The Heir

The Heir

by Grace Burrowes

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402244346
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 12/01/2010
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 293,960
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Grace Burrowes is the pen name for a prolific author of historical romances whose manuscripts have so far won, finaled, or garnered honorable mention in Romance Writers of America contests in Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, and Florida. Burrowes is a practicing attorney specializing in family law. She lives in rural Maryland.

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From One

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.

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The Heir 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 815 reviews.
Charmed47 More than 1 year ago
Here is to all you spoil sports FYI. Leaving bad feed back for a Romance fantasy book. Why because the historical facts arent accurate, what? This is a romance fantasy people nothing is real or accurate, its just for fantasy, (fun), get over it. As far as bad reviews for not loading correctly to your nook REALLY? This is not the area for complaining for that. Go through the correct channels. This crap frustrates me. I want a review of the book not your whinning. Besides that it isnt fair to the author to bring down her score for things out of their control. GREAT HISTORICAL (FANTASY) ROMANCE BOOK.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually don't get too upset about historical accuracy in romances because that is not the point of the genre, but this book is so outrageous that I cannot even finish it. I am willing to accept that a beautiful woman with no work history is hired as the head housekeeper for an Earl, even if that is completely impossible. I am even willing to accept a romance between an aristocrat and woman he believes is a servant (seductions happen). Actually, I such a fan of upstairs-downstairs shows that I was eager to see how this would play out. What I cannot get beyond is that the Earl's butler, secretary, and all his male servants go missing so that the housekeeper can flounce around, performing their duties. La-la-la... she waltzes in on her employer and his brother, proceeds to arrange flowers, and then engages them in conversation. Not only does the Earl not get upset that his housekeeper beats him unconscious, he allows her to nurse him (naked), and then they proceed to share all their intimate thoughts over lemonade. Not only would a housekeeper not sit in the presence of her employer, she would likely have little interaction with him. Her job was to manage the female servants. The butler's job was to manage the male servants and to attend personally on the lord. All the male servants would not be allowed to go missing. I was completely distracted by how woefully understaffed this supposedly rich Earl's house was. Also, we are led to believe that it is impossible for the Earl to find a wife to bear children and his father is so desperate to get him married that he tries to get his mistress to pass off another man's child on him. What?? A Duke wants his heir to marry a fallen woman who is pregnant with another man's child???? This book is so full of historical problems that I simply cannot finish it, despite decent writing.
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Young girls of marriageable age staked out like sacrificial lambs in a glittering ballroom for males to prey on just does not work for Gayle Windham, Earl of Westhaven even if he does need a wife--he will be the Duke when his father dies. However, his imperious father, the Duke of Moreland, wants Gayle married to insure the family lineage-he wants grandsons NOW. Gayle likes solitude, peace and quiet, so he stays in his London residence when all of Society goes to the country for the summer. His housekeeper knows how to adjust the windows to keep the breeze circulating through the house that is sparkling clean and perfumed with fresh-cut flowers daily. The meals are good and the service efficient. Anna Seaton, the housekeeper, wants to go unnoticed but circumstances bring her front and center to the Earl's attention. She guards her secret well, but does not do so well with guarding her heart. She knows the rules of deception well-dress the part, believe your own lies, have more money and resources than you show, and always have an alternative plan. Keeping her freedom is of utmost importance for her and Morgan who works as a maid in the household. This is an urgent need that colors Anna's life and her actions regardless of how her heart feels. The Earl's brother, Valentine. With his beautiful music and tender heart, adds joy to the Earl's household. Devlin, the Earl's half-brother is a seasoned veteran of war, astute in the vagaries of humanity, and unerringly protective of Gayle. Even though he is suspicious of Anna, he defends her because she is important to Gayle. The