Genre: historical romance
Cover: the usual, nice colors
A genius with a terrible loss…
Gifted pianist Valentine Windham, youngest son of the Duke of Moreland, has little interest in his father’s obsession to see his sons married, and instead pours passion into his music. But when Val loses his music, he flees to the country, alone and tormented by what has been robbed from him.
A widow with a heartbreaking secret…
Grieving Ellen Markham has hidden herself away, looking for safety in solitude. Her curious new neighbor offers a kindred lonely soul whose desperation is matched only by his desire, but Ellen’s devastating secret could be the one thing that destroys them both.
Together they’ll find there’s no rescue from the past, but sometimes losing everything can help you find what you need most.
Lord Valentine Windham is the youngest son of the Duke of Moreland, and his only passion and his true talent is in playing the piano, creating the most beautiful music. He really grieves the passing of two of his older brothers, and now he is losing his music as well. His left hand is severely injured, and it will need a lot of rest if he ever wants to play again. But Val does not really belief in that, and he seems to be punishing his hand. Not by playing music, but through hard labor.
Val won an estate near London in a card game from the young Baron Roxbury, Freddy Markham. What he does not yet know, is that the estate is not freely his at all. It is given in a life trust to the former Baron’s widow, Ellen FitzEngle. Ellen does not use her title or her husband’s name, and lives quietly in a small cottage on the estate, making a living by gardening and selling her produce in the local village.
With his good friend Darius, Val sets out to investigate his new estate, and to set it to rights. The main house has been badly neglected and is partly in ruins. With the help of Darius, the two sons of another good friend, and local skilled labourers, he sets out to restore the mansion and the estate. Val also becomes very close to Ellen, and he is surprised when he finds out she is a Baroness and living like this. Why is the new Baron not supporting her? Bit by bit he find out Ellen’s secrets, and he is determined to make things right for her, even if she keeps refusing to marry him. His title is only a courtesy title, but he has his own firm that makes the best piano’s in the country, and he is doing quit allright for himself.
Of course Val keeps some secrets from Ellen as well, like who his father is, although she is suspicious a bit as his friends are Lords as well, a Duke, an Earl.
I really enjoyed this story. At first I thought it really farfetched, how those two people meet and how close they become, and that high lords like Val and Darius do manual labor of the back breaking kind themselves in restoring the mansion, and not just supervise. But it fitted the story, and I enjoyed it.
Of course I did guess the reason behind Ellen’s secrets very soon in the book, but the plot kept thickening, and I really liked how Valentine took care of it all, freeing Ellen in finally accepting him. Val has some really nice friends, and I actually do look forward to reading more books in this series. They make great secondary characters, especially the two boys.
The book is also more focused on Val’s point of view, and that is really refreshing for an historical romance.
The villain in this story is still young, but really self centered and cruel. He is a true killer and cares only about himself. I am glad he got part of what he deserved. I don’t think he is a character whom can be redeemed in a future book or series.
I liked the quiet background in this book as well, the country, quiet life, and not the press of the ton and balls and shopping. I usually do love reading about balls and all the beautiful clothes and it was not in this book at all, and I did not miss it. Grace Burrowes has a nicely flowing writing style, and I like it. She does write good friendships and relationships.
I do hope my historical romance burn out is on the mend, and I can enjoy my favourite authors again soon.
And now I really want to tease Blodeuedd about coming to Berlin, but sadly, Grace Burrowes has cancelled her appearance the Love Letter Convention.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian