The Traitor (Captive Hearts) - Grace Burrowes

Book source ~ NetGalley


Baron Sebastian St. Clair was stuck between a rock and a hard place. As a boy he and his family visited family in France and then got stranded there when Napoleon went apeshit and the war started. His father slipped back to England but died during the war. Then his mother died. In order to protect his French relations, Sebastian had to join the French army as Robert Girard, in charge of a chateau where they tortured prisoners to get information out of them. English prisoners. Of which Sebastian could claim half his ancestry. When the war was over, England pardoned the torturer St. Clair, and, as the last remaining male heir, he was told to take up the barony and get to work. He was trying to live a quiet life and do just that, but The Traitor Baron kept being challenged to duels by the very peers he tortured during the war. Would there be no peace for him? Enter Miss Millicent Danforth, a poor relation turned paid companion. His only remaining relative, his elderly Aunt Freddie, had gone through quite a string of paid companions before she hires Milly. And the story is off and running…


After having read book 1, The Captive, I have to say I came into this story with grave doubts that the author could turn the torturer from it into a hero. I was wrong. Sebastian is a complicated tortured soul himself. What he has done haunts him. Not just because he had to torture his peers, but the circumstances that brought him to it. He’s flawed, but redeemable. Milly isn’t without her demons. She’s a great character and perfect for Sebastian. The story is complicated and layered and one of the best reads of 2019 for me. Hell, it ranks up there with my all-time favorites. Bravo!