Once an Heiress

Written by Renee Ryan
Review by Sue Asher

Set in 1901 in New York City, this inspirational romance follows a one-time Boston socialite, Gigi Wentworth, as she tries to atone for running off with a fortune hunter, taking with her a family heirloom. Abandoned at the altar, Gigi pawned the jewelry to stay out of debtors’ prison. Since then, she has been secretly working as a lady’s maid in order to redeem the heirloom. However, she is found by an old friend, the perfectly correct Christopher Fitzpatrick–”Fitz.” A man with secrets of his own, Fitz has always loved Gigi, but is convinced she doesn’t return his love. He has not come for Gigi, but for the heirloom. Or so he believes. The two reconnect. Each discovers how the other has grown. As they find more to admire, they fall in love (again).

This is “clean romance,” and it’s charming. The plot incorporates elements of everyday dilemmas (aging/ill parents, business deals, debt, concerns about friends) to create an engaging world. Both hero and heroine are strong characters who own their mistakes and set about making things right.