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The Virtuoso (Duke's Obsession, #3; Windham, #3)
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The Virtuoso (Windham #3)

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,667 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews
A GENIUS WITH A TERRIBLE LOSS...

Gifted pianist Valentine Windham, youngest son of the Duke of Moreland, has little interest in his father's obsession to see his sons married, and instead pours passion into his music. But when Val loses his music, he flees to the country, alone and tormented by what has been robbed from him.

A WIDOW WITH A HEARTBREAKING SECRET...

Grieving Ell
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 395 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
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(showing 1-30)
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Becky Condit
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Spellbinding! The Virtuoso, by Grace Burrowes, is a lovely book, full of suspense, mystery, regency manners, music, beautiful men and women, and a villain determined to spoil everything.

Ms. Burrowes has written a book with a well-developed plot and main and secondary characters that I have continued to think and care about long after finishing the book. The ending goes beyond a romantic HEA. I admit that I did not see the finale coming, and it was such a beautiful thing. I won’t spoil it for you
...more
Dls
Nov 08, 2011 rated it liked it
I want to rate this on an iceskatking or gymnastics scale--high marks for artistic interpretation and low marks for technique.
The quality of the rleationships she builds is wonderful,and I really like how they affection and love grows peacefully and naturally. That's true in all her books, and its very appealing. She also has some lovely images.
Unfortunately Burroughs doesn't think her plots through carefully and she just tromps all over basic facts about social relations of the period.
For exa
...more
Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Sep 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Beta Hero Lovers
3 stars or 3.5

This book starts strong. We’re given a delicious beta hero, a lovely widow, and a natural-feeling romance. Then, the plot deteriorates with critical revelations and nonsensical behavior. The some- kind-of-wonderful feeling turns into what-the-heck is happening. Sighs turn into groans. No, no, no!

The Story
Valentine Windham, youngest son of a duke and gifted pianist learns he may never be able to play the piano again. Composing and playing music is his whole life, his reason for bei
...more
Angelc
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The lead in this story, Valentine Windham, was a supporting player in the author's previous books in the series. The quiet piano virtuoso was one of my favorite and most memorable characters from a book ever. That's some pretty high expectations to set on a character, and I'm glad to say that Val did not disappoint on his own story. Much gentler, kinder, and more artistic than the heroes we're used to seeing in historical romance, Val is my favorite type of hero. The type who is kind to everyone ...more
Susan
Dec 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic book. Grace Burrowes' books just keep getting better. I liked Val in the other books, and I loved getting to know him in this one. When he is told that he must stop playing the piano or risk losing the use of his hand completely he is devastated. He heads for the country and the estate he won at cards. It is in appalling condition and he begins the work of restoring it. There he sees Ellen Markham again, and begins to get to know her. Ellen is living in a cottage on the estate, ...more
Terra
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Ahh, Grace Burrowes writing is comfort food for the romantic soul. This is yet another installment of the Windham's and I think this is the best yet. A sweet savory story with just the right amount of spice in the ultimately perfect moments.

Valentine Windham just has a place in my heart and has had since I first met him. Don't get me wrong as I do so love his brother's stories but this one touches the soul deep down. He is handsome if not down right beautiful, has a sense of humor, a heart felt
...more
L.A. Miller
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What I love the most about Ms. Burrowes work is that she has a unique ability to take a reader into another world from the first pages. She paints her scenery with words much as a painter uses a brush. Her characters are rich in both their ability to love, their sense of humor, the torment of life and the ability to overcome. In reading the last of the series I loved the way she brought back characters from her first two books allowing the love affair to continue while engraving into your heart ...more
Vivisection
Nice home-making heroine brings comfort to tortured peer of the realm.

First time, charming.

Second time, very dark and moving.

But the third time? Meh. I found Val charming in the other two books and was quite looking forward to learning more about him. Wah. His daddy didn't love him. Really? That was his deep dark pain? The pain that kept him pouring his soul into the piano? And Ellen, well, I found Ellen just a little....boring.

And what is with the constant reference to menses in all Burrowes
...more
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Originally posted at: http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.c...


The Virtuoso bears out the saying that “When one door closes, fortune will usually open another”. Bereft at being denied his music, Valentine (Val) Windham plans to bury himself in the refurbishing of a rundown manor. However, the gentle, unassuming Ellen FitzEngle, once the mistress of the old manor, opens new feelings, hopes, and purpose for Val.

