Author: Grace Burrowes
Published: December 2010 (Sourcebooks)
Category: Historical Romance
Series: Duke's Obsession #1
I think I discovered this book in another blogger’s review post and it sounded like something I’d enjoy. The Duke of Moreland wants to secure the succession and have his heir, Gayle Windham, Earl of Westhaven, married off. Of course, Moreland has more than one son, not all legitimate, so this will be a series, probably a trilogy. He winds up falling for his housekeeper, Anna Seaton, a woman of good breeding, but many secrets. Their relationship begins with her coshing him with a fireplace poker, as all great relationships start, of course.
The Heir is not a light, frothy romance. It leans more towards Julia London/Stephanie Laurens style, romance touched with drama. I liked the upstairs-downstairs elements in the relationship between Windham and Anna. Windham has the luxury of falling in love with Anna, despite her supposedly being just a housekeeper, because his father’s so desperate to get him married off. In fact, the duke was so desperate that he was willing to have Windham’s mistress get preggers and force the marriage, despite the fact that said mistress was already knocked up by some other guy. Windham preferred to choose on his own if his father was going to resort to those types of tactics. He knows Anna is more than what she says, based on her education and manner.
However, Anna and her sister are in hiding, and can’t tell Windham why because they’d promised their grandmother they’d never reveal their family’s secrets to an outsider. It did get annoying towards the end of the book, where I just wished Anna would trust Windham, who had already proposed marriage to her, and let him help her, as he offered to do so.
I really enjoyed how their relationship grew, and the things Windham did to be a gentleman, even bringing his meddling father into the mix. The book has been called an “erotic regency,” but I don’t find that the sex is gratuitous or all over the book. I’m excited to read the next entry in the series, The Soldier, which is releasing June 1st.
Note: The Heir is available on the Nook and Kindle for less than a dollar right now!