ARC Review: Stone Broke Heiress by Danielle Owen-Jones

“The whiff of his aftershave, combined with a tinge of smelly bin juice, fills the air as we roll away into the night, like a budget Bonnie and Clyde.”

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review

Publisher: Bookouture

Release date: 21st March 2022

Pages: 309

Representation: NA

Trigger warnings: Fire/Fire injury, homelessness, adultery. 

Summary:  Bella Whittington is the heiress of the Whittington Soup Empire. Until, one day, she isn’t. Her super-rich parents move to France, and she’s left on her own for the first time in her life-In Liverpool, of all places. A hit of reality sends Bella looking for her next move, and leads her to Dan and his soup kitchen; with one issue-He’s heard of the Whittingtons, and he hates them. She has to be quick to adjust to her new life and keep her secret safe, and she’s risking everything she has left by doing it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Stone broke Heiress is like a warm bowl of soup on a cold day, unfortunately it’s not our favourite flavour. 

I definitely enjoyed this book more because of my personal knowledge and love of Liverpool. The main character-Bella-was very naive. She had a lot to learn about the real world, and her cluelessness definitely played into the ‘ down on her luck rich girl’ trope. She was nice though, and cute. She wanted to do better, and although she wasn’t the most well-rounded character ever written she was very likeable. 

The same can’t be said for the love interest-he fell extremely flat. I didn’t see much personality out of him, and because of it it made it hard for me to see what Bella saw in him. Was he a nice guy? Sure, but he didn’t seem to have much of a personality beyond that. The cast of side characters really added to the story though, and it was made so much more delightful with them involved! 

The plot at times seemed scattered, but it was easy enough to follow and simply enjoyable! Overall it was an okay book-nothing spectacular, but definitely not bad. I wish I could offer a more in-depth perspective, but it was hard to find anything to describe everything that happened other than “ok.”. I want to rate the book up for dealing with important topics-such as homelessness-in an appropriate way, but every plot point seemed rushed and like it was written with little depth. It seemed to take away from what was a serious situation, and from the importance of Bellas growth. 

Its shining glory: It was a cute, easy read. A lighthearted rom-com that felt effortless and offered an easy escape from reality.

Its fatal flaw: The entire story felt overly familiar. It was predictable, and not in a comforting way. Because of this, there was a lack of tension and therefore a lack of payoff. 

Read this if: You want a fun, quirky rom-com that you can rely on to follow the classic rom-com formula. 

Skip this if: You want a less predictable read. You want characters with strong traits.


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