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David: Lord of Honor (Lonely Lords Series #9)

David: Lord of Honor (Lonely Lords Series #9)

4.3 23
by Grace Burrowes

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes writes The Lonely Lords with passion and heart

"Depth and emotion that will capture your heart and mind." -Night Owl Reviews, Reviewer Top Pick for David

David, Viscount Fairly, has imperiled his honor...
Letty Banks is a


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes writes The Lonely Lords with passion and heart

"Depth and emotion that will capture your heart and mind." -Night Owl Reviews, Reviewer Top Pick for David

David, Viscount Fairly, has imperiled his honor...
Letty Banks is a reluctant courtesan, keeping a terrible secret that brought her, a vicar's daughter, to a life of vice. While becoming madam of Viscount Fairly's high-class brothel is an absolute financial necessity, Letty refuses to become David's mistress-though their attraction becomes harder to resist the more she learns about the man...

Perhaps a fallen woman can redeem it.
David is smitten not only with Letty's beauty, but also with her calm, her kindness, her quiet. David is determined to put respectability back in her grasp, even if that means uncovering the secrets Letty works so hard to keep hidden-secrets that could take her away from him forever...

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Once again I've fallen in love with a Lonely Lord." - First Page to the Last

"Burrowes crafts this tale with her trademark style, infused with emotion and intimacy." - 3 Chicks After Dark

"Wonderful dialog and characterization... I look forward to more, more, more from Ms. Burrowes' pen." - LaDeeta Reads

"With a deft hand at writing intelligent and soulfully emotional stories I have come to expect only the best from Ms. Burrowes... " - CK2's Kwips and Kritiques

"Sweet love scenes that hum with the very essence of tender love, desire, understanding and appreciation." - Eyes.2c Reviews

"Grace Burrowes has quickly become one of my favorite historical romance authors. I love her style of writing and the stories she tells have depth and emotion that will capture your heart and mind. Reviewer Top Pick" - Night Owl Reviews

Product Details

Publication date:
Lonely Lords Series , #9
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt


By Grace Burrowes

Sourcebooks, Inc.

Copyright © 2014 Grace Burrowes
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4022-7873-0


Owning a brothel, particularly an elegant, expensive, exclusive brothel, ought to loom as a single, healthy young man's most dearly treasured fantasy.

Perhaps as fantasies went, the notion had merit. The reality, inherited from a distant cousin, was enough to put David Worthington, fourth Viscount Fairly, into a permanent fit of the dismals.

"Jennings, good morning." David set his antique Sevres teacup down rather than hurl it against the breakfast parlor's hearthstones, so annoyed was he to see his man of business at such an hour — again. "I trust you slept well, and I also trust you are about to ruin my breakfast with some bit of bad news."

Or some barge load of bad news, for Thomas Jennings came around this early if, and only if, he had miserable tidings to share and wanted to gloat in person over their impact.

"My apologies for intruding." Jennings appropriated a serviette from an empty place setting and swaddled a pilfered pear in spotless linen. "I thought you'd want to know that Musette and Isabella got into a fight with Desdemona and are threatening to open their own business catering to women who enjoy other women."

Not a spat, a tiff, a disagreement, or an argument, but a fight.

Please, God, may the girls' aspirations bear fruit. "I fail to see how this involves me." David paused for a sip of his tea, a fine gunpowder a fellow ought to have the privacy to linger over of a cold and frosty morning. "If the women are enterprising enough to make a go of that dodgy venture, then they have my blessing."

Though dodgy wasn't quite fair. London sported several such establishments that David knew of, and each appeared to be thriving.

"Bella told Desdemona you had offered to finance their dodgy venture," Jennings informed him, taking an audible bite of pear and managing to do so tidily.

"Not likely." Was there a patron saint for people who owned brothels? A patron devil? "Felicity and Astrid are the best of sisters, but they wouldn't understand my involvement in that sort of undertaking, and, worse yet, their spouses would find it hilarious. I'll suggest the ladies apply to you for their financing."

He shot a toothy smile at Jennings, who'd taken a seat without being invited, a liberty earned through faithful service that dated back well before David's succession to the Fairly viscountcy.

"I could," Jennings mused, "but having seen the challenges facing my employer, I will decline that signal honor." He saluted with his pear.

"Such a fate would be no more than you deserve," David said, pouring Jennings a cup of hot tea and sliding the cream and sugar toward him. "Those women positively fawn over you."

