Tremaine’s True Love (True Gentlemen #1) by Grace Burrowes

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He’s had everything he could ever want…until now

Wealthy wool magnate Tremaine St. Michael is half French, half Scottish, and all business. He prowls the world in search of more profits, rarely settling in one place for long. When he meets practical, reserved Lady Nita Haddonfield, he sees an opportunity to mix business with pleasure by making the lady his own.

Nita Haddonfield has a meaningful life tending to others, though nobody is dedicated to caring for Nita. She insists the limitations of marriage aren’t for her, then Tremaine St. Michael arrives-protective, passionate, and very, very determined to win Nita’s heart.

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Publisher and Release Date: Sourcebooks Casablanca 4 August 2015

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: Regency England
Heat Level: 2
Genre: Historical Romance
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Wendy

A recent convert to Ms.Burrowes’ novels, I had often found her complicated family trees a bit off-putting as regards the various and complex familial relationships that run through her various series, but I was persuaded to read Darius: Lord of Pleasure and the Captive Hearts series by two respected friends/reviewers and immediately loved her quirky, intelligent writing style.

Tremaine St.Michael of mixed Scottish/French descent has a childhood past that has left him slightly bitter and unsure of his own worth, and although he is a gentleman, he is very firmly ensconced in trade and proud of the fact. He is a clever businessman, preferring to increase his already immense fortune by his wits and acumen and not to depend on his aristocratic background. He is quite at liberty to call himself Comte, a title inherited from his French Father, but prefers to be known as just plain Mister and comes over as a modest, unassuming man. He is quietly determined to achieve his goal, which is to purchase a large flock of impressive Merino sheep from Nicholas, the Earl of Bellefonte. Further traits that emerge slowly to Tremaine’s credit are his kindness and thoughtfulness, which are perhaps not immediately apparent, but in his unassuming manner he is a man who is quite delectable and very easy to like.

Lady Bernita Haddonfield, or Nita as she is known to her nearest and dearest, the eldest of the Earl’s unmarried sisters is a forthright, attractive blonde, who had been lady of the manor until her brother’s recent marriage. She cares for her large family in a more motherly than sisterly way, and after a brief, unsatisfactory brush with romance in her youth she has now eschewed marriage. Much to the consternation of her family, but especially Nicholas, she has all but become the local physician, following in her mother’s footsteps, but in a far more in-depth and dedicated manner. She is also very well read and practices some very controversial and state of the art medical methods which puts her at odds with the local physician and vicar. Nita is in great demand and refuses no one her time and skill. Even the notorious, local loose woman, who has had numerous children by as many different men – an outcast in society – who began life as the daughter of a respected local, minor gentry family – feels able to call on Nita without fear of condemnation or judgment and the story actually begins with Nita attending the birth of yet another addition to the family of this poor, downtrodden woman. Ms. Burrowes, realistically and emphatically describes the abject squalor and surroundings of this there-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I mother and her tribe of poorly clad, starving children.

Tremaine and Nita spend time together, and are witness, on a daily basis, to the caring side of each other. Although neither wants or seeks marriage, their admiration for each other starts to grow until they are more deeply attracted to each other than either would have wished for – the perfect combination – or so it seems.

The main conflict in the story comes from the fact that Nita is subjecting herself – and by association, her family – to all manner of contagious diseases. Immersing herself so thoroughly in her medical practices and visiting the unhygienic homes of the poor of society is not considered an acceptable pass-time for a lady of high rank. Nita does not consider the risk to herself and will not listen to her critics, although she is sensible enough to stay away from the nursery where the tiny heir to the earldom resides.

This is a delightful and unusual story that shows a very sympathetic side to Grace Burrowes’ writing. Homosexuality is mentioned, again in an extremely thoughtful and non judgemental way – I liked this addition and there is also a sweet secondary romance.

While not perhaps as spine-tinglingly romantic as Darius, or as deep and angsty as the Captive Hearts series, I really enjoyed Tremaine’s True Love, and I think Grace Burrowes has begun a series which will capture the interest of her followers and add a few more fans. My only reservation – and it is a real pet hate of mine – is to do with the modern terms peppered throughout which I would have thought that a writer of Ms. Burrowes calibre, with her evident extensive research (she must have read a lot to be able to write with such authority on sheep!) and eye for detail, would have conquered by now. Still, it’s a lovely read, with wonderful, well drawn characters I could not help admiring. I will definitely be reading this series as each book is released, so it’s a definite thumbs up from me.

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