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The Heiress of Winterwood

(Whispers on the Moors #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  8,500 ratings  ·  1,016 reviews
Pride goes before the fall . . . but what comes after?

Darbury, England, 1814

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an ancestral estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s infant baby. She'll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father, Graham, a sea captain she’s never met.

Tragedy s
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Thomas Nelson
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Piepie ha ha you're so right!! Just started reading this book and I looked at the other two books in this series and I think they're all that way, lol. …moreha ha you're so right!! Just started reading this book and I looked at the other two books in this series and I think they're all that way, lol. (less)

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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  8,500 ratings  ·  1,016 reviews

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Start your review of The Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers on the Moors, #1)
May 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Regency fans who like Christian books
Recommended to Anne by: Virginia
I will admit that I am the first one to be taken in by beautiful covers. Yes, I do judge books by their covers, even though I should know better. Shame on me.

I was hoping this would be a solid five star read, but I'm not even sure why because I didn't really know what to expect. I only read the blurb right before starting it, and was like "Oh!". I think I was expecting a sort of Jane Eyre -ish romance (because of the cover!), or something along the lines of Edenbrooke or The Silent Governess, b
Karen Witemeyer
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sarah Ladd's debut is wonderful! Readers who enjoy Jane Austen will get swept away in this dramatic tale of courage and conviction. The writing was superb and the plot kept me turning pages. I thoroughly enjoyed getting lost in Ladd's Regency England, especially since this book avoided the usual trappings of London and the ton. I found Sarah's voice fresh and intriguing and her story rich.

My only critique is that the romance took a back seat to the external conflict and that there were a few ins
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Just okay

I wish I would have realized that this was a Christian romance novel before I bought it. I would have skipped it entirely because I get annoyed with all of the scriptures and praying thrown into the story. I think religion and fiction don't mix well, but that is just a personal preference. Take out all the God talk, and it was a cute period romance.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it liked it
A Christian historical romance set in 19th century England that will definitely entice readers that enjoy Janette Oke and Jody Hedlund. It might have been a tad melodramatic and include a lot of scenes where the heroine and hero are running to each other's houses, but it was still the type of book that I devoured in one sitting. ...more
Randi Annie Framnes
When Winterwood heiress Amelia Barratt’s friend dies in childbirth, she feels compelled to propose to the baby’s father, Captain Graham Sterling. He refuses her proposal. Danger follows. The baby Lucy is taken hostage and a large sum of money is demanded for her release. Amelia and Graham must work together to find the culprit and free the baby.

The Heiress of Winterwood is the first installment in the Whispers on the Moors series by Sarah E.. Ladd, published by Thomas Nelson. The story is set in
Deanne Patterson
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I finished this so quickly. I just couldn't put it down. It captured my attention from the first page and kept me speed reading through it devouring every word. My first, Sarah Ladd book but definitely not my last ! ...more
Noella Baird
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very well done! I really enjoyed this Regency Romance and this is my first time reading a book by Sarah Ladd. I am looking forward to reading the next 2 books of this series.
Tedious and predictable. Of course the message about trusting God’s plan is a good one, but the plot and writing are so dull that everything becomes mired down in the monotony. For a book that takes place in England, there is a very poor sense of place, and the characters consist mostly of one-dimensional figures plucked out of Christian fiction central casting. (I guess we are supposed to root for Edward, but he didn’t seem like much of a catch to me.) All the guys are dashing with high cheekbo ...more
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Desperate Proposals, Desperate Retaliations

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

TYPE OF NOVEL: Traditional Regency Romance

SETTING: Darbury, England 1814

SERIES: Whispers on the Moors #1


- I found Sarah E. Ladd’s books on a list for “If you like Jane Austen and Regency romances, you should try…”
- The covers for this series are gorgeous! Yes, I do judge books by their covers sometimes! 😉
- Julie Klassen, an author whose books I love, is quoted on the cover!


