The Captive (Captive Hearts #1) by Grace Burrowes

captive

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He’ll never be free…

Captured and tortured by the French, Christian Severn, Duke of Mercia, survives by vowing to take revenge on his tormentors. Before the duke can pursue his version of justice, Gillian, Countess of Greendale, reminds him that his small daughter has suffered much in his absence, and needs her papa desperately.

Until he surrenders his heart…

Gilly endured her difficult marriage by avoiding confrontation and keeping peace at any cost. Christian’s devotion to his daughter and his kindness toward Gilly give her hope that she could enjoy a future with him, for surely he of all men shares her loathing for violence in any form. Little does Gilly know, the battle for Christian’s heart is only beginning.

Publisher and Release Date Sourcebooks Casablanca, July 2014
RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: Regency Period, France and England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 5 Stars

Review by Lady Blue

Christian, Duke of Mercia was captured by the French, and against protocol, he was not treated as a nobleman, but was tortured and starved for several months. The only thing that keeps him going is the thought of revenge on his captors. He is eventually freed, and makes his way home, a shadow of his former self. He is scarred physically and mentally, he suffers nightmares, and he barely eats enough to stay alive. In his absence, his wife and young son have died.

Gilly is cousin to Christian’s late wife. She is widowed, and has been looking after Christian’s surviving child, his daughter Lucy, who has stopped speaking, and desperately needs her father. Gilly nervously approaches Christian, telling him how much Lucy needs him, and urging him to return to his country home to be with her. Having only been free a short time, and still struggling with the aftermath of his experiences, Christian agrees, but requests that Gilly accompany him and help him. As she is very fond of Lucy, and no longer has any other obligations, she consents.

Gilly is almost magical in the way she instinctively seems to know just how to treat Christian. With her encouragement, he begins to heal, both physically and mentally, though he still is holding on to his quest for revenge on those who tortured him. They are very drawn to each other, and soon develop a friendship and closeness that turns passionate. Christian is a to-die-for hero whose extraordinary strength carries him through what would have killed most men, and yet he retains his humanity in his ability to show love to his daughter and to Gilly. Despite her own scars from her unhappy marriage, Gilly is a giver. Fewer couples are more deserving of a happy ever after, but it’s not to be quite so easy.

It appears that there may have been more to Christian’s captivity than simply an act of war. It seems that someone wants Gilly out of the way, permanently. And, if that weren’t enough, if Christian can’t let go of his desire for revenge, it may cost him Gilly. These threads are all neatly tied up by the author in a satisfying and very intriguing conclusion. This first book of the Captive Hearts trilogy has all the trademark intimacy and emotion that is present in Grace Burrowes’ books, but I feel this is her best yet and I love it to pieces!

Bring on The Traitor!

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