The conclusion to Grace Burrowes’s ‘Lord of Honor’ series is my first by this author. I’ve not read any of the other stories in the series so I can’t say how this one relates, nor can I begin to guess how David’s character was represented in any of the previous installments in the series. The first half to three-quarters of this story read slowly for me. I don’t know if it was because I felt like I need a dictionary with me at all times or just the storyline needed something more – maybe it’s that I should have read the first 8 books in the series. There’s no advisory that warned me that this couldn’t be read a standalone.
Letty Banks is in dire straits. She needs to find a way to earn money and not the way the she’s earned it in the past – on her back. David, Viscount Fairly, has inherited The Pleasure House – a brothel and is in need of someone to run his establishment; he needs a madam. With very limited choices for how to make a quick penny, Letty accepts David’s proposition to both run the brothel and sleep in his bed.
I know I’m supposed to like these characters much more than I did. There wouldn’t have been 8 stories before it if there wasn’t an audience, but both David and Letty felt very one dimensional and unexciting to me. Both of them had secrets that they kept from either other and that just seemed to drag on.
David is a physician by trade with a past that haunts every decision he makes. I know I was supposed to feel a connection with him and be able to empathize with his past, but I never felt it. His sisters and their families, whom he loves to distraction, show a side of him that I would have made me like him a lot, but I just couldn’t understand his actions in regards to them. Specifically, what I didn’t understand about David was that as a physician in a time when they’re admittedly scarce he chose not to tend to his sisters during their time of need – pregnancies – because of an incident in his past. Yes, the incident was devastating and shouldn’t happen to anyone but I just didn’t understand the reason for his current actions, given the gravity of the situations with his beloved sisters. Even the wife of his best friend, who happens to be his cousin, was in need of his skills.
I found myself not feeling much for Letty either. There seem to be so much potential in her character and I just never felt that she was anything more than words on a page. She’s as strong and self-sufficient as a woman can be in that time but the connection that I wanted to have with her never manifested. One question I continuously asked was, how as a physician did David not figure out her secret? That part didn’t ring true even when it was validated, it seemed to drag too conveniently.
The chemistry between David and Letty was tepid. I never really thought that Letty liked David for David. I thought she slept with him because he was her employer and she didn’t want to lose her job – I was told otherwise but I didn’t buy it. The whole idea of her being a madam struck me as silly because she’s never ran a household much less a business of that size, so why else would David offer her that role if not to bed her? It just didn’t make sense, neither did I feel their attraction nor their undeniable love.
The staff – including the prostitutes – and customers at the brothel were interesting enough that I kept reading to see what shenanigans they would get into. David’s sisters husbands made noted appearances that gave me some impression of those relationships. Letty’s brother, Daniel, was attention-grabbing and the scenes with him were some of the more exciting ones. I get the impression that he’s a handsome man because everyone, including men, said so.
Happy reading folks!
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Grace Burrowes
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca