I had a very difficult time deciding how to rate this book. I read it practically within one sitting and was desperate to know how it ended. But in reality, that desperation stemmed from just wanting to get it over with and be able to move on. I liked the story--sort of--but good lord, if not for the scattered references to God and the Bible, you almost wouldn't know Heiress is considered Christian fiction--it reads just like a soap opera and is filled with scandal!Seriously, I was worn out by the time I finished this book. While certainly captivating, it was rather draining to read and the desire to finish it wasn't due to pure, unadulterated enjoyment on my part. Oh, there were aspects I liked and I did enjoy Esme's character... but I simply needed the drama to be over and really, I wasn't feeling terribly inspired by the end of it, like I do with most Christian/Inspirational Fiction. The fact that Warren had me hooked from the first page of the book is the only reason I feel I can rate this fairly at 3 stars. Certainly, her writing is good, as is her storytelling, but (at least, for me) that just couldn't make up for the way the story actually made me feel by the end of it... a little horrified, exhausted, and even rather down.I expect that most readers who enjoy Christian fiction that is edgier and not so preachy will probably like this series, but I'm don't think I'm even going to be able to bring myself to read the second book, which I already happen to have because it was a great deal on Amazon for the Kindle. I hate to pass up reading a book I've bought -- it feels a bit like throwing away food that someone else could eat -- but at least I didn't spend a lot on it!