After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother.
Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt's Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men--Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother's tragic death.
However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems...and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn't who she thought at all.
My thoughts: I have heard (and I won't say by whom) that Ms. Crandall's writing style is very disjointed and stilted. It is. It doesn't flow well at all between scenes and the wording is very formal. However, it is a regency and maybe (just maybe) that is the way people actually talked back then. I don't know. A lot of regencies I've read do use formal language. Some don't. It is also headache inducing with the same thing being hashed over and over and over (but I did the same in my first book.) And as rude as Amaryllis is to Nathan I wonder why he even bothered with her. I did love Aunt Claudia though. She was fun and entertaining.
I am glad that Ms. Crandall didn't start out with a death -- yay! -- though in a way she did as it starts with Amaryllis being expelled from music school where she was a "higher level student". But I'm rather confused as to why she was in music school at all as she admits she cannot read music and plays by memory. (My children's music teacher would shudder!) The secrets behind Amaryllis and Nathan's father were rather predictable when they finally were revealed. Maybe it was just me but I saw it coming from the beginning. However, as a writer, I know how these things work and it may not be so obvious to anyone else. I also really liked Nathan. He was a nice guy, a true hero. Very patient. I LOVED him. There is absolutely zero sexual tension between the hero and herione, But some readers like knowing that books are super clean and suitable for preteens, teens, etc as well as adults. I enjoyed the faith message. THE HESITANT HEIRESS is written in first person, which I did notice initially, but it didn't bother me. I loved it. It was rather nice to experience a first person historical. If you like regency romances set in America (Boston), then Ms. Crandall's book might be one you would enjoy. 3 stars.