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"A dazzling debut brimming with passion, romance, and wit."
—Sophia Nash, RITA ward-winning author of Secrets of a Scandalous Brid
"A dazzling debut brimming with passion, romance, and wit."
—Sophia Nash, RITA ward-winning author of Secrets of a Scandalous Bride
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 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...
"A luminous and graceful erotic Regency…a captivating love story that will have readers eagerly awaiting the planned sequels."
- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Burrowes’ outstanding debut is a witty, sensual, Regency romance featuring complex characters who ring to to the time period, leaving readers saying huzzah!"
— Booklist (starred review)
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes hit the bestseller lists with her debut, The Heir, followed by The Soldier and Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal. The Heir was also named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, The Soldier was named a Publishers Weekly Best Spring Romance of 2011, and Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish was named Best Historical Romance of the Year in 2011 by RT Reviewers' Choice Awards. All of her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.
Gayle Windham, Earl of Westhaven, was enjoying a leisurely measure of those things that pleased him most: solitude, peace, and quiet.
The best plans were the simpl...
Gayle Windham, Earl of Westhaven, was enjoying a leisurely measure of those things that pleased him most: solitude, peace, and quiet.
The best plans were the simplest, he reflected as he poured himself a single finger of brandy, and his brother’s suggestion that Westhaven hide in plain sight had proven brilliant. The unmarried heir to a dukedom had a nigh impossible task if he wanted to elude the predatory mamas and determined debutantes of polite society. He was in demand everywhere, and for form’s sake, he had to be seen everywhere.
But not this summer. He smiled with relish. This summer, this stinking, infernally hot summer, he was going to remain right where he was, in the blessedly empty confines of London itself. Not for him the endless round of house parties and boating parties and social gatherings in the country.
His father had too free a hand in those environs, and Westhaven knew better than to give the duke any unnecessary advantage.
The Duke of Moreland was a devious, determined, unscrupulous old rogue. His goal in life was to see to it his heir married and produced sons, and Westhaven had made it a matter of pride to outwit the old man. There had already been one forced engagement, which the lady’s family had thwarted at the last minute. One was more than enough. Westhaven was a dutiful son, conscientious in his responsibilities, a brother who could be relied upon, an heir more than willing to tend to the properties and investments as his father’s power of attorney. He would not, however, be forced to marry some simpering little puppet to breed sons on her like a rutting hound.
And already, the pleasure of days and nights uncluttered by meaningless entertainments was bringing a certain cheer to Westhaven’s normally reserved demeanor. He found himself noticing things, like the way his townhouse bore the fragrance of roses and honeysuckle, or how an empty grate was graced with a bouquet of flowers just for the pleasure of his eye. His solitary meals tasted more appealing; he slept better on his lavender-scented sheets. He heard his neighbor playing the piano late at night, and he caught the sound of laughter drifting up from his kitchen early in the morning.
I would have made an exemplary monk, he thought as he regarded the bowl of roses on the cold andirons. But then, monks had little solitude, and no recreational access to the fairer sex.
A modest exponent thereof silently entered the library, bobbed her little curtsy, and went about refilling the water in the several vases of flowers gracing the room. He watched her as she moved around without a sound, and wondered when she’d joined his household. She was a pretty little thing, with graceful ways and a sense of competence about her.
The chambermaid paused to water the flowers in the hearth, reaching over the fireplace screen to carefully top up the wide bowl of roses sitting on the empty grate. Who would think to put flowers in a cold fireplace? Westhaven wondered idly, but then he realized the chambermaid was taking rather too long to complete her task.
"Is something amiss?" he asked, not meaning to sound irritated but concluding he must have, for the girl flinched and cowered. She didn’t, however, straighten up, make another curtsy, and leave him to his brandy.
"Is something amiss?" He spoke more slowly, knowing menials were not always of great understanding. The girl whimpered, an odd sound, not speech but an indication of distress. And she remained right where she was, bent over the hearth screen, her pitcher of water in her hand.
