Darjeeling Inheritance

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Pub Date 01 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2021


Darjeeling, 1930

After eleven years in school in England, Charlotte Lawrence returns to Sundar, the tea plantation owned by her family, and finds an empty house. She learns that her beloved father died a couple of days earlier and that he left her his estate. She learns also that it was his wish that she marry Andrew McAllister, the good-looking younger son from a neighbouring plantation.  

Unwilling to commit to a wedding for which she doesn’t feel ready, Charlotte pleads with Dan Fitzgerald, the assistant manager of Sundar, to teach her how to run the plantation while she gets to know Andrew. Although reluctant as he knew that a woman would never be accepted as manager by the local merchants and workers, Dan agrees. 

Charlotte’s chaperone on the journey from England, Ada Eastman, who during the long voyage, has become a friend, has journeyed to Darjeeling to marry Harry Banning, the owner of a neighbouring tea garden. 

When Ada marries Harry, she’s determined to be a loyal and faithful wife. And to be a good friend to Charlotte. And nothing, but nothing, was going to stand in the way of that. 

Darjeeling, 1930

After eleven years in school in England, Charlotte Lawrence returns to Sundar, the tea plantation owned by her family, and finds an empty house. She learns that her beloved father...

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ISBN 9781913687090
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Featured Reviews

Charlotte Lawrence has at last returned to her family’s tea plantation in Sundar after an extended stay in England for schooling. Instead of the warm homecoming she’s expecting, she discovers her father dies just days earlier. The plantation, and all its responsibilities are now hers. Even though there is an unspoken expectation that Charlotte marry a neighboring planter, she asks her plantation manager to show her how to run the plantation herself. In a dual storyline, Charlotte’s chaperone, Ada has married the owner of another tea plantation. This book is a sweeping saga set during India in the final days of the British Raj. Totally immersive

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A beautiful story studded with details and descriptions that really make you feel you are experiencing 1930s India and the tea gardens. It was obviously well researched.
The characters are well drawn and although the outcome is a bit predictable, albeit satisfactory if you like the characters, that doesn't distracte from the reading pleasure.

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I fully enjoyed Charlotte's Story.
Returning home from Boarding School to be met with tragedy.
She had to grow up from that moment.

Her journey takes her on one of love, self discovery, determination.

Her chaperone and friend Ada has her own dark story, who marries Harry a plantation owner.

The key men are Mr McAllister and his 2 sons. One of whom also has to grow up fast to meet his father's expectations.

Dan is running Charlottes farm, he is a great chap and is friendly with all of the people you meet in the book, including and expecially the servants.

Charlotte and her mother have a rather strained relationship, she is desperate to leave the past behind her.

An easy flowing book, thanks for the trip to India. Look forward to the next in the series.

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Wonderfully evocative about women and their situations at the end of the British Raj. One finds that she is the owner of a tea plantation following an inheritance. The other marries into the life of living and working on one. Two women on very different paths at a very difficult time in history. A difficult time for women everywhere, but for white, unmarried women in India at the time of the British Raj, particularly so.

Immersive and detailed and a novel I really enjoyed.

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My thanks to NetGalley and to Haywood Press for this advance copy.

The setting for this novel was what really attracted me. Having toured India many years ago and also having the good fortune to stay on a tea estate in Ceylon, allowed me to indulge in reminiscing my time in these wonderful countries. Liz Harris has written a lovely novel, with some stunning characters, and refreshing descriptions of the Darjeeling climate and fauna. Her research has paid dividends as she has ably related the processes involved for the production of tea. A relaxing read, well written with a sufficient amount of intrigue, albeit a predictable ending. The only minor criticism is that the novel is slightly long-winded.

Liz Harris writes in a similar style to Dinah Jefferies, another author I admire.

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Darjeeling Inheritance is a book full of Romance , Passion, Family Loyalties & the arrogance of the British in India & especially the communities in the Tea Gardens of the Hill Country .It is full of both light & dark characters & once the story ensnares you ,your caught & have to read every single word .#FB, #Instagram, #GoodReads, #NetGalley, # Amazon.co.uk, #50 Book Reviews, #Reviews Published, #Professional Reader

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This book dazzles with the exotic location and excellent writing! If you are an MM Kaye junkie like me, you won't want to miss this book!

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Lovers of Dinah Jefferies will eat this book up
Atmospheric descriptions of India combined with a brooding romance and a treacherous best friend
First book in a trilogy and so delighted to find that out and just didn’t want it to end

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As the title suggests this book is about a young woman who inherits a tea plantation in Darjeeling when her father dies unexpectedly. The story follows the first few months of this rather naive 18 year old learning about tea production and life in general. The "baddies" in this tale are women rather than men, despite this being very much a male dominated society (1930 colonial India). Entertaining.

Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the opportunity to review this book.

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Love the story line. Even though, at first I was wondering why the workers were conversing in Nepali rather than Hindi. Was it an historical accuracy? Turn out the reason was told in a backstory. A wonderful story that I feel everyone will love.

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She was left a tea plantation as an inheritance, marry and let a man take over it for her. She has decided she would like to learn how the plantation is run before she marries. How will this change how things should go for her?

I enjoyed the development of the characters in this story. This was a very good story, I enjoyed very much!

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Darjeeling Inheritance is a meticulously researched story set in Darjeeling in the 1930s. The descriptions are beautifully written and give the reader a real sense of the atmosphere of the place and the beauty of the landscape. The characters are well-developed and believable, each with their own problems and agenda.

Nineteen-year old Charlotte travels to India with her friendly chaperone, Ada, who is to marry Harry, a tea planter. On arrival at her beloved father’s tea plantation, Charlotte is shocked to find he died the previous day. His dearest wish was that she should marry handsome Andrew, the son of the neighbouring plantation owner. When Charlotte discovers her father has left her his plantation, she decides to wait before marrying a man she doesn’t know and learn about the manufacture of tea.

Dan, Charlotte’s plantation manager, patiently indulges her whim, knowing that a woman will find it near impossible to command respect by the workers. Over the following months, he learns to admire her dogged determination to master the skills required. The reader learns along with Charlotte and the careful research, treated with a light hand, makes this an interesting experience. Meanwhile, Charlotte evolves from a naïve girl to a young woman who knows her own mind, despite maternal pressures. Charlotte’s friend, Ada, initially looking forward to her new life, discovers how lonely life can be for a planter’s wife. She isn’t content to play bridge all day with the other wives and seeks out more diverting amusements.

Darjeeling Inheritance is a vivid and atmospheric story of secrets, guilt, passion and betrayal set in colonial India.

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The lush setting is the highlight of this book! The descriptions and details drew me in and I felt fully immersed in the story.

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Darjeeling in 1930 was a quaint little hill station in the Himalayas. The Britishers found the climate of Darjeeling conducive for tea cultivation. Soon many tea estates cropped up on the hills of Darjeeling.
Charlotte grew up in a tea estate in Darjeeling called Sundar(beautiful) with her parents. She returned to India from England after completing her education only to find out that her father had passed away with Sundar bequeathed to her. He wished her to marry Andrew, younger son of a fellow tea estate owner. Ada accompanied Charlotte on her trip to India and acted as her chaperone. Charlotte meets Dan Fitzgerald, the assistant manager of the estate who helps her in learning the ropes of managing the tea estate, much to the chagrin of her mother. What follows is a tale of love and betrayal.
It is a well-researched book with details of how tea is grown and processed woven beautifully in the narrative. The vivid description of the picturesque town of Darjeeling is captivating. Charlotte is a young girl who knows her mind and wants to preserve her family's legacy. Ada contrastingly is a deceptive and self-absorbed person. She doesn't give a second thought before backstabbing her friend and deceiving her husband. Also, the position of women in British society wasn't much different from anywhere else in the world. The role of women was primarily to raise the family. I would have appreciated an epilogue that I felt was missing and would have added to the appeal of the book.

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I was hooked on this story right from the first page, it’s an addictive easy read. The old empire depicted is spot-on, as it matches perfectly with the India an elderly neighbour once described to me: women in Britain really did marry plantation managers after just a couple of dates, and move to the other side of the world to be with them!
It might be a predictable romance but it is beautifully written, an exotic escape and the characters have good energy. In times like these, just what we need!
Many thanks to Haywood Press for the ARC in return for an honest review.

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Set in India during the 1930's, Charlotte returns home to her father's tea plantation in Darjeeling , to find her father had died just a few days earlier and he had left her Sundar, his wish was for her to marry Andrew Mcallister and merge the two families plantations.

Charlotte despite being a young woman of 18 that she wants to learn all about the tea plantation and processes, while courting Andrew.

Charlotte returned to India with a chaperone Ada, who turns out to be a right harlot!

Interesting read, lots of detail about tea, and the lives of the British community.

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Thoroughly enjoyed this story and didn't expect some of the twists and turns that appeared. The front cover is lovely.

