Tag: Grace Burrowes

Guest Review: The Truth About Dukes by Grace Burrowes

Posted November 9, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Truth About Dukes by Grace BurrowesReviewer: Tracy
The Truth About Dukes by Grace Burrowes
Series: Rogues to Riches #5
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A new duke and a woman with a secret in her past get a second chance at love in this delightful and charming Regency romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the Windham series.

Robert Rothmere is hiding a past no duke should have endured, but he's not hiding it well enough. Sooner or later, his enemies will learn that he spent years locked away at a private asylum. To get their hands on his wealth, they'll try to send him right back to his worst nightmares. If Robert is to foil their schemes, he needs to marry a perfectly proper, blessedly boring, deadly dull duchess, immediately—and he knows exactly which quietly delightful lady he'd love to entrust with that role.

Lady Constance Wentworth has cultivated a reputation for utter forgettability. She never speaks out of turn (in public), never has a daring thought (that she admits aloud), and never comes close to courting scandal... as far as anybody knows. Her path crossed Robert's years ago, though, and she's never forgotten the extraordinary lengths he traveled to keep her safe when she hadn't a friend in the world. She longs to be his demure duchess...but little does he know that to marry her would be utter madness.

Constance is shocked when she sees Robert Rothmere at a ball.  She tries to avoid him, but he waylays her, and they walk in the garden.  What Constance thought would be incredibly awkward was, in fact, quite nice.  Constance had known Robert when he was a patient in an asylum.  He isn’t insane, he is epileptic. The “asylum” was actually a place that Robert’s father had stowed him away and a horrible doctor had been experimenting on him.

Constance’s sister and Robert’s brother are in love and engaged to be married.  This brings Constance and Robert together more and more and they find themselves falling in love.  The road to happiness, however, will be a rough road.  Constance has a secret she doesn’t want to share with Robert but must in order to be completely honest with him.  Robert could possibly be seen as unfit to run a dukedom and put under a guardianship.  They will both try as hard as they can to avoid this happening.  With Robert’s brother and Constance’s family and friends they will try to overcome all the obstacles in their way to a bright future.

This was definitely a romance, but I felt that most of the book was taken up with Constance’s secret and Robert and his epilepsy.  That was actually fine, because it worked in this instance and was well done.  That said, the first part of the book was a bit…I want to say stodgy, but that’s not quite right.  It just didn’t flow the way that I’m used to Burrowes’ books flowing and it was disjointed for me.  The second part was definitely more cohesive, and the story really picked up.

I loved Constance and Robert together.  There wasn’t too much of the typical romance between the two, but the way that Burrowes portrayed their love throughout the book was definitely sigh-worthy.  She did a great job showing us how much in love these two characters were.

The secondary characters definitely need to be mentioned as they were an integral part of the story.  I loved how Burrowes took the “it takes a village” saying and ran with it – even though these were adults.  It showed the love and care that the two families had for their siblings and I loved that.

Overall a good read. I haven’t read the previous four books in this series but didn’t feel that not doing so detracted from this story in any way.

Rating:  3.75/4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes

Posted December 20, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: No Other Duke Will Do by Grace BurrowesReviewer: Tracy
No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes
Series: Windham Brides #3
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Julian St. David, Duke of Haverford, is barely keeping his head above water in a sea of inherited debts. Though he has a long-term plan to restore the family finances, his sister has a much faster solution: host a house party for London's single young ladies and find Julian a wealthy bride.

Elizabeth Windham has no interest in marriage, but a recent scandal has forced her hand. As much as she'd rather be reading Shakespeare than husband-hunting, she has to admit she's impressed by Julian's protective instincts, broad shoulders, and, of course, his vast library.

As the two spend more time together, their attraction is overwhelming, unexpected... and absolutely impossible. With meddling siblings, the threat of financial ruin, and gossips lurking behind every potted palm, will they find true love or true disaster?

