Can the love of an honourable man save her from the memory of a desolate marriage?
From the battlefield of Waterloo to the drawing rooms of Brantstone Hall, Sebastian Alder's elevation from penniless army captain to Viscount Somerton is the stuff of dreams. But the cold reality of an inherited estate in wretched condition, and the suspicious circumstances surrounding his cousin's death, provide Sebastian with no time for dreams – only a mystery to solve and a murderer to bring to justice.
Isabel, widow of the late Lord Somerton, is desperate to bury the memory of her unhappy marriage by founding the charity school she has always dreamed of. Except, her dreams are soon shattered from beyond the grave when she is not only left penniless, but once more bound to the whims of a Somerton.
But this Somerton is unlike any man she has met. Can the love of an honourable man heal her broken heart or will suspicion tear them apart?
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About the Author
Australian author Alison Stuart began her writing journey halfway up a tree in the school playground with a notebook and a dream. Her father's passion for history and her husband's love of adventure and the Australian bush led to a desire to tell stories of Australia's past.
She has travelled extensively and lived in Africa and Singapore. Before turning to writing full time, she enjoyed a long and varied career as a lawyer, both in private practice and in a range of different organisations, including the military and the emergency services.
Alison lives in a historic town in Victoria.
You can connect with Alison on:
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love a book where nothing is exactly like it seems and you get to untangle the threads as you read. I loved the hero and heroine and that their first spouses were depicted as human. Foibles and all. I truly enjoyed the journey.
A story of the UNEXPECTED that will take all of my romance peeps on a rollercoaster ride of intrigue & also healing 2 broken hearts Sebastian Alder was raised as a eldest son to a parsons & had a loving home with his brother & then his mom died after given birth to his sister. He joined up the army, work hard to became a Captain & after his father died all of his money went home to support his brother & sister. Sebastian did meet his beloved Inez in Portugal, married her & as she traveled to join him, her carriage was overtaken by the French. Poor Sebastian found her raped, beaten & bloody body & became a shell of a man, until his was wounded at Waterloo & shipped back to England. Lady Isabel is finally widow after her faithless hubby, Anthony, fell from his horse, coming back from his mistress' home, & broke his neck. After a loveless marriage, she can almost taste her freedom, but first she must find her hubby's heir, the new Lord Somerton. Isabel finds him in a filthy & unclean makeshift hospital in London at deathly door, explains that he is the new Lord Somerton & takes him back to his huge London townhouse to heal. Why is this crazy Lady telling him he is a Viscount, when his dad was a parsons? Sebastian is so feverish he tells his batman Bennett to follow, so at least he can die out of the filth. Isabel & Bennett work together to heal his body & she tells him the story that his mom was married to the Uncle of the deceased hubby, so he is the next Viscount & has a Grandma, aunts & many cousin to meet. Sebastian is shocked, but happy to have an inheritance to support his brother & sister. Soon he learns that the inheritance is debt, Isabel's widow portion was stolen by her worm of a husband & he must go to his estate, Brantstone Hall, take up the reins of his title. What awaits Sebastian at the Hall are free loading "not his" cousins, lazy Freddy & seductress Fanny, a huge staff, horses galore, & massive bills stacking on his new desk. Awaiting his brother & sister's arrival, he learns all things peerish, is dazzled by Lady Isabel grace, learns every single servants' name, discover not 1 but 2 mysterious deaths, uncovers blackmail & both Isabel & Sebastian's loneliness pulls them together like magnets. Theses 2 get some help from loyal valet-in-training Bennett, his brother & sister & absolutely no help from useless Freddy, always flirting Fanny, Anthony's old mistress, welcomed old friends & all gather for the most welcome & costly ball to introduce the new Lord Somerton. Can Sebastian discover if the mysterious deaths are actual murders? Will Isabel & Sebastian resist the magically & powerful force that is drawing them together? Can 2 lost souls heals 1 another hearts? Does Sebastian finally get rid of his free loading houseguests, Freddy & Fanny? But most importantly, PRETTY PLEASE, can I challenge Freddy to a duel for cheating at cards & give Fanny a broom & feather duster? This is my 1st Alison Stuart romance read, but not my last. Isabel was a typical heiress married out to money starved peer, but tragedy broke her world in half & that made her flawed heroine that I loved. Sebastian was not a typical anything, but lived his whole life for others & never himself, but he did want 1 thing just for him, Isabel. Ms. Stuart can weave a tale with crazy twists, sharp turns, shadowing evil & then down a lane that gave me chills. Now all romances, in my humble opinion, need pantie dropping scenes that make my Kindle spark. I got to Chapter 26 & realized so far only 1 kiss was exchange, but I didn't ever notice with all the suspense & that rarely happens to me & that takes a talented writer! Ms. Stuart did slightly singed a seaside cottage (parts of the cottage follow them) with Isabel & Sebastian's night of tangle sheets. Lots of intrigue, evil doers galore, blackmail & many other surprises awaiting the next reader & I highly recommend this to all my romance peeps, who love a story that take you to UNEXPECTED places. I give Ms. Stuart a score of 4 fingers up & 7 toes for this rollercoaster romance ride. NetGalley ARC given for my honest review.
