Leah’s Surrender by A.M. Westerling

Leah’s Surrender by A.M. Westerling
The Ladies of Harrington House Book 2
Publisher: BWL Publishing
Genre: Historical, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

With the threat of scandal hanging over Lady Leah Harrington, her parents arrange a temporary position for her in Australia as a companion to her aunt. Leah vows that on her return to England, she will forge her own future as a published lady of letters. However, now that she’s learned men are not to be trusted, having her sensibilities muddled by a dashing navy captain is not what she had planned for herself.

Despite France’s ever-present menace during the Napoleonic Wars, Captain Heath Trevelyan is ordered to transport a load of convicts aboard HMS Charlotte Mary destined for the penal colony of Australia. As a favour to a friend, he also provides passage for an alluring young woman and her aunt. When his ship sinks during a storm, a battle of endurance ensues for Heath and the survivors, including several convicts and the beauty who has captured his senses.

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Well, I’ll be the first to eat my words. I read and reviewed book one in this series and didn’t really think I’d read the next one considering the heroine was going to be Leah Harrington and I wasn’t a fan. I admit that I was wrong. When will I ever learn to “never say never”? I love how this book turned out!

In truth, Leah’s Surrender can be read as a standalone but you might want to read about her in the first book in the series. Why? Because I think you might be surprised about Leah. She caused quite the conflict in the first novel which made for an excellent plot. Because of that, I wasn’t sure how she’d be redeemed in my eyes enough to have her own story. I assure you that the evolution of Leah was well written.

Actually, upon further pondering I’ve changed my mind. I absolutely recommend reading the first one prior to Leah’s Surrender because a reader should fully feel the effect of the scandal hanging over Lady Leah’s head. The more I reflect on Leah’s character, the more my opinion changes. I have to consider her age and that her reactions and choices were appropriate in Sophie’s Choice. I didn’t put much consideration into that fact at the time. As you can see, this series could very well be a great choice for a book club debate. But I’ll give credit where credit is due. Heath helped redeem Leah in my eyes. His perspective of her swung me around to team Leah. I would have preferred her age to be slightly higher, but given this is an historical book, I realize that was probably how it was back then. So, as I said before, her behavior was appropriate for her age and therefore necessary to be accurately written as such.

Even though I’ve gone back and forth about the heroine’s character, the unquestionable fact is that A.M. Westerling’s writing style is absolutely remarkable. I have a memory like Dory in the movie Finding Nemo so the fact that I remember my emotions from Sophie’s Choice is a testimony in itself. The Ladies of Harrington House series is unforgettable and I attribute that to the writing style. It made me feel as if I was in the story as a witness. Oh, I can’t forget to mention a certain villainous character that reappears in Leah’s Surrender. That was a nice plot twist.

If you are debating if you should read Sophie’s Choice first or not I’m going to share what’s in my heart. I think Leah’s Surrender will be better for readers after reading the first novel in the series. The characters are very well developed and a strong relationship is built between the reader and the characters. Book two continues that sense of connection. A.M. Westerling has succeeded in wiping out all previous reservations I might have had early on.

Now, I could re-write this review to try to share even more of my favorite parts because there is a great deal of content to reflect upon. One of them is when the hero, Heath’s, ship sinks during a storm. I should have had my life jacket on reading that scene. I’d love to be saved by Captain Heath Trevelyan! Not only does he meet all my book boyfriend qualities but his name alone is swoon worthy. I just love the name Heath. In the words of an Italian Chef, al bacio!

Regarding Heath and Leah’s relationship, I did find it entertaining and I was in full support of their satisfying happily ever after. I’m pleased at how the entire flow of the book kept me guessing what was going to happen next from beginning to end. Leah’s Surrender was hard to put down. Catherine is the next sister in line for her own story and now I can’t wait to read the third book! This is one series I’m glad I discovered and definitely recommend others to discover it too.


  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful review, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’ve just finished the Prequel to the series, a Christmas novella titled Evelyn’s Christmas Beau which is the story of Evelyn and Oliver. It will be coming out in November. I’m working on Catherine’s Passion right now, Catherine and Julian’s story and it’s slated to come out early next year. Thanks again for the review, it made my day! Heck, made my week! 🙂

  2. S.L. Shaa says

    After reading Sophie’s Choice I needed to pick up Leah’s Surrender. Another story I enjoyed immensely. True to A.M. Westerling’s writing style, all her characters were true to life. The story was a page turner and I loved the time period. Thank you to A.M. Westerling, I will be looking forward to reading more of her books.

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