Book Review: Ethan by Grace Burrowes

Ethan by Grace BurrowesTitle: Ethan 
Series: Lonely Lords, Book 3
Author: Grace Burrowes
Genre: Historical Romance
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Source: NetGalley
Published: June 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

At the age of fourteen, Ethan Grey was banished by his titled father into a hell his legitimate siblings never learned of. Now that the old earl is dead, and Ethan is a widower with two children to raise, he finds himself attracted to Alice Portman, the boys scholarly, reserved governess. Alice also has a shadowed past, and she and Ethan must face the demon haunting them both if they’re to win their chance for a happily ever after.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Lovely, gentle book about the healing power of love and the emotional bonds that can form between people who are haunted by abuse.

The Set Up: Ethan was fourteen when he was ripped from his siblings and tossed into a hellish school. Now Ethan is a lone widower unable to connect to people around him until he meets Alice, the governess he hires for his two sons. But Ethan and Alice are both haunted by their pasts and must overcome them for a chance at life together.

Why I Read this Book: I’m a Grace Burrowes fan and have enjoyed many of her nuanced historical romances.

What I Liked: I love both Alice and Ethan. They’re not flashy people but they have cores of strength which I loved. Alice has built a life for herself and battles her anxiety like a warrior. Ethan’s past has scared him to the point where he desires connections with others but can’t seem to reach out to them. This character based romance works so well because of these two deeply injured characters and how much I cared about them. Burrowes successfully shows the inner strength of both Alice and Ethan even in the face of their pasts and she does this without maudlin sentimentality. I love damaged leads in my romance and both Alice and Ethan fit this model but do so with emotional balance that didn’t just play on my sympathies.

The sexual and emotional intimacies are brilliantly interwoven in Alice and Ethan’s romance. Given their histories, neither jumps into bed or throws open their hearts but their steps toward intimacy is captivating because of this. I love the many conversations between Alice and Ethan as they build their trust in each other.

What I Also Liked: I love both Ethan and Alice’s families. Ethan’s are the series focus, I think, so they play large roles, especially Ethan’s beloved brother. Alice’s brother is a great addition as well and her other siblings though never in a scene still come through as characters. Ethan’s charming children are super adorable plot moppets, especially at the end when Alice and Ethan need them to bring them back together again.

The plot of Ethan and Alice’s tormentor feeds into the character-based feel of the novel but also provides the sinister element to the plot. He’s perfectly creepy and the villain historical romances need.

What I Didn’t Like: I pick up Grace Burrowes’ books based upon the romances so I’ve missed a few that didn’t appeal to me and I think these couples whose stories I’m missing play big roles in Ethan. I felt a little lost by all of Ethan’s neighbors who I think were featured in previous books. They were very nice couples but the volume made me struggle to keep them all straight. I suppose readers who knew all the couples would love to catch up with them here but I was a tad overwhelmed by all the happy couples.

Second, Ethan’s brother plays a huge role in this novel. I should probably go back to read his story because he frankly came across as an asshole who slept with any woman and never thought about the consequences. He grovels here I suppose but his past atrocious behavior and his current flirting didn’t endear his character to me.

Finally, horrible cover in my opinion!

IMO: This is a lovely story about healing for both the hero and heroine that I highly recommend for historical readers.

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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