‘The Bridegroom Wore Plaid’ by Grace Burrowes [Audiobook]

TBWP GBBOOK BLURB: In an effort to preserve the family estate, Ian MacGregor, the Earl of Balfour, must marry for money. When a promising match emerges in the form of Genie Daniels, a rich English heiress, Ian begins devising a strategy to woo her.

When he meets Genie’s poor cousin Augusta, he discovers a new avenue to Genie’s heart. But after spending time with Augusta and falling for her charms, Ian begins to question whether or not he’s willing to forfeit his heart to save the family name…

REVIEW: Reading, or in this instance listening to Grace Burrowes story,Emun Elliott and Elaine Cassidy as Ian and Augusta is a pleasure I never want to give up. It really doesn’t matter whose story she tells, because she tells it so well that I’ve become a part of every story and every family she introduces me to.

She creates a world that I as a reader do not want to leave. And now that I can ‘hear’ the words acted out, it’s become even harder to leave that world behind once the story is finished.

I think all her books should be turned into a TV series, and every book she’s written so far, I’ve tried to imagine as a TV movie.

This particular story would have been a pleasure to cast because of so many wonderful characters, especially the MacGregor brothers. Can you imagine all those men in kilts?!

I envision  Emun Elliott and Elaine Cassidy from 2012 TV series ‘Paradise’ as Ian and Augusta. If you haven’t caught this wonderful series yet, please try to catch up with it on You Tube. It really is fascinating.

And here’s my Audible review of ‘The Bridegroom Wore Plaid’.

Enter a headline for your review:

Romantic; Intriguing; Entertaining

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Without a doubt! My main reason for recommending it would be the solid writing of this interesting love story, and the second would be narration. I truly enjoyed Roger Hampton’s narration and talent in covering multitude of characters.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bridegroom Wore Plaid?

There really are many, but the first one to come to mind is the scene from Chapter One in which Ian is showing Augusta the taps in the water closet. His thoughts about her were very entertaining and revealing, but the narration of that scene was priceless!

“The next few moments happened in a series of impressions.

First came the sensation of the door thwacking into Ian from behind. A stout blow more unexpected than painful, but enough to make him stumble forward.

Then, Fiona’s voice, muttering the Gaelic equivalent of “Beg pardon!” followed by a patter of retreating footsteps.

And then, in Ian’s male brain, the woman with the pretty, anxious eyes became the woman who was soft, lush, and still beneath Ian’s much greater weight.

She didn’t push him away. She didn’t even touch him. The sole indication that his weight was any imposition as he flattened her to the wall, that the impropriety of the moment was any imposition, was her closed eyes.

The final impression threatened to part Ian from his reason: her breasts, heaving against his chest. In preparation for her bath, she’d left off her stays, and the feminine abundance pressed against Ian ambushed his wits.

Shrewd, noticing, and astoundingly well endowed.

When he wanted to press closer, Ian pushed himself away with one hand on the wall and made sure both feeder taps were open. “I do beg your pardon, Miss Merrick.”

 “A mishap only. I stumbled upon leaving the coach.”

She would recall that, while Ian had thought nothing of it. His damned male parts were thinking at a great rate now, and all because…”

What does Roger Hampton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mr. Hampton did an excellent job with Scottish accent and that’s something I could never manage! I also loved the way he portrayed the villain of the story, Willard Daniels, Baron of Altsax and Gribbony.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but alas it was not to be. I did listen to it within two days.

Any additional comments?

This book’s well written story and Mr. Hampton’s brilliant interpretation of multiple characters had contributed to some hours of priceless entertainment for me.

TBWP GBUNABRIDGED

by Grace Burrowes

Narrated by Roger Hampton

Series: MacGregor Trilogy, Book 1

Whispersync for Voice: Enabled

‘The Bridegroom Wore Plaid’ by Grace Burrowes

TBWP GBSTORY: In an effort to preserve the family estate, Ian MacGregor, the Earl of Balfour, must marry for money. When a promising match emerges in the form of Genie Daniels, a rich English heiress, Ian begins devising a strategy to woo her.

When he meets Genie’s poor cousin Augusta, he discovers a new avenue to Genie’s heart. But after spending time with Augusta and falling for her charms, Ian begins to question whether or not he’s willing to forfeit his heart to save the family name…

REVIEW: The first line in this novel states the plot perfectly:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single, reasonably good-looking earl not in possession of a fortune must be in want of a wealthy wife.”

