The Duke’s Disaster / Tremaine’s True Love (True Gentlemen .5 & 1) by Grace Burrowes-Reviews, Interview and Book Tour
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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 4, 2015
Tremaine St. Michael is firmly in trade and seeks only to negotiate the sale of some fancy sheep with the Earl of Haddonfield. The earl’s sister, Lady Nita, is pragmatic, hard-working, and selfless, though Tremaine senses she’s also tired of her charitable obligations and envious of her siblings’ marital bliss. Tremaine, having been raised among shepherds, can spot another lonely soul, no matter how easily she fools her own family. Neither Tremaine nor Nita is looking for love, but love comes looking for them.
5 out of 5 for this reader folks!
Two more outstanding novels by one of my fave historical romance authors Grace Burrowes. This review is on her first two books of her True Gentlemen series. If you remember (and fell in love with as I did) Nicholas and Ethan (with mentions of other yummy characters) from the Lonely Lords series then you will appreciate this spin off series as it revolves around their sisters finding their true loves.
We have met Tremaine before in the Lonely Lord series and I loved meeting him once again. Tremaine is a trader by occupation and he is quite successful at it. Coming to see Nicholas to discover if a herd of sheep is a lucrative trade, he also meets Nicholas’s serious sister Nita. Nita is not a lady of her time. She has already classified herself as a spinster and routinely serves the common people (and those cast away by society’s standards) by providing comfort, aide and medical assistance. Tremaine happens to see this quality as a positive attribute seeing as his own life started out not so fortunate. Soon these two find common ground and bluntly allow excess relations to ensure that they “fit” when marriage is discussed. Tremaine believes that Nita will make a fine Duchess, and once her hands are full of Duchess responsibilities, she will be too busy to expose herself to all the dangerous elements that place her life in peril. However, Nita would not be Nita if she gave up what she believes in and what she is good at.
Another well matched couple. Both are very realistic people despite the advantages they both share in life. They deal with common people daily, share a love for what is right and have no time for anything fake. It was heart breaking when they realized that the other refused to give up their lifestyles to marry the other. I also loved that we got more of Nicholas and Leah who just so happened to be one of my fave couples.
Both books were a wonderful start to what I know will be a great spin off series. Grace always writes with a maturity that you do not find in many historical romances novels and this happens to be something I love to expect when I sit down with one her her stories. Her characters always have great depth, and she is wonderful at setting up and making us look forward to her next one.
Copy supplied by Netgalley
Reviewed by Rachel T.
The Duke’s Disaster
True Gentlemen .5
by Grace Burrowes
Genre: historical, romance
Release Date: April 7, 2015
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ABOUT THE BOOK:
Noah Winters, Earl of Anselm, spent months sorting and courting the year’s crop of debutantes in search of an ideal bride. When the sweet, biddable young thing he selected accepts another’s proposal, Noah decides to court her companion instead.
Thea Collins, though, is anything but biddable. She has learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted, especially the handsome ones. When she reluctantly accepts, Noah rushes Thea to the altar before she can reveal her deepest secret. Can she finally move on from her past, or will it come back to haunt her?
Oh Thea .. my kind of heroine. Mature, set in her beliefs without being insanely stubborn, fair, kind, realistic and protective. She has been working beneath her status of birth due to circumstance and her idiot of a brother’s lifestyle. When she is approached by Noah and agrees to be his Duchess (reluctantly and as a means to an end of certain aspects of her life), she doesn’t realize her heart is about to be pried open and laid out. Noah rushes the nuptials and soon a massive secret is revealed which places mistrust in their path. Both agree to carry on and soon develop a friendship and love of sorts. Trust however goes both ways, and when more secrets surface, these two need to dig deep to discover if their marriage will be one in name only.
I absolutely loved this couple. They bantered back and forth and were truthfully so amazingly playful with the other. For their time, their secrets are rather large, so I found I was rooting for them to find their way through the mess they had made together. They were perfectly matched and it was the little gestures they shared that really endeared this relationship.
Reviewed by Rachel T
TRC: Hi Grace and welcome to The Reading Café.
We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?
Follow Grace: Goodreads/Website/Facebook/Twitter
Grace: I am the sixth out of seven children, which means I was born into a household full of chatter, with words all around me, used at many levels. Excellent luck for a writer! I didn’t t start writing until my Beloved Offspring left for college about ten years ago, and I haven’t stopped yet.
TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?
