Book Review: Independently Wealthy by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (Thomas Dunne Books)
Review by Margo L. Dill
Independently Wealthy is a sequel to Lorraine Zago Rosenthal’s first book, New Money, and continues the story of Savannah Morgan, a mid-20s editorial assistant who is the sole heir to her father’s billion-dollar fortune and instantly thrust into New York City’s “high society.” When Savannah’s story picks up in book two, things seem to be working out perfectly for her, especially since she had made up with her handsome bartender boyfriend Alex at the end of book one.
Although there’s not much conflict at first in Independently Wealthy, readers who fell in love with Savannah in the first book or new readers catching up with the story will enjoy the relationship development between she and Alex. But as all readers know—conflict drives the story, and soon there’s plenty of that for Savannah.
The biggest problem, and one that might also prove to be deadly, is the truth surrounding her father’s death. Was his death suspicious? Is there scandal surrounding it? Savannah’s new-found half-sister and sleuthing mate, Caroline, decide that they can’t ignore these questions any longer. Her half-brother Ned is just a bitter, pessimistic mess that both women have to tolerate, while they grow closer and attempt to figure out the real story about their father. Readers will also have a hard time liking Ned, although he does have his own character arc in the book.
Investigating her father’s death and coming face to face with a killer, following clues to Washington, D.C., developing a relationship with a brother and sister who didn’t realize she existed until their father died, and working on her career in publishing is just part of this book. What I really enjoyed is how Lorraine wrote this character’s romantic storyline.
Since Savannah begins this book rich, pretty, and with a great boyfriend, readers might wonder if the romance part in this new adult book will be developed much. But hold on, because there are twists and turns in the main character’s romantic life, like there should be when a woman is in her 20s and trying to figure out who she is and what she wants out of life. Why should she put up with a man who can’t control his temper? Should she settle down with an older man who can give her security? I found the “love” theme in this book to be refreshing and realistic, and a storyline young women can really relate to, even if they aren’t wealthy and living in New York.
Independently Wealthy is great for women readers who enjoy romance, drama, family relationships, mystery, and a bit of danger, and who can appreciate that a happy ending doesn’t necessarily mean the heroine has to be walking down the aisle.