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Monday, November 15, 2010

The Heir by Grace Burrowes

The Heir by Grace Burrowes
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (450 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

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...

Young girls of marriageable age staked out like sacrificial lambs in a glittering ballroom for males to prey on just does not work for Gayle Windham, Earl of Westhaven even if he does need a wife--he will be the Duke when his father dies. However, his imperious father, the Duke of Moreland, wants Gayle married to insure the family lineage—he wants grandsons NOW.

Gayle likes solitude, peace and quiet, so he stays in his London residence when all of Society goes to the country for the summer. His housekeeper knows how to adjust the windows to keep the breeze circulating through the house that is sparkling clean and perfumed with fresh-cut flowers daily. The meals are good and the service efficient.

Anna Seaton, the housekeeper, wants to go unnoticed but circumstances bring her front and center to the Earl’s attention. She guards her secret well, but does not do so well with guarding her heart. She knows the rules of deception well—dress the part, believe your own lies, have more money and resources than you show, and always have an alternative plan. Keeping her freedom is of utmost importance for her and Morgan who works as a maid in the household. This is an urgent need that colors Anna’s life and her actions regardless of how her heart feels.

The Earl’s brother, Valentine. With his beautiful music and tender heart, adds joy to the Earl’s household. Devlin, the Earl’s half-brother is a seasoned veteran of war, astute in the vagaries of humanity, and unerringly protective of Gayle. Even though he is suspicious of Anna, he defends her because she is important to Gayle. The Earl’s mother is also protective. She truly sets the fox among the chickens when she hires a detective to look into Anna’s background.

Grace Burrowes’ characters, full of emotion and action, come alive, Even the rather incidental secondary characters have distinct personalities, even little Rose. The antagonists are so despicable one really wants to reach out and give them a sound drubbing. They are men reared with privilege and should know better.

Ms. Burrowes’ smooth, unobtrusive writing style engages all the senses. It makes the love scenes spellbinding, the danger a heart-pounding experience, and the caring, protective love for loved ones awe-inspiring.

The Heir is hard to put down when once started--remarkably good reading. A big thank you to Grace Burrowes for a terrific story that has some provocative thoughts about life and living along with an irresistible love story that has some mighty anxious moments as Gayle and Anna muddle their way toward a happy-ever-after.