Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Review - - An Heiress to Remember

An Heiress to Remember: The Gilded Age Girls Club
by Maya Rodale
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Reviewed by Hellie 

Can a scandalized heiress…

Beatrice Goodwin left Manhattan a duchess and has returned a divorcée, ready to seize control of her fate and the family business. Goodwin’s Department Store, once the pinnacle of fashion, has fallen from favor thanks to Dalton’s, its glamorous competitor across the street. But this rivalry has a distinctly personal edge…

And a self-made tycoon…

For Wes Dalton, Beatrice has always been the one—the one who broke his young heart by marrying a duke, and now, the one whose cherished store he plans to buy, just so he can destroy it. It’s the perfect revenge against a family who believed he’d never be good enough for their daughter—until Beatrice’s return complicates everything…

Find happily ever after at last?

While Goodwin’s and Dalton’s duel to be the finest store in Gilded Age Manhattan, Beatrice and Wes succumb to a desire that has only deepened with time. Adversaries by day, lovers by night, both will soon have to decide which is sweeter: winning the battle or thoroughly losing their hearts…


Hellie’s Heeds 

This book is AMAZEBALLS. You guys, the Gilded Age Girls’ Club series is a brilliant series; and I think Maya’s best series. But this series has it all: the era of women coming into their own and taking their power, the start (or so it feels) of all the best stuff women love being loved and appreciated, and happily ever afters.  

And yet there is something subversive about this particular story (and perhaps the whole series). Mind you, romance novels are already subversive in that they are books written by women for women for their pleasure and enrichment. (It’s why romance novels tend to be so maligned.) But Maya takes it a step further. Generally in a romance novel, the hero, as all rabid romance readers know (and I do, I’m a rabid reader), the hero is always someone rich, powerful, preferably titled so the heroine can be safe/truly loved. After all, you can’t believe in a happily ever after if you’re poor as church mice. Or can you?  

Wes Dalton--the love Beatrice, the heroine, left behind--is now the rich, powerful, most important man in New York City. He is clearly now Romance Novel Hero material, which he wasn’t sixteen years ago. Beatrice has just returned from England in a scandal because she just divorced a rich, powerful DUKE (the epitome of Romance Novel Hero material) to come back home. All Beatrice wants is to run her father’s store, to bring it back to its glory again. Wes wants to ruin the business of the family that destroyed the one wish he ever really had: to marry Beatrice. Revenge is always a delicious plot conflict device, yes?  

Yet it soon becomes clear that even though Wes is now worthy Romance Novel Hero material, it is not enough to win fair Beatrice. Why? Because as it is revealed in a humble few paragraphs right before Beatrice chooses love, a modern romance heroine needs to own her heart and mind, to know her heart and mind; and above all, she needs to be able to leave at any time and support herself respectfully because only then can she know she is choosing to stay because of Love and not anything else.  

Dude. Maya Rodale is my new romance author hero. I grant you the more modern romance novels from my favorite authors have given me similar themes and words of wisdom, but this particular story spoke to me. I could relate to Beatrice’s hesitancy to leap into another marriage, even for love, out of fear of losing herself. Women do it everyday. We’re even expected to, I believe; and we even expect it of ourselves. But this book...WOW. And in the end, Dalton becomes a modern day feminist in the best way. He truly is Romance Novel Hero material, all while trying to give all his wealth away. SUBVERSIVE. Well played, Maya, well played.  

And if you’re not like me and don’t want to write a master’s thesis particular to this series about feminism and the romance novel, you can totally enjoy this story on its own merits of being a story. There are complex loveable characters, plot points keeping people apart in a valid way (and when you realize why her mother doesn’t like Dalton--WOW! Just, wow!), and sexual tension and love galore. I hope Maya writes more stories in this era and location because I think there should be more romances about the New Woman, a reminder of how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go, all while finding our Happily Ever After. 



  1. Thank you for the review. This sounds like a good read.

  2. This was a really good book that I enjoyed very much. Thanks for sharing your review.

  3. I have enjoyed her stories - sounds like a good one!

  4. Thanks for the great review. I've put this on my "wish list".

  5. Thank you for this review. I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.