Ethan: Lord of Scandals (The Lonely Lords) – ♥♥♥♥
Ethan is the oldest brother to Nicholas and he is a widowed father of two young boys. Alice is their governess. (there is so much going on in this story that I did not even know where to start).
It would seem that this story is the standard “man falls for governess” trope. While parts of the story seem to drag on (blame Victorian polite society for all the prevaricating), all of that seemingly fluff helps the reader understands why there is so much hesitation on both sides to enter into a relationship. Every scene helped me to understand the Ethan and Alice so that they were more than characters on a page. They became more 3-dimensional.
The villains caused so much drama that I wondered if the main characters would be able to overcome it all. I disliked Ethan’s wife more and more as the story developed. She did a number on his emotional state that almost ruined him for future relationships. Throughout the story, I could ascertain bits and pieces of the main villain despicable character, but the depths of his evilness were spelled out near the end. He got better than I think he deserved considering the havoc he cause on the lives of so many people.
Out of all the Lonely Lords series romances, so far Ethan: Lord of Scandals (The Lonely Lords) was my most favorite, possibly because Ethan and Alice were so damaged. I am a sucker for the underdog getting a happy-ever-after ending.
Nicholas: Lord of Secrets ♥♥♥
After reading Darius, I was interested in the story of Nicholas (Nick) and Leah.
Nick has the obligation to do his duty to marry as an earl’s legitimate heir. His father is ailing and he promised to wed soon. Meanwhile, Leah is suffering the wrath of her father who intends to sell her to any depraved lecher with funds.
Knowing of her plight, Nick sets in plan motions to extricate Leah from her father’s control. Leah is grateful but wary of Nick’s assistance. He makes it very clear that he could not have any type of physical relationship with her. He was attracted to Leah but I was confused as to why he was so adamant not to do the deed with her.
The story was interesting enough to keep my attention. I liked Leah because she was a strong resilient character with common sense. She was forthright and asked questions. On the other hand, Nick’s decisions at times left much to be desired. He withheld a lot of information in hopes of evading rejection. His efforts had less than the desired effect because his actions came across as confusing.
Overall, I liked the story. It shined because of all the great supporting characters that helped Nick to see how ridiculous he was being. In the end, revealing his well kept secrets cleared up a lot of the confusion. I begrudgingly admit that I understand why Nick did what he did, although I do not agree that was the best way to go about it. Fortunately for him, Leah was a very understanding wife.
I recommend reading Nicholas: Lord of Secrets. It is long, so be prepared to spend the entire afternoon reading. The story stands well on its own, but read Darius: Lord of Pleasures first to get a better picture of the people involved.
Darius: Lord of Pleasures (Lonely Lords) ♥♥♥
Darius is, for lack of a better term, a gigolo/male prostitute. As the impoverished second son, he cannot afford to have many morals, especially since the bills will not pay themselves. Vivian’s husband goes to Darius with a proposition: get his wife pregnant so there is an heir to carry on his life when he dies. Darius thought about turning down the offer, but the amount of money was too much to resist. Prepared not to like Vivian, he was in for a surprise. Suddenly his job as a stud got a lot more interesting.
Vivian’s marriage was one of convenience after her husband’s first wife died. He only married her as a protection for her. As her husband is old enough to be her grandfather, he is trying to look out for her the best way he knows how.
I was prepared not to like this book because the hero was a gigolo and his love interest was married. Prostitution as a story is not usually my preferred plot line. I kept an open mind, and actually, the story was not too bad. In time when heirs were required and there were no sperm banks, the women had to get impregnated the old fashioned way when their husbands were unable to perform the task.
Unlike other authors who have a formula so the reader knows what to expect, Grace Burrowes’ plots are so unpredictable that every book is like a different author’s work. In this book, she explores how the predicament affects each character. The reader has empathy for their seemingly impossible situation. I will not say how it ended, but I was satisfied with the turn of events.
I recommend reading Darius: Lord of Pleasures (Lonely Lords). It is long, so be prepared to spend the entire afternoon reading.