one woman but finds he loves another. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
YA-Sabrina Lambert is popular due to her personality and wit, not her looks. Her friend, the beautiful yet heartless and spiteful Ophelia Reid, resents her own arranged engagement to Duncan MacTavish, a "barbaric" highlander. After she insults him at his own party, hoping to end their relationship in front of London's in-crowd, Duncan throws her out, making her the laughing stock of the town. He finds a true friend in Sabrina, who makes him laugh and feel completely at ease. A jealous Ophelia notices all of this and plans her revenge. The story line is satisfying: a nice girl with personality and intellect gets a chance at Prince Charming or "The Heir." Change the dress and time period, and this romance and its characters will hit home with many YAs who get passed over because they are not considered "beautiful."-Lisa Muir, Poe Middle School, Annandale, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Reid Family Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.74(w) x 4.18(h) x 1.13(d)

Read an Excerpt


They stared out the window at the bleak, winter-touched garden where the girl walked. It was small, though the town house was large and in a fashionable area of London—there simply wasn't much land available to any of the houses along the block, to devote to a "country look."

Lady Mary Reid, their hostess, had done well with her small section of garden, when most of her neighbors didn't bother with other than grass. And trust their niece, Sabrina, who loved the outdoors no matter the time of year, to be found out in that little piece of earth.

The two women continued to watch Sabrina, silently, pensively. Alice Lambert wore a frown. Her sister Hilary, the elder by one year, looked rather despondent.

"I don't think I've ever been this nervous, Hilary," Alice whispered to her sister.

"Me either, if you must know," Hilary answered with a drawn-out sigh.

It was hard to tell they were sisters by looking at them.

Hilary took after their father, tall, narrow of frame to the point of extreme thinness , with dull brown hair and light blue eyes. Alice was nearly an exact copy of their mother, on the short side and rather plump, but with dark hair of a lustrous brown and dark blue eyes tinged occasionally with a violet hue.

They were sisters who didn't get along too well. Bickering was common. Yet for once they were in agreement. The niece they had pretty much raised was having her comeout in London society tonight, and they were both worried. Unfortunately, they had good reason to be worried.

It wasn't that Sabrina might not stand out or make a good showing. Though she wasn't a great beauty like Mary'sdaughter Ophelia, who was also having her come-out this Season, Sabrina did have her good points. It wasn't their lack of consequence, either. Sabrina's grandfather had been an earl, her great-grandfather had been a duke. Her own title was merely Honorable, but then they weren't hoping to catch a lofty title for her, nor even great wealth. Any husband of good standing would do as far as the Lambert sisters were concerned.

NO, it wasn't any of the normal worries that one might expect when dealing with a country girl being put on the marriage block in high society. It was much, much more personal and had to do with why the two sisters had never married themselves. They each feared that the old scandal that had haunted their family for three generations might surface again after all these years.

But neither of the two women would mention what was at the heart of their nervousness. By mutual accord, the long ago tragedies were never spoken of.

"D'you think she's warm enough in that woolen coat?" Alice asked, still frowning.

"D'you think she cares?"

"But her cheeks are going to get wind-chapped, and how will that look at her first ball?"

As they continued to watch their niece, a dead leaf, overlooked by Lady Mary's gardener, drifted toward Sabrina and stopped at her feet. The girl, having noticed it, assumed the pose of a fencer and, as if she had a real rapier in hand rather than an imaginary one, made a stab for the leaf. She then laughed at herself and scooped the leaf up, tossing it into the air where the brisk winter wind caught it and carried it away.

"She doesn't take this marriage thing seriously," Hilary said now.

Sabrina should have been just as nervous as her aunts were, if for different reasons, but instead, she appeared not to have a care in the world.

"How can she take it seriously when she knows we didn't marry and it didn't hurt either of us?"

"I'm afraid we've given her the wrong impression. It's not as if we didn't want or hope to marry when we were her age, just that now we're rather glad we didn't."

Which wasn't putting a good face on it. Neither woman truly regretted not having a spouse. What they might have regretted was not bearing any children themselves, but Sabrina, having come to them to raise when she was barely three, had thoroughly satisfied their maternal instincts. Many might call them old maids and claim their sour-grapes bickering stemmed from that, but that was hardly the case. The two sisters had been bickering since they were children. it was rather ingrained.

As if Hilary suddenly realized she had been participating in an unspoken truce, she said abruptly, "Call her in. It's time to prepare her."

"This soon?" Alice protested. "We've still hours yet before-"

"It will take hours to do her up properly," Hilary cut in.

"Oh, posh, it might take you hours, but-"

"And what d'you know about it, when you didn't even have a come-out yourself?" Hilary interrupted yet again.

"And you did?" Alice shot back.

"Doesn't signify. Mary has mentioned many times in her letters that she starts preparing herself as soon as she gets out of bed in the morning."

"It would take her all day just to stuff herself into her corset."

Hilary flushed with color, unable to deny that charge about her childhood friend who had been kind enough to offer them her residence for the Season, since they didn't own property in London themselves. Mary had grown exceedingly plump over the years, so much so that Hilary had barely recognized her old friend when they arrived in London yesterday.

