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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