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Monday, June 6, 2016

REVIEW: "The Captive" by Grace Burrowes


The Captive (Captive Hearts, #1)
(Captive Hearts #1)

Historical Romance -- Regency England
Sourcebooks -- July 2014
Ebook, 446 pages
Read in May 2016
Purchased

Goodreads -- Author Website

RATING: 4 STARS

SUMMARY
Captured and tortured by the French, Christian Severn, Duke of Mercia, survives by vowing to take revenge on his tormentors. Before the duke can pursue his version of justice, Gillian, Countess of Greendale, reminds him that his small daughter has suffered much in his absence, and needs her papa desperately.

Gilly endured her difficult marriage by avoiding confrontation and keeping peace at any cost. Christian's devotion to his daughter and his kindness toward Gilly give her hope that she could enjoy a future with him, for surely he of all men shares her loathing for violence in any form. Little does Gilly know, the battle for Christian's heart is only beginning. 


THEMES & TROPES
Tortured Hero, Returning Military, Tormented Heroine, Widowed Heroine, Children

MY THOUGHTS 
Grace Burrowes has an enormous backlist and I have been wanting to try her for awhile.  So, when I heard about the Read All Books Reading Challenge hosted by Anna at Herding Cats, Burning Soup & The Herd Presents, I knew that this was a great way for me to experience her stories.  I decided to start with The Captive because it is the beginning of a series and that it has some pretty high ratings on Goodreads.  I found it to be engaging and a good example of the distinctive Grace Burrowes style that I have heard so much about.

There is a pretty dark tone to this book though it does have moments of humor to battle the sadder elements.  Both the hero and heroine have scars (physical and mental) to deal with.  Christian was captured during war with the French and spent a lot of time being tortured for information.  Gillian spent years under the thumb of an abusive husband and her trust issues are understandable.

The Captive focuses on the path of healing that these two characters go on through companionship and love.  There is not a magical cure for either of them, but their slow-burning relationship provides a way for them to get through their darkest days.  I really appreciated their mature approach to life and their current situation.  I also liked that they communicated about things, major and minor.  Long-time readers of my blog know how much communication issues get on my nerves in romances so I was very happy to see that they didn't plague Christian and Gillian.

There are a lot of side characters in this book which is clearly part of the author's style.  While The Captive is the beginning of a new trilogy, it still takes place in the same world as her other romances so I'm sure the cameos will be more obvious to me as I read more of her backlist.  My particular favorites in this book were the hero's best friend who is part of her famous Windham family and the hero's young daughter whose refusal to speak and need for her father acts as a good catalyst for Christian and Gillian to meet.

Besides the romance, there is a decent secondary plot in this book that involves some danger to both of the protagonists and the hero's child.  There was quite a bit of mystery surrounding who actually is the villain and I thought it was a good addition to the story.  It is also obvious that Grace Burrowes likes to play with perspective and I have a feeling that how characters view the same event in different ways will come up again in this series.

There is a lot going on in The Captive in terms of character development, romance, and external plot.  Grace Burrowes has a meaty writing style that does not skimp on details, emotional and physical, which I enjoyed.  I also liked that it seemed well-researched and had a good balance of dark and light.  I definitely recommend this book and look forward to continuing with her backlist.

FAVORITE QUOTE
"Silence could be more articulate and profound than all the words in the language."
READING CHALLENGES
Read All the Books Reading Challenge
2016 Historical Romance Reading Challenge
2016 New To You Reading Challenge

BOOKS IN THE SERIES

The Captive (Captive Hearts, #1) The Traitor (Captive Hearts, #2) The Laird (Captive Hearts, #3)

2 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you liked this. I should totally read more Grace Burrowes. I agree, I get so frustrated when the hero and heroine have major communication issues. After a time, I just want to yell at them to talk to each other like the grown ups they are. So I'm glad to hear that wasn't a thing with this.

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  2. Just added it to my TBR list. Thank you!

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