Ian MacGregor is a Scottish Earl now head of his family searching for a wealthy heiress to add “coin” to the family coffers.  Therefore, Willard Daniels, Baron of Altsax and Gribbony, brings his wife, daughters, Eugenia and Hester Daniels, his sister-in-law, the widowed Mrs. Julia Redmond and niece, Augusta Merrick to stay as guests at the MacGregor home with an eye toward marrying Eugenia to Ian.  Sharing the MacGregor home are Ian’s brothers, Gilgallon, Connor and his sister, Mary Frances.

As the reader is drawn into the story, we find that sometimes love cannot be arranged because the heart finds its own path.  As the characters get to know one another, attractions build and love finds its way.  But, there is evil in the mix which takes the story on another turn.

I admit that it took me awhile into the book to figure out which character was which.  One of my pet peeves with a novel is trying to “digest” a lot of characters thrown at me right at the beginning of a book.  It’s aggravating and frustrating to keep them separate.  However, Grace Burrowes’s talent at creating real characters and expressing their personalities and feelings once again comes through beautifully in this novel.

Connie for b2b

*Book provided by the author.

‘Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait’ by Grace Burrowes

LJCP GBSTORY: 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

REVIEW: Well, it looks like we’ve come to the end of Grace Burrowes’ Windham series, and I for one am already feeling the loss of this unique, entertaining and fun family.

In ‘Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait’ we get to know better Lady Jenny and we welcome back all the Windham brood as they try in their own way to help their youngest sister to decide which one of her dreams she should embrace.

As usual, Ms. Burrowes continues to successfully mix her flowery prose with unique characters and entertaining and interesting plots.

I loved everything about this story but what impressed the most is how accurately the author portrayed the life of the youngest sibling who albeit loved by everyone in her family, was misunderstood and lonely most of the time. Her talent was obvious, yet it was overlooked because she was a female. This is where our hero comes in handy, and with his help, she is finally ready to accept and embrace her dreams.

Reading Grace Burrowes tales can only be described as being enveloped in your favorite quilt and the feeling of security and warmth, familiarity and love is palpable and ever-present.

To be honest, I’m not ready to say goodbye to any of the Windhams…

I want to bide with them some more, so if this truly is the last of the tales, I’m comforted by knowing that they’re only as far from me as my book shelf.

Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Here come the Lonely Lords…

D GBDarius

Lord of Pleasures/Book 1 of Lonely Lords Series

Though there are lines he will not cross, Darius Lindsey has become the favored plaything of bored, titled society ladies. He contracts one final engagement with the pretty, sweet, Lady Vivian Longstreet, hoping that meeting his obligations to Vivian will free him from the financial constraints making his life hell. Darius finds instead that the bargain he thought would cost him the last of his self-respect instead resurrects both his honor and his heart.

MINI REVIEW: This story was a gamble for sure. The hero is not what is expected in the romance-land, and you’ll either love him or hate him, but one thing’s for sure, you won’t find this lonely, cynical, self-deprecating and remote man boring.

There’s a lot to enjoy in this first book of the series, and least of it is the sexual escapades of the hero. I think I said this before, and it bears repeating if you haven’t heard it from me, that I really like the writing ‘voice’ of this author. She has a penchant of creating characters that ‘feel’ like real, flesh and blood people facing some real hard choices in their lives.

Ms. Burrowes’ books have a steady pace, although to some it might appear slow, yet to me it is just perfect as it gives me time to acquaint myself with the characters, their surroundings.

Another thing in this story I liked was the dialogue, which was exactly as it should have been between two strangers: awkward, slow and probing at times as these two started to get to know each other and grow to like one another after they’ve already had sex together.

I found both characters and their story compelling and highly recommended to anyone that’s ready for a grown-up, sensual and at times heart breaking tale.

Read an excerpt »

April 2013

N GBNicholas

Lord of Secrets/Book 2 of Lonely Lords Series

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.

MINI REVIEW: I liked this second book in Lonely Lords series, and Nicholas’ story tugged at my heartstrings as well.

Ms. Burrowes does it again by creating another couple that is compelling, nurturing and loving.

As they slowly question if the union between them might work, we get a glimpse of their lives and are convinced that it would be the best thing that happened to them.

This author can sure write hurt, broken and disillusioned characters that are faced with insurmountable obstacles.

Recommend it to all Grace Burrowes fans, but if you’ve never read this author before, I think you might want to start of with THE HEIR before you get to the these lonely men.

May 2013

Read an excerpt »

E GBEthan 

Lord of Scandals/Book 3 of Lonely Lords Series

At the age of fourteen, Ethan Grey was banished by his titled father into a hell his legitimate siblings never learned of. Now that the old earl is dead, and Ethan is a widower with two children to raise, he finds himself attracted to Alice Portman, the boys scholarly, reserved governess. Alice also has a shadowed past, and she and Ethan must face the demon haunting them both if they’re to win their chance for a happily ever after.

MINI REVIEW: With Ethan, Grace Burrowes continues her Lonely Lords series and I must say, if you’re not into complex and complicated, emotionally, sexually and physically abused characters, this one will not be for you. However, I love reading about those kinds of characters as they strive to overcome the hardships they were put through. I think I’d rather read dysfunctional family then belong to one, although come to think on it, I think most of us do.

Again, Ms. Burrowes does something in this book that not many authors feel comfortable writing about and readers reading about and that’s the male friendships. For the life of me I can’t believe that it doesn’t occur to many of you out there that male friendships in Regency and Victorian times are actually more accepted and cultivated.

This one is so far my favorite Lonely Lords book.

I do recommend this book to all her fans, but if you’re not familiar with this author, please get acquainted with her through some of her novellas, before you tackle this one.

June 2013

Read an excerpt »

B GBBeckman

Lord of Sins/Book 4 of Lonely Lords Series

Beckman Haddonfield has always solved his problems by moving on. When he’s given the job of restoring a family estate, he finds in Sara Hunt the one woman who makes him want to put down roots—if he can convince her not to abandon him when she seeks to run from her past.

MINI REVIEW: We are now well vested in these lonely men and here comes Beckman who’s a fourth hero of Grace Burrowes’ Lonely Lords series.

Beckman is another widower with personal issues and secrets. As in previous books from this series, both characters are plenty flawed and are dealing with a lot of emotional baggage that needs to be resolved before they can let go and love each other fully.

I should mention another thing I appreciate from this author and that’s her writing of family relationships, be it brothers and sisters, Aunts, cousins, fathers and sons, or even children in her books. She literally breathes life into them all that ‘feel’s real and potent. It’s like they’re right there in my room. When I read Grace Burrowes books, I ‘hear’ a totally different ‘voice’ in my head than any other voice before.

Please pay close attention to two secondary characters in this book, Gabriel and Polly, who are a sister and a steward of the heroine, Sara and will have a book of their own.

Again, highly recommending it, but if you’re new to her, here are some books you may want to start off before you read the Lonely Lords.

The Heir (The Duke’s Obsession)The Soldier (The Duke’s Obsession)The Virtuoso (The Duke’s Obsession)Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal.

July 2013

Read an excerpt »

G GBGabriel

Lord of Regrets/Book 5 of Lonely Lords Series

After years in hiding, when Gabriel Wendover leaves behind the woman he loves to resume his place as Marquis of Hesketh, he finds the lady herself already ensconced his household, and the mysterious danger still stalking him. Gabriel loves Polonaise Hunt (Polly) and is both upset and thrilled to find that she’s been hired by his brother to paint the family portraits. He must keep himself, his brother and Polly safe, but there’s nothing he can do to safeguard his own heart…

MINI REVIEW: We met the fifth lonely man of Grace Burrowes’ series Lonely Lords in Beckman’s story and he was an enigma to our heroine Polly.

This book is no surprise to me as I continue to thoroughly enjoy this author  and her writing style and voice.

If you’re looking for one of those saccharin tales, these books are not for you. Grace Burrowes writes characters that are unconventional, complex and maybe just too close for comfort to many of us as we in one way or another can relate to them and their problems.

She also can write sensual scenes to make you want to take a cold shower!

As series go, this one is very well written, researched and plotted. The pace of it might be a tad slow for some, but to those of us that appreciate character development, is just right.

Now I’m eagerly awaiting the other four lonely men and pondering who will make them happy.

Read an excerpt

September 2013

And these are only five to start us off… another four are to follow, leading with Gareth, Lord of Rakes, in November, Andrew in December, Douglas in January and David in April, just to wish me a Happy Birthday!

