Read The Mysterious Heir by Edith Layton Online


THE EXQUISITE PRETENDERIn dress, manner, and speech, Miss Elizabeth DeLisle seemed every inch a leisured lady. No one could guess she had been forced to take a position in trade—or that she had come to the Earl of Auden’s estate to entice him into naming her dismayingly disagreeable cousin Anthony heir to a fortune that she then could share.But Elizabeth had stiff competitTHE EXQUISITE PRETENDERIn dress, manner, and speech, Miss Elizabeth DeLisle seemed every inch a leisured lady. No one could guess she had been forced to take a position in trade—or that she had come to the Earl of Auden’s estate to entice him into naming her dismayingly disagreeable cousin Anthony heir to a fortune that she then could share.But Elizabeth had stiff competition for the Earl’s imperious favor…from the schemingly seductive Lady Isabel Courtney and her odious little boy, Owen…from the implacably upright Richard Courtney and his unfortunate honesty…and from the memory of the Earl’s first wife, who had made him despise women who deceived.Elizabeth knew she could never reveal the truth to the Earl—even when she forgot about gaining his fortune and began losing her heart…....

Title : The Mysterious Heir
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451126795
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 220 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Mysterious Heir Reviews

  • Mary - Buried Under Romance
    2019-04-03 03:15

    Now that I have read most of Layton's regencies and have added a good few of them to my heart, I am going to see how this book stands with a re-read of three years. Re-read: I appreciate more how the plot points were undertaken, and certain hurtful actions that had to be done in order to flush out the despicable villain (he truly was). I shed tears at the earl's first marriage to a nymphomaniac, and his resulting distrust in women. It all ended when shy and endearing Elizabeth broke through the barrier to his heart, and I even enjoyed the secondary characters more. :) The Earl of Auden receives notice of an impostor raking up debts claiming to be his heir (which is impossible as the earl doesn't know who his heir is) and decides to invite his three possible heirs (all distant cousins) and pick the least worst of the lot. That include an extremely stoic young man, a gluttonous boy who is unfortunately disliked by many, and lastly, a young man who is given to radical ideas (opinions inclined towards Bonapartism). To keep the last young man in check, his cousin Elizabeth accompanies him to the earl's house. The earl himself does not want to marry due to his catastrophe of a previous marriage and having received war wounds to his leg which he believe will put people off. Now, as it becomes increasingly clear that none of the three possible heirs are fit to become a future earl, and the earl is finding the company of Miss Elizabeth extremely delightful, could he possibly consider making his own heir?Overall, The Mysterious Heir was an entertaining and emotional read; The characters were all enjoyable and had their own stories in the beginning, which were all revealed and resolved nicely at the end. The ending is especially charming, and reminds me just why I like Edith Layton's books so much.

  • Linda
    2019-03-27 03:15

    Embittered by a failed marriage and women in general, Morgan Courtney, the seventh Earl of Auden, was in need of an heir. He considered three male relatives and invited them to his estate in the country. Owen was a child, Anthony was ten and seven and Richard was a twenty-something man. All of them were in need of money and a title but for different reasons. This traditional Regency included some light suspense. The 'Earl' had a benefactor, James Everett Courtney: 'the man who never was'. His identity unknown, his purpose was to harass Morgan. Unfortunately, it wasn't difficult to identify the man once he was introduced. Miss Elizabeth DeLisle was the unofficial guardian of Anthony Courtney and a mild romantic interest of Morgan's. I might have enjoyed their relationship if the two characters had spent more time with each other. For the brunt of the story, Morgan had a rock chip on his shoulder and abundant trust issues. He spent too much time dwelling on the past. Most of the time I enjoy Edith Layton's older Regencies. Nothing ever comes easy for the protagonists and I usually don't have a problem with this. In fact, I enjoy the angst. But this time the dots didn't connect. Sadly, The Mysterious Heir was not a favorite. 2.5 stars

  • Pauline Ross
    2019-04-10 07:31

    I got off on completely the wrong foot with this one. The very first scene introduces the reader to a curmudgeonly gentleman, sitting huddled beside the fire with his very much needed walking stick, massaging his gammy leg (an old war wound) and railing at the rain. Naturally I assumed he was a very elderly gentleman, and took the young man, fair of form and face, who bounds in later, as the hero. Not so. The curmudgeon turns out to be thirty or so, an earl and indisputably the hero.Then I was tripped up by the Earl having to meet three prospective heirs and choose one from amongst them. Excuse me? On what planet did any titled Regency gent get to choose his heir? He might leave his property where he liked (if it wasn’t entailed), but the title followed very strict rules. So I was struggling in the early chapters with both misdirection and historical blunders.Neither of the main characters really grabbed me by the throat, so to speak. The Earl continues to act the curmudgeon for most of the book, and in his dealings with Elizabeth, the heroine, there’s an edge almost of violence sometimes, that really made me dislike him. He also treats her with unspeakable cruelty at the end, and no, not telling her what’s going on ‘for her own good’ is not an acceptable excuse. And she’s an idiot sometimes, but she probably had more of an excuse than he did.However, there’s a lot to like about this book. There’s plenty of humour, there are some delightful minor characters, like Bev, the gay friend of the Earl, Anthony, one of the heirs, who is a huge fan of Napoleon, and another heir, Owen, a podgy foodaholic. The writing is excellent and the plot unfolded at a stately but enjoyable pace. The villains are idiotically obvious, but subtlety isn’t a prerequisite for this kind of book.What saved everything for me was the development of the romance, which blossoms very, very slowly over the whole course of the book. I’m a sucker for a believable romance, and the author is skillful enough to infuse the whole thing with romantic fairydust which, in the end, outweighed the less likable aspects of their characters. And there was enough tension in some of the hero and heroine’s scenes to keep me avidly turning the pages. Four stars.

