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on 25 April 2013
I found the emotional content in this book nicely-judged and well-balanced. I worried a bit about Darius's extra-curricular activities being known to some people yet not making him persona non grata in polite society. But he's a delightful hero and the relationship with Vivian works very well.
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on 9 April 2013
Darius Lindsey, the impoverished younger son of an earl has been cast off by his father and in order to make ends meet, provides services of an intimate nature to bored, aristocratic women in exchange for money. His activities are not widely known which enables him to maintain a position on the fringes of polite society, and those who are aware know him to be both discreet and honourable. He does not, however, have intercourse with the women who employ him, partly to prevent unwanted pregnancies and partly because he wants things between him and his clients to be as impersonal as possible.

At the beginning of the story, he is being asked to break his "no sex" rule by Lord William Longstreet, who offers Darius enough money to make him financially secure if, in return, Darius will spend one month with Longstreet's young wife and do his very best to get her pregnant. It's clear from the outset that Darius despises himself for making his living in the way he does, but without support from his father or any hope of a suitable career, he uses what he regards as his only assets - good looks and charm - to keep body and soul together and to do the best he can to protect those he cares about.

Vivian Longstreet is much younger than her husband, and cares for him deeply. She had been his late wife's companion until her death, and in order to protect Vivian from being married off for profit by her greedy step-father, Longstreet married her. His plan for her to conceive an heir has been mostly put into play in order to ensure her safety and security after his approaching death. Naturally, Vivian is not too happy about the situation, but agrees to it, knowing it will ease William's mind.

Unbeknownst to both Vivian and Darius, however, Longstreet has not just selected a father for her child - he has selected his replacement.

Not surprisingly, things begin awkwardly and Darius does his best to put Vivian at ease using a mixture of charm and gentle humour. He's gentle and attentive, and Vivian begins to blossom in his company, seeing herself for the first time as an attractive woman; and through her, Darius begins to re-acquire some sense of his own self-worth.
At the end of the month, they have fallen deeply in love, though of course they can't say it, and Vivian returns home, fairly sure that she is expecting a baby. Darius attempts to return to his former life, but he can't stomach it any more and tries to sever ties with the two women who have been employing him most recently. Unfortunately however, they are less than amenable to this, and make threats against Darius' sister, who has already been the subject of one scandal and whose reputation could not bear another.

Also rearing his unwelcome head is Vivian's step-father, who is hoping that once Vivian is widowed, he will be able to marry her to a man of his choice in order to gain control of her fortune.

If I have a complaint, it's that the villains were a little over-the-top in their villainy; but on the plus side, they weren't allowed to interrupt the progress towards the final HEA for too long as Darius was able to fight just as dirty as they were; and once he'd decided on the appropriate course of action, took it without hesitation.
I'm a big fan of Grace Burrowes' writing and characterisation and of the emotional impact she can bring to the page. But for me, this book's real strength is its hero. Darius has done things he's less than proud of, and at the beginning of the story is full of self-loathing, feeling deep-down that he is living the life he deserves. He has a strong sense of honour - but the irony is that in order uphold that and to fulfil his obligations to his sisters and others who are dependent on him, he has to sacrifice his own self-respect - to sell his soul, if you will - and become a man who can barely live with himself.

I know Burrowes has her detractors concerning historical accuracy, and I will admit that there were a couple of things in the book that made me raise an eyebrow. But her writing is so good, her characterisation so strong and consistent, that I can forgive the odd slip-up like that (provided there aren't too many!) But the thing that draws me to her books repeatedly is the emotional punch she packs into her stories. The scenes that deal with Darius and Vivian's last night together and the parting that follows brought a lump to my throat, and later, when the lovers have to pretend to merely the barest acquaintance, I felt as though she'd ripped out my heart and stomped on it.
I realise that a high angst-quotient may not be for everyone, but if you do like a meaty, angsty story (in which you're assured of the HEA), Darius is highly recommended.
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on 28 April 2013
A combined review of the first four books of this series will be posted at The Reading Cafe on 26 Jul 13

5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Before I get into this review I have to point out the authors dedication. So often dedications are passed over in anticipation of the story and if that is the case with this book it would be a shame. Grace Burrowes dedication really struck a cord with me and set the tone for this book. It basically dedicated to anyone who has found themselves in a "rock in a hard place" situation and has had to courage to change it. She of course is much more poetic than that! LOL

Alrighty then .. here we go!

