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The Last Heiress

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  186 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Bestselling author Mary Ellis (A Widow's Hope) presents The Last Heiress, a new romantic standalone that intertwines the lives of a British manufacturing heiress and an American merchant caught in the turbulent time of the War Between the States.

When Amanda Dunn sets sail from England for Wilmington, North Carolina, she hopes to somehow restore shipments of raw materials f
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 1st 2015 by Harvest House Publishers
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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  186 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Family, war, obligation, love, loyalty.

This book started off great, but by the end I was just turning the pages. It just seemed to drag and that was such a shame. It's not like nothing was happening - there was so much happening - I just couldn't engage properly with the story.

So that's made it very difficult to review.

As much as I wanted to discover what would ultimately happen to Amanda it took so long to find out that in the end I didn't care so much. Which kinda sucks, because this
Lynn Spencer
D+ at AAR so maybe 2.5 stars here Anyone who reads my reviews probably knows I'm a sucker for historicals set outside the usual Regencyish fantasyland. However, no amount of fantastic setting can save a story that just isn't told well. And that's the problem with The Last Heiress. The last gasp of the Confederacy makes for a fascinating setting, but idiot characters flouncing around just don't make a compelling read.

So, what do I mean by idiot characters? Well, the first and greatest one we meet
I received an eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

To be fair, let me preface this review with a few things:
1) I am a Christian, and I really love Jesus.
2) I have read some Christian fiction, but admittedly, not a lot--so I don't feel as confident making comparisons or understanding expectations as I do with, say, mainstream YA fantasy, which I read a lot more of. However, there's a reason I wanted to read this--I do want to read more Christian fiction and disco
Well, I really wasn't intending to read this one just now. I've got others that I'm supposed to be reading, but I managed to hit "currently-reading" last night while trying to mark it as an owned book, and friends liked my status, so...I read it! What else am I to do with a snow day?

This is my first Mary Ellis book, and I did enjoy it. The characters were layered—some bad, some good—and even the amiable heroine has bouts of bad temper and spats with her brother-in-law, who is actually quite a d
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Maybe I didn't find enough of the war feeling I was expecting or "dire straits" situations but it lacked something for me. Mary Ellis is a fine author and I would read more from her but The Last Heiress wasn't what I was expecting. I thought I was going to read of Amanda and her struggles and perseverance and hardship to make a way for her father's cotton industry; but instead it was a lot of her not really doing much but "dating" Nate. My other qualm was Abigail and Jackson came across so unlik ...more
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Last Heiress is a pretty good read. I loved the plot and the character of Amanda. I loved reading the scenes with her and Nathaniel. I can't wait to read more historicals by Mary Ellis. 4 1/2 stars
“You wish me to board a ship and sail to America? The farthest I’ve traveled is across the channel to the continent.”
-Amanda Dunn

Thus begins the adventure of Amanda Dunn, sheltered and socially genteel daughter of a British manufacturing magnate. Amanda heads to Wilmington, North Carolina from Lancashire, England in the spring of 1864. Her mission is to try and restore trade between her family’s textile mills and the remaining cotton producers at this time during the Civil War. She travels wit
Karen R
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
When Amanda Dunn's father sends her across the Atlantic in an attempt to get cotton supplies flowing into Dunn Mills once again, she has quite an adventure in store; her outlook on life and love will never be the same. Landing in Wilmington, North Carolina as the War Between the States is coming to a climax in 1864, opens her eyes to many things around her, especially the issues of slavery and class distinctions. Business dealings quickly become complicated by her brother-in-law Jackson, who se ...more
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, reviews

Mary Ellis made me a huge fan when I began reading her Amish series…

The Miller Family series
The Wayne County series
The New Beginnings series

…but I never expected to become a fan of a Civil War series!

Mary Ellis writes wonderful Civil War romances — filled with excitement, danger and impossible to put down until you’ve reached the end!

