She's been told there's a curse on her family... The Emerald Heart of Courtenay by Anita Stansfield (Review & #Giveaway)

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The Emerald Heart of Courtenay
By Anita Stansfield
Adult Historical Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 224 Pages
July 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications


The moment her father takes his final breath, Sarah Courtenay becomes the sole heir of her family's sprawling castle—and something far more unexpected. For on his deathbed, Lord Courtenay left his daughter a cryptic message: a dark curse will fall upon the house should Sarah fail to obtain and protect a priceless treasure. Sarah's astonishment upon discovering the carefully hidden sword sparkling with jewels is nothing compared to the shock she feels when she learns the true nature of her father's death: he was poisoned. And now Sarah herself might possess something worth killing for. Desperate to avoid her father's fate, Sarah flees the only home she's ever known, taking with her a loyal maid and a hired bodyguard who will stop at nothing to protect the beautiful woman in his care. From the safety of a remote farm, Sarah finds a renewed measure of peace and hope for the future. But the sinister weapon that glitters amid her belongings in that small farmhouse beckons a shadowy enemy, one who will not be deterred from taking everything from Sarah—including her life.

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My Review

THE EMERALD HEART OF COURTENAY is a story of loss, danger, friendship, and romance while a young woman flees to safety after her father's death when she finds her life is in danger. Those who are fans of Stansfield's other books will enjoy this one.

The beginning of this story starts right in to when Sarah is losing her father and is trying to come to terms with a secret he shared with her that she finds quite unbelievable. Then she finds that what he shared may actually be true and that someone killed him. She is sent away with a bodyguard for safety. The story moves at a steady pace with some pivotal moments to this point, but then slows down quite a bit as Sarah and her companions wait to see what will happen and if the murderer will be found. The story picks up again towards a somewhat climatic ending.

For the most part, I liked these characters. They were fairly straight-forward, not as complex as I would have liked, but overall they were easy to cheer on. I did have issues with the story being told to me instead of experiencing it with the characters. It easily lost my interest in places and I didn't find a lot of the dialogue or actions of the characters to be terribly realistic (such as hardly any dialogue between two of the characters as well as them not spending much time together and then all of a sudden they're in love; also calling the "police" when it would have been the magistrate or the highest ranking lord in the vicinity during that time period). The ending was very sweet.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a quick and light read with some suspense and romance. I wanted more development to the characters, story, and historical period, but I think some of that is the author's style, which may not be for me. Fans of the author will be sure to enjoy it.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review nor affect my review in any way.

About the Author

Anita Stansfield has been the reigning queen of LDS romantic fiction for nearly two decades, although her general market releases have been among her readers favorites. Her work has shattered the stereotypes of romance novels with her trademark ability to combine great storytelling with intense psychological depth as she focuses on the emotional struggles of the human experience. Her novels cover a huge spectrum, from the eighteenth century to the present, from heart warming to heart stopping. Hundreds of thousands of readers agree: Anita Stansfield's characters and the lives they lead are not easy to forget.

Anita is now also writing under the pseudonym Elizabeth D. Michaels. You can find her work on

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