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on 26 April 2017
Very satisfying story rounding up several Lonely Lords into an interesting view of their lives.
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on 15 September 2013
Grace Burrowes never ceases to amaze me. How on earth she manages to be both prolific AND so damn good boggles the mind. I haven't yet read all of her books (I have to catch up with the earlier Windham stories) but everything else I've read of hers has been a 4 or 5 star read for me, and Ethan is no exception.

Ethan Grey is the illegitimate older brother of Nicholas Haddonfield, now Earl Bellefonte and hero of the previous book in the series. Inseparable as children, they were wrenched apart because of a misunderstanding by their father, and Ethan was packed away to school - a school at which Ethan was not well-treated.

Ethan is now a widower with two young sons, Jeremiah and Joshua. His marriage was not a happy one and although he loves his boys dearly, it's clear he has trouble connecting with them. Fortunately, help is not far away in the form of Miss Alice Portman, the governess he engages to teach the boys. She accepts the job on condition that the boys spend a certain amount of their time with their father, and the relationship that is built between them is a joy to read.

Another highlight is the way that Ethan and Nicholas build on the relationship they re-established in the previous book. Grace Burrowes has a knack for writing male friendships that are 'typically' male while they also have an undercurrent of affection. She is also incredibly skilled at writing children that are believable - I'm not a great fan of children in romance novels, but Ms Burrowes makes them seem like real people rather than one-dimensional cuties.

As I've come to expect from Ms Burrowes, the romance was tender and sweet and beautiful - two lonely, emotionally scarred people come together and learn that yes, it is possible to leave the past behind and stop letting what happened in the past govern the way they were living their lives in the present. It's untimately a story about healing, I think, with Ethan repairing his relationships with his brother and his children, as well as the way in which Ethan and Alice come together to help each other and along the way discover that there is someone out there who is worth healing for.

You can read a more detailed version of this review at my blog - [...]
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on 30 July 2016
So here we have Ethan Grey, the eldest of the Haddonfield brothers, with younger brother, Nicholas, inheriting the Bellefonte earldom. That's because Ethan was born on the wrong side of the blanket. Of and in itself, that wouldn't have been so bad because the old earl took Ethan in and claimed him as his own son and when Ethan and Nicholas were younger, they were inseparable. However, something occurred which displeased their father resulting in the boys immediately being sent off to different schools. Nicholas was brokenhearted and Ethan was literally torn apart - emotionally - and at some point was damaged in a manner that would stick to his soul for many years resulting in his separation from the family he had thought was his own. The separation from Nicholas and his father were the hardest blows. The kind hearted Nicholas was also devastated by the loss of his brother and has attempted to gather Ethan back into the fold since his adulthood without imposing upon Ethan's sensibilities.

When the book begins, Ethan has been married, his wife is now dead, leaving him with two young sons, ages 4 and 5. He comes across a young woman at Nicholas' home and decides to hire her as a governess for his sons. She's none other than one of the Portmaine girls, referred to as Alice Portman in this book - a lovely lady who has chosen to leave her home for reasons I won't expound upon. Let's just say she has some darkness in her own past and feels the need to simply stay away from her home and family.

If you're a long time fan of Burrowes' books, you've probably learned that it simply won't do to read one or two of her books to fully flesh out the characters. No, she has a way of intertwining pretty much all the various series so that one must simply eventually read every single darn book to learn all the details of the various happenings to the characters. I used to be stumped when I'd finished a book, wondering where in the hey the pieces were the story was alluding to, but never knowing quite where to find them. You'll eventually find all the missing parts if you read all the "Windham Family Series," the "Lonely Lord Series," the "Jaded Gentlemen Series," and the "True Gentlemen Series." I've read "The MacGregor Series" but those books are unrelated to the other series - at least to my recollection.