Darius by Grace Burrowes in the first book in a series called Lonely Lords. I do not recall seeing a date of when this story takes place, but I do believe it's the regency era, London, England. That is how I envisioned it in my mind anyways. If I am wrong I apologize.

Right from the start we are thrown into a very uncomfortable chat between the elderly Lord William Longstreet and our main man Darius. Lord William has asked Darius to entertain his young wife Vivian (our leading lady) in the country and get her "with child". Can you imagine???

Darius, who has been shunned and financially abandoned by his father who happens to be an Earl (and a real *&^&*), has had to consort to whoring himself to very wicked and horribly natured high society women (these woman are seriously messed up in the head). So this conversation, while surprising, is not so far fetched. Seeing as the coin earned from this month in the country can provide future financial stability for Darius and those he is responsible for, he reluctantly agrees.

Vivian, who was once Lord Williams beloved first wife's companion, married William after his wife's passing. William married her to protect her from her evil step-father, ill intended suitors and because they shared a bond through his first wife. They are great friends and both are content with a marriage of friendship. Lord William has had some bad luck though and over the years has lost his two sons (that he had with his first wife) and therefore his heirs. He requires another heir so that his title and funds are not claimed by the crown upon his death so that is when this deal with Darius is struck.

Vivian and Darius spend the month together and come to realize that they are not only very compatible, but they are beginning to fall in love with each other (body discovery between these two is quite juicy at times .. TeeHee). Their month together is also successful.

There is the foundation of the story. While the main focus is on Vivian and Darius, I have to say the character that stuck out for me was Lord William. While he knew he had to ask his young wife to place herself in a very uncomfortable and scandalous situation, he did everything he could to ease the tension. He ensures that Darius remains in her life, encourages the friendship, and strikes his own respectable relationship that is quite fatherly to Darius. He is classy man who yes, wants to preserve the title, but makes sure he is taking care of those he hold dear. Grace Burrowes writes him beautifully.

If I could, I would clone Darius. I would clone him and take strolls in the park, ride horses, feed him apples and grapes and seduce his fine body ever chance I could. LUCKY VIVIAN! He is such an easy man to fall in love with and I can see why Vivian becomes so smitten. He also goes through his own self growth and when those that have plagued him get their own I am cheering him on. Vivian herself is no shrinking violet and she herself goes through some major changes. You get to see her lioness and protective, sassy side come out. I love a woman who has some sass! LOL

That's all I will give away as I hate any major spoilers in reviews. There is so much more to this story that includes some scheming and surprises which knits this story together so well. If you like historical romance that flows, includes "meant to be love" and has many antagonists to keep it scandalous, then this book is for you!

This is my first Grace Burrowes book and I will read many more by this author!

HAPPY READING! :)

Copy of this novel was provided by the publisher through NetGallery for an honest review. Thank you for selecting me.
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on 23 May 2013
I had read a couple of other books by Grace Burrowes and thought I would give this a try and really enjoyed it. It is the story of Darius Lindsey, an improvished younger son who sells himself to married/older ladies for sex. That is until he is approached by Lord William Longstreet asking him to spend a month with his much younger wife Vivian and get her pregnant (this is to ensure that when William dies she will be provided for through the child). Obviously Darius agrees and after a shaky start he and Vivian get closer and learn to love each other. She does get pregnant and returns to her husband who subsequently dies and this is where the evil step father steps in and tries to ruin things for Vivian and Darius but love wins out.
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on 19 July 2013
Love This every real woman will love Darius he is mmm, love Grace Burroughs fantastic writer must read the next book
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on 31 May 2013
I loved this book. Of course, the reader knows from the very start who will end up with whom but the characters developed so exactly rightly that it is with the greatest pleasure that I would recommend this author wholeheartedly.
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on 5 October 2015
This is numbered One in the Lonely Lord Series - although it parallels number Two (Nicholas). I had read Nicholas first and was intrigued by the secondary character, Darius, who appeared in it, and rushed off to acquire his story.

