Devlin St. Just, the eldest though illegitimate son of the duke of Moreland, returns from years of war on the Spanish peninsula and the Battle of Waterloo suffering from what today is named post-traumatic stress disorder. Through his family’s influence, he becomes the earl of Rosecroft and retires to a Yorkshire estate. Along with his new title and property, St. Just has inherited Bronwyn “Winnie” Farnum, the late earl’s six-year-old natural daughter. St. Just feels doubly responsible for the child, having killed her father in a duel. He is relieved when Emmaline Farnum appears from the neighboring property, claiming cousinship to Winnie and demonstrating a fierce protectiveness of the orphan girl. St. Just and Emmie become “united in the cause of Winnie’s welfare.” And the ex-cavalry commander discovers capable, flawed Emmie somehow eases his transition into civilian life.
The Soldier is a tender and sensuous romance with serious underlying themes of recovery, reconciliation, and forgiveness. Beautifully told, with well-rounded characters and story, Grace Burrowes’ second book in the Duke’s Obsession series should be welcomed by fans of Regency romance.