Deciding how to do justice to a story so revealing of emotions that range from the dept
...more
Melanie
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I reviewed this novel for Romance Reader At Heart website:

RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS:


Valentine Windham, ‘Val’ to his friends and family, is a man that eats, breaths, and dreams his music. For a doctor to tell him that if he does not rest and try to heal his left hand, which has been swollen and paining him ever since his elder brother’s death, is like condemning him to a lifelong purgatory. Shortly after, Val’s luck in cards gains him an estate that is a need of repair. He welcomes the dist
...more
Laura V.
DESAFÍO HISTÓRICO: E de El pianista (5/6)

Me encanta decir que estaba equivocada. Este con mucho tiene pinta de ser mejorcito que los dos anteriores. Val ♥

Ellen es una viuda un tanto melancólica, se dedica a la jardinería y vive una vida ermitaña. Sus profundos ojos están llenos de una tristeza que no tiene pinta de irse jamás y no creo que lo haga. Esos secretos que Ellen guarda son muy dolorosos para cargarlos sola. Y está resignada a vivir sufriendo por ello. Pero Val siendo Val entra como un
...more
Lady Wesley
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amz-rev
Grace Burrowes is a very talented writer, and she creates characters you come to really care about. This is a good thing, as the first three books in the Windham series are basically the same plot, with different people and settings. The Heir: duke’s heir, burdened by the demands of running the duke’s estates, spends the summer in London and falls in love with a women beneath him in social status who is keeping deep, dark secrets. The Soldier: duke’s illegitimate son moves to his new estate in ...more
Carrie
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Val is a great hero. His character keeps this book from being the "same old, same old" Regency romp. While still masculine and sexy, Val has more in common with the contemporary "beta geek" hero than the usual alpha male or Regency rake. Val's artistic temperament is believable and well developed. He's gentle, thoughtful, and somewhat self-contained. Ellen is a wonderful compliment to Val's character. Her blend of strength, world-weariness and innocence is charming.

Both Val and Ellen are keeping
...more
Rebecca (everyday reader)
As the fifth son of the Duke of Moreland, Valentine is the musical member of the family. An arthritic problem arises in his hands and he is told by his physician friend to rest it and not play the piano until it heals. He wins a dilapidated estate in a card game and decides to update it to keep his mind off his hand problems. Ellen lives on the estate and was married to the previous baron who was the owner of the land. Past secrets, identities, new friends, attempted catastrophes by an evil man, ...more
D-Dee
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is now my all-time favorite romance. I was up until 4am finishing it. It was beautifully written and I loved the musical metaphors. It was refreshing to read a story in which the love was strong throughout and the tension was because of the circumstances they lived with, not tension between the characters themselves. I want to savor Grace Burrowes's books. I want to read them all, and soon, but I will give them the time they deserve.
Cecilyn
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, historical
Wasn't my favorite of her's, but readable. I don't know if I just wasn't in the mood, or what, but it took some talking into to keep reading the book. I really liked Val's character in other books, but he didn't really shine in this one. I also didn't like the main female lead all too much either; she was just kind of a blase, no personality character.
Megan
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
hmm... uh. This book. What the eff happened to Val? Wasn't he funny and interesting in the last book?? He was ungodly dull in this one. He was super sweet and I mean that's nice... but thats not what I want! This book was sweet and boring and NOTHING happened.
Astoria
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Val is probably my favorite of the Windham brothers.
Ruth
So, yeah. All three of the menfolk got their happy endings. It surprises me that this trilogy was the one the publisher decided to start her stories with. There are so many other background characters that show up here that have their own books, and Burrowes has said that she had written like eight or nine of the Lords books by the time they were deciding what to publish first, and maybe I'm weird, but I would have published them a lot closer to chronological order. You can totally understand th ...more
Cecilia
I didn't mind this book, but the characters were kind of drippy. (view spoiler) ...more
Blodeuedd Finland
Ever since I read about Val in book 1 I wanted to read his book, he just felt so different than other heroes. He just sat by his piano all day long and played. He sounded so sweet.

