Tremaine St. Michael is firmly in trade and seeks only to negotiate the sale of some fancy sheep with the Earl of Haddonfield. The earl’s sister, Lady Nita, is pragmatic, hard-working, and selfless, though Tremaine senses she’s also tired of her charitable obligations and envious of her siblings’ marital bliss. Tremaine, having been raised among shepherds, can spot another lonely soul, no matter how easily she fools her own family. Neither Tremaine nor Nita is looking for love, but love comes looking for them.
It’s no secret that I’m a big Grace Burrowes fan. I understand the criticisms that are sometimes levelled at her books; they can be repetitive, the heroes are too improbable, there are too many Americanisms etc., but for the most part I can forgive her those things because she writes stories that pull me in by virtue of the strength of her characterisations and the way in which she gets to the emotional heart of those characters and their stories. It’s the rare Grace Burrowes book that doesn’t quite work for me – but unfortunately, Tremaine’s True Love is one of those few.
That’s not to say it’s a bad read – far from it. It possesses the things I’ve come to expect from Ms Burrowes’ books; attractive, engaging protagonists with hidden vulnerabilities, well-written familial relationships, a gorgeous hero with a protective streak the size of the runway at Heathrow and a quirky, distinctive style of writing which I enjoy. But I found it very difficult to sympathise with the heroine in this story, which is principally why I wasn’t able to rate it more highly.
Lady Bernita (Nita) Haddonfield is the eldest sister of Nicholas, the Earl of Bellefonte. Since the death of their mother, Nita has run the household as well as taking on the role of carer and medic to those unable to afford the services of the local doctor previously performed by the late countess.
Following Nicholas’ marriage, Nita has surrendered control of the household to his wife, but even though she does not resent her sister-in-law, she nonetheless feels somewhat purposeless. She fills the gap by continuing to provide medical services to the poor of the estate and surrounding area, often putting herself at risk of illness and infection. Nicholas remonstrates with her time and time again, but Nita is adamant. If she doesn’t help these people, then who will? They can’t afford to pay anyone, and in any case, the local doctor is a quack who still believes that bleeding is the cure for everything, has no truck with hand-washing and thinks that most illnesses are inflicted as God’s punishment upon those who sin – especially if the patient is a woman.
Tremaine St. Michael appeared briefly in another of the author’s Lonely Lords series, Gabriel . He is half-French and half-Scottish, a wealthy and extremely hard-working businessman who is actually a French Comte, although it’s a title he rarely uses. He is visiting the Bellefonte estate in order to negotiate the purchase of a valuable flock of merino sheep from Nicholas, but the discussions aren’t going as well as he had expected as one of the earl’s neighbours is also interested in the valuable livestock.
You can read the rest of this review at All About Romance.