The Last Heiress

The Last Heiress

by Mary Ellis


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The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis

Bestselling author Mary Ellis (A Widow's Hope) presents The Last Heiress, a new romantic standalone that intertwines the lives of a British manufacturing heiress and an American merchant caught in the turbulent time of the War Between the States.

Amanda Dunn set sail from England for Wilmington, North Carolina, hoping to somehow restore shipments of cotton for her family's textile mills, which have been severely disrupted by the American Civil War. But when she meets Nathaniel Cooper, her desire to conduct business and quickly return to England changes.

Amanda's family across the sea deems the hardworking merchant unsuitable for the lovey and accomplished heiress. And when Nate himself begins to draw away, Amanda has her own battle for a happy future on her hands.

As the War Between the States heats up, Nate's brother, a Confederate officer, comes for a visit. Nate begins to think about joining up—not in support of slavery but to watch his brother's back. Yet will this potentially life-changing decision put the union between him and Amanda she so wishes for in jeopardy?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780736950527
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publication date: 02/01/2015
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,170,970
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mary Ellis is the bestselling author of many books, including A Widow's Hope, An Amish Family Reunion, and Living in Harmony. She and her husband live in central Ohio, where they try to live a simpler style of life.

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The Last Heiress 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
WildflowerMom More than 1 year ago
Historical Christian fiction fans will enjoy this! When Amanda Dunn's father sends her across the Atlantic in an attempt to get cotton supplies flowing into Dunn Mills once again, she has quite an adventure in store; her outlook on life and love will never be the same. Landing in Wilmington, North Carolina as the War Between the States is coming to a climax in 1844, opens her eyes to many things around her, especially the issues of slavery and class distinctions. Business dealings quickly become complicated by her brother-in-law Jackson, who seems to have an agenda of his own, but at least she has a sweet reunion with her twin sister Abigail, now quite the Southern lady, and time to explore the town where she happens to meet Nathaniel Cooper, "the shopkeeper who can turn a phrase". The author easily draws you into the setting, building the tensions between the various viewpoints of people from many different walks of life, and shows how complex the issues of the day were--socially, economically and spiritually--nothing seems cut and dried. I particularly enjoyed some of the witty dialogue between Nathaniel and Amanda, and how they challenge each other even as their friendship deepens. It was interesting to witness how class distinctions, once deemed so important to her sister especially, just melted away as the war crept closer, and people realized what was really important to them above it all. A few scenes reminded me of Gone with the Wind at times. It took awhile for me to get into the story at first, but it builds, and was quite exciting further on. Well-written historical fiction with some romance woven in, will make this appealing to Christian fiction fans, especially with Civil War interests. A stand alone novel, though part of a series. Enjoyable read overall--recommend! 4.5 stars (Thank you to the author and publisher for the complimentary copy of this book; this review is my honest and unsolicited opinion.)
VicG More than 1 year ago
Mary Ellis in her new book, “The Last Heiress” published by Harvest House Publishers takes us into the life of Amanda Dunn. From the back cover: She crossed the sea to save a legacy…finding love was not part of her plan 1864 – Amanda Dunn set sail from England for Wilmington, North Carolina, hoping to somehow restore shipments of cotton for her family’s textile mills, which have been severely disrupted by the American Civil War. But when she meets Nathaniel Cooper, her desire to conduct business and quickly return to England changes. Amanda’s family across the sea deems the hardworking merchant unsuitable for the lovely and accomplished heiress. And when Nate himself begins to draw away, Amanda has her own battle for a happy future on her hands. As the Union navy tightens its noose around Southern ports, Nate’s brother, a Confederate officer, comes for a visit. Nate begins to think about joining up–not in support of slavery but to watch his brother’s back. Yet will this potentially life-changing decision put the union between him and Amanda she so wishes for in jeopardy? Amanda’s family textile mills desperately need shipments of cotton from America. The United States is in the grip of The Civil War. The North has an embargo on shipping from The South which, of course, includes North Carolina. It is into this highly dangerous situation that Amanda meets Nate and romance begins. Then Amanda has to deal with her family back home who are rejecting Nate as a suitor. On top of everything Nate is considering joining the army to try to protect his brother. This is an exciting story with the events of The Civil War being played out as Amanda tries to work everything out so that it all works out for everyone. Amanda and Nate are terrific characters that Ms. Ellis has breathed life into and that we root for them to succeed in business and their romance. “The Last Heiress” is a lot of fun and it entertains you as you keep flipping pages as you try to find out what is going to happen next. Ms. Ellis has a great way of telling the story and moving it along at a nice pace. A really enjoyable read. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Harvest House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
artsybookworm More than 1 year ago
