I enjoyed this book. It has an angsty, tortured hero, a strong and supportive heroine, an interesting storyline and a satisfying conclusion. But when it was over, I was left wondering why I didn’t love it… but merely liked it. Here is what I have come up with: the romance was too easy. Oh, the journey each character had to endure was horrible, yes. But the road to love was a cakewalk. Let’s back up.
Christian, the Duke of Mircea, was captured by the French and tortured for months as his enemies hoped to extract his secrets. They broke parts of his body, but they didn’t break his mind enough to force him to talk. Now that the war is over, he must face more hardship. His wife and young son are dead and he must resume the duties of his title with the limitations he now has from his time in captivity. But he doesn’t have to do it alone.
Gillian is his cousin by marriage and the young widow is very concerned about Christian’s surviving child. The little girl is in an emotional decline and Gilly appeals to the duke to go to her right away. He drafts Gillian to come with him and help manage the child –and the household– while he recovers.
Over the course of the book, we learn more about Gilly’s backstory and the horrible marriage she endured. We also see how she comes alive with Christian, as he does with her. Both are tentative, due to their respective histories, but they serve as a balm to one another and each grows stronger as a result.
There’s some conflict: someone targeting Gilly’s life; Christian plotting the death of his captors. But in the romance department: nada. Sure, there’s a little debate on whether Gillian can ever bring herself to marry again, but it’s really small potatoes in the angst department. From the moment these two crossed paths, they fit. They soothed each other. They felt attracted to each other. And they fell in love as naturally as breathing. Did this make the story bad? No way. It was a sweet love story and it had a few surprising revelations as the story progressed. It simply never put me on the edge of my seat. It never made my heart hurt or my stomach clench.
It was a nice romance, thought at times the story felt rather long. I was happy with how it ended and I believed in how it all played out. I liked it. I just didn’t love it.
*ARC Provided by Sourcebooks
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Grace Burrowes
Release Date: July 1, 2014