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Monday, July 15, 2013

ARC Review: Ethan by Grace Burrowes

There is just something about Grace Burrowes' books that speaks to me. I began reading the Lonely Lords series as soon as they came out. I enjoyed Darius and Nicholas very much, but the third installment, Ethan, really tugged at my heartstrings. Some readers might find this book a little slow. If so, they are missing the beauty of Burrowes' writing. To sum up her message - it's the little things in life that make the difference. She shows her characters going about the challenges of their everyday life, dealing with struggles both large and minute. The moments are genuine, poignant, and endearing.

I love a good tortured hero story. Is even better when both the hero and the heroine are tortured by issues from their past? For me, the answer is yes. Ethan Grey is the oldest son of the Earl of Bellefonte and is illegitimate. Separated from the brother he loved (Nicholas) by the misguided intentions of their father, Ethan makes some poor decisions while finding his own way in the world. The imminent death of the earl causes him to reconnect with Nicholas and shine light onto some shadowy issues. Widowed with two young sons Ethan hires Alice Portman as a governess to the boys. She is sensible and practical, a perfect balance for Ethan. Alice has secrets of her that complicate their budding relationship.

What makes this book so much better than all of other employer-governess stories? A couple of things. First, there is Burrowes' excellent writing. Her style utilizes a level of sophistication that requires the reader to think. A clear message in her books is the value and strength of family. The characters may have some personal dysfunction, but the family unit is the glue that binds them through their troubles. In Ethan I was impressed by the maturity of the hero and heroine. Their desire for each other was intense, but they clung to their good sense in deciding the direction of their attraction. I loved how Ethan and Nicholas gradually rebuild a badly damaged relationship. Throughout the story Ethan slowly becomes the man he was meant to be. Yes, I sobbed my way through a lot of it. That tells you how much I internalized the emotions of the characters. I loved this book and can't wait to read about all the other Lonely Lords.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

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  1. I have only gotten to Darius, so far, but I found it to be a very emotional read that stuck with me. I am looking forward to reading the rest in the series, as well. Thanks for the great review!