She countered instead, "Even her daughter begins readying herself at noon."

"Ophelia just likes staring at herself in her mirror, no doubt," Alice snorted.

"I'll have you know..."

The words trailed off as the sisters left the room, this squabbling a much more normal state of affairs for these two. No one who had heard them talking in whispers and in such agreement for those few moments would have believed it, certainly not the niece they had been discussing.

Meet the Author

One of the world's most successful authors of historical romance, every one of Johanna Lindsey's previous novels has been a national bestseller, and several of her titles have reached the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Ms. Lindsey lives in New England with her family.

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Heir 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 101 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. Not one of my favorites, but still a nice Lindsey. I have read many of her books and totally disagree with some of the other reviews. You cannot compare this book to Fires of Winter. Just remember that JL has MANY books and each one needs a different plot and characters. This book was sweet. Sabrina is a wonderful girl and Duncan such a gentleman. I agree that the passion is not as hot, but it was nice in its own way. Definitely recommend it ;0)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Flor-83 More than 1 year ago
The author did an awesome job once again this book was really great the twists and turns were exciting would totally read it again !!!!!
timi29 More than 1 year ago
it was great, this book is the best to notch , loved the characters and the drama
rustyRV More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book.I loved Sabrina's character.I can't wait to read " The devil who tamed her".
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Heir is a sweet story. It's not quite as passionate as some of Lindsey's other books but the characters are interesting and the plot has a lot of interesting turns. Sabrina has to be one of my favorite characters that Johanna Lindsey ever thought up. I would definitely recommend this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sabrina and Duncan in this have a real relationship - based on friendship as well as lust. It's not nearly as passionate as Lindsey's others, where lust turns hatred or dislike to true love, but it's a great read. Especially for those who like to think relationships aren't just based on carnal desire - Sabrina and Duncan I can see living together in blissfull happiness till they die, whereas with some of Johanna Lindsey's characters I get the feeling the second they're too old to have a sex-life the relationship will die. In other words, a great read, but without that consuming desire one associates with Lindsey.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far my favorite Lindsey novel to date. I have read three others, 'The Joining', 'The Pursuit', and 'Say You Love Me', but so far, none of them have come close. Duncan & Sabrina have a genuine relationship that makes sense...they do not fall in love after just one brief meeting, nor is their relationship based on sex and attraction. I found myself rooting for Sabrina's cause, and hoping that Duncan would find a way to be with her in the end. Highly recomdended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the boring back cover to the lukewarm reviews, I was sure that this book would be a waste of money, but I was actually pleasantly suprised! The characters were all well developed, and the dialog was very witty. The supporting characters were especially enjoyable, and I look forward to a book with Rafe someday in the future. The description on the back cover is slightly confusing (or maybe I'm just dumb) so to clarify...Sabrina is on the marraige market, as is the girl Ophelia who Sabrina is hanging out with. Both are the same age, and Ophelia is trying to figure out a way out of the betrothal she is already in. It is not a book about Ophelia and Duncan not being able to be seperated because of the betrothal, which may come as a relief to some (and perhaps an inducment to actually buy the book?) Anyway, just wanted to say that it is much funnier and more enjoyable than it seems to be on the face of it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a 20 year old that just recently started reading books to go to sleep, but when I read this book, I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen. I knew what I wanted to happen, but the suspense drove me crazy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Johanna Lindsey for many years now. I fell in love with her Malory series and was excited about the Reid series. I have to say I was extremely disappointed in this book. The story was completely uninteresting, the story line seemed poorly written, lazy and rushed. I couldn't connect to any of the characters because of this, and found myself checking to make sure this was really written by Johanna Lindsey. Definitely not a good book of hers. Not the mention the many typos and grammatical errors! As I said, I felt the story line and book were carelessly written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PureJonel More than 1 year ago
Lindsey’s definitely done it again.  She had me hooked from beginning to end with this one.  I found the storyline to be intriguing and unforgettable.  I also appreciate the fact that she places her stories completely in the time period at hand.  She makes them enjoyable and accessible to modern readers without taking liberties with the history and conventions of the time.  The narrator for the audio version was brilliant.  She could make even the worst book enjoyable.  Paired with this entertaining story it became something unforgettable.   Above all else, this story was just plain fun.  I laughed out loud multiple times.  Lindsey even brought tears to my eyes a time or two. I enjoyed these characters from the get-go.  I also felt a real connection with the main characters.  They were vivid, fun loving individuals who will capture your heart, all the while making you question their rationale at times.  They were the perfect mix of fun and serious, real & dream worthy.  This couple was also the perfect pair, complementing and contrasting each other in turns.  This story found them surrounded by a number of entertaining individuals who definitely added a great deal to the story themselves. I had so much fun with this one.  It is definitely a great addition to Lindsey’s work.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Made me happy. Mad and cry Would like to be her proof reader though entirely to many mispells where there should not have been
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A disappointment compared to most of the authors othe books. Weak hero and heroine and the story seemed to be more about the antagonist instead. The Scottish accent dialog was distracting as well. I kept reading in hope that it would picked up but it never did. I usually love Lindseys stories but this one was flat. Definitely NOT one worth rereads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very good reading and entertaining
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