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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway: The Heir by Grace Burrowes

Two words to describe this story: lush and engaging.
The Heir by Grace Burrowes

    The Heir
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Original edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402244347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402244346
  • Price 6.99
Genre: Historical Romance - Regency
My Rating:  4.5 of 5.0

Product Description from Sourcebook An earl who can’t be bribed...
Gayle Windham, earl of Westhaven, is the first legitimate son and heir to the duke of Moreland. To escape his father’s inexorable pressure to marry, he decides to spend the summer at his townhouse in London, where he finds himself intrigued by the secretive ways of his beautiful housekeeper...

A lady who can’t be protected...
Anna Seaton is a beautiful, talented, educated woman, which is why it is so puzzling to Gayle Windham that she works as his housekeeper.
As the two draw closer and begin to lose their hearts to each other, Anna’s secrets threaten to bring the earl’s orderly life crashing down—and he doesn’t know how he’s going to protect her from the fallout...

Review: I really loved the deep characters, the tender romance and the voice of this story!

Westhaven is a strong primary character.  He is a staunch, British Earl/Duke to be with dedication to his business affairs and a fairly strict routine.  He seems a bit cold, almost crude, in the relationship with his mistress. But, after all, it is a business arrangement as he meets with her by appointment two days a week. He does not express his affections easily but he is deeply caring and loving to his family - except for his father pushing him to pick a bride.  His younger brother, Val, a gifted pianist, and his half brother, Dev, both end up residing with him.

Anna is a strong female character to match the Earl. She is a suburb housekeeper who goes beyond the day to day chores by adding style and personality to the house through flower arrangements, special meals and personal touches.  Her own warmth shines through in her efforts. But Anna has secrets. She is much more refined and educated than a usual housekeeper.  She is protecting another maid servant, Morgan, who is deaf and mute, and they are both hiding from something in their past.

Westhaven is planning to enjoy a quite summer but an unexpected misunderstanding gets his head bashed by his housekeeper. As Anna cares for the wounds she inflicted, he begins to notice how lovely and competent she is.  They first develop a companionable friendship which grows progressively closer.  Anna sees beyond his gruffness and soon succumbs to his gentle seduction. Although she begins to trust him with more than friendship, she continues to reject even his good intentions, as she is not willing to trust him to solve the problems of her past.  I had to agree with the Duchess’ sentiments at one point about knocking their heads together as Earl and Anna withdraw from each other for the wrong reasons.

I think the story has a wonderful depth of feeling to it from the Earl’s sternness to his edgy, almost wicked, sensual campaign, which is balanced by Anna’s lighter nature and the warmth of the family. There is a touch of legal issues which I liked too.

The writing flowed very nicely.  There is some rough language and fairly steamy sexual scenes but they seemed to fit the hero’s character and were consistent with the rich underlying passions of the protagonists. I am glad I did not get turned off  by it as the overall package was a good read.  I highly recommend this book and I hope to get to read the sequels or other works by this author.
Caution: Language and edge of erotic sexual content.

Thank you to Sourcebooks for the book to read and review and for providing TWO copies of The Heir for Giveaway!


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* This contest will close 10:00 PM (Central) on December 21, 2010. The winners will be randomly selected from all entries.  TWO WINNERS!

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