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on 21 October 2015
I have a soft spot for all of Grace Burrowes's heroes, and Gareth is right up there with the others! Felicity is also, for me, a hugely attractive heroine. I downloaded the book, opened it to just have 'a little browse'......and found myself absolutely hooked. I was reading it on the bus, and in the kitchen while trying to get a meal together!

Gareth has had a family tragedy some years in the past, when he lost most of his family (grandfather, uncle, cousin, father and older brother, to name just a few). Only his mother and younger brother survived. He inherited the Marquisate, and the suspicions of the 'ton' that he had somehow been responsible for the pleasure cruise turning into a drowning tragedy. He survived by ignoring what people said of him, and immersing his life in his business ventures, and the endless round of willing women of all classes.

Felicity is the daughter of a Viscount, who died without male issue, and without leaving his two daughters provided for. They moved to live with an aunt, but on her death found themselves heading towards penury. Then, completely out of the blue, Felicity found herself the beneficiary of a distant cousin's will. This cousin had fallen foul of a cad in her youth, and she had had to move into the shady world of the demi-monde - eventually ending up as the owner of a very successful brothel. This business was what had been bequeathed to Felcity. BUT there were strings attached. She had to learn all about the successful running of 'The Pleasure House', and Gareth was to be the Trustee, and instruct her in all aspects - business and intimate. If she didn't comply with the stipulations, she would lose everything. And if Gareth would not help her, then an ageing and unpleasant rake was named as the alternative for trusteeship.

The story revolves round Gareth and Felicity's forced relationship, the appearance of a charming, but quite unknown gentleman in Felcity and her sister, Astrid's, life, and the worry that someone might be making attempts on Felicity's life. For those of you who know and like Ms Burrowes' style and characters, this is up there with the best of them. For those of you who don't...you should make a start! Although the twelve books of the Lonely Lords series are stand-alone in many respects, I feel (as someone who started off haphazardly) that, given the choice, it is a good idea to start at the beginning and work to the end. The books are not all about the same family, as such, but there are many which closely interrelate, and the narrative is better if you don't already know what is to happen to someone else in the future. Be aware that both this book, Gareth, and the next one, Andrew, are stated to be number 6. Let me assure you that this is number six and Andrew is number seven!
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on 2 May 2014
I will admit, much as I adore Grace Burrowes’ writing, that I rolled my eyes when I saw the premise of this book. A rakish marquess is tasked with the ruin of a proper and well-bred young woman when she inherits –of all things – a brothel from a distant relative.

But this IS Grace Burrowes – and while I didn’t love the last book in this series ("Gabriel"), I’ve a high opinion of her storytelling abilities and have really enjoyed practically everything of hers I’ve ever read, so I decided it was time to take a leap of faith.

I’m glad I did. In the hands of a lesser author, this premise could have easily turned out to be an excuse for a bonk-fest in which the protagonists got down and dirty straight away and often thereafter and discovered at the end – ta-dah! – that they were in lurve. But Ms B isn’t a lesser author, and what she’s given us is another tender and sensual love story in which a man who has walled himself off emotionally is essentially redeemed and brought back to life by a determined young woman whose quiet dignity alternately amazes and annoys him.

As the synopsis says, Felicity "inherits" a brothel and has three months in which to convince the solicitors overseeing the bequest that she has learned all there is to know about running a brothel. Including how to pleasure a man - and this presents Gareth with an extraordinary dilemma. A “lord of rakes” he may be, but he draws the line at ruining an innocent young woman, regardless of the fact that Felicity has accepted the necessity. Even as he agrees to teach her about the business side of running a “house of pleasure” and to educate her about clothes, food, wine, gambling and all the other things a good madam needs to know, he is trying to think of ways he can avoid taking that final step. It’s not that he doesn’t desire her – he does, very much, and more than that, he comes to like, admire and respect her. It’s that his – perhaps rusty – sense of honour baulks at the prospect of taking her virtue and making her an outcast from good society.

The romance is lovely, the sex scenes are sensual, and the characterisations of both the principals and the main secondary characters are very well-developed. Ms Burrowes has impressed me in particular with the way she writes male friendships and familial relationships in all her books, and this is no exception. The relationship between Gareth and Andrew is a delight to read and one of the book’s high points.