Westhaven set down his brandy and rose from his wingchair, the better to investigate the problem. The girl was making that odd sound continuously, which pleased him not at all. It wasn’t as if he’d ever trifled with the help, for God’s sake.
When he came near the hearth, the chambermaid positively cringed away from him, another irritant, but her movement allowed Westhaven to see the difficulty: The buttons on the front of her bodice were caught in the mesh of the hearth screen. She wasn’t tall enough to set down her pitcher, leaving her only one hand with which to free herself. That hand, however, she needed for balance.
"Hush," Westhaven said more gently. He did have five sisters, after all, and a mother; he understood females were prone to dramatics. "I’ll have you free in no time, if you’ll just hold still and turn loose of this pitcher."
He had to pry the girl’s fingers from the handle of the pitcher, so overset was she, but still she said nothing, just warbled her distress like a trapped animal. "No need to take on so," he soothed as he reached around her so he could slide his fingers along the screen. "We’ll have you free in a moment, and next time you’ll know to move the screen before you try to water the flowers." It took an infernally long time, but he had one button forced back through the screen and was working on the other when the girl’s whimpering escalated to a moan.
"Hush," he murmured again. "I won’t hurt you, and I almost have your buttons free. Just hold still—" The first blow landed across his shoulders, a searing flash of pain that left his fine linen shirt and his skin torn. The second followed rapidly, as he tightened his arms protectively around the maid, and at the third, which landed smartly on the back of his head, everything went black.
Westhaven’s father, the Duke of Moreland, is determined that his son marry and have children. He constantly tries to manipulate his son, but Westhaven is not in any hurry. He wants to choose his own bride. Trying to stay away from the debutantes and their mothers, he is residing in London in the off season enjoying his solitude. His brother, Valentine, comes to join him.
The earl relies on Anna more and more. She helps write his letters when his secretary is unavailable, cuts his hair, brings him lemonade, as well as doing her usual duties of keeping his home running smoothly and always having fresh flowers around the house. They converse and become very close. When he kisses her, they are both dizzy with emotion, but she knows that she must refrain from intimacy.
Although Anna calls herself Mrs. Seaton, it is obvious that it really isn’t so. What is she hiding? She is well educated, attractive, and takes care of all her duties to perfection. Readers will be curious about her background. She is close to the young maid, Morgan. Although the earl usually takes no notice of his servants, he is attracted to his housekeeper, and he is subtle in his seduction with conversation and sweet kisses. Or is he being seduced more than he realizes by his seduction? They are very likeable characters with realistic dialogue.
It is hard to believe that THE HEIR is a debut novel. The only thing I found a little difficult to accept was the readiness of his family to not only consider a marriage between the earl and the housekeeper, but even to promote it. THE HEIR is a scorching, romantic novel; it is both hot and sweet, and it is sure to touch readers’ hearts. The earl is the most romantic hero I have read about for some time.
I am happy to report that there are more books from Ms. Burrowes in the offing. THE HEIR is the first book of The Duke’s Obsession trilogy followed by THE SOLDIER, the story of his brother, Devlin, in the summer of 2011, and Valentine’s story comes later in 2011. THE HEIR is a keeper, and this reviewer is looking forward to the remaining stories. Highly recommended.
Gayle Windham, Earl of Westhaven has a responsibility as the next to inherit his father’s title Duke of Moreland to marry and produce an heir. Is it not enough to his parents that he has brought them from the brink of poverty why do they need to push him into a marriage he does not want? Unbeknownst to Gayle is that his life is about to be turned upside down by none other than his own housekeeper.
Anna Seaton was lucky to have obtained the job as housekeeper for Westhaven and then she had to go and mess things up by hitting him over the head when she thought he was making advances on one of the servants. As penance she waits on Westhaven hand and foot and finds herself falling for the man but, she has her own secrets and cannot let him know who she really is.
While Gayle realizes his housekeeper is more than she pretends she is well educated for a housekeeper and widowed he thinks not he sets a course to find out who she really is not knowing that he is about to bring danger to his doorstep and risk losing the one woman he could see a future with.