Jennings lounged back, long legs crossed at the ankles as he devoured another bite of perfect pear. He managed to look more dangerous than attractive much of the time, but in his unguarded moments, his brown eyes and dark hair could be — and were — called handsome by the ladies. Then too, Thomas Jennings had a well-hidden protective streak roughly equal in breadth to the Pacific Ocean.

Jennings paused halfway around his pear. "Despite your strange eyes, the ladies are unendingly fond of you, too. No accounting for taste, I suppose."

"Their regard is a dubious blessing, at best. Will you at least accompany me to the scene?" Because the physician in David had to see for himself that matters had been resolved without injury to anything more delicate than feminine pride or the occasional crystal vase.

Jennings rose, pear in hand. "Wouldn't miss it. I have never been so well entertained as I have since you inherited that damned brothel."

While David had never been so beleaguered.

When he'd dispatched matters at The Pleasure House — a round of scoldings worthy of any headmaster, followed by teary apologies that would have done first formers proud — he departed from the premises with a sense of escape no adult male ought to feel when leaving an elegant bordello.

As cold as the day was, David still chose to wait with Jennings in the mews behind The Pleasure House for his mare to be brought around. Why David alone could address the myriad petty, consummately annoying conflicts that arose among his employees was a mystery of Delphic proportions.

"I've been meaning to mention something," Jennings said as David's gray was led into the yard. With a sense of being hounded by doom, David accepted the reins from the stableboy.

"Unburden yourself, then, Thomas. The day grows chilly." And a large house full of feuding women and valuable breakables sat not fifty feet on the other side of the garden wall.

"Do you recall a Mrs. Letitia Banks?"

"I do," David replied, slinging his reins over the horse's head as an image of dark hair, slim grace, and pretty, sad eyes assailed him. What had Letty Banks seen in David's late brother-in-law that she'd accepted such a buffoon as her protector?

"You sent me to advise her regarding investment of a certain sum upon the death of her last protector," Jennings went on as a single snowflake drifted onto the toe of David's left boot. "I did that, and she's had two quarterly payments of interest on her principle since then."

David swung up into the saddle, feeling the cold of the seat through his doeskin breeches. "All of which I am sure you handled with your customary discretion."

Jennings sighed. "I have."

Perishing saints. Thomas Jennings would scowl, smirk, swear, stomp away, or — on rare occasion — even smile, but he wasn't prone to sighing.

From his perch on the mare, David studied Thomas, a fellow who, on at least two occasions, had wrought mortal peril on those seeking to harm his employer. "This is a historic day. You are being coy, Thomas."

Jennings glanced around, making the day doubly historic, for Jennings displayed uncertainty no more frequently than he appeared coy. "She spends it."

Coy, uncertain, and indirect was an alarming combination coming from Jennings. "Of course she spends it. She is a female in a particular line of business, and she must maintain appearances. Whether she spends the interest or reinvests it with the principle is no business of mine."

"She's not spending it to maintain appearances," Jennings said. "I believe, despite this income, the lady is in difficulties."

David masked his astonishment by brushing his horse's mane to lie uniformly on the right side of her neck. He wasn't astonished that Letitia Banks was in difficulties — a courtesan's life was precarious and often drove even strong women to excesses of drink, opium, gambling, and other expensive vices. What astonished him was that Jennings would comment on the matter.

"Thomas, I would acquit you of anything resembling a soft heart" — at least to appearances — "but you are distressed by Mrs. Banks's circumstances. Whatever are you trying to tell me?"

"I don't know." Jennings's horse was led out, a great, dark brute of a beast, probably chosen to complement its great, dark brute of an owner. "Something about that situation isn't right, and you should take a look."

"Might you be less cryptic? If there is looking to be done" — and Mrs. Banks made for a pleasant look, indeed — "then are you not in a better position to do it than I? I've met the lady only once."

Months ago, and under difficult circumstances, and yet, she'd lingered at the back of David's mind, a pretty ghost he hadn't attempted to exorcise.

Jennings's features acquired his signature scowl, which might have explained why the stableboy remained a few paces off with the black gelding. "I haven't your ability to charm a reluctant female, and my efforts to date meet with a polite, pretty, lusciously scented stone wall."

Had Jennings noted that the luscious scent was mostly roses?

"You mustn't glower at the lady when you're trying to tease her secrets from her, Thomas. You aren't really as bad-looking as you want everyone to think."

Jennings took the reins from the groom, and gave the girth a snug pull. "Since coming into that money, she's let a footman and a groom go, sold a horse, and if I'm not mistaken, parted with some fripperies. She's reduced to taking a pony cart to market."

