Darius by Grace Burrowes

ARIUS

Darius by Grace Burrowes
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (378 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

A story that breaks all the rules…

Darius is a gripping and remarkable tale of desperation, devotion, and redemption from award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes. Her gorgeous writing and lush Regency world will stay with you long after you turn the final page…

With his beloved sister tainted by scandal, his widowed brother shattered by grief , and his funds cut off, Darius Lindsey sees no option but to sell himself—body and soul. Until the day he encounters lovely, beguiling Lady Vivian Longstreet, whose tenderness and understanding wrap his soul in a grace he knows he’ll never deserve…

Negotiating for the creation of a child, time allotted, price, and after-the-fact requirements, make for page-turning, breathtaking reading. Darius is filled with startling events and clandestine agendas.

A beautiful man, an earl’s son no less, selling his ‘services’ is not the usual setup for a Regency romance. It gives pause, but compelling characters, exceptional plotting, and exquisite writing by Grace Burrowes lured me in and captivated me with a riveting, tangled love story that makes one believe that even the flawed and damaged can find redemption with the right incentive.

Darius Lindsey, in his determination to protect and take care of those he loves, engages in activities abhorrent to him. When a hush-hush proposition that can make him independent comes along, he breaks almost all of his ‘rules’ to honor his part of the agreement. What he gets in the bargain far surpasses all he ever hoped for. How Ms. Burrowes creates Darius to be sympatric and understandable makes him come alive. How he copes with extracting himself from his past relationships is amazing. Fighting fire with fire is not easy.

At age twenty-five, Vivian Longstreet, quiet, compassionate, intelligent, and loyal, lives like an old woman tending her old and ailing husband, the Fourth Viscount Longstreet, William, who is good to and protective of Vivian but is still in love with his first wife, Muriel who is dead. William longs to be with Muriel again. But first he is determined to do right for Vivian and his family name.

Lord William Longstreet is a respected, shrewd politician and maneuvers and manipulates to be sure his heir holds on to the family title and properties. He knows his way around London Society and does what needs to be done to assure Vivian’s independence from a villainous ‘past’ step-father, Thurgood Ainsworthy, a shyster deluxe.

Seeing the metamorphosis of Vivian is like watching the gradual unfolding of a rose. Vivian blooms during the month she is a guest at Darius Lindsey’s home in Kent. Under his tutelage, she learns to dress beautifully, learns how to use her ‘woman weapons’ to get what she wants, and how to protect herself. But most of all she learns the joy, pleasure, and ecstasy of love with Darius who never fails to ‘take care’ of her. She also learns a sad fact. They must be ‘unacquainted’ when her sojourn in Kent is over.

Many of the secondary characters do not have the best interests of Darius and Vivian at heart. Blanche Cowell and Lucy Templeton that Darius deals with for money have ‘turned mean into a hobby’. How he free himself from their clutches creates some nail-biting moments. Thurgood Ainsworthy and his underhanded schemes or closely rivaled by those of Portia who is the wife of Lord Longstreet’s bastard son. Her plans to get her husband legitimized and to become lady of the manor are mind-boggling.

Of course, there are some characters that reach right out and touch the heart like John, Darius’ little relative that is in Darius’ care. It is not hard to see why Darius will go to any length to protect him. Gracie, Darius’ loyal housemaid and the other servants in his home give the reader a close look at Darius’ real personality.

Once I started reading this tale of redemption I didn’t want to put it down. It nurtures the deep belief that there is hope for all humanity even the ‘soiled’ bits and pieces of it. And the old saying that there is a little bit of good in the worst of us and a little bit of bad in the best of us (according to the mores of the society we live in) seems so true.

Grace Burrowes, just like in her Moreland series, enchants with love finding its way even if it has to navigate around a multitude of obstacles that get thrown in its path.

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