Grace Burrowes is pretty much an auto-read for me when it comes to historical romances. I don't get to every book of hers the minute it comes out, but eventually I'm going to read them. And the reason she's on my auto-read list is because she just does what she does so well. She writes engaging heroes and heroines. Her historical settings are well done - no major klinkers like a Lady Kardashian in Regency England. And the emotional journey she creates in each book always hits me just right.
In her fourth in the Windham Brides series, she gets to the last Windham sister. Charlotee Windham is smart and no-nonsense and pretty much just wants to be left alone to do her own thing. But as a young, unmarried woman in 19th century England, she knows that's not going to happen. Her options are to become an aging spinster supported by relatives and doomed to traveling from home to home visiting said relatives or to marry. And if she has to marry, then Lucas Sherbourne seems the best of a set of not great options. She actually likes Lucas quite a bit. Though he's accepted by society, Lucas is not an aristocrat. And if you asked him, he'd say he's a businessman, first and foremost. His forthright manner is very appealing to her. But Charlotte worries that marrying him would take her away from her unconventional charitable endeavors because Lucas's home is 150 miles from London (the base of her operations). Her doubts aside, after being caught in an indiscreet moment with Lucas, marry him she does.
What I loved about both Charlotte and Lucas was how they talked through things. They start from a place of liking one another and then work to make their relationship progress. They're straightforward about expectations, questions they have, and ways in which they have to work together. If that sounds a bit clinical, it's not. The dialogue sparkles and the wit and humor comes through as they learn to care about one another. That caring comes through on each page and works to truly show how they've fallen in love. The challenges they face are realistic (no French spies out to get them here) and they act like adults throughout. A very nice thing indeed.