She crossed the sea… to save a legacy…

This book is actually a stand alone, although it certainly fits into the “Civil War Heroine” category. Mary Ellis introduc
Mar 15, 2015 rated it liked it
'Heiress' had a pretty slow pace. Overall, I think the story is like a mixture of "Gone with the Wind" and "Pride and Prejudice". Slow, formal, set in the South during the Civil War, and the main characters deal with a lot of pride and prejudices. For a lot of readers, this would be fantastic. And if you loved reading "Gone With the Wind", than I think you would like this one as well. I, however, didn't enjoy that novel. So while I appreciated the storytelling, time period, length, and effort b ...more
Vera Godley
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a delight to read a book set in the town I grew up in, Wilmington, North Carolina. The time was the final days and months of the Civil War and the last remaining sea port for the Confederacy was about to fall. Fortified by Fort Fisher, the mouth of the Cape Fear River was just a few miles down river from Wilmington.

I learned bits and pieces of Wilmington’s history as I turned the pages of Mary Ellis’s novel, The Last Heiress. Well researched, I roamed familiar streets and recalled houses f
Cheryl Baranski
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Last Heiress, By: Mary Ellis
What a wonderful historical romance, set in the Civil War ear! It is so captivating. Mary Ellis has done it yet again, written another fabulous book! I could picture the grand homes, gardens and the stores in the story. There were characters that I loved and one that I felt like slapping at times. A story that was so well written that the characters were practically brought to life in the telling of this story. If you love historical fiction be sure to get your co
Well, this book started out pretty good, but I ended up speed-reading the last 1/4. The story just really started dragging to the point that I didn't much care how it ended. I hate to say that, especially since I did like it at the beginning-- thought it would be a 4-star book, but it didn't end up that way.
It took me way tooooooo long to read this book. The story wasn’t something that gripped me and had me coming back for more.

Amanda Dunn is on her way to North Carolina to look into cotton shipments to resume for her father’s business. However, the civil war is raging and the cotton is being worked by slaves, which she abhors the action of. And on top of all that, her sister and brother-in-law live there trying to survive during war times. Jackson Henthorne owns a shipping company who ships the c
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing Author!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gina Burgess
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Isn't it strange that sooo many books have The Last Heiress for a title?

This novel is very intriguing. Mary Ellis has woven an interesting storyline with definitely interesting characters. She develops the characters in a slow-cooker kind of way so that the reader can savor every nuance. Not too slow, not too fast. Just right. It will keep you turning pages.

There are quite a few characters to keep up with, and the two sisters get a bit tangled up at times, but their characters are q
Jalynn Patterson
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
About the Book:

Bestselling author Mary Ellis (A Widow's Hope) presents The Last Heiress, a new romantic standalone that intertwines the lives of a British manufacturing heiress and an American merchant caught in the turbulent time of the War Between the States.

When Amanda Dunn sets sail from England for Wilmington, North Carolina, she hopes to somehow restore shipments of raw materials for her family's textile mills, which have been severely disrupted by the American Civil War. Though there is n
Melanie McDowell
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was open-minded about starting a book with such an unrelatable title as The Last Heiress. Not knowing what to expect, I began this journey with Amanda Dunn and watched her change in a believable time frame. She had lived a life of privilege but was putting herself in a new and daunting position as being a spokesperson for her father's business, textiles, and had to be completely educated before she could represent him.

I was constantly comparing myself to her, as to the fear and apprehension o
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
British textile-manufacturing heiress Amanda Dunn sails from her home in England as her father’s emissary to try and restore the shipping of cotton to their mills that has been disrupted by the civil war and to check up on her twin sister, Abigail, who married an American aristocrat five years earlier. Upon arriving in Wilmington, North Carolina she finds herself in the middle of turmoil-filled war and is unaccepted as an equal in the world of business…because she’s a woman. Jackson Henthorne, h ...more
Lisa Johnson
Jul 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Title: The Last Heiress
Author: Mary Ellis
Pages: 352
Year: 2015
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Amanda Dunn is tasked with saving the family business and fortune when her father is too ill to travel to the United States to negotiate a contract to supply their British textile mills with cotton from the South. However, there is one little thing going on that hampers her efforts…the Civil War. The President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, has made it illegal to trade with England until England
Victor Gentile
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mary Ellis in her new book, “The Last Heiress” published by Harvest House Publishers takes us into the life of Amanda Dunn.