Julian is a duke but poor as a church mouse.  His father, grand-father and great-grandfather had spent the family fortunes on books.  Books!  He finds himself hating books and all the many libraries in his home!  He just wishes they would have invested in something that would have brought in an income instead of throwing them into possible poverty.  He is barely hanging on financially and has been cutting costs whenever possible.  His sister, not realizing how much a house party costs, nor how dire the family’s financial problem are, plans one and invites a ton of eligible ladies and their chaperones.  Of course Julian doesn’t want the house party but if his sister’s going to invite eligible ladies then Julian is going to invite eligible bachelors for his sister.  In the end the amount of people who show up at Julian’s is astounding.  Not only that but the party is three weeks long!

Elizabeth is a spinster who is there for her sister.  She never imagines that she’ll meet the duke and actually like him.  She does, though, and loves his incredibly stocked libraries as well.  Elizabeth has a bit of money in her dowry, but nothing like what Julian needs to save his family.  While Julian becomes more entranced by Elizabeth every day, and they soon begin a physical relationship, they both know that Julian must marry for money.  It breaks their hearts but those are the facts.  They decide to enjoy the time they have together and try to ignore their breaking hearts.

This was a wonderful story.  I very much enjoyed reading about Elizabeth and Julian and their relationship.  How they got together, where it went, the ease of their friendship – it was lovely.  I also thought that the whole book situation with Julian was quite novel (snort) and I enjoyed the premise of the book.

The secondary characters were almost as intriguing as the H/h.  The villain, Radnor, was a bit of a bastard and needed someone to teach him some honor.  Elizabeth’s sister, Glenys, was a crack up and made me laugh.  And then there was Julian’s brother, Griffin, who almost stole the show.  He was developmentally delayed but his interactions with Elizabeth as well as those in his household warmed my heart. He was such a good person. Burrowes did a great job writing him.

Overall this was a great book and one I’d recommend.  I haven’t read the first two books in this series but this one stands alone so don’t feel you need to read those in order to pick this one up.

Windham Brides

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Post: Whitley’s DNF Roundup

Posted December 21, 2015 by Whitley B in Reviews | 3 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

So, in the first week of my self-professed “month of only reading Christmas romances” I have read…one Christmas romance.  And I DNFed before I got to the Christmas part. Oops.

In fact I DNFed most of these, but that’s par for the course with me and romances.  I’ll drop them with relative ease because so many things in romance bug me, but at least I think it’s fun to dig through stacks of these things looking for the gems. 😀

Against the Sky
1. Against the Sky by Kat Martin

ALASKA
In America’s last wilderness, there are no limits to what a man can do.

For detective Nick Brodie, that means keeping the perps off the streets of Anchorage 24/7. Nick has never backed down from danger, but after the horrors he’s seen, he’s definitely in need of a break.

Samantha Hollis never thought she’d meet anyone like Nick, especially in a place like Las Vegas. But after one reckless, passionate night, she discovers the charismatic stranger is everything she wants in a man. But can he ever be anything more than a one-night stand?

When Nick invites her to Alaska, Samantha decides to find out, never guessing the depths she’ll discover in him or the tangle of murder, kidnapping, and danger about to engulf them both…

So, right off the bat, I wish the summary for this book had included the KIND OF MAJOR BABY PLOT.  I mean, really, the heroine’s unplanned pregnancy is the catalyst for most of the plot going on, and yet it’s completely missing from the jacket copy.  The murder mystery had promise, but the writing was a bit annoying and the sex was brief and vague.  (Come on, my interest in this genre is not exactly respectable, give me some steamy goodness!)  I quit when the hero decided to go condomless without asking permission first.  (Dude, I know she’s already knocked up, but that doesn’t mean you get to make that call solo!)

Tremain's True Love
2. Tremain’s True Love by Grace Burrows.

Tremaine St. Michael is firmly in trade and seeks only to negotiate the sale of some fancy sheep with the Earl of Haddonfield. The earl’s sister, Lady Nita, is pragmatic, hard-working, and selfless, though Tremaine senses she’s also tired of her charitable obligations and envious of her siblings’ marital bliss. Tremaine, having been raised among shepherds, can spot another lonely soul, no matter how easily she fools her own family. Neither Tremaine nor Nita is looking for love, but love comes looking for them.

