The Montesoro Legacy

Brandon Brothers - Leo

Romance - Historical
415 Pages
Reviewed on 04/20/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

The Montesoro Legacy is the third novel in the Brandon Brothers series by Stella Riley. Leo, the youngest Brandon brother, is slowly but surely making a name for himself as a portrait painter. While he is quite successful as an artist, his luck in the romance department has not been very good. Leo was considering marriage to a young widow when he was commissioned by Sir Jerome Farrell to paint a portrait of his little sister Charlotte. There, Leo comes across Mariella (Jerome’s step-sister), and sparks fly. Somehow, Mariella has a surprise inheritance, and Jerome wants it. The only problem is that Mariella is not alone anymore. She has Leo and Leo’s family on her side now. With romance blooming between them, Leo is sure Mariella is the one, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to protect Mariella from the clutches of Sir Jerome. Can love truly prevail over all?

What can I say, I am a sucker for a good romance, and this is exactly what I needed to feel better after some tedious days! I liked Leo, but I loved Mariella. Her story is worth reading. Her living conditions are not that great and her opportunities are few. Considering that she has a younger autistic brother to protect and keep herself out of Jerome's clutches, she was handling herself pretty well before Leo came into her life. The chemistry between Leo and Mariella is not intense; it simmers and grows as the story progresses. The readers watch their relationship bloom and then catch flame as their feelings mature. I hated Jerome with a passion and didn’t care about Charlotte, to be honest. The narrative was intense, the characters were interesting, and the overall feel of the plot was entertaining! An easy-to-read romance novel that many will love! Highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

The Montesoro Legacy: Brandon Brothers – Leo is a work of fiction in the historical romance, adventure, and interpersonal drama subgenres. The novel is intended for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Stella Riley. We find ourselves sucked into scandal in this passionate tale of intrigue, mystery, and dark dealings when the dastardly Sir Jerome Farrell sets his sights on seizing a sizeable inheritance from his step-sister Mariella. But the arrival of a portrait artist, Leo Brandon, will cause interference in Jerome’s scheme as well as Mariella’s own devious ploy to nip it in the bud. What transpires will change all of their lives in the process.

For fans of the dashing drama and mystery of the likes of Bridgerton, The Montesoro Legacy will certainly tick several boxes and keep readers intrigued by the scandals and surprises from cover to cover. One feature that I especially enjoyed in the novel was the dialogue and parlance of the characters, which gave the work a suitable air of history and class, but was also sprightly and never difficult to access or understand. Leo Brandon was certainly my favorite character of the bunch, a young man caught up in a wild whirlwind of conspiracy, gossip, and sudden romantic entanglement, but who always remained thoroughly likable and warm, even in the stickiest situations. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend The Montesoro Legacy: Brandon Brothers – Leo to fans of historical romance who want to discover a talented new author and series to fall in love with.

Peggy Jo Wipf

The Montesoro Legacy: Brandon Brothers - Leo by Stella Riley continues the series. It was only a matter of time before Leo Brandon met the woman he was destined to love forever. His fickle heart thought he had found the one, only to be entrapped by a vicious talebearer. He must set his reputation straight, along with the young woman whose character was tarnished. Mariella Talbot agreed to the engagement, not out of concern for her reputation but to escape the hold of her cousin Jerome. He not only controls her inheritance and legal papers but also threatens to send her brother to an asylum. His tantrums and quirks become increasingly difficult to control with Jerome's ill-treatment. Can she play this game until she has gained their freedom? Though Leo lost the woman he thought he would marry, will he step up and protect Mariella and her brother when things become deadly?

With each novel I read by Stella Riley, I feel I have just discovered her best work yet. The Montesoro Legacy has the perfect amount of romance, mystery, and action. She connects several of her novels with this one, and you feel you see a larger picture as the story unfolds. I love how the story superbly connects enthralling characters, breathtaking events, and mounting secrecy. The pace and conflict increase as the story becomes a mesmerizing reading experience. The author breathes life into her characters so that you feel you walk among them. I don't know if this is my favorite read from this author, but I haven't yet read one I didn't love.