First I must admit to something rather distressful. While I have several books by Miss Grace Burrowes on my TBR shelf, I had never read any of them until THE CAPTIVE crossed my NetGalley screen and I simply couldn't resist. Well now I am smacking myself in the head and taking all of my dusty Grace Burrowes novels off the TBR shelf, cleaning them off, and sitting them on my reading table for the weekend.
Captured and tortured by the French for months on end, Christian Severn, The Duke of Mercia does all he can to survive. The sadistic men who summarily disfigured his body and toyed with his emotions instill a hatred in Mercia that keeps him going. Revenge is his savior, for when he is finally set free, he begins to plot the demise of the monsters who made his life a living Hell. In addition to his own Hell, he is told upon his release that his wife and son have
Gillian, Countess of Windmere, has her own crosses to bear. Marriage to an older man who abused her physically and emotionally before he dies of a heart attack is met with an inquest into whether Gillian actually did the man in. Once cleared of any wrong-doing, Gillian seeks out the Duke of Mercia in Town, for even though he has lost a wife and son, he still has a beautiful daughter, who desperately needs his presence to survive a decline that has her silent. Is Lucy's inability to speak a product of the losses she has had in her young life? As her mother's cousin and confidante, Gillian has made it her mission to reunite the young lady and her father, so healing for all can begin.
Gillian surprises Christian in so many ways on a daily basis. She steadily revives the man that once was from the thin shell he became in his captivity and makes him want to live again. Gillian is also mesmerized by Christian's manner, as living with an ogre gave her a skewed notion of how a man acts with a lady. They in fact help each other overcome much of the pain from their recent pasts and begin to open up emotionally to one another and awaken passions that neither knew were possible. When faced with demons from the past, can Christian set aside the plans for revenge he had built up to survive? Can Gillian accept the love that Christian has so easily placed in her lap, or will she continue to feel like she is under the shadow her departed tormentor placed her? These answers and so much more are revealed in THE CAPTIVE by Grace Burrowes .
And yes, I have found another go-to author for my historical fancies. THE CAPTIVE by Grace Burrowes toys with the reader's emotions from page one and does not release them until the last page. It is a revelation when such darkness sees light and so many wrongs, though not justified, become righted in their own way. Both Christian and Gillian are powerful and captivating characters. Both show the world that they are far worse things than one's normal trials and tribulations and when faced with them, caring and honesty can overcome much. Yes, the book begins in a dark place. No one wants to know that such torture can be possible, but where the books ends, shows all is as it should be. I look forward to the next in this CAPTIVE HEARTS TRILOGY by Grace Burrowes with great anticipation and in the meantime, resolve myself to devour this author's library of titles.