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Runaway Heiress – Syrie James + Giveaway!!! – Austenesque Reviews
Jul 112018

Leaving the Regency Era Behind!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’ll read whatever Syrie James writes. After adoring her biographical fiction novels about Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, I did not hesitate to read her two vampire-inspired novels, even though vampires were not (and are still not) my thing! And wow, did I love those epic and passionate tales! Now once again, Ms. James is bringing me into new territory – a Victorian-era romance set against the fascinating backdrop of England during the late 1880s! A time where titled aristocrats with crumbling family estates were bankrupt and happily marrying American heiresses eager to join the aristocracy.

In this first installment of this series readers meet Alexandra Atherton who is running away from her mother and trying to get back home to America. It appears Alexandra’s ambitious and social-climbing mother has accepted a marriage proposal on her behalf to a detestable and disgusting Viscount. But Alexandra’s flight does not go as planned and after a series of unfortunate mishaps she is left without belongings or funds and at the mercy of strangers. She does not have any money for a ticket home, but Alexandra is determined to do what it takes to avoid her mother’s domineering machinations even if it means practicing deception and using a false name…

But it appears that Alexandra isn’t the only one who is deceiving others…Alexandra’s rescuer, Thomas Carlyle, a lowly but talented artist has some secrets as well…such as the fact that he is an impoverished earl that paints portraits to support his ancestral home. In an effort to help each other, Alexandra accepts a temporary position as a governess to Thomas’s two sisters (who apparently have scared off several governesses before) to earn money for her ticket home. The only problem is…Alexandra is not a governess and has little experience being one! Can she keep up the deception? Should she reveal to Thomas who she really is when they start to establish a closer relationship? What happens when the truth comes out?

Oh! What a riveting romantic adventure! I absolutely adored our hero and heroine in this tale! From the very first page I was hooked in and fully entranced by their stories! I love how outspoken and fearless Alexandra is – even when she is acting as a governess, she isn’t afraid to speak up and ask for better books and meals for her charges. And I greatly enjoyed her relationships with Thomas’s sisters and the reading material she encouraged them to enjoy (Jane Eyre and Jane Austen fans will be pleasantly surprised!)! Furthermore, I took pleasure in our mysterious and broody earl, and I enjoyed discovering what events from his past and upbringing made him that way. However, what truly was the best was seeing these two characters share moments together – their intoxicating chemistry, their mesmerizing attraction, and the consuming fire that burns brightly when they are together. It was sublime!

In addition, I loved the setting and historical backdrop of this story. I loved learning about this time period and understanding the social and economic struggles of this time. I’m sure there were many overly ambitious mothers like Mrs. Atherton who would sacrifice their daughter’s happiness for a chance to become one of “Mrs. Astor’s 400.” And whether due to the shift towards industrialization or the negligence of previous generations, I’m sure there were many estate owners facing the same struggles the Earl of Langford faced. I loved how Ms. James not only chose to write in such an interesting time period, but also interwove the challenges and changes of this time so seamlessly into her story.

With her new release, Runaway Heiress, Syrie James delivers a compelling and exhilarating romantic adventure that is sure to charm and engage readers and lovers of historical romance, full of simmering chemistry and wonderful homages to Austen and the Brontës. I could not put it down!

Note: Recommended for Mature Audiences due to the inclusion of a few intimate scenes and descriptions.

Second Note: Even though this book does not have strong connections to Jane Austen or anything Austenesque I thought it still might be helpful to review it here for readers who, like myself, are fans of Syrie James. 🙂

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In a fortuitous turn of events I happen to have a second copy of Syrie James’s new release – Runaway Heiress – in paperback and I thought it would be fun to give this lovely book away to a lucky winner from this blog!

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about my review!

  • This giveaway is open to US addresses.
  • This giveaway ends July 18th!
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  47 Responses to “Runaway Heiress – Syrie James + Giveaway!!!”


    I was hoping you’d review this book, Meredith! Like you, I will read ANYTHING Syrie James writes. I love her work. Your review has nailed it for me – – next time I order from Amazon, this book is being added to my cart.

    Thanks for the excellent review and the giveaway opportunity. And congrats to Syrie on her latest and greatest!


    I too love Syrie James and will be adding this one to my TBR pile!!! Your review was so full of praise and enjoyment that just jumps off the page! Thank you!


