Released April 1, 2013
Published by Sourcebooks
Obtained for Review from NetGalley
One thing I love about regency historicals is the pretentious Ton. So many rules, so much propriety. Polite society dictates how things must be done, and I can only imagine that many among its ranks spent their time trying to cover up mistakes or turn the other cheek. All this for the sake of keeping up appearances and furthering their sacred lineage.
Right from the beginning Darius proves no social grace or boundary is sacred. Darius Lindsey himself is somewhat of a rake; not only is he free with his favors, but for the right amount of coin, he indulges the ladies. A second son in need of some financial solvency is left to his own devices, right? This leads to him being propositioned by the aging William Longstreet who finds himself in need of an heir before his health fails. William’s younger, second wife Vivian needs to become pregnant in order to secure Longstreet’s property & title for future generations. Unable to perform the duty himself, he contracts Darius to do it for him. Can you say scandal? Just hope those society papers don’t catch wind of that. It’s not like Darius’s family doesn’t already have enough skeletons in its closet.
Vivian is a devoted, loving wife who has become a spinster before her time. Perhaps this is due to all the time she spent as companion to the first Lady Longstreet? Maybe from being married to someone so much her elder? For whatever reason, she finds herself several years married and still untouched. At first I was a bit surprised by that, but after seeing how utterly dedicated William was to his first wife, it made complete sense. Vivian & William’s relationship is based on love, trust & security, not passion. Vivian’s virginity gave an interesting twist to Darius’s task, that’s for sure.
Kudos to Grace Burrowes for turning what could have been a routine, formulaic historical romance into something different. This isn’t your classic reformed rake meets naive debutante, although there are elements of that trope you’ll recognize. It’s also not your classic forbidden, star crossed lovers, even though that’s certainly in there too. (Oh the longing. *sigh* Sometimes my heart broke for them.) I felt like Burrowes creatively meshed many classic components to give this story a fresh twist on regency romance that is both complex and commanding. The plot never falters and evolves until the very end.
Darius is the first book of the Lonely Lords series, one I’ll be sure to stick with as it grows. It appears there’ll be eight stories in all released over the next couple years. I’m already looking forward to picking up book two, Nicholas, about Nick Haddonfield and Leah Lindsey whose story gets its start in Darius. It’s a must-read to see what’s in store for them!
RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!