Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes + Featured Freebie

Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait (The Duke's Daughters, #5) (Windham, #8)
Release date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance
Series: Windham #8

The only unmarried Windham sibling, Lady Jenny would not mind so very much taking care of her parents, if only she could study art in Paris for a few years first. Jenny longs for both an artistic challenge, and for a small taste of the passion life holds for those with the courage to seize it. 

Lord Elijah Harrington arrives to the Windham household to spend the Yule season painting portraits commissioned by Their Graces, and Jenny thinks she’s met not only a kindred spirit, but a man she might love.

Alas, for Jenny—and Elijah—honor has obligated him elsewhere, and while ‘tis the season to be merry, for Jenny and Elijah, it will take a miracle to bring them their happily ever after.

Goodreads/Amazon /B&N
My Rating: 3 Roses

Hmmm. I'm not sure what to say about this book. On one hand, I like the story and the characters, for the most part. One the other, there was one glaring issue that inhibited my enjoyment of the book. Overall, I liked Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait. It was a nice read, but, unfortunately, not amazing.

I'm going to start with what I liked about the book.

I liked that Jenny was unapologetic about herself and refused to change to fit anyone's mold. She was a strong character who was determined to follow her dreams. For the most part, I liked her.

Elijah was great as well. He was a sweetheart and I liked that he encouraged Jenny to follow her dreams over his own desires. Again, he was a likable character.

I liked the story as a whole. I thought it was a lovely wrap up to the Windham dynasty's story. Though there might be more books coming up, this is the final Windham sibling and I liked how it ended for them.

I liked that the romance was a perfect blend of sweet and spicy.

And I liked how Ms. Burrows brought in all the characters from the previous book as a family reunion for them and the reader. It was nice seeing them all again and their interactions with each other had me laughing.

Now to the bad.

While I liked that Jenny wanted to follow her dreams, I thought it was a little selfish that she put that before literally everything else in her life. The amount of times she kept saying that she wanted to go to Paris became almost repetitive. And, after she fell for Elijah, it just became annoying. Are you really intending to choose choose learning about art in Paris over the chance to be with the love of your life? It seemed to become more of an excuse to run away than anything else. So, that bothered me.

With Elijah, I didn't understand why he didn't fight for Jenny. He never honestly presented her with another option of staying with him. He kind of did, but it wasn't even a true attempt to convince her. Fight for her! It took until the last chapter, and he wasn't even the one to take the first step. I understand that he wanted her to have her dreams, but come on! At least try to win the love of your life. Again, frustrating.

And finally, the stubbornness of both characters, who seemed determined to follow every path but the one leading directly to each other, slowed down the book. For the first half, it was enjoyable, and I was into the romance. But, the whole issue of "we can't be together" began to be repetitive. For one thing, the supposed obstacles in their path was self made. They made it so that they couldn't be together. Nothing was actually stopping them. The second half of the book seemed to devolve into them pushing each other away, repeating the same mantra of "I'm going to Paris." While I was hooked on the first half, the second half had me skimming occasionally. And that really took away from the book.

Despite the issues I had with this book, I liked it. I just didn't love it. If you want to read this book as a conclusion to the Windham dynasty, I'm sure you'll at least like this book. You should definitely read it, in that case. It was a lovely book. But, otherwise, I would be cautious.

*Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for a copy!
Featured Freebie:
Today I have a holiday historical romance novella for you: The Soldier's Christmas by Melissa Lynne Blue. Go forth and get it for free!

Confederate officer Craig Langston is a man on a mission. One year prior, he marched out with his regiment and foolishly promised his wife that he’d be home in time for Christmas. Now he'll move heaven and earth to return home, thinking of nothing but holding her in his arms and trying to salvage his marriage. Heaven, however, doesn’t seem to be on his side, and a variable wave of disaster follows in his wake.

Thwarted at every possible turn, can Craig and Marissa weather a storm of unsuspected wartime tribulations, and discover the true spirit of Christmas? Or is a day of peace on earth too much to hope for?

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