Gabriel: Lord of Regret (Lonely Lords)
Author: Grace Burrowes
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
After years in hiding, when Gabriel Wendover leaves behind the woman he loves to resume his place as Marquis of Hesketh, he finds the lady herself already ensconced his household, and the mysterious danger still stalking him. Gabriel loves Polonaise Hunt (Polly) and is both upset and thrilled to find that she’s been hired by his brother to paint the family portraits. He must keep himself, his brother and Polly safe, but there’s nothing he can do to safeguard his own heart…
There is no end in sight to the wonders of Ms. Burrowes’s novels. Each one makes me love her families more and more. There have been those who criticize her but I’m not one of them because her wordcraft pulls me in and doesn’t let me go once I start reading.
Gabriel, aka Gabriel North from the prior book in the series (Beckman: Lord of Sin), returns home at long last after being in hiding. We finally get to discover why he was hiding (someone had been trying to kill him, he learned) and watch him tentatively step back toward the position of Marquis of Hesketh.
This book had a bit of a different feel for me, because it’s the first time I’ve read a book where there was active maneuvering going on with regard to a title. Gabriel was declared dead by his brother two years ago, and so his brother was now the Marquis, yet with Gabriel very much alive there were issues to be sorted out legally.
Polly of course shows up to paint the picture of the Marquis and his wife (though there is definitely question whether the brother is the legitimate Marquis or not), and discovers Gabriel. She’s hurt when he first tries to send her away and then they gradually work through their issues, and she has her feelings of inadequacy because of secrets revealed in Beckman and brought up again here regarding her time abroad touring Europe with her sister while the sister was a violinist.
Probably the only things that dragged this book down for me were the “woe is me, I’m not worthy because of X” attitude of Polly (which got a little tiresome toward the end of the book) and the resolution to the question of who tried to kill Gabriel. I found the motivation of the ultimate villain, and the villain’s incompetence in carrying out his original intention toward Gabriel, a little eye-rolling. But, then again, I can’t really ask for more when it comes to tugging at the heartstrings with Polly and Gabriel as a couple.
I’m already champing at the bit to get my hands on the sixth book in the series, Gareth: Lord of Rakes. I can barely keep up with Ms. Burrowes. Hat’s off to her AND Sourcebooks for getting her books lined up the way they have for publication!
Book provided by netGalley in exchange for an honest review.