cover image The Soldier

The Soldier

Grace Burrowes. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $6.99 mass market (448p) ISBN 978-1-4022-4567-1

Burrowes follows 2010's The Heir with the captivating, sweetly domestic Regency-era tale of a duke's illegitimate son and a countryside baker. Rewarded for his military service with a title and a long-neglected estate, Devlin St. Just's attempt to find peace is disrupted by the young bastard daughter of the estate's previous owner. Feeling responsible for her, Devlin invites little Winnie and her aunt, Emmaline Farnum, into his home. Emmie feels swept along but can't resist the opportunity to stay close to her niece. As Emmie and Devlin become confidantes, her friendship, insight, and ample charms help him heal from his emotional war wounds, but Emmie's precarious position in the community and shattering secrets drive her to flee even if it means leaving Winnie%E2%80%94and her heart%E2%80%94behind. Burrowes's straightforward, sensual love story is intelligent and tender, rising above the crowd with deft dialogue and delightful characters. (June)