THE HEIR is the debut book from Grace Burrowes and what a great beginning. I was captured in the story from beginning to end. She brings not just a couple of lead characters but her secondary characters have you wanting their stories told as well. Full of romance and emotion this is one for the keeper shelf and I look forward to her next installment in the Windham family.
Who has the most power over the household: the housekeeper or the earl?
Curious minds want to know!
Is it the Earl of Westhaven, Gayle Windham?
Gayle is determined to avoid his father’s the Duke’s matchmaking attempts. When everybody has gone to the country to get away from London’s stifling summer heat, Gayle stays put.
Or is it Anna Seaton, his housekeeper?
Anna wields a fireplace poker like a champion. When she sees the earl misbehaving against the deaf/mute maid she cracks it against his back and skull. She won’t stand for that sort of business even if he’s a powerful aristocrat!
For Gayle the stars circling his head turned to little hearts and Anna is mortified to realize she interpreted the situation all wrong. Gayle couldn’t ask for a better nurse… she’s not only prepared to take on the injuries she inflicted but also a case of chicken pox. Too bad for Anna that the more time she spends in his presence the more Gayle’s certain she’s keeping secrets. No housekeeper is this polished!
Gayle’s plan to make Anna his wife might be short lived because she is planning her escape from his household. What’s an earl to do? Call on his family – yes even his father!
I’m glad the relationship between Gayle and his dad wasn’t so estranged that the divide couldn’t be fixed. I’m glad too that neither held onto pride and both were happy to mend the rift. The duke isn’t so bad after all – he just wanted his duchess to have grandkids.
Gayle’s brothers – Dev and Val – would make for great sequels because they’re so well represented in The Heir. It’s refreshing because so often I find secondary characters with traits that make them annoying or less appealing than the hero and heroine. That’s not the case with gruff Devlin, one of the duke’s byblows (The Soldier), or Val the passionate musician... though Val finds his sweet little muse in this book so I dont know if hell actually get a sequel but well find out more in The Virtuoso.
For a hot and sexy Regency grab yourself a copy of Grace Burrowes latest sensation!
First off, I must say kudos to Ms. Burrowes on a job well done! This is her debut novel, and from reading the book, I would have thought she had an extensive backlist. The history was expertly weaved intitles, inheritance law, the setting, clothing, etc... The book was researched well to bring out the Regency flavors that make reading this genre so much fun. The characters were well fleshed out, vivid and interesting. The plot was fascinating, mysterious and engaging.
First and foremost, I like that we did not find out exactly who Mrs. Anna Seaton was until quite near the end. It kept you guessing, and trying to figure out who she was, what she was running from, what her relation was to various people, etc... And all the while, you wanted so desperately for Anna and Westhaven to get togetheryet there really just seemed like no way it was going to happen, something always got in the way.
I really liked the emotional connection with the characters in this book. I liked the chemistry. I liked the dynamics of the brothers, the mother and father, Morgan. I liked the interactions and the dialogue. There really wasnt anything I didnt enjoy about this book. In the end you could see the changes in the characters, and throughout the book you felt an empathy for their individual plights.
A fast and enjoyable read, I will definitely look forward to reading more of Ms. Burrowes work in the future.
In a Regency romance, its a universal truth that all penniless heroines yearn for marriage, right? Maybe not. The heroine of Grace Burrowes erotically charged romance is a woman of such mystery that both the hero and the reader become obsessed with her. The Earl of Westhaven chooses to spend the summer in London despite the heat to avoid the marital machinations he inspires. But he has no interest in a silly young bride. Instead, he is drawn to his housekeeper, the cultivated Mrs. Seaton. But who is she, really?
This was an enjoyable romance. Typical in some ways and atypical in others. The Heir in question, the earl of Westhaven, is being pressured by his father, The Duke to marry and have children so the succession will be secured. He wants nothing to do with his fathers meddling and will find his own duchess and wife in his own time. He does not expect to find her in his housekeeper.
