Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: THE SOLDIER by Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes's latest Regency historical, The Soldier, is a redemption tale about three suffering people who share a common bond and who find peace with each other.

Devlin St. Just, duke's bastard and former soldier wounded in mind if not in body, returns from ten years of war as the newly minted Earl of Rosecroft. He travels to his sadly-in-need-of-repair estate and there discovers the former earl's illegitimate child. Also on the scene is Miss Emmaline Farnum, herself a bastard, and the child's fiercely protective aunt. They all suffer from the stigma society has placed on the illegitimate, and their shared pain draws them together. But secrets abound, and can destroy the fragile bloom of Dev's and Emmie's love.

As in her previous book, The Heir, Ms. Burrowes has again written my favorite kind of hero, a decent man whose suffering has made him a better man. I also like Emmie, who supports herself and the child as a baker. She holds her head high in a hypocritical world that buys her goods while scorning her for something she could not control. The poor child, shielded by Emmie and later, Dev, is a pawn, having no understanding or power over adult society. The emotions run high in The Soldier because the torment has been so great. I liked The Heir very much, but I like The Soldier more.

Despite its serious tone, The Soldier contains sprinkles of humor, especially when Valentine, Dev's youngest half-brother and the hero of the next book, The Virtuoso, arrives on the scene.

I look forward to the next two installments, The Virtuoso and Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish.

Thank you all,
ARC provided by Sourcebooks

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