I would not want to have paid full hardcover price for The Heir. It is not poorly written, but it is very dull, the characters are flat and I sometimes found myself in a trance as I read it – and not a pleasant one.
I have placed The Heir in the regency period. I’m making a guess here. Lindsey does not specify the period, but the characters talk about The Season, and the ton and Duncan the hero is able to undress Sabrina the heroine with a minimum of trouble, so I am supposing it is the regency where one did not have to get tangled in hoops during an assignation.
Sabrina Lambert is in town to have a Season. She is pretty and of a good family, but gossip has it that her family is cursed. They all seem to kill themselves for no good reason. Never mind that Sabrina’s parents died of food poisoning and her aunts are very much alive, she is a Lambert and the Lamberts are cursed by bad blood.
The tale of the Lambert curse is kept alive by Ophelia Reid, the current toast of the ton. Why? She’s a bitch, and she loves to spread gossip. Ophelia is not happy herself. She has been engaged by her family to Duncan MacTavish, a highland Scotsman who is the heir to a Marquis. Duncan is not happy either. He loves his highland home and does not want to marry a stranger.
When the fickle Ophelia sees Duncan, she at first rebuffs him as a barbarian, but then changes her mind and decides she wants to marry him after all (he will be a marquis don’t you know.) But Duncan has met Sabrina and is charmed by her kindness and love of the outdoors. However, Ophelia makes sure he knows all about the Lambert curse and Sabrina’s lack of money.
There are complications and misunderstandings before the HEA, but I confess that I was mostly bored all during the book. Sabrina and Duncan are very flat characters with not much personality. Duncan is described as a big tall man with red hair sort of like Jamie Fraser from Outlander. Duncan, I’ve met Jamie Fraser. Duncan, you are no Jamie Fraser. Also, having a Scottish character talk in constant brogue does not give him personality. Duncan remained a one-dimensional character.
Sabrina was even worse. She was bland as could be. Sort of like vanilla pudding without the vanilla. She was not stupid, she was not feisty, she was not fiery, she was – blah.
The love scenes were also dull. There was no fire, no passion, no sense of connection at all. I’ve given it a Warm rating because there were a couple of love scenes, but I have read traditional regencies with a Kisses rating that had more warmth, passion and sexual tension than this.
If you really are a Johanna Lindsey fan, you will probably want to read this, but I suggest you wait for the paperback or borrow it from the library. As I said before, I would hate to have to pay full price for this. It was not a bit memorable and I found myself hard-pressed to finish it.