Saturday, August 1, 2015

Review of Tremaine's True Love by Grace Burrowes

"The greatest plague ever to bedevil mortal man, the greatest threat to his peace, the most fiendish source of his undeservedly humility is his sister and spinster sisters are the worst of the lot. "
- Nicholas Haddonfield

Tremaine St. Michael has traveled to Belle Maison, the home of Nicholas Haddonfield, the Earl of Bellefonte, to negotiate the purchase of a herd of merino sheep. Recognized by his peers as an astute businessman, Tremaine spent his childhood on his Grandfather's sheep farm in Scotland and covets these sheep to improve his breeding stock. Tremaine arrives at Belle Maison ahead of schedule and can't help but hear Nick's ranting about his sister Nita.

'What about your sister Lady Nita?" Tremaine asked. The sister putting the worry and exasperation in her brother's eyes, and inspiring the earl to raise his voice.
Tremaine would never approach an objective without reconnoitering first. Knowing who got on with whom often made the difference between closing a deal or watching the profits waltz into another fellow's pocket.
'Oh, her." Bellefonte's gaze went to the window, which looked out over the terraced gardens in all their winter solemnity.
A tall, blond woman marched off towards the stables along a walk of crushed white shells.
Bellfonte's gaze followed the woman, his expression forlorn. " Lady Nita is very dear to me. She will be the death of me."

Nita Haddonfield believes she has traded her chance for happiness, marriage and children for duty. She turned down several offers of marriage while she nursed her late father during his illness. Nita has also assumed her late mother's role as the village midwife, healer and herbalist. She cares for her brothers and sisters and the people who seek her medical knowledge. Nita feels compelled to visit the sick tenants on her brother's estate. Each time she leaves for a sick visit, Nick is concerned that Nita might be exposed to a fatal illness or bring disease back to their home. Nita is heading out to treat Addy Chalmers and her family when Tremaine arrives to purchase the sheep. Tremaine is intrigued by the strong willed Lady Nita.

The novel touches upon changes in medical care and the perception of a woman's role in society. Nita and her sister Susannah's views on love and marriage are compared throughout the story. Nita and Tremaine fall in love. They care deeply for each other and are quite passionate. Loved the scenes where Tremaine accompanied Nita when she visited Addy Chalmers. I felt that Tremaine understood why Nita felt healing was her calling after this visit. Tremaine joined in the family's card games and singing just to see Nita laugh and enjoy herself. Susannah and Edward Nash are not in love. Susannah sees marriage as a way to escape the confines of her home while Edward is eying her dowry-- the sheep-- to pay off his mounting debt.

Each character in the novel has difficult choices to make. Tremaine and Nita are two lonely people who had resigned themselves to a life which didn't include marriage. The author skillfully presents both sides of the couple's dilemma. Can Nita and Tremaine figure out if love means losing their individual dreams or can the couple compromise? Will Edward convince Nick that he needs the sheep to provide for his new wife? Will Susannah listen to sisters Kirsten and Della about Edward? Does she clue in that only one room in his house is heated and that he isn't a kind person?

Tremaine's True Love is a passionate love story where our hero and heroine meet and fall in love during the course of the book. The secondary characters are well developed and add another layer of drama to an already intriguing story. Nita and Tremaine's love story is perfectly paced as it plays out as the novel unfolds. I loved how the author subtly portrayed the villain and his bullying tactics throughout the novel. The novel's conclusion is amazing. The last one hundred pages were fast paced and had several surprising plot revelations. The journey to the ending kept me reading past my bedtime.

Nita and Tremaine's story is  a compassionate , poignant romance with just the right amount of suspense and drama.  The novel captivated me  with it's elegant prose, strong willed heroine and lonely business tycoon.  Tremaine's True Love is the first of the author's True Gentleman series and hold a special place in my keeper shelf. I am looking forward to see what the author has in store for Kirsten, Susannah and Della Haddonfield !

'The greatest plague ever to bedevil mortal man, the greatest threat to his peace, the most fiendish source of undeserved humility is his brother-in-law, and titled brothers-in-law are the worst of a bad lot." -Tremaine St. Michael

Reviewed by Susan Gorman
ARC provided by Sourcebooks

Photo Credits:
Close up of the sheep provided by Carla Hellendar
Tigger -- Ch. Tri-umph Tender Pursuit, HSAs--- herding the sheep and goats by Kayleigh courtesy of Marian Johnson Your.


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