Grace: I am in debt to so many keeper authors. I’ve been reading romance for more than forty years, sometimes at the rate of a book a day. Judith Ivory, historical Judith McNaught, Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase, Julie Anne Long, Madeline Hunter, Eloisa James… We have an embarrassment of talent in the historical romance genre, and those books got me through many tough years.
TRC: Your bio states you have a law degree and a Masters in ‘Conflict Transformation.’ What is Conflict Transformation and have you ever had the opportunity to apply your knowledge to any of your storylines?
Grace: Conflict transformation is a way to talk about turning swords into plowshares, and using differences to build stronger relationships. This is an element of every romance novel, because much of what propels a character along his or her arc is resolving conflicts-between the present and the past, between conflicting demands of honor, between love and fear-and healing the wounds conflict can leave in its wake.
TRC: Would you please tell us something about your August 2015 release Tremaine’s True Love and your new True Gentlemen Series?
Grace: I met Tremaine St. Michael in an earlier book (Gabriel: Lord of Regrets), and he caught my eye. He’s not long on charm, he’s all business all the time, and he was blathering about marriage being a pragmatic merger of self-interest and expedience… and while he was spouting that tripe, he was searching high and low, tirelessly, for his deceased brother’s child. He had no other family, save an aging Scottish grandfather… Tremaine was a fellow in need of a happily ever after, though he’d be the last to admit it. He’s met his match in Lady Nita Haddonfield, who brings a LOT of family into the equation, no self-interest or expedience, and rather more charm than Tremaine can withstand. The bigger they talk…
The next two stories, Daniel’s True Desire, and Will’s True Wish, are also about gentlemen who think that romance is not for them, and love is for the naïve or the foolishly brave. Nita’s sisters, Lady Kirsten and Lady Susannah, get Daniel and Will, respectively, sorted out.
TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, historical accuracy) did you encounter writing this particular story?
Grace: Tremaine’s mercantile success is based on raising sheep. How complicated can that be? Well… which breeds were grown in what regions of the United Kingdom 200 years ago? Were they comparable to their modern counterparts? How were they raised? When was lambing season? When were they shorn? I had some experience with sheep, and that helped, but I went down a long and wooly research trail learning more.
Lady Nita, by contrast, is medical practitioner educated at her mother’s knee, and through extensive reading and observation. The Regency period is when men began to push women out of the medical field entirely (except for the exhausting and dangerous business of nursing), even with regard to childbirth. We can see now, though, that the women of the day (in England) were often offering the more helpful and sanitary interventions.
TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?
Grace: Every author’s approach is different, but for me, the story is driven by the characters. Their defining traumas, their aspirations, their personalities are the fuel for the actions taken.
TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writers fail in this endeavor?
Grace: What a writer must do to pull the reader in… the list is ENDLESS, from word choices that are precise without being obscure, to descriptions that are accurate but not boring, to symbols both unobtrusive and compelling… It comes down to, the writer must make the reader care about the characters. In real life, we care when we see that somebody we have something in common with is suffering undeservedly. If that person is bearing up nobly, or with good humor, or as best they can, we care even more. The character’s wound is the sharp end of his or her hook into the reader’s heart.
In unpublished manuscripts and contest entries, I often see two characters whose gazes meet across a crowded room/deserted street/candlelit ballroom and boom, they must HAVE each other. Hormones perfume the air, and without even googling each other, the mating dance begins. Fail, fail, fail. A romantic attraction will at some point develop a physical aspect, but it starts with the sure conviction that these two people can see each other’s woundedness, and each other’s highest potential, no matter how diligently each character might be hiding or ignoring their own wounds.
TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next ten years?
I’d like to earn an MFA in creative writing from a Scottish university,
I’d like to publish a writing craft book, I’d like to publish a whole
bunch more lovely romances.
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Grace: I’m finishing up Matthew-The Jaded Gentlemen Book 2 (September 2015), and trying to wrestle into submission a quartet of reluctant earls who each has fallen in love with a cousin of the Windham family… and I do mean wrestle.
Favorite Food: Cheese!
Favorite Dessert: Fresh berries
Favorite TV Show: I don’t own a TV.
Last Movie You Saw: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Dark or Milk Chocolate: DARK
Secret Celebrity Crush: Huh?
Last Vacation Destination: A holiday cottage five miles from Aberfeldy,
Do you have any pets? Cats, dogs, horses.
Last book you read: Sir Walter Scott, His Life and Works
Pet Peeve: Cyber-meanness
TRC: Thank you Grace for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you all the best.
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