Beverly Diehl's Reviews > The Soldier

The Soldier by Grace Burrowes
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Feb 01, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: war, romance, historical-fiction, family

Devlin has come back from the war broken in mind and spirit, if not in body. Thunderstorms scare him. He has nightmares and regrets of things he did - and things he didn't do in the war. Now he's taking over the run-down estate which belonged to his sister-in-law's family, in the hopes it will be peaceful enough to let his shattered nerves heal.

The estate comes with many things that need attention - like the previous earl's illegitimate daughter, a seven-year-old wild waif called Winnie. Being a bastard himself, Devlin has sympathy for the child - and guilt, because he DID kill her father.

Winnie comes as a package deal with her relative Emmaline (also a bastard). Emma seems to be dealing with a bit of PTSD herself. At times she is ultra-confident and skilled; she is the village's specialty baker and quite skilled at it. At other times she is weepy and helpless (and irritating).

I was totally in love with Devlin, despite his PTSD, have met saucy imps like Winnie, but found Emma a dry mouthful to swallow. She didn't seem to know when she had it good (with Devlin), and I guessed her big secret in the first few paragraphs.

Still loved the book, love Burrowes' wit and humor, and thought the passages on the issues of adoption and abandonment were tremendously insightful and moving.
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