Ethan by Grace Burrowes
Series: The Lonely Lords #3
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
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Estranged from his family, widowed after an unhappy marriage, and weary from fighting his troubled past, Ethan Grey now has a chance for redemption. His son’s beautiful and remarkable governess might help him battle his ghosts, but it’s been a long time since he let himself get close to anyone.
Alice Portman has more in common with Ethan than she can comfortably admit. For now, she’s satisfied with helping him rebuild his life and family. But the dangerous past is about to catch up with them both.
Ethan Grey is a man who has put himself both emotionally and physically trying to forget the way his father treated him (he was born a bastard) and another incident from school when he was 14 years old. He is at his half brothers house when he meets governess Alice Portman who is leaving a post as a governess for another family that Ethan knows. He talks her into accepting the post despite her various misgivings.
Almost immediately Ethan and Alice are strolling together and talking like old friends. Ethan helps Alice deal with her anxiety and Alice helps Ethan become a better man all the way around.
This story is very sweet, let me tell you. Ethan has had such a hard life. He is the eldest son but is a bastard. His father is raising him with his siblings until one day he starts to believe that Ethan and his brother – who are inseparable – have an “unhealthy” relationship. Basically he thinks that Ethan might have his sexual sights set on Nick. Not a chance but the dad sends them off to separate schools and universities. Dealing with the emotions that that incites Ethan is set upon at school by a gang of boys and hurt terribly. Ethan deals with these events by immersing himself in properties and businesses and making himself a wealthy man. He eventually hurts himself further by marrying his mistress when she becomes pregnant with his child. There was yet another huge emotional secret that Ethan had been living with that doesn’t come out until near the end of the book and it just made my heart hurt for him all the more.
Ethan put up with so very much crap in his life and frankly didn’t know how to deal with half of it. Despite all the junk, once he started coming out of his shell he was kind, attentive, loving and downright playful. I loved seeing him get closer to his 2 boys! He had been through so much and survived and I adored his inner strength
Alice has her own set of issues stemming from a scandal when she was 14. We don’t get to hear about that scandal until almost the end which was a bit frustrating, but it didn’t seem to effect the story all that much by not knowing. She was quite a woman in that she saw what needed to be mended between Ethan and his boys and fixed it. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t fast but it was very well done.
I did have a few issues with the story. The author had the 2 main characters using their first and last names when talking to each other throughout the book and frankly it projected a lack of intimacy to me that I found a bit disconcerting because the pair were very close. Ethan was constantly calling her Alice Portman and she was calling him Ethan Grey instead of just using their first names. I got WHY it was done, I just didn’t care for it all that much. Another issues was the villain in the story. Again, I understood the reasoning behind having him in there but frankly his part was so small that it almost wasn’t worth having it, imho. Lastly, as much as I lived the story it was a slower paced read which wasn’t all bad but it did drag a bit in the middle.
Overall it was a good story – as are all the stories I’ve read from Burrowes so far. I may even go back and read books 1 & 2 in this series. 🙂
Rating: 3.75 out of 5