ARC Reviews


The Wicked Heir ( Blackhaven Brides #12) by Mary Lancaster. Historical Romance Release & ARC Review

False engagement – or true love?

From the age of thirteen, Jess has been brought up by her irascible and reclusive guardian, Lord Viscral. Sheltered but spirited, Jess finally rebels when his lordship decides out of the blue that she should marry his estranged son and heir, Jonathan, whom she has never even met. Jess immediately makes plans to run away with the assistance of her childhood sweetheart, and make her living running a hat shop.

But this is Blackhaven, where things rarely work out as planned. Lord Viscral has come to take the waters and to entice his black sheep of a son back into the fold, with Jess as bait. The black sheep, however, has no intention of being caught by either of them. Captain of a famous merchant ship, he only wishes to see that his father is well. However, when he encounters Jess out of her depth in a gaming hell, he is intrigued. And sees the possibility of an alliance to punish his  tyrannical parent.

Of course, it isn’t that simple. Jess’s sweetheart turns out to have feet of clay and brings more problems than he solves. Someone is stealing Jon’s cargo. Someone else is trying to kill Jess and Jon. Cousin Hector alternately scolds and proposes.

In the middle of it all, Bonaparte escapes from Elba, Jon begins to suspect blood is thicker than water, and worst of all, learns it’s far too easy to fall in love with Jess…


Since the death of her parents Miss Jessica Fordyce has been the ward of a distant uncle.  As much as she loves the stubborn old man, she can't agree to his latest scheme to marry her off to his son who ran away from home years before.  She is making plans of her own. 
Captain Barnaby has made a good reputation for himself on the seas, and enjoys the life.  He has heard that his father is ill and taking the Waters of Blackhaven.  He has no intention of talking to him but just wants to see him. 
The main problem between our hero and his father is that they are far too similar.  Our heroine needs to think before she opens her mouth.  It keeps dropping her in to problems. 
There are wonderful characters in this story,  and a bit of danger to spice it up.  It is part of a series but easily read on it's own. 
Very good fun.  I loved it. 


Mary Lancaster's first love was historical fiction. Since then she has grown to love coffee, chocolate, red wine and black and white films - simultaneously where possible. She hates housework.

As a direct consequence of the first love, she studied history at St. Andrews University, after which she worked variously as editorial assistant, researcher and librarian. Although she has always written stories for her own entertainment, she began to make serious efforts toward publication in order to distract herself from a job she disliked. She now writes full time at her seaside home in Scotland, which she shares with her husband and three children.

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