This book is no exception relative to learning the complete backstories of Ethan and Alice. By the time I came upon this book, I knew some of Alice's background as well as Ethan's. I'll simply leave it at that. Suffice it to say, both are coming together in a relationship - he as her employer and she as governess to his children. Will they be able to eventually come to some peace about their respective pasts enough to enter into a whole relationship? One thing about Burrowes' characters is the fact, they have some inestimable qualities that often overshadow their faults. This book is no exception.
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on 14 July 2015
I keep reading Grace Burrowes in an attempt to understand her modus operandi. Her characters internal life is well well written and enjoyable, although the reasons for their conflict are sometimes quite thin. Her settings are appalling, I don't know if it is Gone with the Wind or some imaginary land, certainly not England and very hard to imagine. Her aristocrats behave like servants, carting round innumerable tea trays, invading kitchens (we know that 19th century kitchens were dark, candlelit and cooking was by fire, either open or perhaps a stove and ovens were at the mercy of the size of the fire for their heat. Cooking was thus a strenuous difficult job, but Grace's aristos swan into empty kitchens and turn out marvellous batches of baked goods. Thank the Lord the Earl of Sandwich had invented sandwiches or Grace would have been snookered. Why her characters behave this way and why she feels the need to let her readers know that in her world people ate bread, American muffins (why they did not eat English muffins is another one of Grace's mysteries) scones (all slathered in butter and jam) and drank tea morning, midmorning, lunch, afternoon and night and at every available opportunity in between. Dinners strangely bear no resemblance to the era. One other nitpick, what are these iced teacakes so gluttinously devoured. A tea cake here is a currant bun with a shiny skin that you toast). Why does she go to such lengths to describe in detail settings and behaviours that are so wrong. How much better her books would be if they had even an element of accuracy. Names are another hardship what happened to Charlotte, Sophia, Jane, Elizabeth, Lettice etcetc. One particular dreadful effort at comedy had a child named Halifax Chesapeak All very British isn't it. Why do they all drink Irish Whiskey. In some of the books the family has a distillary in Scotland but they drink whiskey, why? An English manor house is described with verandahs and balconies (this must be from the Gone with the Wind mindset, while the covered bridge in Dorset I think must have come from Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep in Madison County.
How is it possible that these books merit awards when every one of them is full to the gunnels with mistakes. If Grace has any intention of reaching out to readers other than American, then she really does need to brush up on her history and as for the individuals who who offer awards for this level of descriptive writing I think they are needing to have a good hard look at what it is they praising, it seems so parochial as to be insulting.
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on 30 July 2014
It took a while for me to work out why I didn't like this. I think it has to do with the author using quite serious subjects within the novel but giving the characters 21st attitudes to them so it jarred. The topics were then rushed in favour of the happily ever after expected in this genre which (to my mind) trivialises the subjects involved.
However, I didn't hate it and if the author is serious about writing about alternative lifestyles in the 18th century then I liked Hadrian's brother Harold, and I'd quite like to read his story
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on 21 June 2013
H and h are both damaged by incidents in their past. Their love gives each of them the chance to move on and build a new, happier life together. For me, one of this author's great strengths is her ability to develop believable family relationships. Ethan's relationship with Nicholas, first explored in Book 2, continues to unfold and we learn more about why the brothers' estrangement lasted so long and why it has been so hard for Ethan to rebuild the close relationship they had as boys. By the way, Ethan's sons are a delight!
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on 9 September 2015
I, too, have a problem with context. Ms Burrowes does not seem to have researched attitudes and mores in England during this era for the upper ten thousand. Also, the language -and menus(!) - can jar somewhat.

The constant state of unnecessary angst the Hero suffers in every book is unbelievable. I keep thinking, just get the characters to talk, for Heaven's sake!

However, I still want to read her books to get all the familial connections settled into happy endings.
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on 27 July 2013
I am reading all of this series with more to follow and they are just beautifully written and such good stories.
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on 7 July 2013
This is the third book in the "lonely lords"series of books by Grace Burrowes.I found it an exciting read and I cannot wait for "Beckmann" ,the next book in the series. I love the way all the characters in her books are linked together and you really want to know what happens to them. This includes the Heir, the Soldier, the Virtuosa, Darius,Nicholas etc
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on 25 March 2014
I have read all the books in this series and they are well worth a read if you like historical romances and the stories of a family. Grace Burrowes is a marvellous author bringing the books to life.
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