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The Virtuoso (The Duke's Obsession) by…
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The Virtuoso (The Duke's Obsession) (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Grace Burrowes

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125896,356 (3.89)6
Member:barb0476
Title:The Virtuoso (The Duke's Obsession)
Authors:Grace Burrowes
Info:Sourcebooks Casablanca (2011), Edition: Original, Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
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The Virtuoso by Grace Burrowes (2011)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Having read the others in this series, it was time to fill in the gap. Valentine Windham is a virtuoso of a pianist and composer, with a swollen and aching hand from overuse, and has now been temporarily forbidden by his doctor to play, or else... he could lose the ability, forever.

Luckily, he has the distraction of his new, horribly rundown estate to occupy his time, along with lovely widow Ellen FitzEngle.

I liked that Ellen was NOT a surprise virgin widow, but her sexual experience was limited, and not particularly overwhelming. Val was maybe a little TOO perfect, and they both hung onto their secrets a little longer than I would've liked, but it was still sweet and satisfying, and love the involvement of the Windham family in helping bring about the HEA. Fun, satisfying read. ( )
  writerbeverly | May 1, 2014 |
Book 3 in the Windham series. Valentine Windham is the youngest son of the Duke of Moreland, and a gifted pianist. Eventually the pain and swelling in his left hand prompts him to seek help and he is advised to stop playing the piano or risk losing the use of his hand completely. Devastated by the loss of his only outlet, he escapes to the countryside and the Markham Estate he has won in a game of cards. The estate is in a tumbledown condition and he begins its restoration, however his efforts are beset by sabotage.

Widowed Ellen FitzEngle lives in solitude and near poverty in a cottage on the estate. She scratches out a living by raising plants and flowers and selling her wares at the nearby town. Ellen is haunted by the past, as well as the villainous Freddy. Valentine starts to find relief for his hand via her treatments and becomes close to her, however he will have to untangle the past to help Ellen overcome her grief as well as her fear, and to help him deal with the death of his older brothers. A good read. ( )
  boppisces | Mar 29, 2014 |
Finally we get Val's story and I really enjoyed it. Burrowes always has a way in this series of having her leads fall in love with someone who takes care of them in some way. Usually it's been a housekeeper, but here it's a helpful neighbor who is a widow and the former resident of the estate he has just won in a card game (convenient.) Val, a musical protege with the piano has found he's losing the ability to use his hands and he must stop playing the piano to avoid losing them altogether. He and his friend, Darius go to his new, crumbling estate and start fixing it up (though he appears to be doing more damage to his hands this way than playing the piano!) There he meets Ellen, who has her own crushing secrets that need to remain hidden. As they begin to fall for one another, we have the usual trope, I can't marry you because I'm not good enough for you, but it was all done very well, and somewhat heart breaking. Val suspects that something has happened to Ellen in her past and he asks her to tell him, but she won't for fear he'll never want to see her again. Instead she puts a halt to their affair and sends him away, which I really didn't understand why, for I felt it was unnecessary, but I still really liked it. Now I'm caught up on the Duke's sons, and now it's onto resume the series (I started with the daughters first) with the rest of the daughters. ( )
  ktleyed | Nov 30, 2013 |
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 Yorkshire and falls in love with a woman beneath him in social status who is keeping deep, dark secrets. The Virtuoso: duke’s piano-playing son injures his hand, travels to his new estate in Oxfordshire and falls in love with a woman beneath him in social status who is keeping deep, dark secrets. I enjoyed these books a lot and may even reread them some day, despite the repetitive nature of the major and minor plotlines (each brother makes love exactly the same way, as if, in addition to a fencing-master, they had a f---ing master to teach them the perfect steps; each one likes to brush and braid a woman’s hair; if a woman is pregnant, and they all are before the wedding, she sleeps and cries a lot).

Probably, if you don’t read them one after another, as I did, the repetition is less bothersome. I'm still giving The Heir three stars, but four for the others.

See my review of the Windham series here. ( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
I picked up this book because of the music component, and I am so glad to have discovered this author. With her lyric, beautiful prose she brings the plight of Valentine to the pages and to this reader's heart. His recovery (from a regency version of carpal tunnel syndrome, I think) makes for a compelling, page-turning read.

Ellen's character, her love of her gardens, was a strong, three-dimensional character and these two together are like a powder keg.

I devoured this book and am currently looking for more books by this author. Bravo! Bravo! ( )
  marymuse | May 31, 2012 |
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My best advice is to give up playing the piano.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140224570X, Mass Market Paperback)

Starred review for The Soldier:

"Captivating. . .Burrowes' sensual love story is intelligent and tender." – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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 Ellen Markham has hidden herself away, looking for safety in solitude. Her curious new neighbor offers a kindred lonely soul whose desperation is matched only by his desire, but Ellen's devastating secret could be the one thing that destroys them both.

Together they'll find there's no rescue from the past, but sometimes losing everything can help you find what you need most.

Praise for The Heir:

"Sweet, sexy, tender romance between two characters so vibrant they seem to leap off the page." – Meredith Duran, author of Wicked Becomes You

"Burrowes' enchanting romance charms from the beginning!" – RT Book Reviews, 4 starts

"Refreshing. . .a luminous and graceful erotic Regency." – Publishers Weekly

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:49 -0400)

"Ellen Markham tells herself she's happy raising flowers and living in near penury in the Oxfordshire countryside, but when Valentine Windham moves in just on the other side of the wood, Ellen's longing for things she can never have threatens to overcome her good sense. Valentine's artistic soul, tender loving, and ducal determination tempt Ellen to trust and confide in a man who can only be endangered, should he learn of her past. For Valentine, regaining his musical skill becomes far less urgent than winning Ellen's heart."--Author's website.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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