Mrs. Anna Seaton is running away from a scoundrel of a brother and a forced betrothal. She takes the position in the earls household to earn some money and keep herself and her sister safe. Little does she expect to fall in love with the earl.
The two go back and forth in romance fashion but this is a more intelligent story than most. I did start to feel it was going on just a bit too long though before the requisite happy ending. I enjoyed the writing and the characters and hope to learn more about the meddling Duke in the next book in the series. He is a bit of fun even if he is a pain in his sons collective tails. A fun light read with a strong love story at its center.
Why did I like it? - Really good as there is intrigue, mystery and passion which makes an interesting combination. Once I was into the book I couldnt stop reading it as I wanted to know what was going to happen next and finally find out what secrets the housekeeper was keeping from the Earl.
Before I became a reviewer, I would normally pass by romance books. Occasionally one would catch my eye, but often I wrote them off as fluff- light reading with no substance to sustain my mind or engage me- I have to that it’s author’s like Grace Burrowes that have pulled me into this genre. I found that The Heir, not only peaked my interest, it held my attention, and now has me hooked on the characters. I simply cannot wait to read what will happen next.
Very well crafted, each of the characters offers the reader something fresh and unexpected, the same goes for the plot. Westhaven was so unlike any other romance character that I had read, it made me want to read more. To find out who he was and what he wanted (not want he was expected to do, but wanted) to do with his life. I found alluring to watch him claim his own destiny and not have his father force it onto him. I was hooked from the moment Westhaven received knock over the head, and thoroughly enjoyed his battle with the chicken pox. Although I did feel his pain, seeing as how I was 21 when I fought my own battle with them. I also enjoyed Anna’s character, I was speaking about the book a few days ago to a friend of mine and compared her to an onion in the sense that she very well layered.
The supporting cast was also a welcome surprise. Even though he may come off a bit rough and gruff, I have to say I found myself falling in love with Dev and captured by the antics of Val.
I read somewhere that Grace Burrowes had originally intended for Westhaven to be a secondary character in a completely different novel, I am so glad that she answered the call of the writer created a story just for him.
Overall would I read this again? Yes. Actually I enjoyed it so much, I cannot wait to reread it!! Also I cannot wait for the next addition in what I believe will be an unforgettable series.
Ive been in need of a regency lately. I was really looking forward to this series. It looked so good and I had such high expectations.
I loved the characters in The Heir. They were surprising and unique. Anna was a strong and independent heroine. Her intelligence really came through well. She had this sense of mystery around her. Westhaven was really one of the best heroes I have ever come across. I expected him to be rakish but he was kind of adorable. He was cute, funny and he had a terrible sweet tooth. I found him incredibly endearing.
Anna and Westhaven had such amazing chemistry. I love how they played off of each other. They were so cute and funny and just adorable. Not something I often say about a romance novel but its the truth. They were adorable. The action was also really interesting. The bad guys were semi sorta creepy. Especially Stull, Annas betrothed. He was the definition of a creeper.
This is one of those series that I will continue reading. I say that about many of the romance series I start but I often never remember to finish them. This one will have a spot on my calendar because its that good.
The Heir brings us the story of Gayle Windham, Earl of Westhaven and Heir to the Duchy. As his fatherthe Dukegets older he presses Westhaven more and more to marry but Westhaven refuses. Enter Anna Seaton, Westhaven’s housekeeper. After nearly bludgeoning him in a misunderstanding, Anna and Westhaven slowly begin to fall in love with one another. But there’s something in Anna’s past which leaves her very reluctant to accept a marriage proposal. When that past breaks forth and threatens her present existence all hell just might break loose unless Westhaven untangles the web and uncovers Anna’s secrets.
I was really upset with the romances after reading Devil’s Desire and I’ll admit, I wasn’t looking forward to reading The Heir when I realized I had another romance waiting on my list to be reviewed. I dove in anyways, and you know what … it totally blew my expectations out of the water.
