by Grace Burrowes
- File Size: 1310 KB
- Print Length: 384 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (August 5, 2014)
- ASIN: B00HUTVG70
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
My Rating: 4.25
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes delivers a passionate, danger-filled Regency romance...
The past will overtake him...
Abandoned in France since boyhood, despite being heir to an English barony, Sebastian St. Clair makes impossible choices to survive a tour of duty in the French Army. He returns to England hoping for the peaceful life of a country gentleman, though old enemies insist on challenging him on the field of honor, one after another.
But this time, he will not fight alone...
Millicent Danforth desperately needs her position as companion to the Traitor Baron's aunt, but grieves to learn that Sebastian must continually fight a war long over. As Sebastian and Milly explore their growing passion, they uncover a plot that will cost Sebastian his life and his honor, unless he does battle once more-this time in the name of love.
Millie has become a companion to Lady Frederica in order to get away from her own cousins who would use her as a servant or marry her off to a man she doesn’t enjoy. Lady Frederica is a fierce, eccentric and determined woman who loves her nephew, the ‘Traitor’ Baron, Sebastian St. Clair.
Sebastian has had a difficult life. As a young English lad he was taken by his parents to visit France and remained there with his mother when the truce ended. He was abandoned to be raised by his French grandparents when his mother died. During the war he found himself in the position of an inquisitor, interrogating captive British officers. Rather than have the officers killed at the torturous hands of his superior, Sebastian found painfully creative methods of obtaining secrets and managed to arrange for their ransom to freedom.
Now that Sebastian has returned to the company of his aunt and his lands in England, he finds he has no peace and his life is in danger. He is continually challenged by British officers who scorn him as the “Traitor” Baron.
As a man who tends to view the world in terms of military strategy, Sebastian finds Millie to be a breath of fresh air. He recognizes that she too has had a lonely childhood and a difficult secret. He patiently helps her face her problem but he dare not pursue a relationship with her considering the guilt and dangers from his past.
Millie is willing to help Sebastian face his own dark nightmares but she believes she is unworthy to be his Baroness, even if he was willing to consider a relationship. After all, what nobleman would want an uneducated woman as a wife?
I loved the flawed and vulnerable characters of Millie and Sebastian and I loved how they helped each other find their own strengths. Their conflicts, the military allegories, and the underlying danger, make for a finely choreographed dance to romance.
Beyond the romance there is the puzzle of the threats to Sebastian’s life creates an interesting mystery. The story has a good hook and although the early pacing was on the slow side it seemed fitting for the difficult time of putting war behind and starting a new life. The word I noted for the atmosphere is “mellow”.
I am sorry I missed the first book in this series which I will have to get. I really appreciate the fine characters and engaging plots that Ms. Burrows continues to share with her readers. There is always a rich background of history underlying weave of mystery and well defined characters that are packaged into a reliably engaging romance.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The sort of ironic nuance I really enjoyed:
He’d asked her for a single rose, and she had flung an entire bouquet at him.
And each of her roses came with thorns. [Location 2775-2777.]
I received this ebook from Sourcebooks through NetGalley.