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Ethan: Lord of Scandals

by Grace Burrowes

Series: Haddonfields (2), Lonely Lords (3)

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1165200,233 (4.13)None
Ethan Grey's life was shattered... Estranged from his family, widowed after an unhappy marriage, and weary from fighting his troubled past, Ethan Grey now has a chance for redemption. His son's beautiful and remarkable governess might help him battle his ghosts, but it's been a long time since he let himself get close to anyone. Alice Portman has more in common with Ethan than she can comfortably admit. For now, she's satisfied with helping him rebuild his life and family. But the dangerous past is about to catch up with them both. An unforgettable Regency tale of two wounded people who get another chance at love. Award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes's extraordinary writing will immerse you in a Regency world unlike any you've experienced.… (more)
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This novel is one of Burrowes's best so far. We first met Ethan in the story of Nicholas, as the older, bastard brother who was sent off to "public" school away from the rest of the family. We finally learn what happened that made him the man he is today -- dead wife he hated, two kids he barely knows, no interactions with anyone really. That story is awful and tragic, but no less so than that of the female protagonist, Alice. You end up aching for them, not just as a couple with the requisite misunderstanding, but particularly for Ethan's relationship with his brother. So not only do you see the HEA coming, you NEED it to come -- for everyone involved. Such a gorgeous story. ( )
  ladypembroke | May 17, 2019 |
Grace Burrowes has upped her game with Ethan, giving the reader an intriguing plot with surprising twists populated by fully-developed, complex characters. Actually, there are two not so fully-developed characters – Ethan’s sons, Jeremiah, age six, and Joshua, age five. Be warned – if you don’t like children in your historical romance stories, this book is not for you. Me, I like adorable children mixing it up with the adults, and for sure these two boys are adorable.

Ethan Grey is the eldest son of the Earl of Bellefonte, but he is not the heir, as his mother was not married to the earl. Nevertheless, he grew up in the Bellefonte home with his eight half-siblings, one of whom, Nicholas, is the heir and the hero in Burrowes’ previous novel in the Lonely Lords series. At age 14, Ethan was sent off to a harsh public school and then to Cambridge. He married a woman who was his mistress, but she died after giving birth to the two boys. Ethan threw himself into his business ventures, and his successes have made him quite wealthy. He and the boys live quietly at Tydings, his Sussex estate.

As the story opens, Jeremiah and Joshua are visiting at their Uncle Nick’s Kent estate, Belle Maison, along with various other children and their parents (don’t even try to figure out who they all are; this is Grace Burrowes, so you can never quite know who all the players are). The children are in the charge of governess Alice Portman, who looks like every other governess – shapeless grey dress, severe bun, and spectacles. As it turns out, Alice is looking for a change in position, and Ethan needs to replace the boys’ recently departed tutor, so Alice returns to Tydings with Ethan’s family.

Alice quickly realizes that although Ethan loves his sons he doesn’t actually show them love. He devotes himself to business and lets others tend to the boys. Alice insists, however, that Ethan take more interest in his children, and he begins to enjoy being a father. He also begins to enjoy being in Alice’s company.

Alice may be the one who looks wrapped up and closed off, but it’s really Ethan who has shut himself off from the world. He is somewhat estranged from his siblings, even though he and Nick were very close as children. Nick, who has succeeded to the earldom, has been trying to rekindle those feelings, but Ethan remains aloof.

There is a lot going on beneath the surface. In addition to suffering from being a bastard son, Ethan endured horrific bullying at school, a trauma that still haunts him. Alice also endured heartache and physical injury in her teenage years; she has dealt with her trauma by leaving the family home and working as a governess even though her family is well off. Years later, both Ethan and Alice still are grappling with tremendous feelings of unresolved guilt. (It is rather too neat that both of them were tormented by the same man.)

I won’t go into the details of the plot developments because there are some well-done surprises, including a story line that I have not seen in historic romance before. Of course, there is growing affection between Ethan and Alice, and between Ethan and his boys. Various neighbors and relatives pop in from time to time – some of them from previous books and some from books yet to come – and some play an important role in unfolding events. The villain makes his appearance and get his comeuppance.

The real beauty of this story, however, is in the exploration of the effects of traumatic experiences on these two people and the exposition of how they begin to heal. As I’ve always said, Grace Burrowes is a wonderful storyteller, and in Ethan she tells a story of abuse, escape, healing, reconciliation, and love – both romantic and familial.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. One need not have read any of its predecessors to get pleasure from it.


( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
ETHAN: LORD OF SCANDALS by Grace Burrowes is another exciting
Regency Historical Romance set in England. Book #3 of the "Lonely Lords",but can be read as a stand alone. See,"Darius",and "Nicholas". Can a two wounded souls finally find peace and happiness? Follow Ethan Grey,estranged from his beloved siblings for years and Alice Portman,a governess and so much more, on a journey of healing,forgiveness,secrets,and love. While, Ethan has been widowed for a few years,with two adorable sons to raise,he is lonely,secluded,wounded deep in his soul,until,he meets the straight laced, no nonsense governess,Alice,who has deep wounds herself and a secret. An epic tale of two wounded souls finding love,peace,and happiness after so many years of solitary. Danger lurks in the shadows for both Ethan,Alice and Ethan's young sons.Ethan and Alice both find healing and forgiveness in each others arms. Passion sparks off the page as well as the struggles of two adults, whose lives where changed forever in their youth by the same careless,reckless,evil teenager who grew into an even worst adult. A must read for historical romance readers,who enjoy a plot with a few twist and turns as you cheer Ethan and Alice toward their HEA. Love this author,her stories are not only intriguing,fast paced,filled with passion but also have the human side that only a talented author could provide. Well Done! Received for an honest review from the publisher.

RATING: 4.5

HEAT RATING: MILD

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More ( )
  MyBookAddiction | Jun 18, 2013 |
I love Grace Burrowes’ books and her latest book, Ethan, is no exception. This is a story of two people carrying heavy burdens of guilt and who find in each other the key to their happiness. Ethan Grey is the illegitimate oldest son of the late Earl of Bellefonte. Due to a misunderstanding, his father sent him away to school when he was in his early teens. Ethan’s experience there was what nightmares are made from and he has kept himself from his family until recently out of shame and humiliation.
Alice Portman is a gentleman’s daughter working as a governess. She too has had a traumatic experience in her early teens that has marked her emotionally and physically. She meets Ethan while caring for his two sons at a large house party. Seeing her connection with his sons, Ethan offers her a position when her present charge moves on due to her age. There is an attraction between the two even if she is not a fan of his parenting techniques. As time goes by they recognize that they share the belief that they are both damaged goods and a burden to their loved ones. This just strengthens the bonds growing between them.
I liked the way that the history of the two protagonists is slowly played out through the book and how each character reacts to the others story. The absolute truth is revealed in a very emotional setting and leads to a short period of misunderstanding but they are able to work it out by communicating after prodding by their family members. Ethan is a flawed hero who assumes the worst and doesn’t always recognize the hurt his family feels when he closes himself off from them. Alice has a better relationship with her family but believes she can never go back because of the guilt she feels. Interestingly, the villain of the piece is known to both of them but they don’t find out until it is almost too late.
This book is the third book in The Lonely Lords Series after Darius and Nicholas. There are at least six more books planned in this series and several of the characters make an appearance in this book. I am glad that I have these books to look forward to reading over the next several months. ( )
  SharonR53 | Jun 9, 2013 |
Swoon and sigh!

That Ethan Grey! A giant of a man with (I'm thinking) just a touch of The Nonesuch (Georgette Heyer). A man of integrity and understanding, yet lost. A man of secrets and shame. A gentle gentleman, hurting yet kind, with his own particular brand of humour. And Alice is such a great foil for him with her own hurts and secrets and her own brand of courage. A woman of keen intelligence and great determination. A sweetly redemptive story of life and coming back from the dark past illuminated by acceptance and love. Made the more charming by the level of conversation and banter between the various parties. Well written and thoroughly enjoyable.
I loved, loved, loved it!

A NetGalley ARC ( )
  eyes.2c | Jun 4, 2013 |
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To those of us to whom Bad Things have happened.
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Where in the Bloody, Benighted, Perishing HELL are my sons?
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Ethan Grey's life was shattered... Estranged from his family, widowed after an unhappy marriage, and weary from fighting his troubled past, Ethan Grey now has a chance for redemption. His son's beautiful and remarkable governess might help him battle his ghosts, but it's been a long time since he let himself get close to anyone. Alice Portman has more in common with Ethan than she can comfortably admit. For now, she's satisfied with helping him rebuild his life and family. But the dangerous past is about to catch up with them both. An unforgettable Regency tale of two wounded people who get another chance at love. Award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes's extraordinary writing will immerse you in a Regency world unlike any you've experienced.

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