Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Laird by Grace Burrowes


The Laird
By Grace Burrowes
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical Romance

He left his bride to go to war...

After years of soldiering, Michael Brodie returns to his Highland estate to find that the bride he left behind has become a stranger. Brenna is self-sufficient, competent, confident-and furious. Despite her anger at Michael's prolonged absence, Brenna has remained loyal to her husband, though Michael's people, and most especially the uncle who held the estate together for him, make it clear they expect Michael to set Brenna aside.

Though his most important battle will be for her heart.

Michael left Brenna when she needed him most, and then stayed away even after the war ended. Nonetheless, the young man who abandoned her has come home a wiser, more patient and honorable husband. Brenna is hurt, bewildered, and tired of fighting for the respect of those around her, but if she trusts Michael with the truths she'd been guarding, he'll have to choose between his wife and everything he holds dear.

Kathie's Review:

This is third book in the Captive Heart Series. It stands alone, but St. Clair and his wife from The Traitor make a very welcome appearance. 

This series is darker than many historical romances. It deals with the real issue of child molestation and that may be a trigger for some. While I give that warning, I must also say that Ms. Burrowes deals with the subject matter in a very sensitive manner. I was impressed that she put an author's note at the beginning of the book stating that while the issues were hard, there would be an HEA. She also had me on the edge of my seat as I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning reading. The tension had me chewing my cuticles to the quick. 

Brenna has been a wife in name only for nearly ten years after her new husband joins his regiment the morning after their unconsummated wedding night. In the intervening years she's had to put up with loneliness, gossip about her abandonment, and has been labelled a thief. With only one or two short letters from her wayward husband, she's kept the castle and the land going strong as she waited for Michael's return. He's been working for King and Country, undercover. So she has also put up with rumors of his treason. 

She's not that impressed when he comes back a Baron, which makes her a Baroness. Now, I was worried about cheating...he has been gone for so very long. I am glad to note that there was none, whew! That's always a hard line for me.

Michael is a very patient man. I loved that about him. He knows what he wants and he's willing to work for it, without pushing Brenna beyond what she can handle. He's also very observant and he works carefully to keep her comfortable in his pursuit of her. He notices that she's a bit skittish...and he wonders as to why that should be.

When the secrets are laid bare, as we all know they must be, I wanted to hug them both. Once again Grace Burrowes fills the shadows with unraveling threads and then lets us see them knit back together. While it is a darker novel, there is joy in the way these two finally come together. 

The supporting cast of the St. Clairs, her cousins, Maeve (Michael's little sister), and assorted villagers fill the pages with depth. 

I enjoyed the book very much. The joy to be found was worth the anxiety I felt as I read through the night. I highly recommend this book.
Thank you, NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca, for the opportunity to read The Laird


Sometime after she’d fallen exhausted into her bed, Brenna felt the mattress dip and shift. A pleasant whiff of vetiver, whiskey—and meadow grass?—came to her as her husband arranged himself two feet to her left.

The next sound was harder to decipher, but she managed—the soles of two big male feet rubbing together, the bedtime equivalent of shaking the dust of the day from one’s feet, a small safeguard in the direction of keeping the sheets clean if conducted with those feet hanging over the side of the bed.

Michael punched his pillows next, several stout blows that would have knocked wayward notions from grown men.

“Are you trying to wake me up, Husband?”

The punching stopped, and she felt him flop down onto the mattress—and heard the put-upon male sigh with which he tucked himself in.

“You did not lock the door, Brenna. My things are in this room.”

So was his wife.

“Neither one of us wants talk.” The bed was huge, and they weren’t touching, but Brenna could feel her husband thinking.

“I did not want you to conclude I was sneaking up on you.”

“You’re hard to miss when encountered in a bed, Michael. Go to sleep. Morning comes quickly.” And yet, she was pleased the pillows had taken a few warning shots on her behalf.

“You want time.”

“I want a good night’s sleep.” Though she should have anticipated that, like any man, Michael would want to beat a topic to death once broached. He could not ponder a discussion and undertake it in manageable portions; he must have done with it, regardless of the hour.

“I want time, too, Brenna Maureen.”

Brenna rolled to her side, wishing she’d left a candle burning, despite the extravagance. “Time for what?”

“I was a good soldier, once I saw what was expected of me. It’s part of the reason I went to France. I was to look after my men, the same as a laird looks after his people. When I went to France, it was much the same, though I was in a garrison with soldiers of a different nationality. We looked after one another, most of the time, and when a man lapsed in that duty, he suffered consequences.”

What was he saying, and why must he say it to her in pitch darkness?

“If I were planning to run off, Michael Brodie, I would have scarpered long since. Many and many a family has left the Highlands, including entire branches of clan MacLogan. I could easily have gone with them.” Though her own clansmen had hardly recalled where they’d stashed her, once she’d come to live at Castle Brodie.

A considering pause ensued, and then Brenna felt a single, callused finger trace down the side of her jaw.

“You might have left, but you stayed. I’m glad you stayed.”

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.

Connect with Grace Burrowes: 




  1. I know you're a huge fan, Kathie! This book sounds fantastic. Definitely going on my TBR. So, we can read this one w/o reading the others?

    1. Yes, you can read this one as a stand alone. Although the first two are just as good! Gosh, this one really hurt my heart...glad there was that AN at the BEGINNING!

  2. Looking forward to reading The Laird! Loved the first two in the series. Can't wait to see what comes next.

  3. Elizabeth SchroedleSeptember 2, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    After reading the synopsis, I would have to say Michael Brodie from The Laird.

  4. Gosh, I really can't CHOOSE one of these three men. Christian needed love so badly. Sebastian needed understanding. And Michael was a JOY. I know, I'll just have tea with all three, okay?

  5. This is a series that deals with some very difficult concepts. Grace addresses each issue with skill so that the reader does not feel bogged down with grief and sadness for the character. Well done Grace!

  6. I have not started with series of Graces yet. But I have enjoyed every one of her stories I have ever read or listened to. She has a touch about her stories. Never a lull. I am always glad to read her.

  7. These sound like very interesting books dealing with difficult issues , ones to go onto the wish list

  8. I've read several of Grace's other series - which were wonderful!! Can't wait to get started on this one!!

  9. I read your reviews of this series on GoodReads. INTERESTED!

  10. I love all of Grace Burrowes books

  11. Every Grace Burrowes story is a teaching lesson. Love each and every one.

  12. Hi Grace. I would love to get a copy. I started with the dukes family and have the lonely lords

  13. I love everything that Grace Burrowes writes :)

  14. Sounds great going on my TBR list!!