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After visiting the tea plantation in Sri Lanka I was interested to get my hands on this book and see if there were any comparison. Loved it! Took me away with the description of landscape and scenery. Such a lovely book Interesting read, lots of detail about tea, and the lives of the British community. Fully recommend this book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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My thanks to Liz Harris, Heywood Press and Net Galley for the ARC of DARJEELING INHERITANCE.
I was automatically drawn to this novel because of its setting. Charlotte Lawrence returns to the tea plantation owned by her family in Sundar, India after finishing her schooling to discover her father has died and her mother is making plans to return to England and leave a country she clearly hates. Charlotte is surprised to learn that her father has left Charlotte the estate but has left a request that she marries Andrew McAllister the son of the neighbouring tea plantation that would secure all their futures. She doesn't know him so sets about to discover more about him under the gaze of her parent and his, both of whom are desperate for the union to go ahead. Yet although she has agreed in principal her reservations prevent her from taking the plunge and she realises there's more to a relationship than the friendship she has with Andrew.

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This is a vivid and beautiful story of falling in love with a person that is tied to falling in love with a place. Set in India, the book is full of life and color. It contrasts lightness and darkness, both in the world and in the human soul.

Our main character, Charlotte, returns to India after spending years at boarding school in England. She is met with tragedy upon her return. She must learn how to run her father's plantation while learning what love is. She is bullied by the times and betrayed by her friends. She learns what hard work is and what failure and heartbreak look like. But she surprises those around her and does not quit. She finds that happiness is found in the most unexpected places and with the people you didn't fully see.

I was gifted this to read by NetGalley as a Romance, and it is. But it isn't. It is a historical novel first with a touch of romance in the story. It is not so much about two people finding each other as it is a story of a young girl finding herself. The further I am from it, the more I remember, and the more I appreciate it.

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A very enjoyable book full of great descriptions about India and with wonderful characters you care about. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to be taken to the hot climate of India and where you'll meet some characters that become like your friends.

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Darjeeling Inheritance

by Liz Harris


Read in June 2021

After the Linford series (among other books by this author who's one of my favourites), I was looking forward to this new historical novel, and I'm now happy to say it completely lived up to my expectations. I greatly enjoyed following Charlotte as she learned all about running the tea plantation she'd just inherited, adjusted back to life in India after years away at school in England, and got to know Andrew, the neighbour her father wished her to marry. Even when some characters acted in a not-exactly-condonable manner, I really liked the way they were written in the chapters that reveal their points of view. And, although I don't drink tea and had therefore never given any thought to how it's grown and processed, I found myself interested in the information that Dan, the assistant manager, gives to Charlotte during the lessons she requested even if she's supposed to end up running the household and let her husband manage the plantation.

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At the age of 7 Charlotte Lawrence followed her father around the tea plantation in Darjeeling, inhaling his every word. He was the man she adored. Now 11 years later, having just returned from England, her education behind her, she comes back home. Arriving a day too late, Charlotte learns of her father's death a day before her return. More than distraught, Charlotte learns she has inherited Sandar, the tea plantation. Along with this, her father also requested she marry Andrew McAllister the young man whose family owns the plantation next to theirs...they would marry and bring the two plantations together. Thrown off balance, she wonders how can she marry a man she never met, doesn't know. Her knowledge of how to run a plantation is zero, yet she is resolved to learn. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done. It is 1930, there are standards that are unacceptable...women do not run plantations. Furthermore, not only are the times against her, living in India is also a place where women are not at the forefront. However, when Charlotte meets Dan Fitzgerald, the assistant manager of Sandar, she finds someone who will help her learn how to manage the plantation. It is her journey that the reader takes with Charlotte.

Well researched, well written this was an enjoyable novel. Although this is a work of fiction, there is something to learn about growing and processing tea that eventually finds its way into your teacup.! Yet, this is not a bland story, as there is betrayal and intrigue among the other characters.

My thanks to NetGalley and Haywood Press for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

To be reviewed on my blog https://bookreviewsbylulu.blogspot.com/, Goodreads and Amazon.

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Charlotte Lawrence loves living in Sundar. She follows her father around learning all she can about the tea plantation. It’s all she has ever wanted.

After eleven years in England, Charlotte has finished her studies and is coming home by boat with a suitable companion named Ada Eastman. Arriving home to find her father has just died and has left her the plantation with the current manager to stay on.

The current manager, Dan, is everything a good man should be. And while Charlotte’s father may have arranged for his daughter to marry his best friends’ son, Andrew, who is a lazy womanizer and gambler, Charlotte is a stubborn girl and intends to put off marriage as long as she is able to.

