I have been a voracious reader all my life and have enjoyed many hundreds of romance novels. Grace Burrowes is unequivocally among the very best. Her intricate, gentle plots keep one enrapt to the last word. Her character development is so adept the reader not only knows these people, but "feels" them as well. If you have not enjoyed this author, I highly recommend you begin soon!
LOVED this book! The characters were well developed and their personalities and relationships between not only H/H but family members was defined beyond the typical in historical romances. I especially loved the wit and humor in Ms. Burrowes writing style. I immediately bought this 2nd in the series after I read The Heir without putting it down and loved it every bit as much as the first.
My rating: 3.5 to 4 stars
I cannot get enough of Grace Burrowes writing. I love it!
THE SOLDIER was a great read. The characters were lively and believable but I did have a problem with the heroine.... she CRIED TOO MUCH! I just wanted to slap her around a few times and tell her to grow a pair. I mean, c'mon! Get ahold of yourself, girl. You're the heroine and you're crying over some of the stupidest things.
Other than that, I liked the book. I'm now starting the next in the series.
After reading three books (I read a later book from the series first), Grace Burrowes' long-winded storytelling has gotten on my nerves. As well as the "terrible secret" that has the heroine in every book tied up in knots and assuming she can never marry or be happy (over what winds up being pretty trivial), each book has long periods of absolutely nothing happening. Burrowes' style is not particularly faithful to the period, people "my lady" and "my lord" while at the same time sitting at the dinner table with servants. I may not be an expert on how things were in England in the early 1800's but I'm pretty sure that taking meals with your cook or governess would be quite uncommon if not unheard of.
The story of Emmie, Winnie, and Devlin worked for the most part. I was occasionally jarred by seemingly contradictory behaviors and statments of the main characters. Emmie deeply loves and is raising Winnie however at the start of the book the child is filthy, skinny, starving, and alone. Devlin wants the child to leave immediately and in fact yells at her to depart at the start of the book. The next thing you know he intends to care for her forever. It's confusing.
Most confusing is the tender physical relationship that Devlin has with not one but two different men in the book. If I didn't know better, I would have thought certain scenes were leading to some sexy guy-on-guy action. Men half-naked together, hugging, rubbing each other's backs, crying togther. One of the men started the story as a near stranger and suddenly they're rubbing lotion on each other? It seemed weird and out of place and context.
Too many references to Emmie's menses for no story-propelling purpose. If she'd eventually been late or something it would have made more sense to build a back story of it being discussed. But instead it was just repeatedly mentioned for no real reason. That it is a fact of life doesn't make it a necessary story element. It's only necessary if a man and woman are together 24 hours a day for a month. The inevitability of that fact becomes a story point and not mentioning it would be odd (like books where people spend 20 hours together and the woman never has to pee).
I do still enjoy Burrowes books but I'm not in a hurry to read another.
I enjoyed the book especially the troubles Devlin has with rejoining society and dealing with his PTSD. I have to admit the end got a little old though with Devlin and Emmie about her need to leave and if she is going to marry the preacher. Other than that, it was a fun read.