1806: Astrid Poole sits in her bridal clothes, overwhelmed with happiness. But before her marriage can be consummated, she is murdered, and the circle of gold torn from her finger. Her last words are a promise to Collin never to leave him…
Graphic designer Sonya MacTavish is stunned to learn that her late father had a twin he never knew about—and that her newly discovered uncle, Collin Poole, has left her almost everything he owned, including a majestic Victorian house on the Maine coast, which the will stipulates she must live in it for at least three years. Her engagement recently broken, she sets off to find out why the boys were separated at birth—and why it was all kept secret until a genealogy website brought it to light.
Trey, the young lawyer who greets her at the sprawling clifftop manor, notes Sonya’s unease — and acknowledges that the place is haunted…but just a little. Sure enough, Sonya finds objects moved and music playing out of nowhere. She sees a painting by her father inexplicably hanging in her deceased uncle’s office and a portrait of a woman named Astrid, whom the lawyer refers to as “the first lost bride.” It’s becoming clear that Sonya has inherited far more than a house. She has inherited a centuries-old curse and a puzzle to be solved if there is any hope of breaking it…
Titles in The Lost Brides series include — Inheritance —♥—
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
NetGalley Arc (also purchased my own copy for my collection)
Series: The Lost Brides #1
Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Thriller, Gothic
Published: November 21, 2023
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
My Rating: 5
Inheritance begins Nora Roberts’ newest trilogy, The Lost Brides, with such a stunning introduction to this world that I was captured before the first page was finished. Weaving a plot through the events of the past brides of this family and the present, this story slowly builds as Sonya makes her own discoveries and begins to believe that the mansion in Maine that she’s inherited may truly be haunted… and cursed! That cliffhanger ending was completely unexpected, but it came at just the right ending to this first novel in the series (trilogy). I don’t consider saying cliffhanger to be a spoiler; many reviews have already revealed that fact. And although I usually steer clear of these types of endings before the series is complete, it works for this world. The Lost Brides appears to be a continuous storyline that will take two couples through friendship, attraction, and danger as they all search for answers to ending the curse.
I, personally, believe it’s best for the reader’s experience to go into Inheritance straight from the book cover blurb. This is a journey of lives being upended, and torn apart, with new discoveries that will rock some people’s worlds. So my review will not be about the storyline but my reaction to this captivating new world.
I loved watching Sonya’s reactions as she went from bride to tossing out a first-class lying, deceiving, manipulative jerk. Her rage is so cold it burns and fits perfectly with her personality, as we will discover. I also had quite a few chuckles and smiles as Sonya tried to logic away the moved items, the sudden music, or the closing doors throughout the mansion as she began her time in this new world. The attraction between Sonya and Trey has always churned beneath the surface but is acknowledged with looks and thoughts about each other. When they finally take the risk, it is explosive, and I loved every moment of that romance sparking alive on the page. I wish everyone had a best friend like Cleo. Closer than blood, bound by shared experiences and finding that person who gets them no matter what. What a friendship! We see Cleo and Owen’s (Trey’s cousin and best friend) relationship begin with bartering, friendship, and hints of, maybe, more that might develop over time. But Inheritance is mainly Sonya’s and Trey’s story. So anything else will be shown to us in time.
There is one nasty, powerful, evil witch in this story. One with some amazing powers, but she will meet her match in Sonya and her friends. Who will ultimately win in the end… well, only the conclusion of this series will tell us that, but I have my suspicions.
Overall, Inheritance is one of those stories where the reader is pulled slowly into a new world through the characters’ actions and the consequences of others’ actions as well. It is riveting, it pulled me in and had me wanting more at each turn. I loved the way the story played out, some hints at things to come, some revelations about the past, and as the tensions ratchet up, you can feel the difference in intensity as we enter a new phase of this ongoing journey. I absolutely loved the spirits we meet here (aside from her royal witchiness), and the loyal (and frisky) dogs/pups we meet are as much a vital part of this story as the humans and, yes, the ghosts.
I loved Inheritance. It’s probably my favorite starter novel yet of all of the Nora Roberts books I’ve enjoyed over the years. I cannot wait to be able to return to this world and discover what comes next. But that will happen in time.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley, and I sincerely thank the author or publishing house (St. Martin’s Press) for their trust. I chose to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.* I also purchased my own copy for my Nora Roberts collection.
Available in hardback, paperback, audio, and for your favorite e-reader from many retailers- this link below goes to Amazon.