Earl's mother is also protective. She truly sets the fox among the chickens when she hires a detective to look into Anna's background. Grace Burrowes' characters, full of emotion and action, come alive, Even the rather incidental secondary characters have distinct personalities, even little Rose. The antagonists are so despicable one really wants to reach out and give them a sound drubbing. They are men reared with privilege and should know better. Ms. Burrowes' smooth, unobtrusive writing style engages all the senses. It makes the love scenes spellbinding, the danger a heart-pounding experience, and the caring, protective love for loved ones awe-inspiring. The Heir is hard to put down when once started--remarkably good reading. A big thank you to Grace Burrowes for a terrific story that has some provocative thoughts about life and living along with an irresistible love story that has some mighty anxious moments as Gayle and Anna muddle their way toward a happy-ever-after. Originally posted at the Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
Tribute_Books_Reviews More than 1 year ago
In Regency England, would an earl really marry his housekeeper? That is the question posed by Grace Burrowes in her debut historical romance, The Heir. It is certainly a Cinderella-like tale when Gayle Windham, Earl of Westhaven, refuses to marry anyone save his servant, Anna Seaton. Why the rush to the altar? Westhaven's father, the Duke of Moreland, desperately desires an heir regardless of the mother's pedigree. He is so blatant about his need for a grandchild that he even gets Westhaven's mistress pregnant by another man in order to pass the child off as his son's. Westhaven was not meant to be the focus of his father's fanaticism. It was not until the death of his elder brother that the spare became the heir. He loathes his new position in the family hierarchy and will do anything to escape the yoke of matrimony. He's a free-swinging bachelor who means to keep it that way. Enter Anna Seaton and her secrets. Is she really a war widow? Is the deaf chambermaid, Morgan, her relation? Is she in some kind of trouble? Westhaven is enraptured with the mystery that surrounds her, and he leads her, however reluctantly, down the path of seduction. As the two become more and more intimate, Westhaven's innate caution starts to unravel. In giving himself body and soul to Anna, he might just bestow upon her his father's greatest wish. As a first time author, Burrowes does a great job in connecting the reader with her characters. Her portrayal of Westhaven and his brothers Val and Dev is spot on. The fraternal teasing as Westhaven falls for Anna is poignant. His brothers inwardly rejoice at his finding happiness. A book is only as good as the depth of its secondary characters and Burrowes fully rounds them out. Whether it's the touching friendship that develops between the piano virtuoso Val and the timid Morgan or the way Dev as an illegitimate son of the Duke is restrained by his secondary status. A variety of detail is the only weak point. By the conclusion, the reader will never forget that Westhaven enjoys an ample amount of sugar in his lemonade and that Anna is forever arranging flowers throughout his London abode be it in the empty fireplaces or on a dining serving tray. At times, the romantic interludes read like a how-to lesson from the Kama Sutra. Depending on the reader, sometimes less is more in these instances. Overall, The Heir is a great page-turning take on forbidden love.
TSteiner More than 1 year ago
What can I say about "The Heir" that hasn't been already said?? While it follows along the same line as most historical romances, it had wonderful differences too. The hero was a rogue bachelor. Big surprise there! Not too many historicals don't have handsome, antisocial men (because we just eat them up). Gayle Windham had wonderful qualities. He loves his family - an amazing caregiver for them, strong willed, loyal, funny, oh I could go on and on.His goal in life - take care of his family, eventually become Duke and never ever marry.until he meets his headstrong lovely housekeeper. The heroine, Anna Seaton, is a woman with a hidden past. She is Lord Windham's housekeeper. She does an amazing job, keeps a tight ship, and is refined and thorough with her care for the Earl. She has secrets.and nothing is going to keep her from keeping them. Not even a gorgeous infuriating Earl. "The Heir" is an easy read. You fall in love with Gayle and Anna, but you also fall for all the supporting characters. The Grace does a great job weaving them into the story. I finished the book wanting to know what was going to happen next with every one of them. I highly recommend "The Heir". I couldn't put it down. I laughed at the shenanigans of the Duke and the Earl's brothers and wanted to shake both Gayle and Anna at times. While the ending did drag out for me (I wanted them to get it together, like NOW), I still enjoyed the storyline. I am looking very forward to the next story of the Windham brothers.
blueEC More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and can't wait for thr sequel. It is so refreshing to NOT have to wade thru character killing angst, which most books are riddled with by todays authors. Historically inaccurate well yeah. But a great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love her style very much!! Must read....wish for more...If you like, Lisa Kleypas, you will also love Grace Burrowes!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never really gotten into romance books until I read this book, now I'm addicted. This book was a great read and you'll find yourself neglecting all other things just to finish the book or get to the next page. The characters are loveable and relateable. I find that in other books sometime the heroine is too dull or (dare I say it) understanding and patient. I like my heroines to have character and stand up for love not let it pass them by. The hero in this book is also equally loveable. He's charming and delightful, he jumps out from the pages and is relateable to the men (boys) of our high school years. I reccommend this book because it's simply a wonderful read and of course dreadfully romantic.
BreezyBR More than 1 year ago
I cant believe this is the first book the author wrote! I love how you get to see both sides from the man and the women as well as other views. Its great to see how both sides are feeling inside and a very exciting book that keeps you interested. It is a love story and a good one at that.
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
What I liked about this book, and about Burrowes&rsquo; series, is that generally a romance is told from the POV of the heroine. This book, and the two that follow, while they do shift into heroine&rsquo;s POV, are really a book about the <i>hero</i> falling in love. Gayle (plus a lot of other names) Windham, was not the firstborn son of the Duke and Duchess of Morelands. Nor the second son. But due to the deaths of his two older brothers, the Earl of Westhaven is, in fact, The Heir. The top three things I loved about this novel are: &bull; The sizzling chemistry between Westhaven and Anna &bull; The playful banter among all the characters &bull; The involvement of family in the romance. Too often when I read a romance, both characters are virtual orphans. In real life, family gets involved. Whether they are invited in, or insert themselves, they are present. The top three things I disliked about this novel are: &bull; A bit too much marzipan. Wondering if the author intends to kill off Gayle via diabetes overload at some point in the future. &bull; Not quite enough attention in the first third, compared to the drama and action in this final third. &bull; The heroine both becomes pregnant too easily, and does not realize that she is pregnant. This seems to be a theme that recurs in the romance genre, and IMO, I&rsquo;m bored with it. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book, and ll think most readers will as well, even those who don&rsquo;t normally read Regency Romance.
AAR More than 1 year ago
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 and My Book Addiction and More.
bookcatcc More than 1 year ago
Sparkling Start Dawdles to a Slow, Predictable Finish Good points: Good writing. This author shows potential. Bad points: Slow-moving, poor plot development, weak characterization Highlights: Erotic romance Lowlights: Too many erotic scenes. Is there a precursor to this book? There&rsquo;s a lot of irrelevant back story on secondary characters We meet our hero, Gayle, Earl of Westhaven, when his housekeeper, Anna Seaton, bashes him on the head with a fireplace poker. She mistakenly believes he is making unwanted advances toward one of her housemaids. She patches him up, and unless you&rsquo;ve never read a romance novel before, you know that they quickly feel an irresistible attraction for each other. Gayle is a serious-minded heir to a dukedom, devoted to duty, family and the obligations of his rank. I need hardly tell you that Anna is young, beautiful, and shows unmistakable signs of gentility despite her humble position. But she is trapped in a dangerous situation that leaves her powerless, and she has a secret that precludes her from marrying Gayle or revealing her desperate circumstances. And that&rsquo;s where things go wrong. In the best romance novels the plot advances in every scene. But Anna&rsquo;s refusal to explain her secret bring the action to a crashing halt. The only development in the book for many, many pages is the lovers moving from heavy petting to back-seat high school antics. Gayle and Anna are believable lovers, but we are stuck in the bedroom with them way too many times and for far too long. If you&rsquo;re 14 and this is your first romance novel, this may be useful&mdash;The Heir is a virtual erotic primer for the uninitiated. But Gayle&rsquo;s initial characterization as the serious man of honor is exploded by this subsequent sexual behavior (where did those principles go?). And Anna&rsquo;s survival instinct and mettle are undermined by her tedious stubbornness and inability to trust. Her Great Secret, when it is finally revealed, is reasonably interesting, but the action still plods along to a slow, anti-climactic finish. When the villains are at long last revealed, one is the blandest bad guy on record; the other is truly evil, but mostly described as fat. This seems to be as abhorrent to the author as his unspeakable deeds although Anna finally gives him a pass on being porky. It reads as if an editor asked for a little balance, and a touch of it was reluctantly provided. If you like a historical romance with interesting period details; fully realized characters; a sense of the time and cultural mores; and a feel for the location, this book is not for you. If you are looking for one sex scene after another, a simple-minded plot that hangs fire for at least two-thirds of the book, and characters who refuse to accept or speak what is obvious to the reader from page 10&mdash;go for it!
