Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TBR Challenge: Grace Burrowes - The Heir

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...
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...

Comment: This year June is a month dedicated to Favorite Trope books when it comes to the monthly TBR challenge post. I have several preferences in books and one of them is when a richer, usually more confident or steady man helps (meaning, not overpowers nor bosses around, nor treats the heroine as a child) the heroine to accomplish her goals o is there to be a support system which eventually makes them realize their relationship is all about themselves as a couple and not just the things around them defining who they are to one another.
I also like different class relationships when done well. This book has an earl and his housekeeper ending up together so I thought it would be a good choice.

Anne Seaton is the housekeeper at the earl of Westhaven's house and she is efficient and dedicated. The book starts when she attacks the earl thinking he is another man going to touch a maid in an improper way. After she realizes her mistake, she helps him and he starts paying attention to her which eventually leads the to talk and discuss many things rather than just household needs and slowly they fall in love.
Anna, however, has a secret and she fears she can't allow others, especially people she comes to care about like the earl and his brothers, to be in danger or to be caught in the scandal of her real identity being know. Will she finally accept the earl's help?

I've had this book to read since last year, it's quite a lengthy book, almost 500 pages in my paperback edition and it's a very rich and detailed story.
I was curious about the author, this is my first attempt with her work but I had good enough expectations, not only because of good opinions but also by the idea of this novel and another one I'm interested in by her, whose blurbs have caught my eye easily.
I liked this one, it was certainly complex when it comes to whys and hows and explanations of every thing but I'm sure a few less pages would have done the trick as well.

My biggest issue is the way the characters dealt with one or two things. I certainly liked how slowly but simply the relationship between Anna and Westhaven developed, I loved his relationship with his brothers and also his parents, I liked how considerate they al were with those in their service - not something always seen in historicals -  which makes me think the author has an eye for detail ans creating the perfect environment. But this means things are thought and overthought to the extreme and this means that often easy things take ages to happen or that the solution could be a quick one and isn't for plot purposes without any need. 
This is a situation I saw repeating itself throughout the, when things get to a conclusion and it feels like the end is near, there are still several pages left because the main couple is stubborn to just say they want to be with one another. Why waiting like martyrs for the others to guess their thoughts?

Apart from some characterization choices, I liked the characters, they are rich in behavior scenes, meaning, we learn a lot about them by seeing how thy behave and not just by knowing or seeing them telling things to one another and the secondary cast was amazing, especially the brothers, characters I'm curious about and I will probably read their stories too.

The main couple was the center stage but they weren't "clogging" the narrative with their inner thoughts all the time, we had plenty of pages just watching the plot develop and that worked out well for me. But yes, some details dragged on a bit...
I liked Anna although it annoyed me a bit she was not really a housekeeper...well, that can be more easily accepted when we think the hero will become a duke...oh well. Anna was just trying to fo a goo deed and I liked how attentive she was whether for others' preferences or about tasks to be done, etc.
The earl was a great hero, not overbearing, not careless..a perfect blend I think. If only he showed his nobility status a bit more at the end when it came to show Anna he wanted her as a wife, I don't mean his opinion of her as a woman or a person he took care of too...well, perfection doesn't really exist, I guess.

The end was predictable but had its fairy tale similarity and the HEA deserved. There is an epilogue, surprisingly short after such a long book...I would have preferred a smaller final end of story and a better epilogue.
This was not a perfect historical but I found out it worked well enough for me and the reading experience pleasant and easy to maintain.
Grade: 8/10


  1. I liked this one, too. I'm a big Grace Burrowes fan. She has a huge backlist!

    1. Yes, I can see that!
      I'm interested in the next two books in this series which feature the brothers and I already have The Duke's Disaster, whose blurb really appeals to me. Will have to check other titles I might like to try. :)