Gareth by Grace Burrowes

GARETH
Gareth by Grace Burrowes
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (387 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

She’s caught between a rake and certain ruin…

Felicity Worthington’s only hope of avoiding poverty—or worse—is to accept her distant cousin’s dubious bequest… a thriving, high-class brothel. Felicity has 90 days to convince her cousin’s solicitors that Gareth Alexander has taught her the art of pleasing a man, though she’s more interested in the gentleman she glimpses beneath Gareth’s debauched airs, than in the rake he’s become.

In the business of love…How much should he teach her?

Gareth Alexander, Marquis of Heathgate, has little incentive to help a spinster learn to manage a brothel—except that the alternatives for the prim, pretty Miss Worthington are even worse. His resistance to teaching Felicity how to be a madam leaves Gareth wondering if the honor he’d thought long dead still survives, and if that honor allows him to yield to the lady’s ruinous scheme… and to their shared desires.

Gareth is sizzling sexy with an undercurrent of mystery/suspense and a sense of evil close by ready to pounce at any moment. Yet, there is a subtle humor that threads through it adding pure pleasure to the read. The romance both naughty and overwhelmingly sweet takes one’s breath away. The hands-on teaching of ‘how-to’ is graphic, the antagonist is perfect to despise, the mystery is riveting and the characters in their predicaments grab a reader’s attention and sweep her into a captivating Regency romance that is a page-turner.

The seemingly unredeemable Gareth Alexander, marquess of Heathgate, has not stifled all his good instincts and he is not happy about it. He has spent almost a decade growing a thick skin to ward off the vicious gossip of Polite Society. He has worked like a beaver and has tripled the worth of the Heathgate holdings. He’s made a name for himself as a Rake along the way. This gorgeous man with his complexities can rev up a lady’s heart rate with a look. His touch to self-declared spinster Felicity Worthington is an ‘oh-my-goodness’ thing that sets her on a new course in life.

Felicity makes a choice that she is sure will be her ruin but hopefully not until she can assure a good future for her seventeen-year-old sister Astrid and the Worthington household. Left with a rundown house and dwindling funds at the death of their father, the two young women are at a crossroads in their lives.

When Felicity inherits a prosperous brothel from a distant cousin, she must make life altering decisions concerning the terms in the will. She puts on her big girl panties (so to speak) and steps into a world totally foreign to her. Propriety is not a luxury she can afford. She goes alone to see the marquee of Heathgate who is mentioned in the terms of the will.

The arrogant Gareth, because of that smidge of goodness he hasn’t quelled, is captivated by the virtuous, helpless, poorly dressed young woman with amber eyes, a lovely face and candlelight voice. She is intelligent, alert, and pragmatic about her plight. How can he refuse to help her? It would be like throwing her to the wolves. He cannot—thus begins one of the most emotionally fraught how-to training courses one could ever hope to experience, vicariously or otherwise.

The secondary characters like David Holbrook who seems to have no past; the horrible Riverton that could have been Felicity’s tutor; Andrew, Gareth’s younger brother, and Astrid who so often speaks or acts before she thinks, along with a few others propel events along at such a pace it is difficult to put the book down.

Grace Burrowes does not stint in letting the reader have a memorable vicarious experience with Gareth and Felicity as he teaches her all she needs to know about the brothel business. How she creates the metamorphosis for these two unique characters is compelling. She brings to life the characters as flaws, foibles, virtuous, fears, hopes, and courage blend to make them seem so human. Her plots with their suspense, mystery and phenomenal love scenes engage the senses luring one into the action that gives the reader’s emotions a roller-coaster ride from heat-in-the-throat fear to heart-melting love scenes that are unforgettable. In Gareth, the miracle of love and the magic of Grace Burrowes’ writing come together to create an escape into the Regency world where romance finds a way against tremendous odds. Super good reading!

Comments

  1. Karen H in NC says:

    Obviously, I’m missing something here. I read, or tried to read, Grace’s first book and found it so boring, I couldn’t finish it. That put a sour note in my mind against Burrowes and her works. After reading your review today makes me think I should rethink the stance I’ve taken…break down and get this book and retry reading her books again. Thanks for your review.

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