by Jacqueline Navin

August 2004
ISBN: 0-425-19778-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

In the second of her Mayfair Brides series, author Jacqueline Navin introduces us to several memorable characters and also solves a mystery left hanging from the first book. She accomplishes all of this by writing a touching story about losing the great love of your life, moving on, and discovering that what you once had was meant to be after all.

Trista Fairhaven has a satisfying post at a London milliner along with her cousin Luci. They plan to purchase the shop from the current proprietress when she retires. Trista, a widow with a young son, lives with Luci and her husband David. When some customers venture into the shop one day, Trista receives the shock of her life. There, on the other side of the curtain, stands Lord Roman Aylesgarth, her childhood companion, her first love, and the man who broke her heart. Shocked into speechlessness, she immediately heads home, using sudden illness as an excuse.

Roman thinks he saw Trista Nash. After searching for her for years, he assumed that she had died. Now, seeing her in the workroom of a hat shop, all those feelings came rushing back. He had to speak with her! The shopkeeper and her assistants are adamant that no Trista Nash works there - was he mistaken?

The Heiress of Hyde Park offers us a three-for-one story. First, the stormy love of Roman and Trista, their reunion, second parting, and final outcome. Second, Trista’s acceptance into society as one of Lord Woolrich’s many offspring. And finally, the riddle of Robert Carsons, Lady May’s mysterious lover.

I enjoyed this book on many levels. While the premise is quite complex, Ms. Navin accomplishes all of these stories, and a few more, effortlessly. She weaves the elements together in seamless fashion, creating a rich tale full of emotion and original characters. The core element of Lord Woolrich’s offspring only serves to tie the books together, and further our acquaintance of Lady May and Robert. Any other author would have been content to write an entire book about Roman and Trista, but Ms. Navin offers us so much more. You do not have to be familiar with The Princess of Park Lane to enjoy The Heiress of Hyde Park, but once you read one, you will be looking for the other. Then we can all be on the lookout for The Beauty of Bond Street together!

Reviewed in July 2004 by Paula.

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