Monday, May 04, 2009

The House in Grosvenor Square by Linore Rose Burkard (review)

The House in Grosvenor Square by Linore Rose Burkard
Copyright 2009
Harvest House - Regency Inspirational Romance
346 pages incl. glossary of Regency terms

She felt as tragic as Cordelia, the good but misunderstood daughter of King Lear. No, she was Ophelia, singing sadly and strewing flower petals as she glided down a stream, not knowing her very death was around the next bend. Better yet, she was Desdemona, the wife of Othello, whose own husband was going to kill her under false suspicion of wrongdoing. Perchance she was Jepthah's daughter, a virgin dying before her time due to an ill-spoken oath. Oh, the slings and arrows of outrageous--


She was pulled abruptly from her tragic deaths.

The House in Grosvenor Square is the second in a series. I haven't yet read the first, but I liked Grosvenor Square so much that I've added Before the Season Ends to my wish list. Fortunately, The House in Grosvenor Square stands alone just fine. Ariana Forsythe is engaged to Phillip Mornay and they soon will wed. Ariana is just a tiny bit worried about the fact that she will be the wife of a wealthy man. She feels that she must do her best to aid those who are suffering, especially the orphaned children. When the local charities find out about Ariana's generosity, Phillip Mornay is besieged with requests for money -- each of them arriving with postage due.

Meanwhile, two well-bred villains who have brought on their own hardship have decided that kidnapping Ariana may well be the answer to their problems as well as a means to revenge for a past interference in their lives by Phillip Mornay. Certainly, Mornay will pay handsomely for the safe return of his bride-to-be. When Ariana is barely saved from an abduction attempt and strange events continue to occur, Mornay decides that he must protect his future bride, even if society will be shocked to find that he's keeping her under his own roof. Will the villains succeed in snatching Ariana right from under Mornay's nose?

This is such a delightful book. Ariana is an angelic, pious little thing and she does make the occasional remark about putting faith in the Lord, but otherwise she's just an all-around nice character, often funny and definitely very likable. I gather from the storyline that her intended, Phillip Mornay, was a confirmed bachelor whom she swayed in the first book. He was not religious but became a Christian in order to win her heart. Now, as they prepare for their wedding, he seems a bit distant and the reason for that is kind of humorous. I liked Mornay as much as I liked Ariana. They seemed like a lovely couple, very nicely 3-dimensional and easy to visualize.

Because the book is set during the Regency time period, there is some of the usual Regency lingo. The author has very kindly provided a glossary in the back of the book. I really appreciated that glossary because I don't know my "Regency speak" all that well, although I seem to be improving. We watched Master and Commander, this weekend, and I recognized and was able to identify quite a few words that I wouldn't have otherwise been able to define, so the movie made just a bit more sense than it has during past viewings, thanks to that glossary.

My only complaint about the book is that I think it was a bit too long. There's some repetition (in particular, of certain events that keep occuring but are not fully resolved till the end) and knowing how the publishing industry works, I'm guessing that the author had a word-count target that she had to reach, necessitating a bit of filler. The villains also were not truly all that villainous. Maybe they were toned down a bit due to the inspirational classification, but even during the worst of situations for Ariana, I figured she was going to be just fine. A little more tension would have been nice. On the other hand, as Holly mentioned, bumbling villains helped keep the story light.

Otherwise, The House in Grosvenor Square is quite simply a breath of fresh air. The time and place are well-described. The characters are believable. The hero and heroine are charming but imperfect in their own ways. I will definitely watch for more books by Linore Rose Burkard. First, I've got to get my hands on a copy of Before the Season Ends, then cross my fingers that she's a fast writer.

I finished Grosvenor Square on Saturday but didn't feel like typing, this weekend, so I took most of the weekend off from the computer. The sneak peek chapter is in the post below. Confession: I did a little twittering, but that's about it. On Saturday morning, our marathon group did our group walk/run and it was a long one. We're just a month away from our half-marathon. Since I had a stomach virus, last week, we skipped the final loop because I didn't want to take a chance of getting dehydrated (been there; it sucks). And, then I ended up sleeping away most of the afternoon. Sunday, we had noisy storms and watched Serenity, which always makes me whiny because I love those characters and the setting so much. They left the concept open-ended and I can't imagine why the Firefly series has not been brought back. Talk about scary bad guys -- those Reavers are the most terrifying villains, ever.

After Serenity ended, I finished reading The Wonder Singer by George Rabasa, so I have a bit of sidebar-updating and decision-making to do. What should I read next? Decisions, decisions.

The camera and I have not been out much, thanks to the humidity, but this guy was just begging to be photographed, so I obliged:

I got three mosquito bites for my efforts. He's kinda cute all dressed up in blue and green, don't you think? One of my favorite color combinations just happens to be blue and green.