Technically I finished this one, but eh.  I don’t know why I picked this book up; I find Burrows’ writing to be very hard to follow.  It’s 95% dialogue and soliloquies, so very little normal narration, so I can’t keep track of where people are in a scene or what they’re doing.  You can be two pages into a scene and not know a character is present until they start talking. But this one in particular irritated me because the ending had the heroine giving up her “passionate” work of being a healer.  And way too easily.  And I’m just not here for that.  I want my historical romances to be full of ladies defying society and doing their thang and gentlemen who gasp at first and then by the end love them for it anyway.  What is this whole stay home and conform to gender bullshit stuff?

The Earl Claims a Bride
3. The Earl Claims a Bride by Amelia Grey.

Harrison Thornwick thought he was safe. The fourth son to the Earl of Thornwick, there was no reason he couldn’t lounge his life away, drinking and carousing in the notorious Heirs’ Club. But when the sudden deaths of his father and brothers leave Harrison holding the bag, he needs a wife in haste, unless he’s to defy the rule of the prince. Unluckily for Harrison, the prince has an entirely different rule for him—his wife-to-be, Miss Angelina Rule. But when he sees the lady in the flesh, Harrison finds her too beautiful and fascinating to resist…Princely command or not, Angelina has no desire to marry Thornwick. Waiting for her sweetheart to return from the army, she’s not about to be paired up with an Earl—especially with an infamous scoundrel like Harrison. But with Thornwick determined to make her his wife in more ways than one, Angelina will have to put up all her defenses if she is to resist being seduced…

I loved the premise of this one, but the hero was just a little too…um, enthusiastic about the heroine’s youth.  (Also, first one of these I’ve read where the girl is legit having her coming out and isn’t a spinster.  Turns out I like spinsters.  I do not have a problem with this.)

Deadly Christmas Secrets
4. Deadly Christmas Secrets by Shirlee McCoy.

THE CHRISTMAS TARGET

When new evidence surfaces that Harper Shelby’s niece is possibly alive, Harper doesn’t expect it to endanger her life. For her protection, she has to put her much-guarded trust in Logan Fitzgerald, the man who unknowingly led a killer to her doorstep. Hired to track Harper down, security and rescue expert Logan doesn’t like that he’s been used to find a woman who someone apparently wants dead. Now he won’t leave Harper’s side until he can guarantee her safety and untangle the truth from the lies regarding her sister’s and niece’s murders. The closer they get to finding answers, the more intent the killer becomes on making sure that there won’t be a family reunion—or happily-ever-after—for Harper this Christmas.

Mission: Rescue—No job is too dangerous for these fearless heroes.

Got this one from Walmart about 75% because I just love the feel of those short slick paperbacks, and 25% because serial killer at Christmas!  I neglected to realize that it was from the “Inspirational” imprint, and I pretty much lost interest when I realized there wasn’t going to be hanky panky.  (I am terrible, I know.)  Shame, since the guy was the most respectful gun-slinger I’ve ever read in a romance.

Facing Fire
5. Facing Fire by HelenKay Dimon.

When his uncle is brutally murdered, Josiah King knows that business just got personal. His uncle’s ties to the Alliance can mean only one thing: Josiah and his black ops team are targets, along with everyone they love. Primed for vengeance, Josiah is determined to unravel the plot–until long-legged redhead Sutton Dahl becomes a dangerous distraction.

Sutton is very good at uncovering other people’s secrets—and protecting her own. When Josiah bursts into her life she’s torn between pushing him away and asking for his help. Mysterious, strong, and much too sexy, he’s a puzzle she longs to solve, and a temptation she can’t ignore.

Thrown together in the face of Alliance’s most lethal threat, Josiah and Sutton become unlikely partners, fighting for their lives even as the attraction between them flares into real passion. Torn between his team and the woman who means everything to him, Josiah will risk it all to save Sutton, even if that decision is his last.