"Thomas," David said gently, "she is a professional. She would likely accept you as her next protector, and her financial worries would be solved. In her business, these periodic lapses in revenue happen. She'll manage."

Though the soft-spoken, demure ones usually managed the worst.

Thomas sighed again, a sigh intended to produce guilt in the one who heard it. "I am asking you to look into her situation."

Jennings never asked for anything. He collected his generous pay, occasionally disappeared on personal business, and comported himself as a perfect — if occasionally impertinent and moody — man of business. He was both more and less than a friend, and David was attached to him in some way neither man believed merited discussion.

And really, David could not muster a desire to argue with Jennings on this topic, not even for form's sake.

"I will look into it," David said, touching the brim of his hat before trotting off to his next destination.

* * *

On this frigid, overcast day, the part of Town where the jewelers' shops clustered was in want of traffic. David perused the offerings at three different establishments, not seeing anything that appealed for his purpose. At the fourth shop, a less pretentious and ever so slightly musty incarnation of the previous three, he wandered between glass cases of yet more uninspired bracelets, rings, and necklaces, none of which were appropriate to a very young lady.

"She looks lonely to me," a male voice taunted.

"Lonely?" another man answered. "Or grieving. Does a mistress grieve? Mayhap we should offer her consolation."

"She grieves the loss of a man's money," a third added snidely. "Though look you, my friends, at a woman who is buying herself yet more jewelry when she has no one to give it to her."

Bullying. David knew the sound of it, from childhood on. While blond hair fit in well enough, and even some extra height might escape comment, a presumed bastard with one blue eye and one green eye was intimately familiar with bullying in all its forms.

And these three young sprigs were merely warming up.

A willowy brunette stood at the shop counter, her back to David, her reticule and gloves on the case before her. She was the object of this gratuitous meanness, though she knew better than to respond. She wasn't going to fight or flee; she was instead holding her ground.

David made a pretense of looking over the items in the display, hoping his simple presence would deter the young men from further mischief.

"Don't suppose this place has anything adequate for the likes of her," the boys started back in. "I heard Lord Amery never denied her anything."


The title landed in David's awareness with a physical shock, for the rigid spine, plain brown cloak, and beaded reticule across the room belonged to none other than Letitia Banks. That shock smacked unmistakably of the hand of fate, shaking David's conscience by the scruff of its neck.

He swept up to the lady and possessed himself of her startlingly cold hand.

"Mrs. Banks, I am ever so pleased to see you again." He bowed correctly over that hand, and treated her to a decorous smile. When he straightened, surprise was receding from her dark eyes, though her gaze was guarded.

And still, to David, sad.

"Viscount Fairly." She curtsied. "A pleasure."

She'd withdrawn her hand, suggesting the sight of David would be a wary, cautious pleasure until she knew he wouldn't join in the taunting.

David aimed a look to his left, at the three lackwits who had gone quiet after a muttered "That's Fairly" had been hissed from one to his companions.

"Hello, Tavistock," David said with excruciating civility. "Bootley, and — forgive me if the name eludes me — Belchamp, I believe?" He turned away from them with such perfect unconcern that even simians such as they had to understand: their misbehavior had been noted, and any hopes they'd treasured of gaining admission to The Pleasure House had been blown to cinders.

Marking the first occasion in David's experience when owning a brothel had served a worthy purpose.

"Here you go, ma'am." A clerk scuttled forth from the faded blue velvet curtain partitioning off the back of the shop and put a small cloth bag into Mrs. Banks's hand. "A pleasure, as always."

"My thanks," she said, sliding the bag into her reticule.

David did not stay her with anything but his respectful manners, though the urge to restrain her with a hand on her arm was tempting. "Perhaps you wouldn't mind bearing me company for a moment or two longer, Mrs. Banks? I'd like to put a certain matter of fashion before a lady, if you'd tolerate my escort to your next destination?"

"Of course, my lord," she said in the same soft, controlled voice. "I've some gloves to pick up several doors down."

They walked out in silence, the street nearly deserted. The chill wind had picked up, and the sky had taken on a leaden quality. David signaled to his groom to walk the mare home, and hoped this difficult day wouldn't include a pair of ruined riding boots.

"Do you suppose it will snow?" David asked, offering his arm.

"My housekeeper says it will," Mrs. Banks replied, taking his elbow about as firmly as she might grasp, say, the tail of a hungry, sleeping dragon. "Her rheumatism hasn't been wrong yet."