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

Itchy but Happy Bookfool


  1. I thought this was a fun read. Light, nothing serious. The villains were bumbling and silly more than really evil! And, I put the first book on hold at my library. I'll definitely check out others by her.

  2. I love green and blue too. They are my favorite colors. :)

    This book is in my TBR. I could not get it read in time for the tour so I did what you did. I read the first and loved it.

  3. Holly,

    That's a good point. Real villainy would have changed the tone of the book. I did love the fact that it was light and fun.


    Really? How cool! I've always loved green and blue together.

    I didn't read the first one. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. I thought this one stood well on its own and I've added the first to my wish list. Our library has a pretty good selection of inspirational novels, so I'm hoping they'll have a copy, although they tend to stick to established authors. I'm excited about this author. I hope she writes a LOT . . . and very quickly! :)

  4. Hi little dragonfly! We have those guys all over the place here! I like them a lot too :) Especially when I walk through the grass that they're disguising themselves in and they all come flying up :p The humidity has just been awful, huh? And it's only the beginning of May...*sigh*

  5. Chris,

    Aren't they cool? I love dragonflies. This one was watching me carefully, but he let me get pretty close.

    The humidity is horrendous. I hope this isn't a sign that we're going to have a long, humid summer. I never did get around to cleaning out the gardens and planting and the mosquitoes are so bad (Did I tell you I'm allergic to mosquito bites?) that it looks like we'll just live with whatever pops back up from previous years. Apart from needing to weed, it doesn't look too bad, but still . . . I just hate being driven indoors.

  6. I am allergic to those bites too. Here I thought I was the only one who was allergic to mosquito bites. It was pretty bad when I was younger but now it's not so bad.

    That book by Linore is one that I've had my eye on for a long time. I want to read both books but not sure when I'll get to them. :)Good to know that they are both good!

  7. Beautiful pic! We had a few humid-gross days here, but now it's been stormy and it's cool outside. Daisy detests getting her feet wet, so that's been a bit of a challenge.

    Good luck with your half-marathon training! It makes me tired just thinking about it!

  8. Great dragonfly! They zip around to fast for me to ever get a good shot of one.

    Lincoln just had its marathon this past Sunday. I always joke and say I've done one, just not on the same day. :) Ran in Lincoln's half-marathon several years ago and the La Jolla (CA) half, oh, maybe 25 years ago?! Eeek.

    Now what a strange coincidence! The word verification is "vical." Probably not a word you've ever heard of, but it's the name of a biotech company I used to work for - in La Jolla!!! Insert Twilight Zone music here.

  9. Krista,

    I don't have quite as much trouble with them, either, but a large quantity of bites is just as bad as 2 or 3 used to be. Do you get flu-like symptoms? That's what I get. Blecch.

    I must have written badly. I've only read the second book. I should look back and see if I need to do some editing. It was really good and I've got the first story, Before the Season Ends, on my wish list, now. I don't think you'll be disappointed!


    I'll be that's a problem, having a dog that doesn't like to get her feet wet! Our kitty is not too fond of wet weather, but at least she has a litter box and doesn't require walks to calm her down.

    Humid/gross is just a way of describing summer, here. It's just hit a little early. I'm hoping we'll have a few dry, cool days before the worst hits. And, thank you. I'm not getting up to running speed as fast as I used to, but I *am* getting kind of old. LOL I guess that's to be expected.


    I've taken photos of dragonflies in motion and it's extremely difficult. They don't fly straight -- they zigzag. But, in this case he just sat down and posed. Lucky me. :)

    I think the most I've ever run is 6 or 7 miles. We're still at pitiful intervals, but our coach keeps reminding us that the first year of marathon training is when you build your base, then you can work on running longer intervals until it begins to all blend together. So, I'm trying not to fret.

    The word verification can be really spooky!

  10. No you don't need to go back and edit. You were fine. I hope you get the first one soon.

  11. Oh, thanks X 2, Krista. I hope it doesn't take too long to acquire a copy, but . . . no hurry. It's not like I'm not at risk of being suffocated by books, here.

  12. You live in the WRONG place if you're allergic to mosquito bites :p

  13. Chris,

    No kidding. I'm also allergic to every kind of grass God makes and all the molds. My allergist said, "There really isn't any place you can go that you won't have allergies." I'm thinking someplace frozen would be good.

  14. I don't really read inspirational novels but this sounds cute. I love historical fiction and the regency period is just so alluring isn't it?

    Great review!

  15. Iliana,

    I avoided "inspirational" books for years, just because I thought they were too heavy on the religious aspect, but this one's such a fun story that it's probably a great starting point. Yes, the Regency period is such fun! They were so uptight! I love it! LOL


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