Amelia Barrett is in
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars
Can we just talk for a moment about the Reading Group Guide at the end of this book? Setting aside even why this book needs a reading guide, question 1: "In this story, Amelia risks everything-her future, security, and reputation-to keep a promise to a loved one. Have you ever had to give up something to keep a promise?"
Like, how are you supposed to answer that?! "Well, this one time, I wanted to stay in all evening and read, but I promised to grab dinner with a friend. So, basically,
Rebekah Gyger
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
I had to force myself to finish this. Nothing really ever happened. Constantly, I was told that something happened (Graham was injured in a battle, Lucy was kidnapped, they are searching for her, there was a fight), but you never really see any of it. It was more like watching a movie that keeps skipping in the player. The description of a fight was truly, "With every muscle still tense and alert from the previous skirmish, fresh fire surged through his veins. Within moments, fists were once aga ...more
Rachel Brand
Note added 17/04/13: When I wrote my initial rough draft of this review, I mistakenly talked about an incident between Amelia and Edward where he was drunk, when actually I meant William. Hopefully this review makes more sense!


When her close friend dies shortly after giving birth to a daughter, Amelia Barrett vows that she will raise the child and care for her until her father returns from the sea. It is nearly a year before Captain Graham Sterling comes to claim his child, and Amelia has gro
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: regency
A solid regency book by Ms. Ladd. Perhaps not the most memorable books I have read, but in the end they tell a compelling story and keep you turning the pages. The story line of both main characters having to lean on God and each other to survive is one desperately needed more often these days; it shows how much a man and a woman must work together in a marriage. Again, as with others, I liked Captain Graham because of his calm demeanor and the strength portrayed. If you have not had the chance ...more
I really had high expectations of this book.I thought it would be like Edenbrooke by Donaldson or something by Sarah Eden. I think that was part of the problem, my expectations were too high. I like a book where there is a lot of banter and scene between the main love interests and you didn't get that in this book. This book was very wordy and that worked well in some scenes and not in others. But I think if I had to point to one thing that bothered me the most was I didn't feel connected to the ...more
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For whatever reason, I enjoy watching regency era stories rather than reading them. Shocking, I know. BUT, I really really liked this novel!! This is one of the first regency novels I’ve read since Lori Wick’s English Garden series from my high school days. I loved the plot line and the dashing hero. I kinda wished they had gotten married sooner to make it a true marriage of convenience story, but that’s just cause I’m a sucker for those.😊 It was my first Sarah Ladd novel and I’m already excited ...more
✨ Gramy ✨
This book was recommended by my daughter. I found it an enjoyable adventure with realistic characters, mysterious twists and plots, growth in the characters, and an experience of gratitude for miracles.
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book! I am so glad that it is the first in a series. Very impressive for a debut. That first chapter . . . . . what can I say? I was hooked.
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Amelia Barrett, orphaned and raised by her uncle's family, stands on the cusp of inheriting Winterwood Manor its assets -- but only if she marries by her twenty-fourth birthday, a deadline approaching in just two months' time. While her family has encouraged her engagement to Edward Littleton, soon to be her uncle's business partner, Amelia resists. She dreams of a life where she controls her future, free to care for Lucy, the orphaned babe left in her care at the passing of the child's mother, ...more
The Lit Bitch
This was a charming romantic read. The plot sounded unique and I love the setting on the moors. I have not read anything by Sarah Ladd before, nor have I read a lot of Christian Fiction, but I’ve had my eye on this one for quite some time.

The obvious first thing to stand out about the book is the stunning cover. I’m positively in love with it! But what really caught my eye about the story was the unique plot…..a woman plans on marry her best friend’s widow to keep a family for the child…..that’s
Kate (The Shelf Life)
I'm really starting to get into the regency setting.I haven't read a whole lot from this period, but it has started to grow on me. I never was a huge fan of Jane Austen's books...they were a bit dry for me. The movies, I'm good with. I guess I stayed away because I was worried I would feel the same about the modern author's version of the time. Thankfully, my fears have been dispelled.

