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Seeing Miss Heartstone

Narrated by: Cat Gould
Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Miss Belle Heartstone - heiress and savvy businesswoman - needs a husband. Immediately. As in, yesterday would not have been soon enough. Her mother's attempts at matchmaking have been disastrous. So Belle decides to solve the problem her way - survey the market and purchase the best groom available.

Colin Radcliffe, Marquess of Blake - debt-ridden and penniless - needs a large infusion of cash. Desperately. Preferably cash that does not come with a wife attached. It is no surprise, then, when he receives Miss Heartstone's brazen proposal - her cash, his title, their marriage - that he politely declines.

But before he leaves her, Blake suggests something truly radical: Maybe before finding a husband, Belle should find herself. His simple words send them both on an unexpected journey, spanning continents and years, entwining their lives in ways neither could have foreseen. Can two lonely souls move past societal expectations and forge a unique life together?

©2018 Nichole Van Valkenburgh (P)2019 Tantor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Relaxing and enjoyable to read

I liked the narrator, there was no offensive language, or actions and the story constantly kept me interested. I also like stories written in this period.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

This book frustrated me and frankly annoyed me.

The first half of the book is pretty good, the story has an interesting premise, and the characters are generally likable. However, halfway through the story, it becomes cliche-ridden and melodramatic.

The premise of the story is that the heroine is a 19-year-old heiress who is being pressured by her mother and uncle to get married. She doesn't question this societal expectation even though she inherited her father's wealth (so she's independently wealthy); however, given the laws of the time (1816), the moment she marries, she loses any independence. So, why would she marry? I think she's being portrayed as intellectually mature, emotionally immature.

The heroine then decides to take matters into her own hands and find a husband of her choosing, so she proposes marriage to a marque who is in dire financial straights, but by her own investigation into his background is a good man. However, he doesn't want to marry someone who he doesn't know just for money, unlike most aristocrats, as he inherited the title from a distant cousin, so we assume he was raised with middle-class values. He then points out to the heroine that as an independently wealthy woman, she should embrace her independence and ability to be whatever she wishes to be, that she should find herself. Clearly he's very mature, and his words have a lasting effect on the heroine.

To thank the hero for his advice, she decides to invest in this venture he wants to do in India (in order to raise the capital to pay off the debts of the title he inherited). However, she does so anonymously. The hero accepts once he thinks he's figured out who the anonymous investor might be (his sister's father in law). Over the next seven years, the two begin a correspondence that makes them not only business partners but also best friends.

This is all fine; the premise is a little shaky but interesting and somewhat original. The problem with the story is that it begins to collapse somewhere in the middle. The heroine has been agonizing for years about revealing the truth of her identity to the hero, but once the relationship grows, she finds herself unable to tell him the truth as they get deeper and deeper into their partnership and friendship. Fine! We can overlook this even though it's been seven years.

The real problems begin when he returns to England, and she still doesn't reveal her true identity to him. She meets him, and he doesn't recognize/remember her, and she doesn't clarify this to him Further, he writes to her that he knows who she is and will visit her in Bath (where he thinks his friend is living) and she doesn't say anything about this either — allowing him to make a fool of himself with someone else.

Now, I haven't mentioned that she has fallen in love with him through their correspondence. So not only is she his friend, she has romantic feelings for him and still doesn't have the decency, to be honest with him and tell him the truth about how they met and their long-distance friendship partnership. He begins to form an attachment to her when he returns and meets her in London, still not knowing who she is, and she still waits months to tell him the truth. And this is all happening in the most cliche/ melodramatic setting possible.

I had to keep skipping forward because I couldn't take the heroines mealy-mouthed behavior. This is supposed to be a woman of industry who over the years has matured and become self-possessed, so self possed by the way, that she tells potential suitors that she's not interested in them before they can begin their suit. In the nices, most charming way possible, of course. She's supposed to also be this great philanthropic person, so like Mother Theresa, except that she's a dishonest prick to the man she supposedly loves, who is also her best friend!

I rarely write reviews for books I don't like, but I really hate it when a book that had the potential to be a sweet (not too deep) romance turns out so poorly because the author wanted to extend the angst in the worst possible way.

My advice would have been to have the heroine reveal the truth as soon as she knows he returns and build the angst through her trying to repair the damage she did to their friendship by deceiving him this way. Throughout this, his romantic feeling for her could grow as he gets to know her as a person and woman. This also would have given the story the much-needed depth it well, needed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I absolutely love Nichole Van's writing!

I've read this book as soon as it was available and was excited to see it was an audible book as well. Since I'm a huge fan of Nichole Van's writing and her previous books, I really enjoyed this one.

Her characters are so quirky and fun and the dialogue between them is laughable at times. Great story, sweet romance (no steamy-have-to-fan-yourself-to-cool-yourself-off-scenes) and great characters.

The narrator was just alright, not great however, it didn't take anything away from the actual story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Splendid

I have listened to many many audiobooks and by far, this is one of the very best I have read. It has such a wonderful and original story line. It isn’t loaded with sex scenes, and in fact doesn’t have any which is so refreshing! Sex scenes get very very old and in so many books it looks like authors just cut and paste the same old sex scene from one book to another and another. I very rarely take the time to provide a written book review, but this book is worth my time and writing about! BRAVO!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unique Plot

I love this author's writing. She has unique plots.
Title: Seeing Miss Heartstone by Nichole Van

Narration: by Cat Gould, Rating: 3

If you have not read a Nichole Van novel then this is the place to start and then you can delve into her previous published, wonderful novels. This novel has such a unique premise of a Regency Era miss who is very business savvy making her way in a male dominated world. Not letting her heart rule but listening to it, she waits for her turn at love. Colin needs to make his fortune so that he can support his Marquisette before he can even think of marriage.

Truly a delightful read/listen. Highly recommended!!!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story but way to long!

Loved these two main characters and their story. I would have preferred less over thought of the characters feelings though. The elaborating thoughts took out the mystery from my own imagination and made the story lag on.