by Grace Burrowes
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: Nov 1, 2011
Source: ARC sent by publisher
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
The highly praised trilogy of Regency romances by award-winning author Grace Burrowes concludes with gifted pianist Valentine Windham, youngest son of the Duke of Moreland. Val retreats to the country after an injury robs him of his musical ability, only to learn from impoverished widow Ellen Markham that he can be loved even when his music falls silent.
The lead in this story, Valentine Windham, was a supporting player in the author's previous books in the series. The quiet piano virtuoso was one of my favorite and most memorable characters from a book ever. That's some pretty high expectations to set on a character, and I'm glad to say that Val did not disappoint on his own story. Much gentler, kinder, and more artistic than the heroes we're used to seeing in historical romance, Val is my favorite type of hero. The type who is kind to everyone, and not afraid of his feelings. The only thing I could possibly say that I was almost disappointed in was that his injury prevented him from actually playing the piano.
I'm not sure I really loved Ellen, but maybe that's because Val was so special and it seemed like Ellen's good traits really weren't described. It was more like she was "there" instead of being someone really outstanding. It was hard to see why exactly Val liked her so much. The story was skewed more towards Val's point of view anyway. It was really his story, which was fine with me, it really worked here.
I liked all the musical terms scattered throughout the book. The reader could see that Val thought musically even if he wasn't actually playing.
There is so much emotion in the book, you really get a deep sense of the characters' feelings. One thing about the author's books is that there is a lot to absorb so they do read rather slow. You can't start reading one of her books and expect to fly through it. There are many intricacies to each character that you need to absorb to really feel the book's emotions.
Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Cover: 5/5 (I think I need to buy the finished version because my ARC didn't have this fantastic cover!)
Bottom Line: The Virtuoso did not disappoint and it's definitely going on my keeper shelf. I hope we're lucky enough to see more of Valentine in the Windham sisters' series.