I was not disappointed. Darius is a typical Grace Burrowes hero - flawed by circumstances, but inately noble. I loved him and the book! The heroine, Lady Vivian, is also well drawn, and I could generally sympathise with her. The storyline is fairly complex, as befits a good, well told tale! However, at its essence is the fact that Darius, a second son of an unsympathetic and brutal father, has been abused by him as a child, and, as an adult, his father has left him with a small and unproductive estate and no other income to keep it and him afloat. He has also taken on the responsibility of bringing up a small boy, and helping out a sister who has been badly treated by their father as well. His need to get ready money from any source has lead him into deep waters, culminating in his descent into becoming a high-class male prostitute. However, being a man, Society allows him to frequent its halls and balls, provided he acts with discretion.

Vivian is the second wife of a very elderly man - the last of his line, a very ancient family. His two sons from his first marriage both die unexpectely - one in the Peninsular War, and one in an accident. He convinces Vivian that she needs to concieve a child to retain the estate and stop it returning to the Crown, as this would undoubtedly lead to difficulties for her as a widow. With her consent, William, her husband, has employed Darius to be the father of this child.

It is not hard to see the difficulties which could arise for all the participants, particularly if anyone could prove that the hoped for child was not William's blood heir. Obviously, legally, if William acknowledged the child as his own, the child would inherit. But the scope for gossip, intrigue and social ruin for Vivian was enormous.

I was totally involved in the plot and evolving relationships - at which Ms Burrowes is a pastmaster! Did reading Nicholas first cause me difficulties? Or would my enjoyment of Nicholas have been altered by having read about Darius first? I don't think either way really matters, although there is more about Darius's dysfunctional family in the second book - which I felt knowing about gave greater depth to Darius's character. However, this is again a super read which I would recommend highly.
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on 22 February 2015
This was my first ever Grace Burrowes novel and I read it over a year ago. I have since read scathing remarks by respected reviewers about this book. I wondered if it really was as good as I recall. So I re-read it. Yep. Still love it.

In the beginning, Darius and Vivvie are thrown together, and while secluded in their own bubble away from the rest of the world, have a delicious unintended romance. Then it must end.

The heroine, Vivvie, is married to someone else, (the husband has contrived the temporary secret liaison between Darius and Vivvie). Darius is a male whore. After his romance ends with Vivvie, he does sexy things (but no penis usage) with other women.

Usually I would be repulsed and say "yuk" to all this and stop reading.

And here I find I am a complete hypocrite. Grace Burrowes has done some hoodoo-voodoo to me and I am entranced by the story of redemption instead.

When forced to part and Darius must return to his dark world and other women, I ache for him. He is sickened by what he feels he must endure, and I guess that's why I sympathise. And those scenes serve to highlight the sweetness of what Darius had with the genuinely lovely Vivvie.

There are precious moments between Darius and Vivvie peppered throughout the book and I must say I love the bookshop and the stream...

The yearning in me for this couple to be together again was intense. I found the writing beautiful and clever, and the way the story wraps up is completely satisfying to me.

I know there are many flaws in the storyline as alluded to by other reviewers. The use of characters from other GB books dropping in to this one and quickly resolving issues that have been problematic for Darius also gave me reason to pause. For one character in particular, "Nicholas", it has spoilers. But I'm happy to overlook all the flaws for some reason. Hoodoo-voodoo. So be warned, this book is not for everyone.

Since this book, I have read GB novels hoping to find some mention of Darius and Vivvie as a couple. So far, nothing. In "The Virtuoso", some of the events there tie in with this one. There, you have no inkling of what Darius is going through, no mention of Vivvie, or that he is going to the stream...

If anyone can direct me to a book where Darius and Vivvie make a cameo appearance, I would be grateful. I love Darius and want to read about his ongoing happiness with Vivvie. And if I have to read a whole Grace Burrowes novel to do it, oh well, I'll cope...

*Contains sex scenes.
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on 28 September 2013
This is the second book I have enjoyed reading by this author. Darius is an engaging character, good looking and much too sexy for his own good.
I still found the names of some of the other characters a trifle confusing throughout the novel, working out who is who and who is related to whom and how can be a bit of a minefield.
The main story is enjoyable, the story laced with humour and sensuality as is often the case in these novels.
Not deep, heavy reading, ideal read for dark winter nights, escapism at its best.
Shame they don't make, men like Darius any more. Think we ladies would be queuing around the block!
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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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