David owned a brothel. He approved its expenses, signed contracts for its every pound of flour, head of cabbage, and lump of coal. He knew courtesans' clothes required laundering, the dishes from which they drank their tea had to be washed, and so forth, and yet, he hadn't pictured Letitia Banks with a housekeeper, much less one suffering sore joints.

"I really did have something I'd like to discuss with you."

She stiffened, as if she expected him to proposition her right there on the street, the sky about to dump more cold and misery on all and sundry. Her posture alone communicated that if David were to make such overtures, they'd be unwelcome.

Which was interesting, and not a little lowering.

"Do you truly have a pair of gloves to pick up, Mrs. Banks? Or may I take you somewhere we might have some shelter from the elements?" He had no particular matter to discuss with her, but the wind was bitter, and she'd been out shopping without even a maid to attend her on a day when most people would be snuggled up to a blazing hearth, a steaming pot of tea at hand.

And Thomas had been worried about her.

"The gloves can wait. We could return to my house, if you like." She ducked her eyes to the left at that offer, suggesting she'd forced herself to make it.

David did not want to return to the modest dwelling where, on the occasion of his brother-in-law's death, he'd paid a call on her months ago.

"I have a property only a few blocks distant that's not in use at present. If you'd allow it, I could look in on my staff and get a bite to eat. I'm realizing, as I stand here, that I've skipped my luncheon." For no discernible reason, or possibly to enhance his credibility with a bit of truth, he added, "I become irritable when peckish."

Particularly when he'd also foregone most of his breakfast for the entertainment of his man of business.

The lady treated him to a considering pause, the duration of three lazy snowflakes, before she let David escort her the several blocks to their destination.

"This is lovely," she said, looking around the entrance hall of a dwelling David had meant to rent out but hadn't got around to.

"I have a number of rentals throughout the city, this being one. Let me take your cloak, as it appears I'm short of staff."

When he raised his hands to undo the frogs at her throat, she flinched, a reaction any brothel owner — much less a fellow trained as a physician — recognized. David dropped his hands and stepped back.

Skittish. Of course she was skittish. They were alone, David had a good five stone of weight on her, and half a foot of height, at least. "My apologies. I did not mean to presume."

"I'm just ..." She fumbled the fastenings free, her hands shaking. "I was surprised, my lord, nothing more."

He deposited her cloak and his greatcoat on hooks in the hallway and offered her his arm. The notion that she might be anticipating a forcible sampling of her charms flitted through his mind like another of those cold, bone-penetrating gusts of wind.

"We'll summon reinforcements from below stairs," David suggested. "And I hope you will join me in some luncheon, though it's late for that. I won't last until tea if I don't eat something."


Excerpted from David by Grace Burrowes. Copyright © 2014 Grace Burrowes. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes' bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish and Lady Eve's Indiscretion. Her Regency romances and Scotland-set Victorian romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. The Heir was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, The Soldier was a PW Best Spring Romance of 2011, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish and Once Upon a Tartan have both won RT Reviewers' Choice Awards, Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight was a Library Journal Best Book of 2012, The Bridegroom Wore Plaid was a PW Best Book of 2012. Two of her MacGregor heroes have won KISS awards. Grace is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

