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Review by Anniek
Nikki and Leigh have been best friends for as long as they could remember. Nikki is shy and introvert and Leigh is outgoing and spontaneous, so they perfectly complement one another. Both of them are going to marry very powerful men. Nikki is destined to marry Alex, who strives to be the next president, and Leigh is going to be a queen when she marries Henri, the King of Altobello. The women are used to get what they want at the moment they want it. That ends when Nikki and Leigh find themselves in an accident that could easily change their rich lives, their friendship is not meant to last under this enormous amount of pressure. They part ways promising never to talk about that night again.
In 1985 Charley and Maixent are the next generation of powerful people. Charley is Nikki's daughter and the heir of the status and capital of one America’s greatest political families. Maixent is Leigh's son and the heir to the thrown of Altobello. Charley is a photographer and she's extremely passionate about her job. She travels all over the world to capture the most amazing scenes on camera. Maixent is working under his father and is responsible for the justice department. He also has great ideas about putting Altobello on the map, but is being held back by his father. King Henri is a man who is stuck in the past. He is not willing to change something that has worked perfectly for him for many years, which can be frustrating. When Charley and Maixent meet they instantly have a connection and they understand each other. Will they be the ones who will reinstate their mothers' friendship?
Charley is a hardworking girl and she doesn't take money for granted. She has a soft spot for people who are less fortunate than she is. This often results in people taking advantage of her. Charley is smart and loyal and she isn't afraid to stand up for herself when she needs to. She will not let the powerful men in her life overrule her anymore. I liked it a lot that she has a creative job and that she is working hard to achieve perfection. She's incredibly wealthy, but is not wasting this money by buying things she doesn't need. Maixent will be the King of Altobello. He works hard and he wants his father to see that he is capable of running their kingdom. Maixent is really handsome, a good polo player and a loyal son and brother. He grew up without ever having to worry about money. He is a kind person and will always lend a helping hand if someone needs it. It was interesting to find out how Charley and Maixent would interact. They are from similar backgrounds and they have clear goals in life. I enjoyed reading about both of them and the way they bonded made me curious about their future friendship.
Elleby Harper has written a scandalous and intriguing story about the rich and famous. As I was born in the 80's myself I loved being taken back to that period. All of the main characters are interesting. They have their own insecurities and flaws, which makes them just like everybody else. With the only difference that they have a lot more money than most. I liked reading about the secrets of the Heirs and I'm wondering how much more Elleby Harper with uncover in her next story. I'll find out for sure since this first book in the series makes me crave to know more about the Heirs and how their story will continue.
The books in this series cannot be read as standalones, so please be aware of this when you start reading Secrets & Lies, the first book in the Heirs series.
About Elleby Harper
Elleby Harper is a literary enthusiast, life explorer, world traveler and amateur photographer. After writing in the realms of non-fiction for many years, Heirs is her first fiction trilogy. This suspenseful romance has sizzling characters, strong women and the sexy men who love them, all set in the glitzy, ritzy, glam-filled 1980s.
Pursuing a healthy lifestyle took her and her family to regional Australia for clean air, fresh fruit from her orchard and eggs laid daily by her pet chickens, Ruby, Doreen, Rusty, Goldie, Ice Cream, Ginger and Nutmeg. It’s here she gains inspiration for all her writing.
Her guilty pleasures include Oz port wines, dark chocolate (of course!), binge watching Oz soapie Neighbours and hanging out with her son.
To find out more about Elleby, read her smashwords interview.
1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
You could call me an escape artist. I love escaping to the worlds inside my head or the worlds that other people create in their books. In real life I have escaped to live in a small country town in Australia with my husband and son. Here I can collect eggs from our pet chickens, pick fresh fruit from our orchard and have the time to mull over my ideas and peck away at the keyboard. Essentially I’ve been writing my entire life, and for quite a while I made my living as a free-lance writer and editor where I had to write about what other people wanted to hear. Now I’m able to write about what appeals to me. All in all I’m totally happy with my life at the moment.
2. On your website I found that you're a life-explorer. What do you like to explore the most?
I believe that you should open as many doors as you can as you travel through life to explore what’s on the other side. The Heirs series I’ve written revolves around the fictional European country of Altobello and I am having a wonderful time exploring that. I’m discovering new facets to Altobello all the time!
3. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I have lived, studied and worked in Canada, the US and Australia and I have traveled throughout Asia and western Europe. I haven’t been to Antarctica but I once had a boyfriend who wintered there while we were in a long distance relationship, so I feel I know the place. That leaves South America and Africa. I think it would be so much fun to let my hair down and join the Mardi Gras in Rio. I would also love to participate in a wildlife safari in Africa as that appeals to my sense of danger and luxury.
4. Could you tell us about the books / genre you personally love to read and why?
I read many kinds of genres. Why I choose to read one book over another depends on my mood at that moment. I enjoy thrillers and suspense to chick lit and all types of romance; self-help and health non-fiction to science fiction and fantasy. I also have a soft spot for royal histories, particularly for the English and French royal families.
5. Can you tell us about your hobbies?
My hobbies have changed over the years. Let’s see, I love ballroom dancing - where I met my husband and we have been together for over 17 years now - it’s active, fun and romantic! I love digital scrapbooking, this marries several of my interests including design, photography and writing. (Because I’m so impatient I can’t do physical scrapbooking at all!) Raising chickens because they are so entertaining and have such distinctive personalities they never fail to make me laugh. As a family, we enjoy outback camping together and the more isolated a spot we can find the better. Sometimes we are the only people for hundreds of miles and we have to be totally self-sufficient bringing our own water supplies, food, medical supplies, etc. Apart from that I spend time with my son doing things he loves, including shooting hoops and racing RC cars.
6. If your Heirs series would be made into three different movies, who would you like to have as the lead characters?
Oh, I love this question! I had so much fun deciding which actors would suit the main characters and a great deal of difficulty narrowing some down. But here is my final list:
Prince Maixent would be played by Chris Hemsworth. He’s a little older than Maixent, but has the right body/coloring.
Charley Cassidy would be played by Jennifer Lawrence with dark hair - this gives her the perfect coloring.
Princess Leigh would be played by Charlize Theron.
Nikki Cassidy would be played by Angelina Jolie.
Lorenzo De Angelis would be played by Antonio Banderas, just love the authentic accent he would bring to the role!
Declan Cassidy would be played by Jeremy Irvine.
7. What's your favorite festive holiday and why?
It has to be Christmas because it’s the time of year where everyone makes a real effort to be kind to each other or go the extra step to be helpful and friendly. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a world that was Christmas all year round!
8. Do you have a specific writing routine?
I try to write in the mornings as that’s when I’m freshest, but essentially I write whenever I get the chance. My desk is rather chaotic with bits of research, ideas and information littered all over, but it gives me a brilliant view of our back garden so I can watch our chickens as they free range, enjoy the changing weather or keep an eye on my son and his friends.
9. Who are your favorite romantic couple and why?
If I can only pick one couple it would have to be Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester. Jane overcomes so many obstacles in her life but instead of giving up when life becomes even more complicated, she perseveres in order to obtain her HEA with Mr Rochester. Together they show that true love is more than just skin deep.
10. What can we expect from you in the future?
I am finishing the fourth book in the Heirs series, which is a stand alone romantic suspense. This concentrates on Declan’s story and what happens in his life during 1985. I have some ideas for Princess Aurelie’s life and will be revisiting Charley and Maixent in a future book. But for 2017, I’m giving Heirs a break after book 4 to work on more of a thriller series about a police officer who has to fight her attraction to someone she suspects is the bad guy. She has a complicated backstory that impacts on her work life.
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