Series: Windham #1
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency, Steamy
Source: Tantor Audio
Book 1 in the Windham series
Author Grace Burrowes
Narrated by James Langton
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date May 31, 2016
Running time 12 hrs 20 min
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Gayle Windham, earl of Westhaven, is the first legitimate son and heir to the duke of Moreland. To escape his father’s inexorable pressure to marry, he decides to spend the summer at his townhouse in London, where he finds himself intrigued by the secretive ways of his beautiful housekeeper . . .
Anna Seaton is a beautiful, talented, educated woman, which is why it is so puzzling to Gayle Windham that she works as his housekeeper.
As the two draw closer and begin to lose their hearts to each other, Anna’s secrets threaten to bring the earl’s orderly life crashing down—and he doesn’t know how he’s going to protect her from the fallout . . .
Contains mature themes. https://tantor.com/the-heir-grace-burrowes.html
I enjoyed much of this book but I have a hard time with a cultural anomaly. These British Lords eat “cookies;” cookies is not the word in common usage at the time, or even now, in Britain. (http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodcookies.html)
With a tale of desperate love and seriously bad family matters, the love story was interesting. I enjoyed the narration of a romance by a man with a lovely plummy accent. At first it sounded over the top but James Langton’s voice was actually a pleasure to listen to.
But all I could think of was those cookies, COOKIES! If she had called them biscuits or seed cakes I might have been okay. But we all know that the Regency world, at least as presented in novels, was highly structured and full of manners that were so forced into the aristocracy they must even have been employed in private. These young brothers behave most casually when walking about their house. It is hard to imagine an Earl procuring a fistful of cookies (Page 189), or finding his brothers “lounging against the wall, munching cookies,” (page 287), or sauntering out of the kitchen with cookies in hand (page 287). It just feels feels culturally wrong, especially within the genre, although looking at the caricatures and political and social art, for example Rowlandson’s, the aristocracy was made to look much less cultured than the way they are presented in the romance genre.
It also feels wrong because the while a little unusual, the characters are portrayed as quite cultured and so it feels as if they aren’t staying in character.
And, I realize I am speaking about genre specific convention which is the langiage of the genre. Expectations don’t necessarily have to be fulfilled.
There are some great twists and turns and the sexual aspect, which felt unlikely, is included.
But, oh well, this was one of Publisher Weekly’s best romance books of 2010, so it’s entirely possible this is just a case of me being rather picky. It appears to be her first or an early published historical. So it could be a case of research, and surely should have been caught by an editor.
But as the story progressed all I could think was “cookies?!”