Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Laird by Grace Burrowes

After ten years of being away from his family home, Michael Brodie has finally come home to the bride he married and left the next morning.  During his absence, Brenna MacLogan Brodie has had to hold the clan together and grow up (they were married when she was sixteen) and still deal with clan members that hated her. 

If my fairy godmother were to appear and tell me I could pick two authors and purchase every one of their novels at B&N I would pick Grace Burrowes and Karen Marie Moning.  I started reading Grace Burrowes books when I got "The Captive" as an ARC and loved it.  I read "The Traitor" and wished I was Millie.  I have been reading Ms. Burrowes other books that my library has as ebooks when they are available and have loved them too.  I find her novels are as her website says "Beautiful Love Stories, Beautifully Told."

That being said, I had the hardest time reading this book and have rewritten this review several times. 

Let me start with what I loved about the book.  I loved Michael Brodie.  I noticed him in “The Traitor” and was thrilled that he got his own story.  After ten years at war, and much of it behind enemy lines, Michael is finally able to return to his beloved Highland home and the bride he left.  The reader gets the feeling that Michael was given a mission by the British government to surrender to the French side to protect Sebastian St. Clair. 

I loved that Michael didn’t come home and immediately ravage his wife.  He took time, understanding and patience to seduce her, to build her trust and help her emotional wounds heal.  I loved the strong character of Brenna Brodie.  A young girl left on her own to take care of a castle after her mother-in-law left and after her father-in-law died.  She is strong enough to take care of her clan.  I loved that Brenna let Michael seduce her and let him help her heal.  I was thrilled when Sebastian and Millie came for a visit toward the end of the novel. 

There were parts of this novel that upset me and I had a very hard time reading.  Michael’s uncle Angus was a pedophile that had abused Brenna until she “developed” and other children in the area.  After Michael’s dad died, Angus took his revenge on Brenna by making the villagers hate her. 

Toward the end of the novel, Michael has started to realize that the villagers hate Brenna and Angus has done something to her.  When Angus goes to Aberdeen to visit a brothel that specializes in young children, Michael and Brenna’s cousin Hugh search Angus’s house.  They find proof of what Angus has done over the years and the leather satchel contained the money that Angus stole, blaming Brenna and her cousins.  Michael confronts Angus at the start of the celebration for his homecoming.

I hated how much of a part Angus was to this novel.  I wish that Michael could have figured things out more toward the middle of the novel and confronted Angus earlier so the remainder of the novel be about healing.  I have worked with children that have been abused and this was very upsetting to me.  I found that it detracted from what could have been a very wonderful book if dealt with earlier.  I wish that the villagers had had the opportunity to apologize to Brenna for how they treated her.  Angus had stolen every letter that Brenna and Michael wrote each other.   I wish that once they were discovered that Michael and Brenna could have read what they wrote to each other as part of the healing process.  I also wish that we could have seen more of the romance between Hugh and Elspeth.  I wish that we could have spent more time with Sebastian and Millie.

Even after what I hated about the book, I still thought that it was well written.  I loved the main characters.  I just wish some things were different.

I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, for an honest review.  Thank you very much for the privilege of reading this novel.

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