I've been hearing wonderful things about Sarah Ladd's debut novel, The Heiress of Winterwood, so I bought it sho
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People NOT familiar with Regency England
Recommended to Alyson by: Andrea Day
I have read a lot of Jane Austen fan fiction in my day, and if this is not at least a little bit a work of fan fiction I will eat my own bonnet. It is set in 1814 and it involves a sea captain. I'm thinking Persuasion fan fiction, at least at its roots.

The story was interesting enough that I finished it in a few days. Hence the two and a half stars, just for pulling me through. But it suffered from nearly every weakness of fan fiction I've encountered—
• Poor editing. Words used repeatedly in clo
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books
Review on Amazon:
Review on my blog:

4.5 stars

The Heiress of Winterwood was a very good read! The story completely blew me away! I believe this is Sarah E. Ladd's debut novel, but I wouldn't have been able to tell that by reading the book.

The Heiress of Winterwood starts off with a good prologue, but it was the first chapter that really grabbed my attention. I could tell Amelia was a great woman right away. I loved h
Charity U
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found this a delightful book, full of a fast-paced adventure with a dash of mystery and a sweet romance added in. It was in the spirit of Julie Klassen’s newest, The Tutor’s Daughter – they were actually set in fairly similar settings. Heiress of Winterwood also reminded me of other Regency novels – fans of Jane Austen will enjoy this one, I think. The story flowed very smoothly, although the second half especially was filled with an exciting mystery and all manner of twists and turns. The fir ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was good, but the writing style tried to be more of the era, and I don't think this was very successful.
There were times that reading felt awkward and stilted, particularly in the beginning of the story.
Once the writing settled in, then the story was good.

The ending, while satisfying, did leave some issues unresolved.
I don't know if they will be addressed in the coming books in this series, because they were with some of the minor characters.
I would have preferred some type of epilogu
Melanie Kilsby
A determined promise. A valiant Captain. A tangled web of debt, doubt, faith and hardship makes this book an interesting read.

Some of it was slow paced. But, I think it may have been because I read it as an audio book? Well, the end of this book, actually, solidified my rating!

Recommended as an Adult Historical Christian Book.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-challenge
I was whisked away to Darbury, England in 1814. The details are stunning! Amelia and Captain Sterling's relationship is passionate. The danger and intrigue kept me turning the pages. This is a must read! ...more
Lady Delacour
The Heiress of Winterwood
published in 2013 must have
been Sarah E. Lads first book.
It had an enjoyable plotline
but, at times the dialogue
was eye rolling, raspberry
blowing and just plain corny.
A lot different from her 2019,
The Governess of Penwythe Hall
2 Good Plot Stars.
Listened with TTS.
100% Clean.
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
About this book:

“Pride goes before the fall . . . but what comes after?
Darbury, England, 1814
Amelia Barrett, heiress to an ancestral estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s infant baby. She'll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father, Graham, a sea captain she’s never met.
Tragedy strikes when the child vanishes with little more than a sketchy ransom note hinting to her whereabouts. F
Marian Baay
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2013
Amelia Barrett must marry before her 24th birthday to inherit her fortune, including the Winterwood estate. After her parents died, her uncle became the master of Winterwood until Amelia would marry. Her uncle has found a suitable match in Edward Littleton, but there is one thing they don't agree on; nine months ago Amelia promised her dying friend Katherine to take care of her baby Lucy. Amelia loves the baby as if she was her own child, but Edward doesn't want to take her in after they get mar ...more
Age Appropriate For: 15 and up for mild violence and thematic elements

Best for Ages: 16 and up

Just when you think that authors have exhausted a theme and there is no way that they can writer something unique, someone like Sarah Ladd comes along and shakes it up.

When I started reading The Heiress of Winterwood I thought I would have a cute book that was much like many other marriage of connivance books I had read. Half-way through the book, the book was nothing like what I thought it would be. I
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Other books in the series

Whispers on the Moors (3 books)
  • The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whispers on the Moors, #2)
  • A Lady at Willowgrove Hall (Whispers on the Moors, #3)

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