Some spoilers for The Lady Tempts an Heir ahead
Harper St. George‘s third novel in The Gilded Heiresses series, The Lady Tempts an Heir, is finally here, and it’s the kind of remarkable storytelling you hope for, especially for a fan-favorite character. The novel follows Maxwell Crenshaw and Lady Helena March in their fake engagement that leads to the kind of romance neither could’ve ever expected. Something about the two and their sizzling chemistry will make it impossible to put the book down.
After a six-month gap from The Devil and the Heiress, when Maxwell and Helena go off to find Violet and Christian, the two form an attachment while the burning longing between them continues to stay afloat. The Lady Tempts an Heir could’ve been a perfect book if only we’d gotten more of their time on the carriage—as someone who’ll always adore forced proximity and the vulnerability that tends to surface in such circumstances, I was a bit disappointed when I realized there’s a bit of a time-jump. Still, the openness and longing during their time together were enough to keep me invested.
Right from the start, it’s clear that Maxwell and Helena are kindred spirits in how they view the world and the honor they choose to abide by in their work. And while I’m essentially torn between which book is my favorite between this and the second, it’s always rather fascinating to have a widow in a second chance relationship, as that is still one of the rarer tropes. And even more rare is having a barren woman who cares so fervently about children, but the book doesn’t paint anything wrong with the tragic circumstances. It’s a devastating part of life, but it is never the woman’s fault, and having Max defend that so fervently was refreshing to see.
St. George also mentions my all-time favorite Jane Austen quote, “If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more,” which automatically makes this book worth appreciating. It cements their adoration so well that readers can sense how much Maxwell and Helena are drawn to each other because the pull between them is “too precious to go away.”
Their story is intriguing largely due to a hero who’s willing to grow and a heroine who is set in her ways without feeling like she’s othered. Max’s adoration for his sisters and the detail that he’s willing to do anything to ensure that they’re happy and doing what they love remains a standout trait, placing him in the category of the Bridgertons and the Hathaways.
The character complexities were incredible to read, and the love story was captivating with every moment the two shared. Their obstacles feel believable, and no part of the story feels like it’s dragging on with drama that doesn’t fit. They’re each allowed to be great individually while showing readers that their relationship allows the best to come forward. Additionally, St. George’s style has evolved significantly with every book she’s written, making each much better than before. The emotional bits hit as much as the deliciously evocative pining—a solid 4.5 stars, The Lady Tempts an Heir was well worth the wait.
Further Recommended Novels: The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews