Lord Percival Windham has come back from a cavalry posting in the wilds of Canada to find marital ambushes and intrigues on all sides at what ought to be a country house party. He depends on sensible Miss Esther Himmelfarb to guide him past all hazards, but who will protect Esther’s heart from being taken captive by Lord Percival? THE COURTSHIP is a Georgian era prequel to Ms. Burrowe’s Windham Regency series.
REVIEW BY EMERY LEE ( first posted at Romantic Historical Lovers)
The setting of THE COURTSHIP is the ubiquitous 18th century aristocratic house party, the scene of match-making and midnight trysts. Of the many guests present, and more by default than preference, is the almost-spinster Miss Esther Himmelfarb, who is there mainly to support the matrimonial ambitions of her impoverished cousin Michael. Also on the list more out of obligation than inclination, and decidedly disinclined to place themselves within range of any debutante’s matrimonial sights, are the Windham brothers Anthony and Percival, both younger sons of the Duke of Moreland.
Although he would much prefer to return to the wilds of Canada than satisfy his mother’s demand to produce Windham progeny, Lord Percy is struck at once by Esther’s understated beauty and quiet self-possession. One of my favorite quotes is Percival’s protest to his brother after Anthony notes Percy’s interest in Esther:
“I do not fall in love, Anthony. I fall into bed, or occasionally into linen closets, private boudoirs, secluded bowers, that sort of thing.”
Like the stately minuet, the plot unfolds gracefully and at a leisurely pace, with Ester and Percy coming to an early truce and even seeking one another out to prevent the unwanted attentions of others even as their attraction to one another grows. A quote from another favorite scene:
“You are an impertinent woman.” This did not, unfortunately, sound as if it put him off.
“As compared to you, my lord who are somehow a pertinent man? Or perhaps pertinacious might apply?” That was rude, intended to put the perishing idiot in his place, but it only added approval to the warmth in his gaze. His eyes crinkled at the corners, his lips curved up to reveal perfect, straight white teeth in a dazzling, alarmingly intimate smile.
“We’re going to get on famously, Miss Himmelfarb. I adore impertinent women.”
There is an understated elegance and sophistication to Grace Burrowes’ prose which lends itself well to the Georgian era. I found THE COURTSHIP to be a well-developed and delightful novella written with true wit and style. Highly recommended.
“The Courtship” is available exclusively at Discover a New Love (you don’t have to be a member to buy it), and will become available on all the major ebook platforms in early November. Link for Discover a New Love: http://www.discoveranewlove.com/store/courtship.html