Release Date: April 2, 2013
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?
I am a big fan of Ms. Burrowes’ work, ever since I read the first the first pages of The Soldier and loved her first encounter between the new earl and the little girl. However, I was not nearly so enchanted by her upcoming release, Darius.
First, the good though. Kudos to Ms. Burrowes for the rather unusual occupation of Darius. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a younger son of a noble (or even a non-aristocrat) hero with quite the, er, trade occupation that Dare did. I’m sure those things happened with great regularity, as everyone needed to raise money as best they could, and even for men, options could be somewhat limited.
I also enjoyed the additional characters who walked around the edges of the story, the tantalizing bits about Nicholas and Leah, though at the time I didn’t fully realize that their story was not only next but runs contemporaneously with Darius. Add in a glimpse of the incredible Val Windham and it made for a nice secondary cast.
Darius is a wonderful man, albeit with his unusual occupation, who is caring for the remnants of his family that he can, even though his jerk of a father is a, well, I’ll be polite and just call him a horse’s backside.
The heroine…not such a big fan of Lady Vivian’s. She was so…bland, I guess. Willing to do what her aging husband asked of her, no matter how distasteful the notion was for her initially.
And of course, the man who brings them together, Lady Vivian’s husband, Lord William. I think William knew exactly what he was doing when he made his proposition to Darius, and hoped that Darius and Vivian would end up precisely where they did.
Unfortunately, the story was just very…bland. Very without the characteristic wit and giggle that Ms. Burrowes normally draws from me. In Darius, throughout the book I constantly felt like we were waiting for something to happen. Waiting for Vivian to agree to take Darius, waiting for Vivian to know if she were pregnant, and ultimately waiting…everything. I felt no real pull or emotion between the two characters, though I loved watching Vivian with Darius’s ward, John. I liked Darius interacting with his sister, with John, and with Nicholas. But between Vivian and Darius…I felt nothing. Totally empty.
I read the author’s note at the end of Darius, where she said that it was at Deb Workman’s behest that this book was brought from the depths of her computer and allowed to shine. It was a fabulous idea, for all the strangeness of Darius’s occupation and the potential for a gripping love story. But as executed, at least for me, it fell terribly flat.
If you want a romance that is very slow burning, and has Ms. Burrowes’s characteristic descriptions and lovely world, then by all means get this. Readers, please be aware that this book appears to take place somewhere shortly before (at least I assume it’s shortly before) the Windham books (the Duke’s Obsession series) start up, as Val is unmarried.
I received an ARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Review by Victoria