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    Book Review: His Captive Lady by Anne Gracie
  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 25th, 2008

graciebluelady120k.jpgReviewed by PJ Ausdenmore
5 Stars

The second book in Anne Gracie’s Devil Riders series is the story of Harry Morant and Lady Helen “Nell” Freymore. Though born in wedlock to a housemaid and village blacksmith, Harry is actually the biological son of a cold, cruel Earl and known throughout the ton as his bastard. Tossed aside as a child and callously used by the ladies of the ton as a man, he yearns for a family of his own but has no interest in love. He has known love’s betrayal and has no desire to experience it again. When Harry first encounters Nell in a rainy forest no words are spoken but through his kindness and with their eyes, much is said. She is huddled on the back of a cart; soaked, muddy and exhausted from a futile search for something precious that was stolen from her and from the death of her father, after his stunning betrayal. When next they meet, Nell is reeling from being told that she is homeless and penniless, her entire heritage having been gambled away by her late father. Harry, who coincidentally has bought her home from a London law firm and plans to use it to realize his dream of breeding and training thoroughbred racehorses thinks to offer employment to this young woman who has captivated him but inexplicably finds himself asking her to marry him instead. She, of course, refuses him, both because she is certain the offer has been made out of pity and because she is desperate to seek a way to return to London and continue her search. Fate intervenes once again with a chance encounter in Bath. Harry is determined to not let Nell walk out of his life and, with his aunt’s help, sets about convincing her that she needs him to take care of her and help her in her secret quest. By this time the two are beginning to fall in love with one another though, because of their pasts, neither recognizes the feelings for what they are. Nell has never known unselfish love and has been betrayed by her irresponsible father, the one person who was supposed to love and protect her but in his misguided attempt to help her has ripped her heart to shreds. She is leery of men, for reasons known only to her and, of course, there is her secret – a scandalous secret she is sure will turn Harry away from her.

I have already read this book twice and I know I’ll return to it again and again. Anne Gracie has created a deeply emotional, at times heart-wrenching, journey for these two people who must learn to trust one another with their deepest feelings and darkest fears. I cried when Nell finally shared her secret with Harry but I rejoiced at the gentleness and understanding in his response. My heart shattered when Harry wasn’t able to protect Nell from the worst heartbreak a woman can know but I trusted Gracie to guide them through the heartbreak to a place where they were both whole, and healed, and able to, finally, know the beauty, strength and pure light of love, and she didn’t let me down. Villains are vanquished, old wrongs are righted, families long torn asunder are finally mended and a miracle brings joy and hope to all. An array of secondary characters, many of whom were introduced in The Stolen Princess, only added to the pleasure of the story and, as a bonus, seamlessly woven throughout the chapters of Harry and Nell’s book is a sweet courtship involving two of my favorite secondary characters from this series.

His Captive Lady will be released September 2, 2008. I highly recommend it.

23 Responses to “Book Review: His Captive Lady by Anne Gracie”

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  1. MaryKate
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 9:57 am

    Another fantastic review, PJ! I can’t wait to read this one!

    Hey Maria/Marisa – I linked to this from the homepage, and it mentions Christine Well’s book, not Anne Gracie. Just a heads up.

  2. Maria Lokken
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 10:22 am

    PJ – I wasn’t much on spy books either until I read “Spy Master’s Lady”. I really like the idea of history and spies – I think it’s because researching history and reading about history is one of my favorite pastimes. Thanks for the great review. And if you’ve already read this book twice that’s saying something as far as recommendations go.

  3. PJ
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 10:37 am

    Maria, I hope you enjoy the book. Fyi…Harry is a former soldier but not a spy.

  4. Buffie
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 12:06 pm

    WOW, sounds like another keeper. I haven’t yet read Annie Grace, but I truly need to change that. Anyone know where I can get a part-time job to pay for all the books I want to buy???

  5. Buffie
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 12:06 pm

    Oops — great review PJ!

  6. MaryKate
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 12:50 pm

    PJ – Any idea why the covers look so different (from the homepage to the review page)? Did the book get published with a couple different covers? Just wondering.


  7. PJ
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 1:02 pm

    I don’t know, Kati. That’s the first time I’ve seen the blue cover. It’s pink/purple everywhere else I’ve seen it. Marisa/Maria, where did you find the blue cover?

  8. MaryKate
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 1:04 pm

    OK, great, just wanted to be sure what I was looking for! Hey, did you see Stacy reviewed Trial by Fire? She loved it! Woohoo!

  9. Gannon
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 1:22 pm

    Another fantastic review, PJ. I have The Stolen Princess on my TBR mountain, and I will have to read it soon, so I can follow-up with His Captive Lady. It sounds like a wonderful story.

