Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes

LADY
Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (372 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

What Lady Jenny wants for Christmas…

For Christmas, soft-spoken Lady Jenny Windham craves the freedom to pursue her artistic ambitions, though it will mean scandalizing her ducal parents and abandoning all hope of a family of her own. She confides her plans to successful artist Elijah Harrison when he’s commissioned to paint a portrait of her small nephews, because assisting Elijah will bring Jenny that much closer to her heart’s desire—won’t it?

…Will break both their hearts

Elijah Harrison finds in his unlikely assistant not only an inspiring muse and unappreciated talent, but also a lovely and passionate woman. If Elijah supports Jenny’s career, his own professional interests will suffer, but more significantly, he will lose Jenny forever. Both Jenny and Elijah must choose between true love and a lifelong dream.

Reading Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait was like eating one of my favorite cookies. It was good to the very last crumb. The melty, dark chocolate chips of love gave that little ‘high’ and the taste lingered long after the story was read. The events that added interest and gave the story strength are like the crunchy bits of pecan. The oatmeal hints of both rough and easy daily living. It gave the story a texture full of how life was during that time of history in England. The other ingredients, so familiar and blended together to perfection, are the compelling Windham family members. Extra special is the unique flavor of a new character—Elijah, a gorgeous, sensitive, remarkable man who enhances it all. Yummy good!

Jenny is the only unwed sibling in the close-knit Windham family. She doesn’t want to marry. She wants to give full rein to her “artistic inclinations”. Her talents are great, but no one in her family really takes her “little pictures” and dabbling seriously.

When Elijah Harrison, the portrait painter, comes to paint his first juvenile portrait in the home of Jenny’s sister, he and Jenny start an emotional journey together that seems unlikely to last for long. He is world-weary and wants to go home, while Jenny wants to escape from her loving, controlling family and study art in Paris. How they rub along together and how Elijah recognizes Jenny’s underlying need to pursue her art is a delicious story to savor. Her deep-down hurt, her biddable nature, and sensitive, artistic nature make her complex, with many layers to her personality.

Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait stands alone as a wonderful, complete book all by itself; but, if you’ve had the good fortune to have read earlier books of the Windham series, it will enrich Jenny’s story. I felt as if I had been invited to the Christmas open house at the country home of the Duke and Duchess of Moreland. Like a boisterous family reunion, all the exciting, multifaceted Windham siblings along with their families celebrate the holiday together. While Jenny loves them all dearly and they her, she feels lonely and even more determined to take herself away from them. She grieves for her two dead brothers Victor and Bartholomew in a brokenhearted way that is heart wrenching. Her guilt about their deaths reveals so much about her character..

Elijah’s self-imposed estrangement from his family because of a hot-headed, youthful declaration to his father has reached its limit. A seemingly impossible situation about his art and his responsibility of being the next Marquess of Flint has him struggling to find a way to bridge the gap between them. His family is a side story that intrigues. How Jenny fits into his struggle and how he comes to the realization of what is absolutely the most important thing in his life is absorbing reading.

Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait is a celebration of family love and family struggles to stay together while allowing each member of the family to grow in his or her own uniqueness. Ms. Burrowes fits them all together like the pieces of a picture puzzle—each piece is important to make the picture complete AND she does it beautifully.

Grace Burrowes slips in metaphors in just the right places to enrich one’s reading experience. Her subtle humor and her understanding of family dynamics make the story pulsate with life. Best of all, her remarkable ability to create sizzling love scenes that tantalize the senses and set the body and heart racing, while slipping in that caring, nurturing love, makes one believe in a “happy-ever-after” love that endures.

Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait is a delicious treat that, while satisfying, leaves one hoping there are more just as good to come.

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