The Last Heiress is a stand alone novel by Mary Ellis. It's set in Wilmington, NC during the Civil War but with the added twist of a heiress from England looking for cotton for her mills. It sounded interesting and I liked the cover, but the story itself was not that good.  Ever since the Civil War started Dunn Mills has struggled to get supplies so Amanda's sick father asks her to go to America to seek more cotton for their mills. Amanda is thrilled to be able to see her twin again, but when she arrives she is shocked by how they live. When she meets shop owner, Nate Cooper, things start to look up for her, but her twin, Abigail, and her husband aren't sure Nate is a good match for Amanda. Will the social divide separate Nate and Amanda before they even get a chance to know each other? This story was poorly written, boring. and I had to make myself slog through it. I couldn't connect with any of the characters, and I hated how some were portrayed as bad and then all of a sudden they weren't. It was confusing! It was like the author couldn't decide who the characters were either. I thought the main character was very unrealistically portrayed, and it seemed so weird and out of character for Amanda to start talking so familiarly with the shop owner. Bottom line, this book was a chore to read, and I am actually shocked that it's getting such good reviews.  I was given this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
TheAvidReader_KA More than 1 year ago
The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis is an historical romance novel. It is starts in 1864 in Manchester, England. Amanda is the heiress to Dunn Mills. Her father is not feeling well (and Amanda does not realize how ill he really is) and needs someone to go to the states and see about their cotton shipments. Amanda is looking forward to going as it will give her a chance to visit with her twin sister, Abigail. She has not seen her sister since she ran away and got married five years previously. Amanda travels to North Carolina (this is during the Civil War) with her ladies maid, Helene. Amanda will be staying with her sister, Abigail and her brother-in-law, Jackson Henthorne. Jackson does not think that women have a place in business and does his best to ignore Amanda’s request regarding cotton. Jackson believes that Amanda’s father just sent her to America so she would be away when he passed away. Amanda has trouble living with the Henthorne’s because they own slaves. It creates conflict especially because of Amanda’s maid, Helene. Nathaniel Cooper is from the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. He has opened Cooper’s Greengrocery in Wilmington, North Carolina. Amanda meets him one day and is instantly attracted to him. Jackson does everything to discourage Amanda’s interest in this “unsuitable” man. But Jackson does not realize how stubborn and determined Amanda can be when she sets her mind on something. The war starts to heat up and the Yankees are coming closer to their town. Loyalties will be tested, romances will be tested, and fortunes lost before the war and the book draws to a close. I found The Last Heiress a normal historical romance novel. It was okay, but it did not grab me or draw me in. I did not find the storyline to be believable (who would send their daughter to a country in the middle of war to conduct business especially in 1864). I give The Last Heiress 3 out of 5 stars. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest review.
Karen02KD More than 1 year ago
Amanda Dunn is a well brought English young woman. She wants to do more with her life than attend parties and look for a husband. That is why she jumps at her father’s suggestion that she go to America to check on the cotton supplies for his textile factory. She is also anxious to see her twin sister who ran away five years ago to marry and move to America. The main problem is that America is in the middle of the Civil War. The exportation of cotton has been forbidden by Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Will Amanda be able to convince plantation owners and shippers to deliver cotton to England? She certainly hopes so. Her brother-in-law, Jackson, sees this as a good opportunity to restore some of his family fortunes. He certainly does not plan to allow a lady to become involved in his business. He also does not plan for his eligible sister-in-law to pursue a relationship with the unsuitable grocery store owner, Nathaniel. As the war comes closer to their doorstep on the shores of North Carolina, Jackson and Nathaniel will have to make some decisions. Mary Ellis has written several novels about the Civil War. They are well researched and true to the time period. This novel’s setting and subject is not the average one concerning Civil War historical fiction. There few written about the lack of supply of cotton to the English textile factories and the lengths some of the plantation owners and shippers went to in dodging the blockade off their coast to deliver it. Civil War enthusiasts who are looking for a pleasant , clean read, will find this worth their time. I received this from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
The Last Heiress is a pretty good read. I loved the plot and the character of Amanda. I loved reading the scenes with her and Nathaniel. I can't wait to read more historicals by Mary Ellis. 4 1/2 stars
RGNHALL More than 1 year ago
When I read a blog post the other day and found out that this book is set in Wilmington, North Carolina, I just had to read it.  My oldest daughter lives there and I graduated in 1996 from University of North Carolina @Wilmington.  I want to visit several of the historical homes in Wilmington after reading the book.  I have been to Fort Fisher many times and much of the action of the Civil War scenes in the book took place there.           It was very interesting to see slavery placed side-by-side with British maids.   Seeing the differences in the ways the two countries treated servants made slavery look even more despicable if that is possible.   The characters made this book great fun to read as some of the characters are highly lovable and some are ones readers "love to hate".   I started reading this book and finished in one sitting as it was quite exciting.          I rate this book 5 stars and am delighted to recommend it to readers.           I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
