Today I’m happy to present a duology from Grace Burrowes: a two novella set that combines The Duke and His Duchess and The Courtship, two stories that provided the foundation for the Windham Series. Please read on for a short post from the author, my review, an excerpt and don’t forget to enter the giveaway where you could win a Bundle of Books from Grace Burrowes’ Windham Series and Sourcebooks Casablanca.
Newly released in paper, The Courtship and The Duke and His Duchess are wonderfully fun prequel stories that detail the relationship between the Duke and Duchess of Windham, before they became the managing partners of their grown children and their relationships.
While The Duke and His Duchess is technically the second novella, I read these in order as presented, and this is a wonderful introduction to Percy and the young Esther, a thoroughly impertinent woman, and he can’t resist the challenge. Clever, determined and ever so self-assured, Percy is so busy proclaiming he will make Esther his, that he misses her rather subtle moves that show her iron will. Sweetly romantic and full of moments that just strike that ‘youthful ideal of romance’ as Percy counts their kisses, this introduction gives a glimpse into the couple they could become.
In The Courtship, a few years have passed from the early days, and Esther is managing four very young boys while Percy, as was the habit, was involved in his own affairs, not quite ignoring, but not sharing his life with her, or helping her with the boys. Of course, he has secrets, but rather than spend an eternity discussing the secrets and why he’s keeping them, Esther won’t allow too much division between them. Soon they do talk, as adults, with few to no recriminations and a re-alignment of their relationship.
Both stories bring the presence of both Percy and Esther into the forefront, while developing them as individuals and as a very formidable (in all the best ways) couple. Not all smooth sailing and happy ever afters, these two have overcome difficulties, learned that two heads are better and never forgot the initial reasons, attitudes and beliefs that brought them together.
Title: The Duke and His Duchess & The Courtship
Author: Grace Burrowes
Series: Windham Series
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published on: 1 September 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Two Novellas of the Windham series by New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes, for the first time in print.
The first novella to be published by New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes features the foundation story for her bestselling Windham series. This is the tender story of love tested and won, and how Percy Windham, the dashing and brilliant man who was never supposed to become the Duke of Moreland, wooed Esther Himmelfarb, the amazing lady who became his beloved Duchess.
THE DUKE AND HIS DUCHESS
In this second prequel novella to the popular Windham series, Grace Burrowes continues the story of the Duke and Duchess of Moreland through the tumultuous and bittersweet first years of marriage and parenthood. Percival Windham is a second son and cavalry officer when he weds the beautiful Esther Himmelfarb. Percy and Esther must grow into the nobility they've been resisting and stand together, or face the threat of destroying their young family and the beautiful love that started out with such promise...
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Message from Grace Burrowes:
My parents recently celebrated their seventieth wedding anniversary—you read that correctly, 7-0. I’m the sixth of their seven children, so I missed a lot of the opening rounds of the Burrowes family story. To make up for that great unfairness, I ask my parents and my older siblings to fill in blanks for me. What was it like for my mom, starting out with twin boys, when the nice obstetrician—who didn’t want to upset her—failed to inform her she was carrying twins?
Mom learned she was to embark on double motherhood in the delivery room, when the nurse said, “Keep pushing, Mrs. Burrowes. You’re still in labor.”
She kept pushing. My brother Dick is particularly grateful she did, too.
What was it like for my father, to be the sole support of nine people, various shirt-tail cousins, and extended family members, on just a professor’s salary?
We never did without the essentials. How did he DOOOOO that?
These stories are the stuff of family legends, and every family has them. When I’d written stories for all of the Windham siblings, I still had a sense that the family tale wasn’t complete. How did Maggie and Devlin join the family? How did Percival, occasionally more stubborn than insightful, have the great sense to marry Esther? Why has Esther remained his champion, conscience, and confidante despite all the trying moments?
To find those answers, I had to write two novellas. First, came “The Courtship”, wherein Their Graces fall madly in love, despite—what a surprise!—meddling parents. Second, came “The Duke and His Duchess”. We know Percy and Esther’s household was in some regards unconventional, but they chose love over appearances from the start of their relationship. I wanted to know how they got through the challenges created by Percy’s behavior prior to the marriage, and emerged a stronger couple and a happier family for their choices.
The Duke’s Courtship duology is the result of my curiosity about the ongoing magic of a loving family, and also a tribute to my parents, whose happily ever after continues, even as a I write this.