In this one he wins an estate and goes to fix it up, and to rest since his hand is red and swollen (poor Val, all he wants to do is play). There he meets his heroine, Ellen Markham, a young widow, a nice soul who lives all alone in the woods. And she has got a secret, just like the 2 heroines before her. She does sit o
...more
Jane
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
The only reason I read this book is because I was behind in my 2016 reader challenge. It took pretty much everything I had to finish this book. This is the last book in the Windham series and yes, I have read all three, and they were all just okay.

First of all I want to say that the stories were okay, they all started out well and the first two books have an enormous amount of sex . To be honest, I skimmed over a bunch of pages because sex never moves the story forward. Blatant sex scenes in boo
...more
AerinLuvs
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this book as part of a three book bundle after I read The Heir and The Soldier, and I liked this book the best out of the 3. Lord Valentine Windham has a courtesy title, however being one of the surviving two out of four sons of a duke have made him wary of ladies of the ton. He is a very talented pianist and he saves all his passion for his music. In fact, in The Heir, Val was introduced as the son who was rumored to prefer men for all the interest he didn't obviously show to women. This ...more
Melissa
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romantic-reads
This one's pretty "meh" - I really didn't enjoy it. The language felt too modern for me and coupled with a vague 19th century setting (I couldn't figure out if this was Regency or what) it just didn't settle well. Val's family is too complicated in structure (and never fully explained - this is apparently book #3 but trying to connect everyone together is confusing) and the villain menacing Ellen didn't quite seem all that menacing, just a nuisance who, in the end, disappears without a fight. Bo ...more
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Dec 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
I enjoyed the first two books in this series and was really looking forward to The Virtuoso. I have to say I was a little disappointed. I loved Valentine in the other two books. He is a very caring person. I think his story was rushed and not edited as well as it should have been. The story line was not consistent. Characters said one thing in the first of the book only to find that the story was based on a totally different fact. The tension was not built or resolved as well as it could have be ...more
Satu
Still sadly lacking in historical accuracy, but very entertaining anyway. This third book of the series is definately better than the second book. The ending was silly and improbable, but I guess it fits the silliness of the story. This book a real page tuner like the previous of this series. The author knows how to keep the reader in a good grip and have them return to the series. The series is like eating a whole box of chocolate. You know they aren't good for you and you really shouldn't eat ...more
Andrea Jackson
Really good, mature romance. Val Windham has ruined his hand and can no longer play the piano which was his life. The widow, Emily, has a lot of dangerous secrets.

It's amazing how often these aristocrats take the law into their own hands, and I just hope it's not true in real life. Other than that I loved this book.
Eleanore June
DNF
Combination of a reader I didn't enjoy (audio book) and it has just been boring. Really boring. I made it 34% percent through and nothing really had happened and it gave no sign that anything exciting/interesting would happen.
Val was just Meh for me. The idea of a pianist who could no longer play -- it should be right up my alley, instead I felt nothing for him. Just Meh.
MRB
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Review to follow when---er, IF---I can organize my various thoughts on this one into semi-coherent sentences!
E. Watson
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm already a Grace Burrowes fan, and loved this book!
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Grace Burrowes started writing as an antidote to empty nest and soon found it an antidote to life in general. She is the sixth out of seven children, raised in the rural surrounds of central Pennsylvania. Early in life she spent a lot of time reading romance novels and practicing the piano. Her first career was as a technical writer and editor in the Washington, DC, area, a busy job that nonethele ...more
More about Grace Burrowes...

Other Books in the Series

Windham (10 books)
  • The Heir (Duke's Obsession, #1; Windham, #1)
  • The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2; Windham, #2)
  • Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4)
  • Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5)
  • Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight (The Duke's Daughters, #3; Windham, #6)
  • The Ducal Gift / The Christmas Carriage
  • Lady Eve's Indiscretion (The Duke's Daughters, #4; Windham, #7)
  • Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait (The Duke's Daughters, #5; Windham, #8)
  • The Trouble with Dukes (Windham Brides, #1)