Her companion is married within days of setting foot in Sundar. To a much older man with money. And within days she is looking at Andrew like a juicy steak. All the while Charlotte has no idea and really doesn’t care.

She intends to learn everything about tea and follow her heart.

As a tea reviewer, this book was heavenly. I learned so much about growing tea and the history of the area.

A lovely read!

NetGalley/October 1st, 2021 by Heywood Press

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I really enjoyed this book from start to finish. It was more complex than the usual romance I was expecting , and all the better for it. Telling the tale of Charlotte, who has inherited a tea plantation form her father, in 1930. The vivid descriptions of Darjeeling are a sheer delight.

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This novel of love on a tea plantation is exotic and descriptive in its historical fiction. I received this novel as an advanced reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Charlotte Lawrence has spent eleven years at boarding school in England and she’s excited to be returning home to Darjeeling and her family’s tea plantation. When she arrives, the house is empty, her mother Winifred and father Charles are not home and she’s told the terrible news. Her father Charles died a couple of days earlier, from dysentery and she’s devastated.

Charlotte inherits Sundar, Dan Fitzgerald’s the assistant manager, Charlotte wants to learn everything she can about running a tea garden and Dan agrees to show her. It involves early mornings, really long days, delegating jobs to the workers and negotiating with old fashioned tea merchants.

Charlotte’s fathers wish is for her to marry Andrew McAllister, the younger son of Douglas, combine their plantations and create a tea dynasty. Charlotte’s only eighteen, she upset by her father’s death, and she doesn’t want to rush into marriage, she needs time to get to know Andrew and it’s a big decision. An English woman’s role in Darjeeling in the 1930's was to marry, have children and make friends in the small social group, would Charlotte be happy with this lifestyle and she wouldn't be involved in running the estate?

Ada Eastman, chaperoned Charlotte on the journey from England, she’s marrying Harry Banning and he’s a neighbor of the Lawrence’s and the McAllister’s. For Ada moving to Darjeeling is a chance for a fresh start, Harry’s a steady chap, she will have financial stability, and live close to her new friend.

Darjeeling Inheritance is a story about family, loyalty, expectations, friendship, romance, secrets, betrayal, and set in a beautiful location. I didn’t realize growing tea was so involved, I enjoyed how the whole process was included in the narrative and I’m a tea lover.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, a fascinating story, well researched, lots of descriptive information and four stars from me.

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Liz Harris presents an exceptional historical novel based on the life events of Charlotte Lawrence. The storyline provides an exceptional insight into the main character's emotional experiences but also describes the historical events of the time. The author offers a storyline attractive to readers who enjoy historical novels but focus on the difficult times and complexities people experience. The book provides a balance between the emotions of the main character but also the relationships she develops during a complex time in her life.

Harris presents the reader with easy reading but an interesting story where a person eagerly continues to the next page until the end. I definitely recommend this novel to people who enjoy history combined with an emotional but significantly intricate storyline.

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I love the atmosphere and setting of the 'Darjeeling Inheritance' - the writer encapsulates the sights and smells of the country brilliantly; I felt a huge sense of transportation and escapism when I settled down to read. I love drinking tea, so this part of the novel also interested me.
There's a mix of characters, some likeable and others not so; with themes of arrogance, romance, the female, patriarchy and guilt this is a great book for a summer read.
I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to other readers.

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4 stars

An interesting read. Set in 1930s India it evokes the old systems that were in place in the hill tea gardens. There is hypocrisy in the way a mistake is hidden and then attributed to another to protect the status quo. Charlotte is an ingenue heroine learning to find her feet. Dan is the tea plantation manager who is training her as the new owner. Andrew is the potential groom which will also amalgamate two tea plantations. Ada is the chaperone.
Charlotte's mother is fairly horrible, though her looses were great and thus the reader can understand her need to get away from India after her husband, Charlotte's father died.

I think it's going to be part of a series and it is set in colonial times for which the author gives a warts an all expose. I will probably look out for the others in this series. This is a new author for me.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own..

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Liz Harris has successfully transported me to 1930s India in her five-star novel set on a tea plantation in Darjeeling! I’ve read books set in colonial India before, but Harris has a superb gift in making life during the British Raj come to life. Harris’s strong sense of place, evident in her skyscapes, distinctive dialogue, syntax, as well as specifics of the 5 senses, helps readers effortlessly make the imaginative leap back into the fascinating world of the past.

