Bestselling author Madeline Hunter begins a brand new historical romance series with a mystery inheritance from an eccentric benefactor, a roguish investigator and a secretive widow.
There is no love lost between Chase Radnor and Minerva Hepplewhite. In fact, Minerva is slightly delighted to whack Chase over the head when he sneaks into her home. She still holds some rather negative feelings for Chase, seeing as he previously accused her of murdering her late husband. But now he’s tumbled back into her life to inform her that she’s inherited a fortune, and from his very own uncle no less.
Why? Well, no one seems to have any idea. While Minerva is grateful for the financial windfall, she’s also perplexed by both the duke’s decision and his death, leaving the unlikely pair to put aside their differences to find some answers.
Minerva is a lively, independent heroine. Readers will fall in love with her the moment she decides to tie up and interrogate Chase for his intrusion. She’s frequently exasperated by his needling and the fact that he looks so good doing it. As an investigator, Chase has a natural disposition for solving puzzles and to him, Minerva is a puzzle yet unsolved. He isn’t sure he can trust her, but respects her intelligence and know-how and sees this as a large advantage in finding answers regarding his uncle’s death. Expect to have a goofy smile on your face for a bulk of the book as the two go head-to-head, while slowly learning to value the other.
Heiress for Hire feels like a mix of Knives Out (minus the hunky Chris Evans in a cable knit sweater) and Clue, with a touch of “Scooby Doo.” It’s an entertaining whodunnit with a slew of entertaining side characters and suspects. Thankfully, the mystery elements only enhance Minerva and Chase’s slow burn. And let’s talk about this slow burn, which is worthy of the ultimate chef’s kiss. After an an initial period of suspicion and mistrust, Chase and Minerva’s working relationship is built on respect for one another’s intellect. They’ve clearly made snap judgments about one another without truly considering how the other would feel, especially with Chase’s prior accusations against Minerva. The underlying mystery is the perfect catalyst to get them in close quarters and allow their strengths to shine. It’s a gradual and wonderfully agonizing seduction that will leave readers begging for these two nerds to just kiss already.
This fantastic beginning may be Hunter's best series starter yet. With its memorable characters, a murder mystery and a perfectly paced romance, Hunter is at the top of her game in Heiress for Hire.