    Syrie Jame’s novels are a pleasure and captivating. Thanks for your wonderful review which I enjoyed greatly.


    Well your lovely review certainly makes me want to read this. Thanks for sharing and for a chance to win.


    I’ve never read any books by Syrie James so thank you for introducing her to me. The book sounds interesting.


    The “riveting romantic adventure” caught my attention! This sounds like a great book! Lovely review!


    I love romance in the Victorian age and Syrie is one writer I know can keep my interest. Can’t wait to read this one!


    wonderful review–sounds intriguing


    I have read nearly all of Syrie James’ books, and every one of them was sheer brilliance!! This one looks just as wonderful, so I’m definitely hoping for a copy!!!

    A delightful review, Meredith!! Thank you!! 😀

    Susanne 🙂


    This sounds interesting. I sometimes stray from Austen but not very far. I’ve read more non-JAFF this year than ever. I think it refreshes the brain to read something different every once in a while. I would love to read this. This was a neat review and you piqued my interest. Thanks for hosting and good luck to everyone in the give-a-way. Say hello to Mr. Bingley for me.


    I’m so behind in reading what I’d like of Syrie James’ works. Darn. I love the runaway bride/hidden identity trope and for me it works great most every time. For some reason especially when there are unhappy children with their naughty antics and/or fears and grief to overcome by the ‘new governess.’ This one sounds so good and I’m looking forward to reading it. Wishing everyone luck in the giveaway. And best of luck, Syrie!

    I remember fondly the group read of Syrie James’ The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen you organized a couple of years ago, Meredith. I know the planets have to align and all that, but someday I hope you can do it again. It was a new experience for me, and one I would do again if I were available…in a heartbeat.


      Yes! I quite agree, Michelle! It is such a fun premise to explore and I love the whole “assuming a disguise/having a big secret” plot devise. Syrie did a great job implementing it in her story. 🙂

      You are so sweet to remember to group read! I am very touched that you enjoyed it. Maybe we will have to try it again sometime!


    I love Syrie James books and I wish her all the best with this one. It sounds like a brilliant read.


    I would love to win this giveaway. I love Syrie James’s writing, and I love Historical Fiction. Of course, I love a romance too.


    I really like Syrie James and have this book on my TBR List. It looks like a really interesting book.


    I haven’t read anything from this author yet. I’ll gave to add her to my TBR list because this books sounds like fun.


    Thank you for the wonderful review, Meredith. I, too, agree that any book by Syrie James does not disappoint. The book sounds like a great summer read, and I always love learning about other historical periods besides Regency England. It sounds like Mrs. Atherton and Mrs. Bennet would definitely compete against each other! Thank you for your giveaway.


      Thank you for checking out my review, Eva! Definitely a great choice for summer! 🙂 Oh the would indeed. It would be interesting to see who would win in that match!


    I’m not usually much for Historical Romances, but this one sounds fun! I love Syrie’s NOCTURNE so it wouldn’t surprise me if I liked this one!


    I love Syrie James! Your review is wonderful – it sounds like James has another winner of a novel!


    I was already excited about Syrie’s newest when I first saw it online. I appreciate your review and positive feedback… thanks for hosting and posting the giveaway opp !


    Thank you for the review Meredith! Sometimes I need a break from Darcy and Elizabeth and I do love historical romances so it’s good to know what is out there and what is worth reading. Your review made me put this author on my list (I know….shame on me, but I never read anything from Syrie James).


      Thanks so much for reading my review, Rita! Usually most of of the non-Austenesque books I read are ones I seen reviewed or recommended from friends. It is a great way to learn about new authors. 🙂 Syrie’s books are great! If you ever wonder which one to start with, let me know!


    I’ve loved everything that I’ve read by Syrie James and I look forward to this one. Thanks for sharing your review!


    Love Syrie James! And I love the romance plot of the American heiress in England trope. This sounds like a delightful romp of an adventure!


    I’m also a fan of Syrie, though I haven’t tried the Vampire books yet … maybe I’ll add one to my reading mix, since you liked them (I’m also not a vampire girl). I’m intrigued by this one, especially since Victorian era was my first love (before Jane and the Regency swept me away) 😀


    Wonderful review. Another Syrie fan here. Definitely added to my TBR.

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