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David: Lord of Honor 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed this book! Loved the details like his two colored eyes and the cats. And i was expecting a twist but was not expecting this one!
jerilyn17 More than 1 year ago
I've read ALL of this author's books. (I'm usually at my local B&N on the day they're released, purchasing my copy) I had a VERY difficult time getting a print copy of this book. (It took me 3 weeks, 2 states and 7 stores to get 1 copy!) It was, however, well worth the trouble. I love the lead character, David. He's had a secondary role in a few of the earlier books. I first remember meeting him when he gave Valentine Windham the bad news about his hands. David has a caring heart, and a deep love for friends and family. I like the interaction with Douglas (another of my favorite secondary characters from the original Windham trilogy who earned his own book). One of the greatest joys of Ms. Burrowes books is that you get to stay in touch with characters you've come to care about from previous writings. I look forward to finding out what will happen to Lettie's brother Daniel. (There's a hero in dire need of a HEA.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good read. The story held my attention and I was not disappointed by the ending. I found the writing style interesting, and the storyline captivating! The heroine was a beauty who had a warm heart, which is why she is where she is. When she loves there is nothing she will not do for their hsppiness, even if she sacrifices her own joy! I think you'll enjoy reading this story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all the books in Grace Burrowes series and thoroughly enjoyed all of them except this one. The first half of the book dragged and was very predictable. The characters became more interesting in the last half of the book.
bettysunflower More than 1 year ago
David Worthington, Fourth Viscount Fairly has had a hard life. It is probably the main reason that he has so many talents including a wonderful bedside manor. He is a physician but doesn't really practice although those that know his skill bemoan the fact that he doesn't practice. He is also the owner of a brothel which he inherited. He would sell it but he worries about what will happen to the employees that work there. He was asked by one of his male employees to look in on Mrs. Letitia Banks. She doesn't look well and has been selling off her possessions. David had met Mrs. Letitia Banks a few years back, she was his brother-in-law's mistress. The man has since died leaving David's youngest sister a widow. And it would seem, Letitia short on funds. The characters are very likable and the story line keeps you reading well past bed time! Its a love story that keeps you rooting for the good guy! Another winner for Grace Burrowes. This is one of her best....so far!
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
DAVID: LORD OF HONOR by Grace Burrowes is wonderful Regency Historical Romance. # 9 in “The Lonely Lords” series, but can be read as a stand alone. DAVID: LORD OF HONOR is David, Viscount Fairly and a courtesan, Letty Banks’ story. Fast paced with Ms. Burrowes usual aplomb for Regency Romance. A fallen woman and a Bawdy House owner, both with secrets, and passion find love and acceptance. You will see several of the characters from previous Lonely Lords re-appear in DAVID. Ms. Burrowes writes with such passion and drama, you can not help but love her characters and storylines. Well done! Received for an honest review. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: MILD REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very talented writer with a great turn of phrase. However, I couldn't seem to get past the heaviness that pervaded the entire book. The female lead was constantly described as too thin, circles under eyes, melancholy. I kept wondering what everyone saw in her. Think that her character could have been integrated into the brothel relationships to give her more depth. She never really fit in with what was going on there. Again, great writing style, just a plot that had too much sadness and not enough lighthearted love.
Hfowler More than 1 year ago
I truly love a Grace Burrowes historical romance. They are filled with passion, romance, intrigue, strong characters, great conflict and wonderful plot lines. This one didn't disappoint. David, who we met in Gareth, is the owner of a brothel and is tired of running it. He meets Letty, the ex-mistress of the deceased Amery (who we met, sort of, in Andrew. He offers her a job as Madame and their relationship is off and running. He is drawn to her mix of innocence, quiet strength, and courage. She is drawn to his calm and mannered way of dealing with her. He isn't rude or pushy or vulgar. They are attracted to each other, but he lets her make the first move after laying down his cards that he did desire her and did want to sleep with her. As their relationship progresses, he comes to realize that she has secrets and they both confess their love for each other, but she turns him down twice when he proposes to her. The inevitable happens and they emotionally part ways; she to protect him, he because he wants her to have her independence from the life of a mistress. The truth comes out and they come back together to solve the drama and have their happy ending. I loved it and I loved his character a lot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the charcters and the story line.
JLLo More than 1 year ago
Grace is an excellant writter. Different story line. Well written, slow at some points. Great characters, passion, sadness, twists, very well done. Not a favorite but still well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great plot, characters and dialogue keep you turning pages, but also confusing as to their relationship decisions and Letty's secret past. Fantastic read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story old time saying but good jumps every place but makes u pau attion more
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DebDiem More than 1 year ago
David: Lord Of Honor by Grace Burrowes is my favorite book so far this month, and I read a lot of books. David: Lord Of Honor is well written, the characters are delightful and there is action, drama and sizzle to round out the book into a story I couldn't put down. David and Letty's story was a pleasure to read and I look forward to reading more from Grace Burrowes in the future. David: Lord Of Honor is book 9 in The Lonely Lords series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an incredible story. When they regrettably parted ways I was literally in tears. Wonderful, interesting, loving story. Well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very nice story, romance, hidden family secrets and HEA.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Grace Burrowes books and novellas. She is so talented in her writing, drawing the reader into her compelling stories with her deft prose in such a way that you become invested in her characters, feeling the gamut of emotions they experience. I think she is so different from her contemporaries who seem to be churning out smut just to meet deadlines. Each of her works is well-crafted and historically acurate. I look forward to every new release, knowing I will spend my time being thoroughly entertained as well as gaining insight into love and relationships. Bravo!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this authors books, and I have liked all of the books in this series, some more than others. Likable characters, good chemistry, good storyline, good book. Sorry to see the series end, cant wait for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book dragged on and on and on. The first part of the book was pretty good i thought. But then the story started to drag. And i almost didnt finish it. But i made it through to the end. I didnt read any of the other books that came before this book and i wont be reading any that come after it.