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“Before she could don her wide-brimmed hat and leave the sanctuary of their willow bower, Val did wrap his arms around her again, this time positioning his body behind hers. “I will come back after dark,” he whispered, “if you’ll allow it.” She went still, and he knew a moment’s panic. “Talk to me, Ellen.” He kissed her cheek. “Just be honest.” “My… tonight might not be a good time.” “Sweetheart…” Val let her go and turned her to face him. “I will not force myself on you, I just want… I want to see you.” To make sure she was all right, whatever that meant in the odd, new context in which he was trying to define the term. She must have sensed his bewilderment, because she turned away and spoke to him from over her shoulder. “My courses are due.” Val cocked his head. “So you become unfit company? Do you have the megrims and cramps and melancholy? Eat chocolates by the tin? Take to your bed?” “Sometimes.” Ellen peered at him, her expression guarded. “Then I will comfort you. I’ll cuddle you up and bring you tisanes and rub your back and your feet. I’ll read to you and beat you at cards and bring you hot-water bottles for your aches.” Ellen’s brows knit. “I truly am poor company at such times and usually before such times, as well.” “You are poor company for people who expect you to play on without missing a note, perhaps,” Val replied, holding her gaze. “May we sit a moment?” She nodded but had gone too shy even to meet his eyes. “My Uncle Tony’s wife,” Val said, wrapping an arm around Ellen’s shoulders, “is blunt to a fault. She told me relations with Tony were the best way to ease her cramps.” “Valentine!” 1 likes
“Do we need to talk about my kissing you a year ago? I’ve behaved myself for two weeks, Ellen, and hope by action I have reassured you where words would not.” Silence or the summer evening equivalent of it, with crickets chirping, the occasional squeal of a passing bat, and the breeze riffling through the woods nearby. “Ellen?” Val withdrew his hand, which Ellen had been holding for some minutes, and slid his arm around her waist, urging her closer. “A woman gone silent unnerves a man. Talk to me, sweetheart. I would not offend you, but neither will I fare well continuing the pretense we are strangers.” He felt the tension in her, the stiffness against his side, and regretted it. In the past two weeks, he’d all but convinced himself he was recalling a dream of her not a real kiss, and then he’d catch her smiling at Day and Phil or joking with Darius, and the clench in his vitals would assure him that kiss had been very, very real. At least for him. For him, that kiss had been a work of sheer art. “My husband seldom used my name. I was my dear, or my lady, or occasionally, dear wife. I was not Ellen, and I was most assuredly not his sweetheart. And to you I am the next thing to a stranger.” Val’s left hand, the one she’d just held for such long, lovely moments between her own, drifted up to trace slow patterns on her back. “We’re strangers who kissed. Passionately, if memory serves.” “But on only one occasion and that nearly a year ago.” “Should I have written? I did not think to see you again, nor you me, I’m guessing.” Now he wished he’d written, though it would hardly have been proper, even to a widow. That hand Valentine considered so damaged continued its easy caresses on Ellen’s back, intent on stealing the starch from her spine and the resolve from her best intentions. And she must have liked his touch, because the longer he stroked his hand over her back, the more she relaxed and leaned against him. “I did not think to see you again,” Ellen admitted. “It would have been much easier had you kept to your place in my memory and imagination. But here you are.” “Here we are.” Haunting a woman’s imagination had to be a good thing for a man whose own dreams had turned to nightmares. “Sitting on the porch in the moonlight, trying to sort out a single kiss from months ago.” “I shouldn’t have kissed you,” Ellen said, her head coming to rest on Val’s shoulder as if the weight of truth were a wearying thing. “But I’m lonely and sometimes a little desperate, and it seemed safe, to steal a kiss from a handsome stranger.” “It was safe,” Val assured her, seeing the matter from her perspective. In the year since he’d seen Ellen FitzEngle, he’d hardly been celibate. He wasn’t a profligate Philistine, but neither was he a monk. There had been an older maid in Nick’s household, some professional ladies up in York, the rare trip upstairs at David’s brothel, and the frequent occasion of self-gratification. But he surmised Ellen, despite the privileges of widowhood, had not been kissed or cuddled or swived or flirted with in all those days and weeks and months. “And now?” Ellen pressed. “You show up on my porch after dark and think perhaps it’s still safe, and here I am, doing not one thing to dissuade you.” “You are safe with me, Ellen.” He punctuated the sentiment with a kiss to her temple then rested his cheek where his lips had been. “I am a gentleman, if nothing else. I might try to steal a kiss, but you can stop me with a word from even that at any time. The question is, how safe do you want to be?” “Shame” 1 likes
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