Review: Heath by K. Webster and Nikki Ash

heathTitle: Heath

Authors: K. Webster and Nikki Ash

Year of publication: Out today! I was kindly given a copy to read and review

The blurb: This isn’t a typical love story. This is a story of what happens when love is so powerful and all-consuming that it has the ability to destroy everyone involved. It’s definitely not pretty and it’s certainly not a fairytale, but it’s their story and it couldn’t be told any other way.

Standalone or series: Standalone

The review: Heath is a modern retelling of Wuthering Heights, a book that I have never actually read. I was intrigued enough by the premise and because one of the authors is K Webster, whose books I love, to read it. From what I can tell, it’s pretty faithful to the original book, although of course there are some changes.

The story opens with Emily Crenshaw being told a tale by her nanny, Helen. Helen used to be a maid for several wealthy families, and she knows all the players in this story. Years ago, there was a young man known only as Heath. He was rescued off the streets by Rufus Crenshaw, and raised to take over Crenshaw’s wealthy business and estate. Crenshaw has two children of his own: Hunter, whom is estranged from the family, and Catrina, with whom Heath is deeply in love.

Heath is desperate to marry Catrina and begs her to run away from him, but she runs hot and cold, even as she has sex with him at every available opportunity. It’s been agreed that she will marry Elliot Lincoln, who also comes from a wealthy family, and while Catrina loves Heath, she also loves the lifestyle money affords her. When Elliot proposes, she doesn’t turn him down, and she continues to sleep with both men.

Eventually, she agrees to run away and marry Heath, and he vows to talk with her father the next day. However, they’re interrupted by the maid, Helen, who tearfully advises that Crenshaw has died in his sleep. Hunter returns from exile and the will, ten years old, leaves everything to him. He kicks Heath out, leaving him broke and homeless.

Catrina ends up marrying Elliot, and so Heath decides he will get revenge on the man who stole his love away from him. He starts by marrying Elliot’s sister, Isabel, who is then disowned from the family. She wants a baby, and Heath eventually relents, but they are unsuccessful. After a year, Heath comes crashing back into Catrina’s life and she once again agrees to leave Elliot for him, but then she discovers she is pregnant.

Catrina goes into labour the night a storm hits, and after she safely delivers a daughter she dies in Heath’s arms. Driven mad by grief, he vows to destroy Elliot and everyone else responsible for keeping Catrina from him, including her brother. When he seeks Hunter out, though, he finds him dead in the study. Hunter’s wife, Francesca, has vanished, leaving behind their three year old son, Harrison.

Although Heath feels nothing towards the child, he knows what it’s like to be an orphan, so he raises Harrison. By the time Harrison is an adult, Heath is vastly wealthy, very powerful… and a monster. Helen agreed to go with Heath to help raise Harrison, and she is the closest thing he has to a parent.

Over the years, Elliot has raised the young Catrina, known as Cat, but he lost his business to Heath. He works for Heath at his company but has never told Cat the truth, and when she and her cousin, Isabel’s son Theo, wander onto Heath’s property which sits behind their home, they run into Helen.

The older woman only has to take one look at Theo to know he’s Heath’s son, and when she tells him this Heath goes ballistic. He sacks Elliot and throws him, Cat and Theo (who has been living with them since Isabel’s death) out of the mansion Cat’s lived in her whole life. He offers Cat a deal when she goes to him – if she and Theo move into his mansion, he’ll let Elliot keep his job. Cat, still smarting from finding out everything in her life was a lie, reluctantly agrees for her father.

Heath decides to groom Theo to take over everything and when Theo expresses his love for Cat, Heath proclaims the young woman as Theo’s property. But what neither of them count on is Cat’s attraction to Harrison, which is mutual. It seems history is repeating itself – a young lady from a wealthy family is promised to someone from the same social standing, but falls in love with an orphan who comes from nothing. Even though he should be sympathetic to Harrison, Heath will not allow it to happen.

Despite their best attempts, Cat and Harrison fall in love and run away together, vowing to wed with Elliot’s approval. Heath does something drastic to stop the wedding from happening, but Harrison intervenes and does not allow the woman he loves to be taken away from him.

They marry and have Emily, who is fighting her own attraction to her best friend, Finn Browning. She finds herself reluctant to get involved with him because he’s from money, but listening to the story about how her parents met and fell in love makes her realise what she’s known from the day she met Finn – she belongs with him.

The authors did a great job of writing the book seamlessly so that you can’t tell it’s been written by two authors instead of one. I also enjoyed all the small references to Wuthering Heights – Cat had two friends called Anne and Charlotte and there was a horse called Bronte. They also wrote the first part about Heath and Catrina in such a way that it felt like it could have taken place centuries ago, despite all the cultural references to the present. The sex scenes and language are explicit and graphic, but they work well for the characters.

Heath is a story about true love found and true love lost. It’s a story about hate and revenge, and how losing love can drive a person mad. It’s also a story about love conquers all, even in death. If you love Wuthering Heights, you will love this book, and if like me you’ve never read it, give it a go anyway. You won’t be sorry.