English aristocrat Hal Sheldon dies in a car crash in which his American fiancée Jillian Gallagher manages to survive. The last word Jillian hears Hal whisper is Kate. Jillian escorts Hal's corpse to England for a proper burial. His family treats Jillian with utter contempt, going so far as to insist he was to marry someone else.
Jillian obsesses over the name Kate. She needs to know who the woman is that graced her deceased fiancé's final breath. She turns to Hal's cousin Alex Preston for help. As they work to uncover a mystery, they begin to fall in love. However, Jillian must wonder if she trusts Alex with her heart as he is part of a family who hates Jillian because they blame her for causing their beloved lad's death.
Readers always celebrate the release of a new Brenda Joyce novel. The audience holds the author's tales in high esteem because of their terse romantic suspense story lines that leave fans clamoring for more works by Ms. Joyce. Her latest thriller and her first contemporary, THE THIRD HEIRESS, centers on Jillian's needs to do something besides her all alone, unrelenting mourning after total rejection. She selects the mystery of Kate to keep her mind off her loss followed by guilt when she realizes she loves her deceased fiancé's cousin. The mystery is entertaining and the suspense rapidly mounts into a terrific climax. As good as Ms. Joyce's plot is (and it is excellent), this novel clearly belongs to the intrepid heroine.