To all of them I say, let the Lonely Lords descent! I’ll be here to make sure they’re not lonely for long!

Melanie for b2b

*Books provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

‘Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight’ by Grace Burrowes

STORY: ‘Tis the Season for Scandal…

Years ago Lady Louisa Windham acted rashly on a dare from her brother, and that indiscretion is about to come to light. She knows her reputation will never survive exposure. Just as she’s nearly overwhelmed by her dilemma, Sir Joseph Carrington offers himself to her as a solution…

But Sir Joseph has secrets as well, and as he and Louisa become entangled with each other, their deceptions begin to close in on them both…

REVIEW: It’s no secret to any of you how much I love reading Grace Burrows’ novels. She infuses her love stories with so much heart that once I’m done with the story, I’m already missing the characters. It’s no different with this story. Last Christmas we saw Lady Sophie get her Christmas wish, and this Christmas Lady Louisa gets her Knight.

Sir Joseph Carrington is a retired soldier, a farmer and quotes poetry. He is one of the best Beta heroes around! I loved his mild manner and thoughtfulness. As much as he liked and was attractive to Louisa, he would have never presumed that she would like him back, and especially because of the difference in their stations.

As a favor to her brothers, he takes their place as her protector and that’s where all the trouble starts.

I don’t know about you, but I love when the story ‘breathes’…Like the bottle of a very old wine…you open it, let it breathe…inhale it, and just the aroma gets you intoxicated.

That’s exactly how I felt reading this romance. This is a tender, mature love story of two smart, witty and very normal people and that in itself was so refreshing. The secondary characters were interesting as well, but having their Graces and their children around was such a treat.

There’s a bit of comedy and plenty of romance as our hero quotes his poetry, so get that cup of hot chocolate and spend a day with Lady Louisa and her Knight!

‘Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal’ by Grace Burrowes

STORY: Maggie Windham is the Duke of Moreland’s eldest, but illegitimate, daughter. She leads a retiring, dignified life… until stolen letters bring Maggie to investigator Benjamin Hazlit’s door. When it becomes clear Maggie is being blackmailed, Benjamin becomes determined to find not just the letters, but the way to Maggie’s heart.

REVIEW: What an interesting character Maggie was! You couldn’t help but admire the strong character of this woman who was basically sold to the Duke, who wasn’t even sure that she is his child, yet accepted her as such and loved her as much as all his other children. Only a loving father would be so perceptive about his eldest daughter to say this.

She’s in want of… dreams, I think. My other girls have dreams. Sophie dreamed of her own family, Jenny loves to paint, Louisa has her literary scribbling, and Evie must racket about the property as her brothers used to, but Maggie has never been a dreamer.

It was heart-wrenching to watch the strained relationship between Maggie and the Duchess, who was always aware of Maggie’s feelings towards her and the family, but never knew how to break that last ‘brick’ on the wall that Maggie has meticulously built around her to protect them all from being hurt with the secret she had kept for much too long.

Esther did not hold out her arms to this woman she’d raised. From the posture of Maggie’s spine, a maternal embrace would be politely tolerated, as it had been on the rare occasions Esther had attempted it since the girl had joined the household all those years ago.

I so admired the Duchess while she does her best to hide her frustration with Maggie and tries hard to understand this woman, her adopted daughter.

Esther spoke as gently as she could, considering she was using logic to bludgeon someone she dearly loved.

‘Do you want your child to bear the same burden you have?’ Maggie shook her head, but the tears were coursing down her cheeks unchecked. Esther passed her a serviette, when what she wanted to do was hurl her teacup against the wall.

‘You have another option, Maggie.’ Maggie turned her head an inch to meet the Duchess’ eyes. ‘If I have conceived, I will not do anything to harm our child.’ Our child?

‘Put such notions from your head. For God’s sake, Maggie… to think we’d let you risk yourself, much less… For God’s sake.’

Boys were difficult to raise into young gentleman, but girls… girls were the biggest challenge. Especially girls who, despite every effort to the contrary, seemed to have a thorough knowledge of things too sordid and awful to be contemplated.

Even though Maggie has been brought up with St. Just (the other bastard in the family), she deep down inside had always been uncomfortable and felt that she never quiet belonged to them, although she would never admit it nor would she show it to the other members of the family.