The reason I didn't give the book five stars is because it's a bit too much of a stretch to believe that Gareth, a shrewd businessman, doesn't think to actually READ the will until the final chapters. Even though Ms Burrowes does a pretty good job of tying up loose ends and explaining everything, at the end, it’s still an oversight that is impossible to overlook. That’s not to say it’s impossible to ignore, because it isn’t. I was so caught up in the developing romance and captivated by Gareth, who is a wonderfully complex character, that I allowed myself to accept the flawed premise and enjoy the story. There is a secondary plotline featuring the mysterious David Holbrook (who is not-so-mysterious if you’ve read the early Windham books), and a dastardly plan engineered by someone with a grudge against Gareth to be resolved, too, which all comes racing to a satisfactory conclusion towards the end.
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on 30 July 2016
Heathgate, Heathgate, Heathgate!!

Once you begin reading Burrowes' books, you will invariably run into characters you are simply compelled to read about more completely. Such was the case with yours truly and Gareth Alexander, Marquis of Heathgate. I had decided early on that I wanted nothing to do with a storyline that featured the rake of all rakes teaching a young innocent lady - that would be Felicity Worthington - how to run a brothel by teaching her every single thing about said brothel, including the business part, what types of activities take place, how to pleasure a man, how to be pleasured, to the point of relieving her of her virginity.

But, after reading about Heathgate in other books and being completely fascinated as to his persona - intimidating, strong minded - indeed, a force to be reckoned with whether dealing with the powerful Windham family, when protecting family members' interest, to stepping in to aid a young bastard back in the day when they were both stuck in an infamous school where dire deeds were commonplace. No, you won't read about those happenings in this book, but having read about Heathgate in other books my interest was piqued enough until finally I decided to bite.

Having stated the above, I didn't find Gareth all that great in his own book. He was helpful to Felicity, but I didn't like the way he went about helping her. He certainly had more power and influence in his grasp and could have traversed a different pathway than the one he decided to travel toward aiding her in obtaining the inheritance of the brothel as evidenced by the way the story eventually plays out once he has his man of business fully investigate Felicity's inheritance papers as it related to the brothel. Too little, too late for any honor he had as it related to Felicity. I didn't care for his dealings with her at all.

Felicity has a very unique, sweet and strong personality, but in this book I felt she deserved better than Gareth. Yes, toward the end, he steps up to the plate, but by then, Felicity is basically ruined for all intents and purposes as it related to Polite Society. Yes, the author would have us believe that Gareth's and his friends' influence can give her back her sparkling reputation or at least enough so that she can go about in Polite Society. Well, what we have here is the "dream world" of happily ever after that often occurs in Burrowes' books. Everyone - no matter what their antecedents and/or past reputation, or illegitimacy can and will eventually overcome their past in a Burrowes book because that's just how she rolls.

On the bright side - in this book we also have further information about David Fairly's antecedents and his life before he takes up his title.

Lastly - this is one of my least favorite books among Burrowes' books. I found Heathgate less intriguing in his own book than how he is portrayed throughout the other books.
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on 16 January 2014

UH OH!!!!!! I think I have a new fave! Sorry Darius, Nicholas, Ethan, Beckman and Gabriel .. but Gareth has arrived! Oh Gareth .. I want to clone your sorry delicious self!

So Gareth is absolutely new to this series (meaning there was no previous mention of him in any of the first 5 books) so I wasn't sure what to expect. Well you already know I wasn't disappointed, so let's move on to why! Gareth is the Marquis of Heathgate, he is also a bit of a man whore, taking pleasure as he wishes while performing his dreaded titled tasks. I got the impression he is bored with his life. He is very handsome, titled, and a coveted match for many young ladies. Well his whole world is about to be rocked when Felicity Worthington requests a meeting in his parlor.

Felicity is hardly making ends meet. She is a resigned spinster who has taken on the family responsibility of her younger sister (her sister still has the chance for a good match). No matter what it takes, Felicity is willing to take any chance to improve their station in life. When she is called upon by her barristers, she is told she is to inherit a brothel and must become the madame in order to claim the financial perks. The will explains that she must have Gareth teach her all .. which includes not only savvy business manners, but the pleasures of the flesh.

