by Grace Burrowes
Captured and tortured by the French, Christian Severn, Duke of Mercia, lost his wife, his son, and his will to live. He struggles with society life until Gillian, Countess of Windmere, pointedly reminds him that he has a daughter who still needs him.
As Christian and Gilly spend more and more time together trying to heal Lucy, who was traumatized by her mother’s death, their attraction slowly begins to grow.
But just as life seems to be getting back to normal, Gilly mysteriously refuses Christian’s marriage proposal, and Lucy's terrible secret threatens to tear them apart forever…
I have to say, this was a much darker start, and book, than many of Ms. Burrowes' other books. Tore at my heartstrings! The title, The Captive, was so appropriate. Christian, though freed after his torture, was still held captive to revenge...and healing. Gilly was held captive to her secrets. Lucy was held captive to silence. And even Girard, the man who did most of the torture of Christian, was a captive to orders.
I love how Ms. Burrowes incorporates the titles' themes throughout her books. This was a story of learning how to live again, in freedom, for many of the characters. And the journey to an HEA kept me enthralled.
The torture that Christian survived had me in tears. And reading through my fingers! Those scenes were incredibly intense.
I enjoyed Gilly very much. Such a take charge young woman. And one who hasn't had a charmed life, either.
We get to see Devlin St. Just, a character from The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2) (Windham #2), and it was lovely to see him.
A wonderful start to a new series. I'll certainly be there for all of them!
Thank you, NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca, for the opportunity to read The Captive
The countess brought Christian’s hand up, holding the back of it against the extraordinary softness of her cheek. Until he’d taken liberties with her in the library, he’d forgotten how wonderfully, startlingly soft a woman’s cheek could be. As soft as sunshine and summer rain, as soft as the quiet of the English countryside.
“Shall we sit?” he asked, though she’d likely release his hand if they sat. He was a widower, though, and she ought not to begrudge him simple human contact when he’d been so recently bereaved.
She let him lead her to a shaded bench near the roses, the morning air faintly redolent of their perfume. When Christian seated her, the countess kept his damaged hand in hers.
“I was not allowed to garden at Greendale,” she said, fingers drifting over his knuckles. “The estate had gardens, because his lordship would not be seen to neglect his acres, but I was forbidden to walk them, or to dig about in the good English soil, or to consult with the gardeners regarding the designs and plantings.”
Based on the studied casualness of her tone, this prohibition had been irksome.
“You are free to garden here all you like,” Christian said. “I ask only that you not disturb my mother’s roses.”
“They are lovely.”
“She was lovely.”
Another silence, while Christian became aware of his surroundings beyond the small hand holding his. The roses were in their early summer glory, and why Polite Society insisted on staying in Town through most of June was incomprehensible, when the alternative was the English countryside. The sunshine was a perfectly weighted beneficence on his cheek, the scent of the gardens heavenly, and the entire morning aurally gilded with the fluting chorus of songbirds.
He wanted to kiss the lady beside him again, not in thanks, not as a good-night benediction, but for the sheer pleasure of the undertaking.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes' bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish and Lady Eve's Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.
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