It was a good premise, it really was.  I loved the set-up for getting the hero and heroine together.  He’s chasing a bad guy, she’s chasing the bad guy’s alias.  Her investigation makes her look suspicious, so he swings round to question her.  But it fell into that trap of just being WAY TOO MUCH right off the bat.  He burst into her room with a gun drawn on her, screaming about killing her if she does anything wrong, then asking vague questions, followed by more death threats.  JFC, dude, dial it down.  What even is with all this death talk; do you not realize you can’t interrogate a corpse?  (Which, really, is a big point here if you’re actually trying to catch said bad guy.)  And no further interaction from these two felt real after that.  How do you honestly have a romance after the “hero” makes you shit your pants?  (Didn’t actually happen, but realistically probably should have with that intro.)


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Guest Post: The Captive by Grace Burrowes

Posted October 29, 2015 by Whitley B in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Post: The Captive by Grace BurrowesReviewer: Whitley
The Captive by Grace Burrowes
Series: Captive Hearts #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
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two-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

As a young boy, British-born Sebastian St. Clair was abandoned in France and forced to join the French army in order to survive.

Now that the war is over, he has returned home to his beloved England, and is determined to live a quiet life as a country gentleman. He believes that his wish is about to come true when he begins to fall for his elderly aunt’s lovely companion, Miss Millicent Danforth.

But the French are not quite ready to let him go, and they’ve devised a devious plot that could destroy everything that Sebastian holds dear. He will have to use all of his wits if he plans on escaping this scheme with his life…and his love.

Whitley’s review of The Captive by Grace Burrowes.

This was my first Grace Burrowes book, and I’m not sure if it’ll be my last or not. I really didn’t like the writing style of it, but she comes up with such enticing premises that I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay away. (Then again, nothing bad happens if I give in, so it’s not much of a problem.)

Still, if you’re like me and prefer your romances easy to read, this one might not be for you. I had to slog through a narration that was so dense with compound-nouns and modifiers and convoluted sentences that it felt like a chore. Some of her turns of phrase were pretty enough, but most of the time it just felt like trying too hard to sound…old. It wasn’t particularly difficult to understand, just dense in a way that didn’t really add anything to the experience. I’ve read plenty other historical romances that kept that toff tone to the narration without stuffing the word count quite that much.

Still, even though it wasn’t to my taste, the writing was smooth enough and the premise was engrossing. Sebastian was a nice tortured hero with just the right balance of angst and hope to keep me rooting for him. He was sweet to his lady, distinctly non-ass-ish, though I liked his interactions with his former captives a lot more than his interactions with Milly. There were a lot of layers and nuance and angst in there that I really appreciated and enjoyed reading about.

The romance was rather lacking in this book. I appreciated that they got married halfway through and didn’t let the wedding bells stand in for “all our problems are over now!” On the other hand, they didn’t seem to have much impediment to their feelings. It was pretty straight forward. “I think you’re hot. You think I’m hot. We got caught kissing. Time to get married!” They put up a nominal resistance at first, which only served to make their coming together feel abrupt. Weak circumstances kept them apart, and equally weak circumstances brought them together. If a couple is kept apart by circumstance, it really should be personal perseverance that overcomes that, not another coincidence, or else the couple’s feelings get left right out of the equation. I just didn’t get any feelings of longing from Milly and Sebastian before the wedding, and then an overabundance of that immediately after.

And I know not everyone reads romance for the sex, but I do, so a comment on that: it’s very vague, thanks to the meandering language. They would kiss, then the narration would hare off for several lines about a metaphor, to the point where I wasn’t sure if they were even still kissing or just had a little peck on the lips. Very little in the way of visceral descriptions.

Overall, a good premise and an interesting hero and side characters, but lacking in real warmth or connection. Definitely one more for the mind than the heart.

Rating: 2 out of 5

two-stars


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Guest Review: Ethan by Grace Burrowes

Posted June 5, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Ethan by Grace BurrowesReviewer: Tracy
Ethan by Grace Burrowes
Series: The Lonely Lords #3
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

 

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

three-half-stars


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