by Bertrice Small

October 2005
ISBN: 0-451-21692-X
Reviewer Graphic Button New American Library
Trade Paperback

Elizabeth Meredith's only goal in life is to be mistress of Friarsgate and lead a quiet life there raising her lambs. She is the youngest daughter in her family and balks at finding a husband as her sisters have. Her family wants her to go to the court of King Henry VIII to find a suitable match. Despite an attraction to the handsome Flynn Stewart, Elizabeth comes home to Friarsgate still single. The only lasting alliance Elizabeth gains from her court visit is a friendship with Anne Boleyn, who hopes to become Queen of England if Henry can set aside Queen Katherine of Aragon.

Back at Friarsgate, Elizabeth becomes re-acquainted with Baen MacColl of Scotland when he returns to learn more about the skills that have Friarsgate a successful enterprise. Baen is the illegitimate son of a man whose estate in Scotland is not doing so well. As the attraction between Baen and Elizabeth grows, Elizabeth is concerned that Baen's loyalty to his father may threaten their blossoming love.

Although this novel is the last in the Friarsgate Inheritance series, it is a lively story that stands well on its own. Ms. Small's meticulous research brings this era of drama and intrigue to vivid life. It seems the common people of that time had a much better chance at love and happiness than those such as the ill-fated Anne Boleyn.

Elizabeth is a strong, intelligent woman who is not afraid to give her heart. Her love of life and family make her all the more appealing. Baen is a strong hero, who has had to overcome his past. He now must make hard choices about his future.

The Last Heiress is another perfect blend of history and romance from an author who knows how to keep her legion of fans both satisfied and wanting more in the future.

Reviewed in March 2006 by Roberta.

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