Not only do we have a realistic and touching (and not to mention scorching hot) romance here, but the mystery of Anna’s past definitely kept my attention and gave the book some meat, serving as a catalyst for pushing the plot forward. Burrowes has created the perfect mix of love story, mystery and intrigue and I wasted no time in calling up my younger sister and informing her that she needed to read this book, posthaste.
So, if you love Regency Romances … be sure you don’t miss this one!
THE HEIR by Grace Burrowes is a historical romance set in nineteenth century England. It is well written, a debut for the author, has depth, details, turns, twists, a page turner and a keeper. It is the first in the series. It has romance, adventure, mystery, love, passion, sensuality, secrets, betrayal, family, wit, intrigue and mysterious housekeeper meets earl. The characters are enchanting and entertaining. The secondary characters are just as enchanting. They are believable with troubled pasts. The hero, Gayle, is an earl, handsome, trying to survive his father’s attempts at matrimony, stubborn, complex and has a mysterious, beautiful housekeeper. The heroine, Annie, is beautiful, mysterious, stubborn, high bred, has secrets, determined to keep her deaf, mute sister safe, fleeing from her past, and the attractive earl’s housekeeper. Sparks fly between the earl and the housekeeper, while, Annie tries to keep her secrets safe and her past at bay. The earl is determined to protect her, while he learns little by little of her past. He also begins to believe she is hiding secrets. This is a truly astonishing story of love, betrayal, truths, dealing with the past horrors and coming to terms with the future. I would highly recommend this book especially if you enjoy debut authors, love, romance, troubled women, fascinating brothers, humor, fast paced, passion and good coming from past evils. This book was received from Sourcebooks and details can be found at Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks.
Grace Burrowes tells a story of an Earl falling in love with his housekeeper and of a housekeeper who falls in love with an Earl she couldn’t really have and must leave behind in order to save herself and her another. It’s a story of lust, trust, love, and greed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Heir. Word of warning- there are LOTS of VERY GRAPHIC erotic scenes that will leave your breathe short and your heart racing.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I have been in the Historical mood lately, so this book filled my appitite. The characters were well written, even the more minor characters were pleasing to read about. The plot was there and it was also pretty good. Anna has some secrets she hides from everyone but her sister, but the earl wants to hear those secrets. The Heir is pretty steamy with the sex scenes.
If you like Historical Romances this is a book you will want to read. It was good all around (characters, plot, scenes, writing style..). Also, keep your eyes open for more to come from Burrowes because THE HEIR is the first book in the series.
2nd book- THE SOLDIER releases in Spring 2011
3rd book- VIRTUOSO releases in Fall 2011
Debut author, Grace Burrowes is setting the Regency period on edge. Would the son of a Duke, really propose marriage to his housekeeper? But theres a lot more to Anna Seaton than meets the eye. This is a novel with several aspects: the bond between brothers, forbidden love, secrets, and what one might do to get what they want...
Gayle Windham is the Earl of Westhaven, and being the heir to the Duke of Moreland comes with some responsibilities, including producing sons to ensure the succession of the family. But Gayle isnt your typical man about town. He has some difficulties when it comes to being involved with women of his own station. He prefers quiet and solitude and decides to stay at his London townhouse while the rest of the ton retires to the country for the summer. Thats when he becomes intrigued by the new housekeeper, Anna Seaton. There is something not quite right about her. Shes very well spoken, beautiful, and appears to be well educated, what could she be hiding?
There are so many good things to say about this novel. Grace Burrowes is a new voice in historical romance world. Her smooth style is refreshing and very easy to get comfortable with. She uses irony is very meaningful way in this novel. It is ironic that a well educated woman, would end up as a housekeeper. It is ironic that an Earl cant seem to find a wife. Burrowes use of dialogue is also very well done. The way that the Gayle and his brothers interact is a really good example of this. Their banter is fun to read and adds a lot of depth to the story.
I think the best part of this book is the character development. Not only are the main characters, Gayle and Anna very well written, but right down to the very smallest of supporting characters. Each and every character who passes through this book, has a story, a place and a personality that Burrowes develops with ease. This gives the reader a sense of who these people are and why they are important.
