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The Third Heiress Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jul 2006

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press (1 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312974191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312974190
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 3.1 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,322,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


When her mortally injured fiance whispers the name "Kate" on his deathbed, Jillian Gallagher decides to investigate and uncovers a mysterious woman who died a century earlier and may be the key to the accident.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Jun. 1999
Format: Hardcover
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.

Harriet Klausner
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By nassia on 27 Dec. 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although I read the greek version of it, I really enjoyed it. Jill and Alex made a perfect couple, I am glad they ended up together after all that they had been through. Well written, I enjoyed it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 79 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not the usual fare. 27 Oct. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I picked up "The Third Heiress" because I have always enjoyed Brenda Joyce's works. This book has more of a suspense edge to it; as do a lot of romances now.
The problem with The Third Heiress is that the principle characters and their motives were not established early on in the book. One hundred pages into the book, I was still wondering what was going on in the book and why I should care.
Going to a fiancee's funeral with his bitter hateful family, seeing a photo with the name "Kate," and her last name on the of it does not make for a compelling mystery or much of a drama. Believe me, I did not stay up all night reading this one. There was no reason to. I did not like any of the characters, or care what happened to them.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This broke my heart 16 Nov. 2005
By Love to read - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't like to read books where the "good guys" lose. Kate was such a lively character and in spite of the fact she disappeared nearly 90 years ago, the explanation of how she "ends" was horrible! Edward never found happiness and was estranged from the son he should have loved more than life itself. Anne's complete transformation to a hateful woman was hard to believe. Alex falling for Jill was tough to swallow, as she lost control of the car that killed his cousin. Hal's obsession and stalking of Jill was never fully explained. The ending was not only unsatisfying, it didn't bring closure to the "Kate" mystery. Pick up another one of Brenda's books to read...
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
What happened to Brenda Joyce? 22 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I first would like to say that I was a true Brenda Joyce fan. For anyone who read "Promise of the Rose", you know what I am talking about. I love all types of romance ---comtemp. hist. funny. suspense, ect...Unfortunately, this book, "The third Heiress" did not live up to the hype. I felt no emotional involvement with the characters at all. There was nothing about Jill for me to want to read about! The mystery was lacking and I did not care for the whole "Who am I" plot line. It was played! I know Brenda Joyce has written five star books before, I have read them. This book fell short. I hope she can lure me back with something better in the future.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
If You're Looking For ROMANCE, This Isn't It 22 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've read EVERY book written by Ms. Joyce, and I was desperately waiting the release of this one. Unfortunately, I am currently about 300 pages into it (almost finished) and I am heartbroken. If you are planning on picking this up, expecting another incredible love story full of romantic turmoil and strong passionate characters, THINK TWICE before you buy. Ms. Joyce does a wonderful job writing contemporary suspense and mystery, but there is NO ROMANCE to speak of. I am proud of her ability to break into a new genre, but I am saddened that this book lacks the passion and fire her others (like "The Game" and "The Conqueror") are famous for. 200 pages into it, and there still hasn't been an intimate scene between the heroine and the man you assume is the hero! Two sloppy love scenes by the end of the book (both animalistic and extremely impersonal) are too cold and lacking in any real mental involvement between the two characters. I spent more time feeling frustrated and depressed (due to the morbid story line) than feeling excitement, passion, and hot desperation that is usually drawn out in her incredible stories. Ms. Joyce, I congratulate you on your courage to write a new and different book, but please weave some of your incredible romantic magic into the next one!!! ...Meanwhile, I'm off to read the ending (with reluctance), and hope that it will not disappoint too much.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Kept my Interest, but left me cold 2 May 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback

I started reading the De Warenne books earlier this year, and since I've essentially read everything there (at least the 7 books starting with "The Prize"), I started looking at Brenda Joyce's other books. I picked up three of her books at the library: Splendor, House of Dreams and The Third Heiress. I liked Splendor and House of Dreams, but The Third Heiress really annoyed and irritated me. It kept my interest, and I actually cried throughout about the last quarter of the book, but I was horribly disaeppointed at the end, and it left me feeling completely unsatisfied.

I don't recall ever reading a book where I didn't want the two main characters together in the end, but Jill was WAY too accepting of Alex and what he and his family did to her. Doesn't she have any self-respect? The murder that they are so desperate to keep buried occurred almost 100 years before the modern day setting of the book. All of the people involved have died. And, there probably wouldn't have even been a mystery had Hal's family not acted so suspiciously to begin with. All they had to do was behave themselves through the funeral, and she would have left. But then, of course, there wouldn't have been a book.

I didn't like who Alex was revealed to be. It might have helped if we had gotten the story from both Jill and Alex's points of view, because then we would have the opportunity to view Alex's motivations and values. Of course, that might have meant giving away some of the secrets that Alex kept throughout the story. The way it was written, Alex came off as the family's gigalo. I can imagine the family getting together and deciding that Alex should get close to Jill to find out what she's finding out about Kate -- and since they have so little regard for her as either a distant relative or as Hal's girlfriend, if he seduces her, then no big deal. At the end, Jill seems to say, "oh, o.k., you've lied to me all along; you've known the answers to my questions; you deleted the letters I thought might provide answers; you stole my DNA to have a DNA test run; you told your cousin to pay me off to leave; and you stood by when your family resorted to physical violence, but I know you love me, so it's o.k." He really hasn't acted like he loves her at all. That doesn't sound too co-dependent does it? What's more, his temper was completely unpredictable. In most of Brenda Joyce's other books (the ones I've read), there are negative character traits that the characters must overcome, but their transformation is more believeable because they seem to realize their mistakes and grow as a result (think of Devlin O'Neill and St. Xavier in particular). Alex is the same in the beginning of the book as he is at the end, and doesn't grow at all. Also, how does English aristocracy have poor American relatives that are close enough that they take the orphan into their home when his mother dies, but allow him to live in poverty before that?

As a cat lover, the decapitation of the cat, particularly one that we had come to know and like, was impossible to get over. And if Lucinda was an animal lover who set up Jill to pet sit for her neighbor, how could she have killed her neighbor's cat, even if it was to serve as a warning to Jill? There was no reason to kill the cat.

Hal sounds unstable as well. As a 13-year-old boy, he saw a painting of Kate and becomes obsessed to the point that he sets out to America to find her long lost great granddaughter, photographs her to look like the object of his obsession, asks her to marry him, and then decides it's not a good idea and he should go back to his on-again, off-again aristocratic girlfriend? It might have been helpful if we'd known more of what was going on in his head, because he sounds like a stalker.

The biggest disappointment, however, is that there is no justice for Kate. Anne left her to suffer and die, and as a consequence, she married Edward, lived a comfortable, long life and only confessed what she had done when she was on her death bed. O.k., so we get a small glimpse through Edward's letters and the flashbacks that he didn't love her and treated her coldly, but there's no indication that she ever felt any remorse or was punished in any way.

The fact of the matter is that there are so many troubling aspects of this story that I can't even see a way to satisfactorily rewrite it. I'm glad that this wasn't my first Brenda Joyce book, because I never would have read any of her other books.
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