Readers who love a strong female protagonist are going to love Charlotte Lawrence. Just as she returns to the plantation after 11 years at boarding school in England, the 19-year-old discovers that her father has died and left her the estate. His last wish was that she’d marry, Andrew McAllister, the good-looking son of the neighbouring plantation. Choosing not to be railroaded into a commitment she’s not ready to make, she throws herself into her plan to run the plantation single-handedly. The plantation’s assistant manager, Dan Fitzgerald, aids her in her quest. Can she hold off her suiter’s advances long enough to take the reins of the plantation? Or will she realize her ambition is too grand a scheme and relent to a partnership, loveless or not?

Robert Burns captured it best when he penned “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” On paper, Charlotte’s plan could be simply executed. However, when expectations meet the arrogance, greed, deception and lust of human nature, a carefully planned future gets re-written. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Flexibility and the ability to press pause often give us perspective and that is exactly what this heroine needs.

I was fascinated learning about India; communicating in Nepali versus Hindi, about plantation life, harvesting and processing tea, and the unspoken hierarchy that existed within this culture. I was swept away by the lush and exotic setting with its sandalwood, turmeric and cardamom, and the meticulously crafted and endearing characters. This is the first of three books in the series, 'The Colonials.'

This is a fabulous novel that needs to top your list come October 1st, 2021.

I was generously gifted this advance copy by Liz Harris, Heywood Press, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

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My rating:

Plot: 4 out of 5 stars
Writing: 4 out of 5 stars
Character development: 4 out of 5 stars
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Recommended for readers of:

Historical Fiction


Set in the beautiful remote hill station of Darjeeling, India during the 1930’s the book tells the story of Charlotte Lawrence who is returning home after she has been away for several years at a boarding school in Britain. Her homecoming does not turn at all out the way she expected, hoping to be reunited with her family and friends instead she returns to an empty house and soon learns that her father has passed away and she inherited Sundar the family tea plantation, It was also her father’s wish that she married Andrew the son of a neighbouring plantation. Determined not to marry a complete stranger, Charlotte buys herself some time to get to know her future husband and convinces Dan the plantation manager to teach her more about running a tea plantation.


The story is nicely written, set in a beautiful location which is described vividly and in great detail. Woven into the story was the explanation of the process of growing and producing tea, this added an extra layer to the story that was very interesting. The whole book has an authentic feel to it and appears well researched. The characters were interesting; their actions explained well, this made them realistic. This is one of those books that captures you from the start, transports you away to a different place and time and doesn’t let you go until the very end.

Review copy provided by Netgalley at no cost to me.

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An enchanting story set in the foothills of the Himalayas, the tea region of Darjeeling in the country of India a young girl discovering life and love in her childhood home of Sundar. It tells of the beauty of the Sunrise, the majesty of the tea gardens and the interesting history of how the tea is processed.

Charlotte grew up on the tea plantation in India, then as a young girl she was sent to school in England. After her father dies she returns to Darjeeling and the tea garden of Sundar. She finds she has inherited Sundar and that her father's wishes were for her to marry the son of the McAllister's and merge their tea gardens together. Her mother is anxious for her to marry so she can return to England as she has never liked India. Charlotte is not sure about any of it.

The story is that of Charlotte, how she learns about Sundar and how tea is processed. It is about her learning about life and her feelings and what she wishes in life as opposed to what other's have planned for her. Will she follow her father's wishes, or will she find her own way.

The book is filled with love, romance, beauty, but also betrayal and family secrets long left alone. In a small place where the servants know more about the family than their own family and where rumor is common and customs are rich we follow along with the Lawrence and McAllister families as the drama plays out.

It was an interesting read and I enjoyed reading it. I would recommend it.

Thanks to Liz Harris, Heywood Press, and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary copy of the book for my honest review.

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I really enjoyed this book. It's more of a romance novel than an historical novel, but it was a good story with compelling characters and a nice plot. A young woman, Charlotte, inherits a tea garden in India, and she's expected to marry the handsome heir to the tea garden next door. A wrench is thrown in the works by the chaperone who accompanied Charlotte back to India, a sultry older woman who has left England in disgrace. Passions ignite, and everyone ends up in a different bed than expected. This is great light reading for pure entertainment, but I also learned a lot about growing tea in the process.

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What could be more romantic than being an heiress to a family tea plantation in India, at the age of 18, and getting ready to your arranged marriage to the most handsome man in the neighbourhood?

A great book with the right amount of romance, a bit of intrigue and a chance to peep into the secrets of tea growing. The exotic location and the engaging writing style make this an unputdownable read even if it's not full of action. The first book of the Colonials series has absolutely convinced me to watch out for Liz Harris' other books.

My thanks to NetGalley and Haywood Press for this Advance Reading Copy.

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