Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait
by Grace Burrowes
- Series: Windham Series
- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (September 24, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 140226383X
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
A freshly wrapped Regency Christmas romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes.
What Lady Jenny wants for Christmas...
For Christmas, soft-spoken Lady Jenny Windham craves the freedom to pursue her artistic ambitions, though it will mean scandalizing her ducal parents and abandoning all hope of a family of her own. She confides her plans to successful artist Elijah Harrison when he's commissioned to paint a portrait of her small nephews, because assisting Elijah will bring Jenny that much closer to her heart's desire--won't it?
...Will break both their hearts
Elijah Harrison finds in his unlikely assistant not only an inspiring muse and unappreciated talent, but also a lovely and passionate woman. If Elijah supports Jenny's career, his own professional interests will suffer, but more significantly, he will lose Jenny forever. Both Jenny and Elijah must choose between true love and a lifelong dream.
Lady Jenny isn’t prepared to resign herself to becoming the eccentric maiden aunt of her family. They already are passing her from household to household to keep her busy. Meanwhile she sketches and paints while they scoff at her art because noble ladies, much like noble men, are not to engage in or be serious about pursuits like art. Jenny has decided that, even though it will be hard to leave her family behind, she will go to Paris after Christmas so that she can study art and seek respect for her talent.
Elijah Harrison is a well respected artist who has accepted a commission to do a portrait of Lady Jenny’s nephews. He hopes the juvenile portrait will be a success that will finally earn him a spot in the prestigious Royal Academy for the Arts. Then he can return home and show his titled father that his art isn’t a frivolous waste of time. Elijah is surprised to discover that Jenny loves art as much as he does but she is stifled by a family that has not shown appreciation for her talent. He thinks her work is amazing for an untrained artist and he finds her a delightful help working with the young boys and then again with her own parents. It is only Elijah’s long years of discipline that help him control his attractions to her as they work side by side sharing critiques and advise.
Jenny is thrilled to be working with Elijah who can understand her passion for art and her frustrations with her family. They soon begin to share a passionate attraction beyond their painting talent and Jenny is willing to push Elijah to explore that. Elijah has a high sense of honor but he is hard pressed to deny Jenny her dreams, even if it means letting her go to Paris when he really wants to keep her by his side.
I enjoyed the strong passionate spirits yet gentle love between these characters. I liked how their struggle and conflicts with familial issues and approval have impacted the decisions that have placed them where they are and direct the plans they are each making. The conflict kept me interested to see how it would get resolved.
I think this could be read as a stand alone but the reader might miss the richness of the preceeding stories for the family memebers. I enjoyed the input of characters from earlier books. Burrowes consistently provides strong characters, good conflict and suitable charm. Although the beginning of this book seemed to be moving slowly, I discovered that the pacing suited the story. The writing is not rushed but paints a beautiful story, rich with the colors, textures and smells of the artists which made it vivid and a delight to read.
Enjoy this descriptive warmth as Jenny realizes that Ethan truly cares about her feelings:
He was worried about her.
Outside, the day was dreary, a winter morning making little effort to shrug off a blanket of clouds. Inside Jenny's heart, a rainbow sprang up, bright and warm. Page 114.
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