Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: Paperback, 397pp
(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Grace Burrowes on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter
Books in the Series: The Heir (2010), The Soldier (2011), The Virtuoso (2011)
Excerpt from The Virtuoso
A MAN WHOSE PASSION HAS FAILED HIM...
Lord Valentine Windham is devastated when an injury makes it impossible for him to play the piano. Val's music was his greatest expression and also his salvation from the pressures of society - and of his imperious father. Grief, loss, and loneliness threaten to overwhelm him, until he meets a beautiful young widow whose troubles are even deeper than his own...
Immerse yourself in the earthy, passionate Regency world of Grace Burrowes where love and sensuality come vibrantly to life in a timelessly graceful era...
Grace Burrowes once again captivates readers with the third book in the Duke's Obsession series, The Virtuoso. Fans of Burrowes have been eagerly awaiting the tale of Lord Valentine Windham. In previous books, The Heir and The Soldier, Val has been a secondary character that possessed wit, humor and the ability to sooth the soul with his music. Now readers will see him as a stripped down hero, with his heart literally broken from the loss of being able to play piano. Burrowes is able to bring to tortured hearts together in this book and allow the reader to see the healing power of love.
The Virtuoso is a novel that will leave readers feeling tender, emotional and somewhat vulnerable, because of it's open and heart felt sentiment. Valentine is essentially completely devastated when an injury causes him to lose the ability to play piano, something that has been his obsession and his salvation from the scrutiny of society and the pressures of being the son of a Duke. Burrowes has already established Valentine's character in the previous books in the series, but she explores more deeply the kind of man Val is in this book. He has often hid his loneliness and feelings that he didn't fit in with his music and now that is gone and loss of it is profound. I think Val is character that readers will sympathize with and feel greatly for.
When Valentine wins a dilapidated manor house from a young upstart of a Lord, he uses it to fill the void he feels in his heart for his music. He is just as passionate about fixing up the place as he is about everything else in his life. When he meets a young widow living on the estate, he transfers just as much emotion to that relationship as he does everything else. Ellen and Val have met before and shared a stolen kiss, but that is nothing to emotion they share as they help each other begin to heal. Val's healing is both physical and emotional and Ellen is a tortured soul as well. Burrowes is able to bring together two characters that compliment each other so well.
Ellen is poverty stricken and facing blackmail from the son of her former husband. She is somewhat wishy-washy about the strong feelings Val evokes in her but she is still very present in the relationship and eventually begins to trust in the love that she and Val share. I have to admit that I loved Valentine a lot more than I did Ellen as a character. She was just a bit to evasive for me. I understand that she provided the needed conflict to the story with her secrets and inability to trust, but it seemed like she held out a little too long for my tastes. Here is a man who is obviously in love with her, willing to share his life with her, give her the desires of her heart, yet she hesitates, a little hard to believe. But one has to take into consideration that she thought she would lose him if she came clean. So I can let that part go, even though it was tedious to read.
The overall story was romantic and sweet and full of humor and healing. I loved the premise of the story and Valentine was a spectacular hero. I love it when the good guy ends up with the girl! Good guys don't always finish last in romances and that part of the reason I love them. This is a great installment in the series and I know that fans of Burrowes will look forward to the authors latest challenge, the Windham women. I also look forward to glimpses of each of the Windham brothers in these books as well. This is a truly captivating historical romance. Burrowes transports readers back in time and fills them with love and longing with The Virtuoso. She is definitely becoming a favorite author of mine, you don't want to miss!
The Virtuoso is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Grace Burrowes is the author of The Heir, which was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, and The Soldier, which was named a Publishers Weekly Best Spring Romance of 2011. She is hard at work on stories for the five Windham sisters, the first of which, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish, is already on shelves. Grace is a practicing attorney specializing in family law and lives in rural Maryland.