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Lonely Lords, #1

Another new and exciting series from author Grace Burrowes. G.B. is well known for her charming historical romances, and she definitely does not disappoint with this book. This time she ventures out of her comfort zone with "Darius", book #1 in the new Lonely Lords series. It is a bit racier than her other books, and just the kind of steamy read I enjoy.

Darius is driven by duty and desperation into a career as a cicisbeo. Drowning in debt and self-loathing, he is at the whim of jaded society ladies who buy his services. Then an elderly Lord offers to pay the young buck to cuck-hold him. In return for stud service and an heir, Lord Longstreet will make his financial problems go away. At first, Darius is reticent, apparently there are lines that even he will not cross. Still, he's in between a rock and a crazy woman, so he reluctantly agrees. Vivien isn't like the women he is accustomed to servicing. She is more or less being pressured into the deal as a last resort. Her husband needs an heir, and she needs a way to thwart her scheming step-father. The journey that follows is a scorching tale of seduction and intrigue as Vivien claims Darius' heart and he reclaims his soul.

This story was a bit on the naughty side. And I liked it! It was a little twisted. A couple of Darius' clients were off-their-rocker crazy, and some of the scenes could be described as disturbing. The characters were very compelling. They intended to use each other, and instead became ensnared in their own web of desire. Our hero has flaws (who doesn't), but he is extremely loyal to those he loves. Sure, he took the easy way out, but desperate times and all. And didn't I just say he was flawed? He had people counting on him and very good reasons for what he did. And he did redeem himself, when he took action and the power out of the hands of those crazy b*tches. And he did save the damsel in distress. So, in a nutshell, he was the perfect hero.

Now, I wasn't nearly as crazy about our heroine in this one. No doubt about it, the girl got a bad deal. But the truth is, she never really did that much to help herself. Despite the fact that I did like her, she impressed me as one of those door mat heroines. And I am not a fan of those. But even as cynical as I am, I had to feel sorry for her at seeing Darius around town with those Crazy b*tches.

I enjoyed this steamy romance. It had an intriguing plot, and very likeable characters with enough angst to keep the story moving along but not enough that you began to dislike the characters. There is also a mysterious set-up for the next book in the series. I would also like to commend the author for taking a chance by going in a different direction with this one. I highly recommend this book to all historical romance fans. Looking forward to the next one.

Book Blurb for Darius

Desperate, penniless, and shunned by his wealthy father, Darius Lindsey begins keeping company with jaded society ladies. He hangs onto his last shreds of honor, but he's losing ground financially each month.

That is, until aging Lord William Longstreet makes Darius an offer he can't refuse: get the Lord's pretty young wife-of-convenience, Lady Vivian, pregnant discreetly and Darius will earn enough money never to want again. But problems lie ahead when the stunning Vivian captures his heart, and the women of his wicked past refuse to let him go. Can Darius untangle himself without scandal and offer himself to Vivian heart and soul?

Night Owl Reviews Apr, 2013 4.50