From the back cover: She crossed the sea to save a legacy…finding love was not part of her plan

1864 – Amanda Dunn set sail from England for Wilmington, North Carolina, hoping to somehow restore shipments of cotton for her family’s textile mills, which have been severely disrupted by the American Civil War. But when she meets Nathaniel Cooper, her desire to conduct business a
Ann Valdez
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Set in Civil War times, Amanda’s father’s mill in England is in need of cotton from North Carolina. While he is ill, he sends Amanda across the ocean to endeavor to find a way to have cotton shipped to the Dunn Mills in spite of the blockade due to the war in the States. Amanda studies to learn the business before leaving and sets off on her errand for her father. Her added bonus will be seeing her twin sister, Abigail, who had eloped and moved to the states. Abigail’s husband comes from a famil ...more
Dana Kamstra
Characters: Stubborn females seem to be a popular type of heroine in historical fiction, and Amanda Dunn is no exception to the rule. She is a genteel woman who has been thrust into an area that is typically handled by men. All of this during the era of the American Civil War. It is the stubborn streak that allows her to go against her brother-in-law's wishes both in matters of business and in matters concerning her heart. Amanda is also witty and quite intelligent, making her a very likable her ...more
Apr 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis is an historical romance novel. It is starts in 1864 in Manchester, England. Amanda is the heiress to Dunn Mills. Her father is not feeling well (and Amanda does not realize how ill he really is) and needs someone to go to the states and see about their cotton shipments. Amanda is looking forward to going as it will give her a chance to visit with her twin sister, Abigail. She has not seen her sister since she ran away and got married five years previously. Amanda ...more
Cheri Swalwell
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had the privilege of reading The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis. I love the talent Ms. Ellis has of taking us into a piece of history and making it real. This book was a standalone read yet compliments her Civil War series nicely.

I love how Ms. Ellis takes events from the past and helps me to see them through different eyes, reminding me that the facts we read about in history books have many layers to them. Very rarely is life black and white and the issue of slavery, while very wrong, had blurr
Marsha Spohn
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
The American Civil War was such a turbulent time in my country’s history. A country divided. Family pitted against family. So many lives lost. And while many wonderfully beautiful novels have been written about that time – in reality it was such a grey time. (not Confederate grey) But dark times, a war was in process for a just reason – no one should be held in slavery… and there is more than one type of slavery. The divisions went deeper than war, it divided people beyond our country’s borders ...more
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Last Heiress is part of the Civil War Heroines series by Mary Ellis, but stands alone. It's my favorite of the three books, both in story and character.

Set in 1864 and continuing to the end of the war, the story revolves around Amanda Dunn, the daughter of a English mill owner. When her father takes ill, he sends Amanda---the heir to his business---to Wilmington, North Carolina, to arrange for shipments of cotton held up by wartime port blockades.

Nathaniel Cooper is a shopkeeper from the mou
Lis K
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Amanda Dunn leaves England for Wilmington, NC in order to restore cotton shipments for her father’s mill business and to re-connect with her twin sister, Abigail, who she hasn’t seen in five years. Amanda studies everything about the business, determined she can get shipments re-started…even if she is only a female. What she’s not prepared for is living in a city during the midst of a civil war, not being taken seriously since she is a woman, seeing the lives of slaves, and meeting a storekeeper ...more
Robin Willson
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Upper class, lower class , slaves - does social status matter during a war? Or when you're in love?

This is an excellent Christian Historical Romance set during the Civil War, representing points of view from England as well as America. From a personal view as well as a mercenary view, how people live, who they depend on. It's apparent that the author did a lot of research. There was nothing simple about the Civil War, and that depth is brought to this story.

Amanda's family owns textile mills in
Sherri Smith
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm in the minority here, in which I was very unimpressed with this book. I selected this book to read, partially because of the book cover but also because the premise of the book sounded interesting. However, I fear, this is a time where the inside pages don't live up to the expectations set forth by the exterior.

The Last Heiress is about a young woman who travels from England to North Carolina, to find out if there is any way to get the shipments of cotton restored to her families mills. The
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Mary Ellis has written twenty-five novels. Her debut book, A Widow’s Hope, was nominated for a 2010 Carol Award. Living in Harmony, won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction while Love Comes to Paradise won the 2013 Lime Award. She is currently writing Secrets of the South Mysteries. Book one, Midnight on the Mississippi, was a finalist for the RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Award, ...more