Gayle is such a great character, a man who didnt expect to be the heir and is having a hard time adjusting. A man who wants a real marriage not one in name only. He is lonely and that loneliness really comes through in Burrowes writing. Anna is very resourceful. She has a plan. She has a secret and she is determined to keep it. She knows what she has to do and she does it, without question until Gayle makes her pause. Its those little moments when we pause just for a second that can change our lives... I loved the way the author was able to convey that feeling.
Some would say there are a few historical inaccuracies in this novel, in the way the Regency period would have viewed the relationship between an Earl and servant and perhaps in the way the household was being run, that differ from what is expected, but that doesnt mean this sort of thing didnt go on, it just means that not too many people wrote about it. This is the sort of thing that might get under the skin of some readers, but given a chance, this is a really well written and wonderful novel.
I would recommend this book to readers of historical romance and romance in general. The characters are so well written and the heat from Gayle and Anna is exceptional. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from Grace Burrowes in the near future.
The Heir is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
Im giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
I really loved this debut historical romance. The chemistry between Westhaven and Anna is amazing. I loved the way that this couple was written. The reader is given clues through the whole story about Anne and her secrets, but not enough that her past is blatantly obvious and I was a little surprised when it was revealed. The secondary characters really make this book perfect. I absolutely loved Westhaven’s brothers and his father. They are fantastically written, three dimensional, and really help move the plot along. I’m hoping that they get their own stories in the future.
the book girl gives THE HEIR a 5/5
Grace Burrowes how I love thee!!!
I love thee so much let me count the ways.
1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your characters. They are WONDERFUL and full of spunk, intelligent, wit, humor, real emotions, happiness, and sorrow. GAWD I just love your characters...
2. Plot: My Lord your plot and sub-plots were Divine you had me so wrapped up in your book I couldnt even watch Gossip Girl if that tells you anything. (It would if you knew my current obsession with GG) Your plot was believable I mean I actually didnt see it coming but I still could see how it would work and work out that way. Everything flowed really, really well. Are you sure this is your first book?
3. History and Time frame: THANK YOU for getting the time frame right. No one talked liked they were from 2010. No one did anything that didnt fit in with the time frame. The clothes were good and YAY no accents. Your characters acted their roles and did them in a fantastic way as well as how they should have acted during this time. Your descriptions of the houses, furniture, clothing and styles were just enough that I wasnt skimming pages to get through I actually read the whole description. Not to mention you didnt have a refrigerator when there was no during that time.
4. Holy crap did I mention that your characters actually used the restrooms (chamber pots) or a tree. How refreshing to know that people in books pee!
5. They mystery surrounding Anna was different and yet not. It is something we see all the time but yet not. I didnt see somethings coming and yet I thought I did. Needless to say it was just enough without being so over the top that I wanted to scream.
6. Morgan what a refreshing young lady! You had someone with a disability that wasnt helpless in fact she was treated normal and she worked hard. Loved her and Vals interactions
7. The Romance was believable the Duke didnt fall in love overnight and lets be honest neither did Anna. They became friends in a sense and then the feelings came.
8. Did I mention that this book totally sucked me in and gave me hope for Historical Romances? Because it did and it reminded me of why I began reading this genre so many years ago.
9. I HOPE, HOPE, HOPE that this is going to be a series b/c I sincerely want to read more about everyone in this book.
10. Did I mention the beautiful way the book flowed? I mean it had spaces in time, it had numerous new characters and yet I never once was thrown out of the book, stopping and scratching my head wondering why is that there or who was that again?
Needless to say this is by far one of my TOP 10 books this year!!! Ms. Burrowes I heart you and you are for sure a must buy author for me!!!!!!!!!!
I swear a review shall follow next week on Tuesday! Oh and go out and buy this book b/c it is wonderful!!!
Length: 6.875 in
Width: 4.1875 in
Weight: 8.00 oz
Page Count: 480 pages