  • Jackie
    2019-03-30 23:25

    An earl without an heir invites three distant cousins to visit and "interview" for the position. The cousin of one of the potential heirs comes along to make sure her 17-year-old cousin Anthony, who likes to spout his love for Napoleon and other radical causes, does not scuttle his chances as soon as he arrives. Anthony and Elizabeth's secrets lead to many misunderstandings, both angry and humorous; the earl, who has been burned by having a promiscuous wife, is suspicious of Elizabeth, but ends up falling for her anyways.I don't think one can choose an heir to one's title, although one could certainly choose an heir to one's property, if the entail hadn't been renewed. Hard to believe Layton didn't know this, since she is so knowledgeable about other aspects of the period.Another example of a Layton novel with a far more interesting hero than heroine. And though Layton traffics in misogynistic stereotypes (the now-dead lusty wife), she also calls them into question (when she hears about the woman, Elizabeth pities her rather than condemns her). And Layton continues to refer, or at least hint at, male homosexuality; the earl's best friend, Lord Beverly, seems to be gay (he's "not in the petticoat line," enjoys befriending Anthony, and grows jealous when Anthony takes up with a new male visitor to the earl's country estate). These two things pique my interest, and make me want to keep reading more of Layton's stories.And I'm continuing to enjoy Layton's strong, at times deliberately literary, writing.

  • Desi
    2019-04-03 07:36

    Been in the mood for light good humoured, non-distracting fare lately as I am super busy atm, and this pretty much fit the bill. Nice clean oldie, no awkward uninspired page-padding sexscenes before the characters have any emotional connection as has become the norm. Although it is kind of ironic, I suppose, that the story delves lightly into the tribulations of sex addiction. Sweet story overall with no unnecessarily dragged out misunderstandings. Everyone came clean in good time about whatever lies they were perpetuating and all confessions were taken in good spirits with logical reactions rather than righteous anger. Basically an unfolding house party is the setting. Whatever minor quibbles like traveling without a chaperone and not seeeing the possible impropriety of attending a party as an unmarried female with only a cousin of similar youthfulness etc. can be easily overlooked. Most of the characters were quite endearing. I liked the Rolly Polly little boy who ate incessantly throughout the book quite a lot.

  • penelopewanders
    2019-04-25 05:26

    Something about Layton's style simply appeals to me, novel after novel. This one is a neat little tale of a young woman sent along with her cousin to try to keep him in line while he is being more or less interviewed for the role of heir to an Earldom. The twists and turns are relatively predictable, but it's a good story with interesting characters. A shopgirl and someone who is pro-Bonaparte make rather a change from the average characters of these novels.

  • M.A. Nichols
    2019-03-30 04:32

    Ugh. This book sorely disappointed me. It doesn't help that I keep hoping to find something I liked as well as her book "The Duke's Wager", but this one was really disappointing.Most of the book was pretty bland. Nothing particularly amazing about it, but the ending was so ridiculous and melodramatic that I just couldn't believe it ended so awfully. I could see the bad guy coming from a mile away. There wasn't a single plot twist I didn't see coming, but the way it all came out in the end just seemed unnecessarily complicated. Even taking the crash landing away, the book really itself was lack-luster. The premise itself is implausible--the rules of inheriting a title are strict and there would be no "deciding" on an heir.The heroine was the same fragile but strong, witty but shy, devastatingly beautiful but doesn't know it (and has low self-esteem), adventurous but naive heroine this author has had in all her previous books. There isn't any real distinction between them. The hero is slightly modified, in that he isn't a rake, but other than that, he's the same. He's bitter and resentful towards women and doesn't trust them as far as he can throw them.While this doesn't follow the same formula as the first two of her books, there really isn't anything particularly standout about it, either. If you can get past those things, the rest of the book is pretty forgettable. There are some cute scenes, some witty banter, and a happily ever after, etc.I don't know if I can read another of her novels ever again. They've gotten progressively worse and move further and further away from what I loved in her first novel, which was great character development.

  • Cara
    2019-04-06 02:36

    I really liked The Duke's Wager (favorite!) and I think Edith Layton was an excellent writer. This regency didn't please me as much as TDW, which did a fine job of portraying the flawed but attractive ultimate winner. Instead, in The Mysterious Heir, the hero, Morgan,spends too much time reflecting on his past, terrible marriage (he's now a widower). The situation set up in selecting an heir seemed unlikely, to say the least. And the heroine, Elizabeth, never really came into focus for me: for a 23 yr. old, she sometimes seemed to have confidence, sometimes not; sometimes acted demur, other times ran around hallways in her night clothes much too cluelessly. I wanted to like her, but so far I think Layton writes/wrote heroes better than heroines. The ending was satisfactory. A good regency, but not a favorite. On to Layton's The Abandoned Bride!

  • Camy
    2019-04-25 01:41

    This looks like it was the author's second book, and the writing is very elegant. She drew me in to the story and made the hero very sympathetic right off the bat.There were a few things that bothered me enough to pull me out of the story a few times, but on a whole, an entertaining story. By the end, I didn't want to stop because I wanted to find out how it ended.

  • P.
    2019-04-25 06:43

    It's a good read, a bit melodramatic, the ending particularly so, but nicely written and so enjoyable.

  • Frances
    2019-04-08 00:38

    Another one bites the dust, just did not hold up to a 5 star second time around.

  • Kathy
    2019-03-27 01:25

    Predictable but quite charming. Someday someone should do a thesis on class structure in regencies. The main character in this one is really money.