Nicholas by Grace Burrowes

Nicholas by Grace Burrowes
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (385 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Heir to the Bellefonte earldom, Nick Haddonfield has made a promise to his dying father that he’ll marry before the Season’s over. When Nick meets Lady Leah Lindsey, he realizes he’s found not only a damsel lady in need of rescuing, but also a perfect countess of convenience. Then he spoils everything by falling in love with his wife…the one woman he can never, ever have.

Two strangers converse in the dark as they retreat from the “Ballroom Battlefield” for a respite. They kiss for luck. His kiss speaks of kindness, hers of wonder and courage. Nicolas Haddonfield, Viscount Reston and Leah Lindsey connect as fellow sufferers. He deems her a damsel in distress and sets in motion actions to ease her seemingly hopeless plight. Thus begins an ardently giving, loving love story that is brimming over with lifelike characters. Nicholas is a Regency romance lover’s dream come true.

Nicholas, a gorgeous, gentle giant of a man has been no better than he had to be as he sowed his wild oats, but now feels duty bound to put his “wild and free” years behind him and marry as his ailing father wishes. He loves the ladies and is whispered about as “the berserker of the bedrooms”. He deals amiably with his public image, but his private person is another story all together—intriguing and compelling. Unknowingly, he operates from a false premise, but with the best of intentions as he seeks a wife for a “white marriage”. My goodness, what a tangled web he gets himself into with Leah somehow getting tangled in the same web.  This makes for amazing reading.

Leah is a “staked goat” in London’s Polite Society marriage market as she is long past her prime. Even though her brothers, Darius and Trenton, help her as much as they can, her cruel father is determined to make a profit off her marriage and is in negotiations with an odious, diseased old man who has had several wives, all of them now dead. Leah’s has suffered much from her father all ready and knows she will lose all hope and what little self worth she has if she has to marry the old man; but she is penniless and defenseless—at the mercy of her merciless father.

The captivating secondary characters, some of whom the reader will recognize from Darius and the fabulous Moreland Series, influence the main characters and support while giving the reader insight into the ‘doings’ of the times. Valentine Windham’s music speaks to Nicholas as he struggles to do the ‘right’ thing and keep a balance in his life. Valentine’s declaration that “it would destroy you not to marry for love” sets Nicholas on edge. Nicholas’ grandmother, Della, Dowager Marchioness, loves him dearly but is not above manipulation and machinations to nudge her grandson in the direction she sees his true happiness lays. She is a darling who does much to reconnect Nicolas with his family and especially with Ethan, his half-brother, that has a unique place his Nicholas’ heart. Leonie is a mystery that unfolds as the story progresses. She and Leah’s little half-brother add a new layer of love to the story.

Grace Burrowes exquisite writing style with its subtle humor (I love the scrappy little duck in the park) and revealing metaphors brings vibrant characters into a compelling plot with many subplots to create a love story that is breathtaking and heartwarming. Much of the story is told from Nicholas’ point of view and reveals an awesome giving love from both the hero and heroine. Nicholas is chocked full of special spots of love and actions that give the reader a vicarious experience long to be remembered. Nicholas is a keeper to be enjoyed more than once.

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