As for the hero of this tale, Benjamin Hazlitt, we’ve met him before and what a complex man he was! A man who is too competent in unearthing all the ton’s secrets, gets himself hired by the woman he finds too attractive and an enigma that he needed to solve.

As Ben and Maggie try to adjust to their new-found acquaintance through the scheme of pretending to be courting, the search is on for her lost reticule, and we are in for a treat. To watch these two slowly coming to realization that their ‘casual acquaintance’ is turning into something neither is looking for or really want, yet at the same time hoping for, is amazing.

There’s no way I could tell you how much I loved the character of Ben, who it turns out has a couple of skeletons in his closet as well. As is Ms. Burrowes’ want, she populates her books with an abundance of secondary characters so interesting and compelling, that I feel she had a very hard time holding some of them back. As is the case with Ben’s sidekick, Archer Holloway; otherwise he just might have stolen the story.

Grace Burrowes can do no wrong. PERIOD! She writes stories that touch my heart and soul, and this tale is no exception. This is her fifth book and if you haven’t yet discovered her, I think it time you did. I highly recommend this entire series, THE HEIR, THE SOLDIER, THE VIRTUOSO, LADY SOPHIE’S CHRISTMAS WISH and this one too. The author does an outstanding job in writing this connected series so well that you don’t need to read them to understand the dynamic of this wonderful and engaging family, yet I highly, HIGHLY recommend you read them all in order because if you’re like me, you will appreciate the Epic feel to the series, and for all of us who love saga’s, this is just up our alley. Come October, Ms. Burrowes has Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight and in December The Bridegroom Wore Plaid will be out. Oh happy dance!

*To buy this book, click on the cover*

*To learn more about the author, click on the name*

* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

“The Heir” Debut book by Grace Burrowes

STORY: An Earl Who Can’t Be Bribed…

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.

A Lady Who Can’t Be Protected…

Anna Seaton is a beautiful, talented, educated woman, which is why it is so puzzling to Gayle 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…

REVIEW: I’m not going to go into the plot, as the blurb already accomplished that task for me. What I want to do is announce: Here comes Grace Burrowes!

Lately I’ve read a number of début authors that I have wondered where the hell have they been hiding. Their talent is astounding!

But I digress, so let me start at the beginning. After reading all the high praise (and a handful of low), I’ve broken down and bought this “highly” recommended read. Well, what can I say? It was worth EVERY penny! I have to warn you, though. This is neither a ‘bodice ripper’ nor your average ‘cookie cutter’ romance. This romance novel is very much character driven and ‘courts’ the reader as much as our hero courts his lady-love. In Westhaven she gave us a hero that’s no ‘rake’ or a ‘scoundrel’ but a loving and patient man, and in Anna an affectionate, well-meaning, strong heroine.

Westhaven is one of those heroes that we want to, as Anna did, constantly hug and let be hugged back. I enjoyed the relationship between Westhaven and Anna because of its natural progression from employer to employee, from friendship to love. These two people had to work hard in accepting each other, seeing each other only as Anna and Gayle.  Their friendship and love took awhile to blossom, and I found that I enjoyed their slow courting. I was treated to a natural and easy flow of this intriguing duo.  Our hero displayed patience with our Heroine, and he controlled his lusts admiringly! The author took a huge gamble in deliberately developing true affection between the two main characters, and never allowing the lust to take over the story, and it paid off big time.

It’s not enough to say that this is well written book. This is a very cleverly written book full of period detail, intelligent and witty characters, believable mystery plot and very sweet, passionate love story.

Secondary characters, Morgan, The Duke and his Duchess, Dev and Val and especially Douglas and Gwen are given just enough time and space to hook us and ask for more.

I’m very impressed with Ms. Burrowes’ style of writing and truly looking forward to her next book in the series, and Dev’s story “The Soldier”. I am hereby officially requesting of the author to eventually give us a prequel to “The Heir”. We need to find out Gwen and Douglas’ love story. All those teasers hooked me real good!

If you’re not taken in with the romance part of this book, you’ll defiantly love the mystery part. The author should be congratulated on keeping us on pins and needles almost to the bitter end as to Anna’s real identity.

So, here I go, joining the throng of all of those that ‘highly’ recommend this book. Truly, don’t hesitate to take a journey with Anna and Gayle. This Earl and his Housekeeper will steal your heart, burrow deep inside and make you feel warm and fuzzy allover. Definite Keeper shelf material.