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Today I’m reviewing a book that I won in a giveaway some time ago. This book – The Heir by Grace Burrowes is one of the two books that I’m giving away in the Canada Day Giveaway and Blog Hop. To enter this giveaway, just scroll further down to find the form.
Release: Dec 7, 2010
Source: I won this book in a giveaway
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…
The Heir is the first book in the latest series by Grace Burrowes. As you can see from the blurb, the hero of the story is Gayle Windham who is the earl of Westhaven and the heir to the Duke of Moreland. I think the Duke is a riot, but we’ll get to him in a bit. Gayle is not the first born, but is one of 10 children, several have died due to various reasons. Since he is the heir to the dukedom, he is hot property! He is pursued by mothers and scheming young ladies everywhere. In an attempt to avoid the ladies he decides to spend the summer in London rather than making the rounds of various country house parties.
We first meet Anna Seaton when she mistakenly assumes Gayle is molesting a house maid and hits him to get him to release her. Quite the embarrassing first meeting between housekeeper and employer! The more that Gayle and Anna get to know each other, the more he realizes that she is hiding secrets, and the more he likes her. They develop a friendship that is quite close in private, but they still maintain the formality in public for a time.
I liked the character of Gayle. He was not raised to take over the dukedom, but has been put in this position through the death of a beloved brother. Not only is he mourning his brother, but he is having to sort through the mess his father has made of the dukedom. Add to this, he is suddenly the target of matchmaking, and he is fed up. He just wants some peace and quiet. He wants to get on with his work. He likes his housekeeper on many levels. She makes his lemonade just right, and keeps a supply of marzipan on hand for his sweet tooth and she even serves as his secretary when necessary. He has some interesting quirks, but his is honestly interested in making Anna his wife, regardless of the opinion of others.
Anna is hiding secrets and we find out that she is on the run, so to speak from her past. I like that she is a strong, sensible character. She does what is necessary to make her way in the world and to protect her sister, Morgan. She is pragmatic, hardworking, but mistrusting of most men. The last point is what creates the division between herself and Gayle. It is something that makes the story more interesting!
I find that sometimes the secondary characters are present to almost provide background noise to a story. The simply are there, not not memorable. That is not the case in this story. The character of the Duke was completely enjoyable! He sounds like he was a handful in his youth, fathering two illegitimate children with different women after he was married. His duchess seems to be responsible for most of his molding into a more responsible character and encouraged his acknowledgment of the children. He is at times a pompous, puffed up little frog, demanding that his children marry the person he chooses for them and start producing grandchildren, and at other times, he is a scheming little manipulator. The third side of him is seen around his wife – that of a dutiful, sober minded lovable husband. I think Ms. Burrowes needs to create a book for his story! Two of Gayle’s siblings are introduced in this book – Val and Dev. Devlin St. Just is the subject of the next book (which I will review tomorrow) and one of the illegitimate children of the Duke. He’s a tortured war hero and I’m looking forward to talking about his story. I understand that Val is the subject of the third book in the series.
I found this book to be a wonderfully romantic read. It isn’t a short story by any means – not something that you can race through on a rainy afternoon. It’s a book to be savored and meandered through slowly. It has a different feel than many books that I have been reading lately and I enjoyed it. I look forward to reading Dev’s story in The Soldier.