Darius Lindsey is a cicisbeo by trade, a handsome man who caters to the needs and whims of married women. He’s not enthralled with his career choice, but it’s his best option. When the elderly lord William Longstreet needs an heir, he and his wife Vivian select Darius for a very sensitive task: spend a month secluded with Lady Vivian, with the hopes that nine months later, she’ll give birth to a child to carry on the Longstreet name and to inherit the estate. Neither Darius nor Vivian expected to fall in love in the process.
Burrowes’ latest features elements of her popular Windham Family series—a troubled hero, a woman unlucky in love—but the scale is smaller. While the Windham novels feature a sprawling family and numerous secondary characters, the focus of Darius is the relationship between Darius and Vivian. As expected, there’s a lot of tension as to where Darius and Vivian’s relationship will go, since Vivian is married, and Darius has a variety of commitments to women who will stop at nothing to keep him in their lives. Though Burrowes upends the usual conventions of a romance novel—the physical release comes before the emotional resolution—the result is surprisingly tense and compelling.