Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait (Wyndam series)
Author: Grace Burrowes
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of Publication: September 24, 2013
For Christmas, soft-spoken Lady Jenny Windham craves the freedom to pursue her artistic ambitions, though it will mean scandalizing her ducal parents and abandoning all hope of a family of her own. She confides her plans to successful artist Elijah Harrison when he’s commissioned to paint a portrait of her small nephews, because assisting Elijah will bring Jenny that much closer to her heart’s desire—won’t it?
…Will break both their hearts.
Elijah Harrison finds in his unlikely assistant not only an inspiring muse and unappreciated talent, but also a lovely and passionate woman. If Elijah supports Jenny’s career, his own professional interests will suffer, but more significantly, he will lose Jenny forever. Both Jenny and Elijah must choose between true love and a lifelong dream.
I swear to God, Grace Burrowes never fails to amaze me. I’ll be honest – I had issues while I read this book, mainly because there was a lot of people besides the hero/heroine. Much more than the other books in the Windham series, and I was really tired of seeing all the other family members because they’d had their books, but in the end, I was glad for those little side-views and they did play into the overall book. In the end, I had to give this book a 4.5 rating, with the .5 rating mark-off because of my irritation over the course of the book with the sideviews (though they paid off at the end).
Jenny is a passionate artist, but of course as a woman in this period, she’s not supposed to want to paint other than watercolors of fruits and the like. Her family certainly doesn’t seem to take her artwork seriously. Of course Elijah is encouraged as an artist and is on the verge of joining the Royal Academy for artists, if he can get past his block against childrens portraits.
This brings them together as Elijah is hired to paint one of the many children introduced/born over the course of the Windham novels (what do you expect when there are 8 children of His and Her Graces? heh). Jenny helps him and he helps her, by giving her some guidance in her art, even though he learns she intends to run off to Paris where she can be appreciated (she thinks) as an artist.
There are a lot of behind-the-scenes mechanations by the respective families for a variety of causes (this is a very complex world and the story of bringing them together requires a LOT of outside intervention). I was so happy by how Jenny ultimately gains the acceptance she needs from her own family even as Elijah gets rid of his own demons involving his family.
This is a fabulous conclusion to the Windham family’s story, though I suspect there will be more in the future with them. They certainly pop in and out of the Lonely Lords series Ms. Burrowes has written.
Can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next. Thanks Sourcebooks and Ms. Burrowes!
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.