Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical Romance
As a young boy, British-born Sebastian St. Clair was abandoned in France and forced to join the French army to survive. Now that the war is over, he has returned to his beloved England and is determined to live a quiet life as a country gentleman. He's struggling to make that wish come true when he falls for his elderly aunt's practical and unpretentious companion, Miss Millicent Danforth. But an old enemy threatens this new love, and plots to destroy everything Sebastian holds dear. Sebastian will have to use all of his wits if he's to hang on to his life, his honor...and Milly's love.
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The Hero of a Thousand Troubles by Grace Burrowes
“You do not want to sleep with me.” Milly observed. “Why?”
Sebastian was quiet for a long time, while the fire settled on the andirons and Milly kept questions behind her teeth.
“I have nightmares, Milly. I thrash and mutter in my sleep. I wake up in a cold sweat, screaming obscenities in two languages. I cannot promise you would be safe, were I to waken in your embrace.”
And worse than all of it—which was awful enough—Milly sensed he was ashamed of himself for allowing his dreams to be haunted.
She shifted, so she was straddling his lap. “I cannot abide this, Sebastian.”
“I am sorry. I should have told you sooner, I know, but one doesn’t—”
Milly cradled his jaw with both hands, so he could not elude her kiss. “I cannot abide that you must suffer this way. Is it the same dream each night?”
Her kiss or her question seemed to foil his flight of self-castigation. “Often it’s the same, or it’s variations on the same theme.”
“You will tell me, please.”
“So we can share my nightmares?”
Milly brushed his hair back from his temple, where he’d turn gray and distinguished long before she would consider abandoning him to his nightmares. “So I can understand.”
I once asked my brother how to really, truly torment a hero, and his reply was brilliant. “Make him choose between the competing demands of honor.”
In The Captive, my hero had to choose between revenge—to which any other man would have said he was entitled—and the heroine’s love, which he’d lose if he completed his violent quest.
In The Traitor, sequel to The Captive, Sebastian St. Clair, is set against himself from birth. He loves both his French mother, and his English father, but is caught in France when war breaks out. He’s the heir to an English barony, but must eschew his English heritage simply to stay alive. The French Army, however, demands that he trade on his English upbringing to more effectively interrogate English officers with whom he might have attended Eton, but for the fell clutch of circumstances.
This guy has no good options. After the war, neither France nor England want him around. He’s not safe in either country, and yet he can’t abandon the barony that was his father’s pride, and can’t leave his sole relation—an elderly aunt—to fend for herself. He wants only peace and quiet, but can’t turn his back on the English officers clamoring for his blood, so he accepts their challenges, then refuses to fire on them.
Everywhere Sebastian turns, somebody is holding him accountable for actions he had little control over. Every choice he could make requires a further compromise of his honor.
Until Milly Danforth enters his life, dispensing commonsense and moral support—also a few kisses—and makes Sebastian see that coping, compromising, and surviving from one insult to another will leave him unworthy of Milly’s regard.
In other words, Sebastian has to create a third option for himself. Rather than choose between France and England, he’ll choose Milly and a future with her. Rather than choose between surrender and battle, he’ll choose love. Rather than wait for some challenger’s bullet to end his days, Sebastian arms himself with truth, reason, and the determination to put an end to the affronts to his integrity.
The result, a gradual knitting back together of a man whom honor has torn asunder, led to one of the most satisfying happily ever afters I’ve written—for Sebastian and Milly, but for me, and I hope for the reader too!
More about the author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes' bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish and Lady Eve's Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.