I had the privilege of reading The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis. I love the talent Ms. Ellis has of taking us into a piece of history and making it real. This book was a standalone read yet compliments her Civil War series nicely. I love how Ms. Ellis takes events from the past and helps me to see them through different eyes, reminding me that the facts we read about in history books have many layers to them. Very rarely is life black and white and the issue of slavery, while very wrong, had blurred lines because it was families fighting with and against each other. Most of the time the areas of gray get blended together while people try their best to do the right thing. Amanda was a wonderful character who knew what was morally right but realized getting there wasn’t as simple as it originally seemed to be. Watching her make progress toward the best conclusion possible in a horrible situation was exciting to be a part of. Ms. Ellis always creates such wonderful characters that are so complex. Even when the characters are less than honorable with their actions, they are still likeable because Ms. Ellis is able to paint a picture reminding us that “less than stellar” attributes occur in everyone. She shows both sides of each situation which allows the reader to sympathize as well as wonder, “What would I do in this situation?” For me, I find myself lingering on that question well after the story has been put down, wondering what exactly would I do if I were Amanda or Abigail or Jackson or Nathaniel… Ms. Ellis is talented in making history books come to life through extraordinary characters and vivid word pictures which place me back in history and leave me thinking about real solutions to historical issues our ancestors faced. I can’t wait for her next book because to read a book by Ms. Ellis is to have history live in a very real way, a way that makes me want to learn more about what made America and the remarkable men and women who helped create our nation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GingerS219 More than 1 year ago
Other than a few brief slow parts in the middle, I loved The Last Heiress. Ms. Ellis did an excellent job highlighting some of the plights of the south during the Civil War. I don't typically care for novels centered around wars (just a personal preference), but this one may be on the verge of changing my mind. I enjoyed reading this novel. I received this book from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review.
LilacDreams More than 1 year ago
Amanda Dunn sails for North Carolina in 1864 to serve as her father's emissary. Dunn Mills needs cotton to stay in business, and the American Civil War has disrupted shipments. Amanda must deal with broker Jackson Henthorne, who eloped with her twin sister Abigail. Jackson and his father don’t take Amanda seriously. A woman doing business? Preposterous. Amanda enjoys getting reacquainted with Abigail, but is dismayed by her sister’s acceptance and treatment of slaves. Abigail sees no difference between her slaves and the poorly paid servants in England. Amanda meets greengrocer Nathaniel Cooper and values his friendship and their quick-witted exchanges. He feels entirely out of his league with her. Sensing an ill-suited romance, Jackson does his utmost to embarrass Nate. He would love to send Amanda home with her anti-slavery views, after she’s disrupts his home. His wartime goal is amassing as much profit as possible. The urge is strong to root for his come-uppance. I love Nate. He had a backwoods upbringing in the western Carolina mountains, but overcomes his lack of education and polish by reading whatever books he can lay his hands on. Amanda comes from a wealthy privileged life. Uncomfortable with the comparison between slaves and English servants, she doesn’t hesitate to affect changes for the Dunn Mills employees when she inherits the business. She’s more at home dining with Nate at the home of his landlord, free people of color. Jackson thinks she considers herself superior to him, but I found her appealing. The Last Heiress is a wonderful read.
Sue1 More than 1 year ago
Wealthy English heiress, Amanda Dunn looks forward to her trip to America to restore her family's shipping lines and to visit her estranged twin sister. She envisions making her father proud by ensuring American cotton reaches his mills and by mending the family's relationship with Abigail who'd run off to marry an American. She has no idea that she will get caught up in America's Civil War or that she will fall in love with hardworking shopkeeper, Nathaniel Cooper. Although Nate shares Amanda's anti-slavery beliefs, he feels compelled to join the cause to watch over his younger brother, who has become a Confederate officer. He believes Amanda is safely on her way back to England and prays they will one day be reunited. Amanda sends her maid home but stays in North Carolina. She can't bear to leave her sister who is about to give birth to her first child or to leave without knowing if Nate will return from war. In The Last Heiress, Mary Ellis expertly weaves history into her compelling story without giving a history lesson or bogging down the plot with facts.  Readers are immediately transported to the 1860s and are quickly caught up in the lives of Amanda, Nate, Abigail, and Jackson. At the end of each chapter, readers will want to read "just one more page" to find out what happens to the characters they have grown to admire and care about. Thank you, Mary, for another superb, five-star historical romance Susan Simpson, Author.
Cindy21CE More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I especially enjoyed how you could experience, through each character, how the Civil War had a huge and personal impact on daily life. The dynamic relationship between the twin sisters was quite enjoyable too. This book was hard to put down and I enjoyed it a lot. Highly recommended.
klobucher More than 1 year ago
AWESOME!!!!!! A MUST READ Mary Ellis has  another  Fantastic book. Once I started this book I was hooked on the very first page,  The story line is during the  Cicil War and a young women from England  has to travel to America, to save her family Textile company  Amanda Dunn  is very brave to  go through the things she had to do. You will love the Dunn twins they may look alike but  that is it Amanda is not afraid to do what she has to do.The sisters have a different outlook on slavery also.  All the while I was reading this book I kept thinking this would make a wonderful movie. Pick up this book you will not be sorry if I could I would give this book 10 stars