  10. AndreaW
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 1:41 pm

    I’ve never read an Anne Gracie book either and it sounds like I’ve been missing out! Another great review, PJ!

  11. PJ
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 2:14 pm

    Kati, what’s Stacy’s website addy? I’d love to read her review.

  12. MaryKate
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 2:35 pm

    Stacy can be found here:

  13. Maria Lokken
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 2:48 pm

    You know – I think it’s only one cover color and that’s blue – somehow – through technological magic – the cover on the home page is different. But – we’re in the process of the re-design of the site, so soon (oh, please make it be true) we’ll have colors matching on everything.

  14. Helen
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 3:17 pm

    Another great review PJ this is another book I have ordered and can’t wait to read I love Anne Gracies’s books I read The Stolen Princess in one sitting and this one is going to just as good.

    Have Fun

  15. PJ
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 5:53 pm

    Helen, you know as much as I loved The Stolen Princess I loved this one even more! 🙂

  16. orannia
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 6:11 pm

    Ohhh, a new Anne Gracie book. Thank you for the review PJ! I think I’m behind as I haven’t heard of this series 🙁 I have to ask: is His Captive Lady as good as The Perfect Rake? (which is my favourite Anne Gracie book 🙂


  17. anne gracie
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 6:13 pm

    I’m thrilled with this review, PJ. Thank you so much. You’ve made my day.
    I’m just back from the Australian conference and it was hectic and fun and you know that post-conference slump, when you come home to a pile of washing and mess and normal life, LOL. So this gorgeous review was just the pick-me-up I needed.
    Thanks Helen for your kind words about my other books, too.

    Kati asked, “Any idea why the covers look so different (from the homepage to the review page)? Did the book get published with a couple different covers? Just wondering”

    Kati, the original cover design was the streaky pink/purple one, and it was sent to all the on-line sites ages ago. But it didn’t look good printed ou and the title and my name were too hard to read, so Berkley changed the background cover to blue and made the writing gold, and to quote my editor “this totally pops.” It’s a pity most sites still display the old cover, because the actual books are all blue and they look gorgeous.

  18. PJ
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 8:20 pm

    Orannia, The Perfect Rake was terrific but I think His Captive Lady is just as good. Frankly, I love all of Gracie’s books. I recently – finally – found a copy of Gallant Waif and absolutely fell in love with it.

  19. PJ
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 8:26 pm

    Anne, thanks for the clarification on the covers. I think both colors are lovely but your editor is right about the blue. It totally pops! I’m glad the review perked you up after your post-conference slump. It was a wonderful book!

    I’m looking forward to chatting with you Thursday when you’re here at RNTV as our guest author! 🙂

  20. Marisa
    on Aug 25th, 2008
    @ 8:36 pm

    Hi Anne, welcome back from the conference, hope you had a good time. I’m looking forward to your guest visit on Thursday. We’ll have the new cover on the home page by then.

    PJ, once again you’ve intrigued me with your review and I have another book to add to my TBR pile.

  21. Robyn
    on Aug 26th, 2008
    @ 5:53 am

    Oooh, I can’t wait for this one. I’ve hunted high and low and have everything Anne Gracie has written. And it was well worth the effort. She makes beautiful stories.
    I’ll be picking up this one as soon as it’s on the shelves – thanks for the great review PJ 🙂

  22. anne gracie
    on Aug 27th, 2008
    @ 7:33 pm

    You guys blow me away. Thank you for all the gorgeous comments PJ, Helen, Orianna (I’m pretty fond of Gideon, too), Robyn (I’m so impressed that you have all my books) and everyone.

    Marisa I had a fabulous time at the conferences, but I’m soooo tired. In New Zealand I caught up with lots of people I haven’t seen in ages — Robyn Donald, Susan Napier, Yvonne Lindsay, Fiona Brand, Frances Housden and many others, and I was finally able to meet Nalini Singh in the flesh — we’d corresponded cyberly for ages, but last time I was in NZ I think she was in Japan. So that was fun. I was helping organize the Australian conference so that was busier, but still a lot of fun. Our guests were Barbara Samuel, Jo Beverly, and Margie Lawson, as well as editors from Harlequin, Berkley, Hachette and Samhain. And of course we have many stellar local authors, including Stephanie Laurens, Marion Lennox, Keri Arthur, Anna Campbell, Carol Marinelli, Trish Morey, Annie West, Christine Wells and many, many more. It was a blast.

  23. Stacy ~
    on Sep 7th, 2008
    @ 10:20 pm

    I’m reading this one now and loving it. Great review, btw.

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