His idyllic estate is falling down from neglect, and nightmares of war give him no rest. Then Devlin St. Just meets his new neighbor.... With her confident manner hiding a devastating secret, his lovely neighbor commands all of his attention, and protecting Emmaline becomes Devlin's most urgent mission. Contains mature themes.
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This series started strong with interesting characters, somewhat different stories, and tolerable prose. There were a couple of annoying anachronisms (such as "coffee table," which didn't exist in homes until the late 19th century nor was it called such. Instead, a man put his feet up on a footstool."Fainting couches" also didn't exit. They had recamiers, sofas, window seats, and couches.), and vocabulary issues, but for the most part they weren't a problem.
By this book, however, these problems were so commonplace as to clearly demonstrate that Ms. Burrows simply hasn't done her homework. One should never mention or describe furniture from later periods in a Regency novel. Same goes for idioms and throwing in Latin based words in the middle of prosaic Anglo-Saxon conversation or inner thoughts, especially by women (e.g. "mendacious"). This sort of thing may seem trivial, but there are so many good Regency romances out there, the authors of which have clearly studied the period and know the vocabulary, decor, laws, etc. The upper classes also did not use contractions. They were considered vulgar.
One of the most egregious flaws is actually a pivot point of the story and that is legal guardianship of a child by a woman. There was no such thing during the Regency period. Fathers ALWAYS had all the rights over children, bi-blows or legitimate. Woman had none. Even heads of families could take children sired by a member of his family, however distant, away from their mothers.
What absolutely destroyed my interest in further books was Mr. Langton's characterization of Devlin St. Just. Despite the narrative both in this book and in "The Heir" making absolutely clear that Devlin spoke as if he were born to the nobility, Langton insists upon giving him an Irish brogue that sounds more like a Boston dock worker than a child brought up in a noble English family. Even if he sounded Irish when he was 6, by the time he was 16, he would have had a haughty, upper class accent. Even worse, the hero should never have an unpleasant timbre to his voice. All in all, the male voice characterizations are far less appropriate or even well defined as are the women. Pity she didn't keep Roger Hampton as narrator.
I'm also starting to get tired of whiny women with extreme inferiority complexes writing agendas for everyone else.
I will be returning any of Ms Burrows books that I haven't read. It's a pity as the first two novellas were very promising.
The Soldier is a beautiful tale of two wounded souls - St. Just suffers from PTSD and a feeling of never quite belonging to his family after his mother left him with the Duke and Duchess of Windham. Emmy is is not accepted by her neighbors and is trying to handle her young cousin Winnie, who has a tendency to wander off for long periods of time. Watching St Just and Emmy come to terms with their past and realize they are deserving of love was a wonderful experience. Grace Burrowes has a wonderful way of bringing emotional depth to her stories and showing the little things that show caring in a relationship. I look forward to Lord Val's story. I also just saw Tantor is picking up the rest of the Windham stories about the daughters later this year and I will be making sure to hoard credits so I can get them on release day.