Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait
The Windham series #8
By Grace Burrowes
Narrated by James Langton
Publication date Jan 31, 2017
Running time 10 hrs
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?
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.
I loved the other Christmas novel Grace Burrowes had out with Tantor last year. This one came out after Christmas, but because I had enjoyed LADY SOPHIE’S CHRISTMAS WISH, I wanted to hear it. I also really enjoy James Langton’s voice. His women don’t all sound like little girls, breathy idiots or shrews.
I found the story in this one a bit too meandering and although I listened to it more than once, I had a little difficulty with both the number and names of characters, as well as their relationships to each other.
Lady Jenny possesses many of the same issues, I thought, as Lady Sophie did. She wants to be alone, is often called upon to help with children (although for different reasons that Sophie was), and is struggling with the loss of her brothers.
Lady Jenny, is seen as having a trifling hobby of painting, but is devoted and talented. Women might have had hobbies at this time but heaven forbid they want to further their abilities by studying.
I have to say, as someone who identifies more as an artist than anything else, the discussions around painting, drawing, portraiture and so on were my favorite part of the book. I highly suspect that Ms. Burrowes either paints or is close to a painter. She actually discusses many of the same things I think about and discuss with friends. So, if you have a bent towards the visual arts and like Regency Romances then this is something you might really get some insights from.
As I mentioned above, there is a similarity to the earlier book about Jenny’s sister, LADY SOPHIE’S CHRISTMAS WISH. Both are about a woman, probably “on the shelf,” and a hero who has been wandering away from home for a long time and somehow estranged from his family. The similarity, and the fact they were both Christmas based, caused this tale to fall a little short in charming me entirely.