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The Heiress - Review

I received an audio copy from MacMillian Audio and a digital from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley. All views are my own

The Heiress is my second book from Rachel Hawkins (the first being The Villa), and I'm starting to see a pattern in her written work. She loves duel points of view, from past to present, noticeable plots with a well-written twist at the end, and she also loves to add in what the fuck moments that will either throw your hands up in disbelief or grab more popcorn out of the dish. My reaction to The Heiress was a little bit of both.

"When Ruby McTavish Callahan Woodward Miller Kenmore dies, she’s not only North Carolina’s richest woman, she’s also its most notorious. The victim of a famous kidnapping as a child and a widow four times over, Ruby ruled the tiny town of Tavistock from Ashby House, her family’s estate high in the Blue Ridge mountains. In the aftermath of her death, that estate—along with a nine-figure fortune and the complicated legacy of being a McTavish—pass to her adopted son, Camden.
But to everyone’s surprise, Cam wants little to do with the house or the money—and even less to do with the surviving McTavishes. Instead, he rejects his inheritance, settling into a normal life as an English teacher in Colorado and marrying Jules, a woman just as eager to escape her own messy past.
Ten years later, Camden is a McTavish in name only, but a summons in the wake of his uncle’s death brings him and Jules back into the family fold at Ashby House. Its views are just as stunning as ever, its rooms just as elegant, but coming home reminds Cam why he was so quick to leave in the first place.
Jules, however, has other ideas, and the more she learns about Cam’s estranged family—and the twisted secrets they keep—the more determined she is for her husband to claim everything Ruby once intended for him to have.
But Ruby’s plans were always more complicated than they appeared. As Ashby House tightens its grip on Jules and Camden, questions about the infamous heiress come to light. Was there any truth to the persistent rumors following her disappearance as a girl? What really happened to those four husbands, who all died under mysterious circumstances? And why did she adopt Cam in the first place? Soon, Jules and Cam realize that an inheritance can entail far more than what’s written in a will––and that the bonds of family stretch far beyond the grave."


We have a typical story of the wealthy family being affluent in all of their glory, while there's one black sheep in the mix that's there to be a thorn in their side. In a triple POV tale, we're introduced to a deceased Ruby McTavish, her adopted son Camden, and his wife, Jules. Throughout the story, we get Ruby's "manifesto" of how and why her life turned out the way it did, all while figuring out why her son didn't want anything to do with it. And as the happy wife, Jules is here to push and discover why. There's murder, backstabbing, greed, blackmail, kidnapping … the whole works.


As typical as the story turned out, I enjoyed myself with this book. The plot was easy to guess, and I figured out the whodunnit easily, but how Hawkins weaved the story together made me stay for the ride. The star of the show was Ruby McTavish. Her background is a life of cunningness, and it made me admire how this woman went about things, even though she was considered a Black Widow. While reading bits and pieces of her life, I also wanted to know why her son Camden didn't want anything to do with Ruby and the McTavish fortune. I understand family members can be dicks (trust me, the rest of the McTavish's presence was like drinking warm flat soda), but I couldn't understand why he wanted to give up his inheritance. What was so damaging in his childhood that he felt he needed to walk away? I called the story's last main character, Jules, out from the jump. I didn't know what kind of role she was playing until we got to the end of the book. Everything about her screamed shifty and gold-digging, and nothing about her surprised me.


I checked out the multicast audio featuring Dan Bittner, Eliza Foss, John Pirhalla, and Patti Murin, so the story was pretty much even-paced. It was a quick eight-hour run. There wasn't a slow moment that entered through the text. I was disappointed about the ending, though. It was very lackluster and felt rushed as if the author didn't know how to end the story, and she was running out of time on her deadline. The ending was too convenient.


Overall, I rated this book 3-stars. The book wasn't very spectacular or suspenseful, but it was entertaining. Ruby was my favorite character, and I should probably seek a therapist afterward. I had no real problems with the book except for the abrupt conclusion. I thought there would be more of a build-up towards it or a bigger reveal, but alas. If you pick up this book, let me know your thoughts, and let's have a McTavish conversation.  

The Heiress debuts on January 9, 2024

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