No longer bored, Gareth embarks on teaching Felicity all he can and at first goes about it quite business like! Felicity is different from other woman however and before he knows it, a game of cat and mouse has begun and he is uncertain if he is the cat or the mouse. Regardless, these two become quite close in emotion as well as in body and with the side of danger that is lurking, they ride one crazy roller coaster. I fell in absolute love with both of them and reveled in their angst and cheered their joy.

I tell you, Grace Burrowes can write a mean romance (the fact that she writes my fave genre doesn't hurt either .. WINK). I do not reread books all that often but this series is on my "to read again" pile. What seems effortless, she is so talented at pulling heartstrings and providing believable stories with believable characters. All her leading men know how to protect and love, nurture, break hearts, flirt, and consume their chosen woman with so much desire you wonder how they can possibly deny the forming relationships.

Thank you once again Grace Burrowes for another reason to gush over your work. I love that you set the stage for the next two Lonley Lords and you can rest assured I am anxious to read and review them! :)
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on 13 December 2013
Left a brothel in a cousin's will - don't ask - this will stipulates that a rake teaches our heroine the business aspects of the brothel in preparation for selling it. But also, says the will, he has to teach her sexual tricks and take her virginity. This experienced man does not question the fact that the owner of a brothel does not service the clients. In escapist novels you really do need some realism and logic, please note Grace. Burrowes. This virgin accepts that she will no longer be a virgin ... In the days when it was practically all a woman had to offer. Another totally unrealistic aspect is that they both accept they are in love but need to part. Why? Only to give the novel some kind of conflict. Of course it all comes right in the end as you would expect but it is irritating to have a plot which is risible. This author writes well but the silly plot means she gets only three stars.
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on 1 January 2014
I agree with other reviewers, the central plot device of the will didn't work for me, even though it was well handled; I also didn't find myself in the sympathy with the arguments for them to part. But I did like the characters and of course it's written in Grace Burrowes' wonderful style, so I would still recommend it if you are a fan of historical romance.
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on 30 August 2015
An overpowering emotional story. Beautifully constructed and rewritten. I cried at Gareth and feli itsy last parting. It was so emotionally charged. Long may grace burrow full our lives with such amazing stories.
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on 25 March 2014
I have read all the books in this series and they are well worth a read if you like historical romances and the stories of a family. Grace Burrowes is a marvellous author bringing the books to life.
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on 5 November 2013
Felicity's distant cousin was the owner of a very high class brothel, thriving and making quite a profit. Upon her death, Felicity is left the Brothel by her cousin. In order to avoid poverty, or worse, and provide her younger sister with the best chance in life, Felicity has 90 days to comply to the terms and convince the solicitors she's done as instructed in the will.

That being that Gareth Alexander has taught her how to run the brothel, as well as please a man. Felicity can't deny she's interested in the gentleman lurking beneath the outward facade of the Rake, but can she stop herself from becoming too attached?

Gareth has very little incentive to help Felicity, a spinster, learn the ways of a brothel, except the alternative is far worse than him. His resistance to teaching her and ruining her, make him wonder if he still possesses some shred of his honor. But he soon finds himself harboring feelings he never thought he would ever have for a woman.

The premise of the book is something I've never come across and Felicity is a worthy heroin throughout. Felicity and Gareth, along with all of the other characters, jump off the page, with many depths and dimensions to them. Gareth was just wonderful, how he slowly found himself caring for her and getting jealous, but refusing to ruin her and helping her all the time.

The story raced along very quickly, with no boring parts thrown in for the sake of background or just as a filler between the main plot points. It flowed smoothly, and was hard to put down.

Now on to the part you ladies will be most interested in....the Romance. The romance was incredibly sweet, but also very steamy, and there where plenty of...let's say "steamy" *wink wink* scenes scattered throughout the book. The chemistry between Gareth and Felicity was so hot i'm surprised it didn't burn the pages. It reaches a point where you're exasperated with the both of them being unable to admit their feelings to each other, and want to smack them both.

There was an added mystery in the form of the person behind the will and the threats to Felicity's safety, Burrowes had me damn near convinced it was one person, before a slight clue made me realize it wasn't and I should really brush up on my detective skills...Sherlock Holmes I am not. I never saw the family secret coming, that pops up at the end, either.

Gareth was a fantastic historical romance, full of passion, mystery and intrigue, with sparks fairly flying off the page!
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on 27 March 2015
Grace Burrows great author. Set of Lonely Lords books. great set of books read every one loved them all .highly recommended.
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