Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Inheritance by Nora Roberts
Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Series: The Lost Bride Trilogy #1
Published by MacMillan Audio on November 21, 2023
Genres: Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Romantic Suspense
Length: 13 hours, 51 minute
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
806: 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 yes, 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…
Inheritance, the first book of the Lost Bride’s Trilogy is right up my ally. It is a mashup of romance, suspense, some paranormal activity and a mystery two centuries in the making. In a glorious gothic mansion that just oozes “I’m haunted vibes”, the story starts to take shape on the curse that lives in this house and all the people it has affected. Our heroine is the last person in a family line who has a chance to break the curse and not end up dead herself.
Sonya was planning her wedding until she found her fiancé in bed with another woman. Her future plans may have been destroyed and everything she was working for thrown up in the air when a bombshell shows up in the form of an inheritance from an uncle she never knew she had. Her father’s twin has passed away and left her a gorgeous historical house next to the sea. The catch? Well, there are a few. She must live in the house for three years to fully inherit, it might be a teensy bit haunted and Sonya is the last of her line with a chance to break the curse.
I enjoyed this story. It takes some time to develop as we are getting everything set up for the trilogy. Discovering the history of the house and some of the ghosts in it fascinated me. I also loved how Sonya finally came to accept the haunting; she is a practical person and in her normal world the idea was ridiculous. But there are just some things that cannot be denied and the entities in the house are one of them. The romance is cute as Sonya and the son of the lawyer handling her inheritance, Trey, spend some time together and feel those first inklings of something between them. Over the course of a few months, they have some time to settle into the beginnings of their relationship.
There are some other great characters in this sleepy little town. I love the small town feel of this gothic style romance. Cleo was so much fun; she has been Sonya’s best friend for such a long time but unlike the straight laced Sonya, Cleo feels the haunting in the house immediately and is enchanted by it. She is ready to join her friend in this new experience as Sonya wanders through the discovery of details of the curse that has affected so many generations of this family.
The town, the burgeoning loves and of course, the ghost mystery, drew me in and as the story really started to pick up speed towards the end I was on the edge of my seat. The disappointment was only that this installment of the story was coming to an end and I would have to wait with the rest of the readers for what comes next as the entire trilogy looks devoted to solving this mystery. I think we may get a few more romances than just Sonya and Trey as things look promising for Cleo in the love department too. I for one am super excited with that ending to see what else Nora Roberts has in store for us. I will definitely be looking into some of her catalog for the other works she has in the fantasy romance vein.
Brittany Pressley is a prolific narrator with over 500 titles under her belt and it shows. She has cadence, volume, emotion and diction down pat. All of the characters are distinct and all of them feel so real. I know I enjoy when a narrator helps bring the characters to life. Brittany did a great job and I found myself drawn into every word of the story. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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