I received an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. A stunning Regency romance from the enormously talented Alison Stuart, who has the ability to spin historical stories which will draw in a reader who will simply never wish to return. LORD SOMERTON’S HEIR is an ESCAPE publication. There are some secrets which we will carry to our grave. Isabel, Lady Somerton, doesn’t intend to ever share the truth about her unhappy marriage with anyone. She will take her small inheritance, move to the dower house and set up a school for young girls, spending the rest of her existence doing philanthropic works. But will her dream be realized? Or will her late, unlamented husband manage to ruin her dreams of a simple, worthwhile life, even from the grave? Wounded at Waterloo, Sebastian Alder is stunned to learn that he is the new Lord Somerton. The memory of the dreadful events he’s witnessed on the battlefield haunt him, as does the memory of his lost love. But he has no time to grieve. His Somerton inheritance is mostly debt. The late Lord Somerton’s life was a shambles of unpaid bills and useless relatives hanging on and draining his estate. Then there is the question of Lord Somerton’s beautiful widow. How can Sebastian shatter her dreams tell her that her late husband simply squandered her inheritance in useless living? A beautifully told story set in a bygone age where life – for some at least – was more leisurely and unhurried, this will certainly please readers of historical romance, particularly Regency romance. And anyone wishing to try out historicals, Regency or otherwise, would be well advised to start with Alison Stuart. She’s a magical storyteller. MariaRBH
***Received from publisher via NetGalley for an honest review*** After reading the blurb, I thought this would be a Cinderella type Regency romance that explores the ins and outs of London society with a newly discovered heir/heiress as the lead. It was…but not really. While this does have that theme, there’s so much more to this story than that. It’s about Isabel and Sebastian. She is a neglected Viscountess who, on the heels of her husband’s death and displaying very little despair over it, finds and brings to Branstone House the new Lord Somerton, Sebastian Alder. He is the stepson of a reverend from a small village, an English Captain who lost his wife to the French, and has no idea who the Somertons are as he has no memory of his real father. She is struggling to move toward fulfilling her dream but the memory of her unhappy marriage haunts her. He appears to fit right into his new role but there are secrets that come with it, secrets that do not want to be brought to light. I loved reading about Sebastian and Isabel. The attraction and romance between them developed throughout the entire story and it was beautiful to watch because it felt natural. Every part of their relationship, going from being strangers to acquaintances, from friends to wanting to be more than friends, and eventually to lovers. By the way, Ms. Stuart, thank you so, so much for writing their lovemaking toward the end of the story instead of before. Reading it then was so worth the wait! To be honest, the suspense is what kept me reading. Don’t get me wrong. I wanted Sebastian and Isabel to have their happy ending, but I was more interested in peeling back the multiple layers of mystery surrounding the Somerton name and house. Finding out the answers one at a time, that there was so much more than meets the eye, is what compelled me to keep turning the page. This is a well-paced, detail oriented novel that might be slow for some but was perfect for me. I’ve not read anything by Ms. Stuart before, but I guarantee this won’t be the last and I’ll be looking for whatever she writes next.
Whenever I pick up an Alison Stuart novel I know I am going to love her hero and admire her heroine, and this novel did not disappoint. In this, her latest work, the author moves into the Regency era where England is still reeling from the Napoleonic wars and so many men were irrevocably damaged by their experiences. Sebastian Alder is one of these, badly injured at Waterloo, with a tragic history, I fell for him the second he shrugged off Isabel, Lady Somerton’s shake of his shoulder and gruffly demanded who she was. Sebastian is the unwitting, and at first unwilling heir to the Somerton estate, that of Isabel’s late husband. Sebastian has to break it to this self-contained woman reluctant to display any emotion, that her husband has left her penniless and him the master of a ruined estate. Not a good start to a romance, but Miss Stuart’s Sebastian Alder is an absolute gem and a hero to fall for. Although Isabel is not strictly his responsibility, the valiant soldier cannot abandon her, nor the two cuckoos in the nest that come with Brantstone, his country estate. When blackmail, murder and other dark secrets emerge and affect their present, the situation goes from bad to worse for Sebastian, the slightly naïve soldier, and Isabel, an emotionally damaged widow determined to walk away from a life that brought her only unhappiness. A character driven story, this is a real page turner that delves into the darker areas of human nature and tests the mettle of the players. It may be a well-used formula, but an effective one which takes the reader on a roller coaster journey with a very satisfactory ending. I look forward to more in the same genre from Alison Stuart.