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Review by Desere: Absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous ,stunning incredibly passionate and totally scandalous ! These are just a few words coming to mind when you enter the world of Grace Burrowes, in her debut book The Heir. You get to know Gayle and Anna. Two very different people, one legitimate heir to the Duke of Moreland and the other a extremely beautiful woman and well educated working as a housekeeper? Now that may seem ordinary but Anna is no ordinary woman even in today's times I am sure you will agree that a well educated and beautiful woman will not be working as a housekeeper but something a little more powerful even in it is just being a proper lady !!!!! At first devastatingly handsome Earl Gayle cannot even begin to understand why the talented bright clever young woman is working as housekeeper, but he still cannot control his attraction to her either. Nor can Anna deney her feelings for Gayle. Yes you guessed it they become close like only two people in love can be, but then no one knows the secrets that lie beneath. Secrets so scandalous they can destroy not only the life of the Earl but all those involved in the world of Anna, Gayle knows the the fallout will destroy and completely break Anna and he knows he needs to protect her but how is the question of the hour. Can Gayle protect the woman who has stolen his heart, will her secrets destroy is life to beyond repair? You'll have to read it to find out. In this stunningly written historical romance the authors takes you on a journey of pure romance with a twist you will never see coming! Nor will you be able to ever predict the end. Grace Burrows completely blows you away having you hang on every word as you travel with her on the most gorgeous historical I have ever read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a borderline addiction to historical romance, especially the regency era...and i could not put this book down. The men in the Wyndham family are loving, lusty, and wonderfully arrogant. The story line was consistent, believable, and the love scenes graphic. I am about to read the next book in this series, the soldier. Cant wait for Valentine's story.
NookLova More than 1 year ago
I liked this book because it seems a bit more realistic than most romance novels in the fact that the protagonists fool around with one another before consumating their relationship. Seems more realistic than just immediately falling into bed with someone. I did find the multiple names given to the male protagonist a bit confusing, but I think that is just how it was in that time period. Great read!
Melissa Adamson More than 1 year ago
This book is truly beyond five stars. Never in my life have i read such a beautifully written story. Not only does it take you in but embraces you. I commend grace on her skill and cannot wait to see what happens to Dev in the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read. I have read it many times now and keep coming back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story line once it got started. It was getting started that I was having trouble with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Heir was my first Grace Burrows novel. So rich in back story I have now gone on to read all of her books. Compelling characters drawn with rich language. Antique terms used organically - ablution for bath as an example. Burrows' writing makes the rest seem like bad high school papers. My only suggestion is less tears please. I have re-read this book so many times and am held in the thrall of good writing.
mrsgodiva More than 1 year ago
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Chastel More than 1 year ago
Absolutely Excellent
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely a favorite! Everything necessary for an excellent read especially the humor. LORRAINE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago