Wednesday, March 5, 2014

David: Lord of the HEA by Grace Burrowes

I asked one of my brothers how best to torture a romance hero.
He thought for about two seconds, then said, "Make him choose between the competing demands of honor. Choose between his country and his family, between two of his siblings, between loyalty to the family business and loyalty to the community he grew up in... make him choose."

This is a brilliant answer, because it begs the situation where every option laid before a character (hero or heroine) has a downside to start with. Then the romance gets humming, and the costs can increase such that a tiger lurks behind every door... and that tiger can go after the lady before it gobbles up the hero.

Fun times in HEA-ville!

David: Lord of Honor, which released yesterday as the ninth book in my Lonely Lords series, presents the hero with just such an impossible choice. A physician by training, David, Viscount Fairly, has lurked in several books as the secondary character who knows how to get things done. He's a world traveler, a commercial genius, a man who's already outgrown roguish vices when he finds himself inheriting a brothel.

What's a hero to do? If he sells the place, the women employed there will likely not fare as well as they
do working for David. He keeps them safe, he sets aside money for them, he looks after their health, he leaves them the choice of with whom they share their favors, but in his heart of hearts, the entire business is distasteful and wrong.

Along comes Letty Banks, a vicar's daughter who made one bad choice that spiraled into ruin, though she's a perfect candidate to manage David's house of ill repute. She's willing to take the post because it preserves her from having to tolerate the attentions of another protector, but for her too, the entire business is distasteful and wrong.

Neither one of them wants the association they have with each other, and that forms the basis for a reluctant, inconvenient, altogether irresistible attraction. By the end of the book, their love for each other
has restored to each of them both honor and self-respect, earning them one of the most well deserved Happily
Ever Afters I've written.

I hope you enjoy David: Lord of Honor, and that it leaves you looking around for another Grace Burrowes romance, because I also released a novella this week. Jonathan and Amy is my first governess story, but it won't be my last. These characters were instrumental in ensuring Evie and Deene found their happy ending in Lady Eve's Indiscretion, and they've waited patiently for their turn to shine. Jonathan is gruff, shy, and determined to win his lady, while Amy is smitten, tongue-tied and spoken for...Or is she?

To read an excerpt from David: Lord of Honor, or to order a copy, click here.
The read an excerpt from Jonathan and Amy, or to order a copy, click here.

How do you like to torture your heroes and heroines?  To one commenter, I'll send Wine Country Gift Basket's "Connoisseur." (Warning, contains chocolate.)
 PS--If I'm not immediately responding to comments, it's because Maryland is still buried under the latest dump of snow or my power's out.

68 comments:

  1. I agree that one of the best tortures for a hero is of his loyalty. It always adds that suspense on who or what he will choose. I also like the torture of conscience. Having a good hero forced into situations that might be against the law or his beliefs.
    Congrats on the new release. :) The book sounds fantastic and definitely one I'll be picking up.

    fsteph55(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. You mention the law, and maybe that's part of why I love this book. I'm a lawyer, and so often, the judge has to choose between all bad options, or what's legal just doesn't quite measure up to what's right. Thanks for the insight!

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  2. I like it when heroes are tortured with thinking the heroine is out of their reach or vice versa. It's always nice when it get resolved and our characters see themselves in a new light that they deserve someone who loves them. I love seeing the characters grow within a book!

    I love your books, Grace! Looking forward to reading David's book! Take care in Maryland!!

    ahui89 at hotmail dot com

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    1. We're through the most recent storm--more a nuisance than a danger at this point, but geesh... enough's enough!

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  3. I loved your brother's response to your question so much, I copied and pasted it into the notes for my next book. Congrats on the new releases!

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    1. My brother Dick is my first and most lasting hero. He's thirteen years older than me, and when I was a toddler, he always had time for me, was always kind. Unfortunately, (for me) by the time I was in second grade, he was also through college, married, and out of the household...

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  4. I enjoy reading a tortured hero or heroine and the love of a good person allows them to put their past & demons to rest.

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    1. Pat, I also like it when because of that tortured past, our hero or heroine has the equivalent of superpowers--they know how to pick a lock, widgie out of rope bindings, quote the Bible or otherwise turn what was a wound into a timely, unexpected gift. Those turning abouts are hard to write, but delightful when you can find them.

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  5. It sounds like a wonderful book, Grace! Congratulations on it's birthday!

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    1. On Mardi Gras. interestingly. Didn't plan that, but it sorta fits.

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  6. Oh, wow, Grace, on the weather. Love the cover! And I love how your brother came up with such a neat idea! :)

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    1. I've gone back to his wisdom again and again. Make him choose, then raise the stakes. Raise them some more... raise them MORE.

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  7. I really must talk to my brother more! I didn't know that brothers could be so useful! Torturing heroes really is fun and you do such a wonderful job of it! Bless your heart on all that snow. It's getting about tiresome, isn't it?

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    1. Carolyn, I'm blessed with four brothers. So is Nora Roberts. I live near Hagerstown, MD, so does Nora Roberts. I'm betting on the trend...

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  8. Hi Grace, congratulations on your new book. An unsuspecting man inheriting a brothel sounds like a page turner. I had a chuckle, picturing a smart guy-physician-in-training having such an establishment put in his path. And stay warm and cozy in Maryland.

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    1. Gina, he's also a guy who knows what it is to be naughty. In Regency England, prostitution itself wasn't illegal, though running a brothel was... interesting double standard there and reflective of the whole moral conundrum David faces.

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  9. I hate torturing my heroes and heroines, but it's all part of the job :-) I kind of like making the heroes grovel. Is that wrong?

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    1. No, it is not wrong. They feel more heroic when they've survived the groveling and even been rewarded for it.

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  10. First, the book was magnificent and I must tell you why. I was not to thrilled with the premise, I thought , no, not for me but it's Grace and if anyone can make me understand this particular set of circumstances, she can. Well, you did! Again, I am transformed. I find myself absolutely loving how you worked all this out. It was one of the best torturous HEA's! LOL

    As for how to torture a hero....make that choice the most difficult one indeed , but also once the choice is made, make the outcome still rife with difficulties....until the final HEA

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    1. Oops that is too thrilled....

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    2. It was a dicey premise, given that modern sensibilities are probably more conflicted about prostitution than Regency society was (waves to Queen Victoria), but the premise also let me muse a little on the difference between sex and love...

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  11. Finished Jonathan and Amy yesterday loved it! Will start David today. I'm looking forward to it.

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    1. And appetizer before the meal. Excellent planning!

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  12. I like giving them the one true thing they've ever desired, then snatch it back. fast and hard. Thea
    p.s. OT but what did you think of that case in NJ where child was suing parents?

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    1. Good idea, Thea. I'll have to see how I can use it in my WIP. As for the NJ case, I haven't read the pleadings. On the face of it, it sounds like a spoiled brat turned her back on reasonable parents and wants them to support her in style as she.... but that could well be spin. I'm leery of a ruling that could set a precedent for a kid leaving an abusive parental home, and the parents weasel out of all responsibility by claiming the child flounced off in a snit... interesting issues. Sad for the family

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  13. I don't like heroes or heroines to be too mentally tortured because I want them smart enough to over the past and not let it rule their lives. But I also recognize that everyone can have regrets over the way things played out - so that can lead to a bit of angst and mental torture. I do enjoy when they overcome challenges to get their HEA.

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    1. Di, I like smart characters too--readers nearly demand them. The best dilemmas are the ones you can't solve with your brains though. You have to solve them with your heart... in books, anyway.

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  14. After the loss of a wife and child and now going through recently what he has with his sisters. He deserves to finally find love again. I can't wait to read David's story, but unfortunately I'll have to wait until the library gets copies. I'll need to stay away from the reviews so that way I don't have to much spoiled for me I'm afraid though. Just so happens my stubborn son's name is David as well.

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    1. David gets his HEA, and he's found family to love him since those early losses occurred. He was a tough character to figure out, I hope you enjoy his story.

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  15. I hate making personal choices. What's for dinner? What do I want to do this weekend? Now that we've moved again, where should we go to church?
    I don't have any trouble making decisions in the office, though...and I don't feel a need for more groveling, thank you very much.
    David has never been my favorite of your characters, but as I stayed up past midnight last night finishing the book, I grew to like hime more. But I really felt for Letty.
    Thanks for yet another winner of a story.
    Now that this series is done, what's next? (Sebastian? Contemporary? Enquiring minds, and all that...)

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    1. Bill, I'm glad David managed to hold your attention. He IS an odd duck, but he's not the last Lord. I'll be selfpublishing stories for Trenton Lindsey, Worth Kettering and Hadrian Bothwell in April, May and June, respectively, and THEN we get to the Captive Hearts series, which is my favorite so far in the whole world.

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  16. I've read all the other books in the "Lords" series, and am patiently waiting for "David" to be delivered to me. I absolutely devour anything that you write Grace.

    I love nothing more than a tortured hero, and I've been rooting for David to get his own story, and I can't wait to see how it plays out.

    Kudos to your brother for giving you such good options to use.

    Congratulations on the release of "David".

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    1. Thanks, Diane. I wasn't quite sure how David and Letty would work their troubles out, and did you notice that their solution left Daniel Banks's life in disarray? Now, WHAT am I going to do with HIM?

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  17. I love tortured heroes. They are my favorites to read. Congrats on the release of David. Can't wait to read this book.

    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

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    1. Crystal, thanks. David has everything--family, wealth, good looks, a friend or two, a wonderful horse (all Regency heroes need wonderful horses), and yet, he is tortured, isn't he? Until about page... 340, when he starts thinking of a way out of all the boxes. Then he's determined....

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  18. Thanks for taking care of my Grace Burrowes fix with two stories this month. I am looking forward to both. As for tortured heroes -- their experiences make them stronger--and I can suffer with them as long as I know we are getting a HEA.

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    1. I think they trade unproductive suffering--old coping mechanisms, denial, vices--for productive suffering. Then trade productive suffering for their HEA. And it's interesting that we don't talk about torturing the heroine, but her path is never easy either.

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  19. OMG, this is a must read, on the premise alone. Talk about a study in conflict. David has been such a cool character. And what a smart brother.

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    1. I got lucky with the premise, which was set up in Gareth's book. Took me a while to figure out how to get the Rubik's cube right way around--Douglas would have come up with the solution eventually, I'm guessing.

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  20. I get so much enjoyment reading what creative authors like you come up with that I'm happy to cede torture choices to the professionals! Darius, Andrew and Douglas are three of my favorite tortured heroes.

    FYI, David has arrived on my Kindle and he's next up on my TBR list. Can't wait! And I love that he actually has one blue and one green eye on the cover. (It's a pet peeve of mine when cover models obviously do not represent the author's description.) Congrats on the newest releases and stay warm, Grace.

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    1. LSU, I've heard some editors say that readers aren't that focused on how the cover matches the characters. Erm, beg to differ. As a reader, I ALWAYS check, and as an author, I'm ALWAYS afraid I'll get it wrong.

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  21. Grace, I love when the hero has had a tortured past, a child of not being loved when he should have been or the loss of his parents and still have his siblings love...That he doesn't not know how to relate to the world around him....JUANITA DECUIR

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    1. I forget who's workshop it is--Michael Hague, probably--who points out the hero is pretty much always wounded in adolescence. The set up can be in childhood, but the hurting gets worst in adolescence. Hmm. For David, the bad news started early and just didn't let up until well into adulthood.

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  22. like to read about the tortured hero, not heroine

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Good point, bn. The heroine can suffer, but we tend not to torment her as overtly as we do the hero. Wonder why that is?

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  23. I struggle to accept a lot of the obstacles to HEA because so many of them could be overcome quickly if people JUST TALKED TO EACH OTHER!

    Then, when it's time to get them together, they magically overcome whatever kept them from sharing for last 250 pages. Annoying.

    Which is one reason I enjoy your books - most of them don't magically resolve themselves - something HAPPENS to change the game.

    Your brother is a genius. Watching good men choose between two good things is perfect torture. Personally, I enjoy the tortured hero/heroine who is battling inner demons that real love truly conquers. Which is probably why Gareth is my favourite storyline of yours. The fact that we meet David (who is my fave hero) doesn't hurt!

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    1. I consider Gareth my Foundation Swain. He taught me tons and tons, and I will always love him (though we can share when Felicity's not looking). As for the "just talk to each other!" frustration, there are some authors who make interpersonal problems into most excellent books--Sherry Thomas pulls this off over and over again, and with such skill, you're practically scheduling counseling appointments for her characters half way through the book.
      And yet, I understand that something real and substantial should be driving the hero and heroine apart. The trick is to make it real to the reader, even if it's simply baggage and lack of courage.
      And yes, my brother is a genius.

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  24. I love when the hero or heroine has a physical disability and how they rise above it.

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    1. Flowers From the Storm is probably your all time, bestest, most dearest keeper, I'd guess. Such a terrible disability, especially for the time, and so well rendered on the page.

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  25. I don't like to see them too tortured. Mostly I like to see when they're caught between family or career obligations and their dreams/aspirations and these are issues most of us can relate to.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

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    1. Jane, I don't like physical torture, but I do like to see how an author gets the characters out the "no good options" box. We've all been there, when no matter what you do, there's a substantial downside, and somebody to tell us we made the wrong choice.

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  26. I like the tortured hero that thinks he is not good enough for the heroine or he has done things that cause him to think less of himself. I have to say that Darius is my favorite tortured hero.
    sheryll1974@netscape.net

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    1. Wasn't he something else? Talk about a walk on the wild side. You must give my editor, Deb Werksman, credit for seeing that manuscript in my personal slush pile, yanking it out, and making Dare our first Lonely Lord. He was chosen as an iBookstore Best Book of 2013, which put him in some very impressive company.

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  27. What ever you choose I'm sure I'm going to enjoy lol. I love variety so it doesn't matter to me what their problem(s) may be because I know you'll manage to make it just right!! Looking forward to all your lonely lords!

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    1. For you, I need to write a guy who's confidante is a cat. Timothy got some pretty good scenes in Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait, and indirectly caused Elijah to put the truth before Jenny's parents. Might have to write some more Timothy's...

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  28. I loved your brother's answer, having to make a choice is always hard.

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    1. The interesting thing about his answer is that it works even better for women. For us to choose--and when aren't we choosing?--is an ongoing struggle. Marriage? Kids? Career? Parents? Self? Nothing but choices, and they're all hard.

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  29. Keep asking your brother's advice, he gives it good! ;o). I absolutely love this series and am in the middle of this book. I love it when heroes feel tortured because of their past or a physical situation, and are floored when a lady can see past it to who they are or can become.

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  30. I love tortured heroes and honorable men. Can't wait to read this one!

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  31. I agree with others who have talked about the tortured hero who doesn't think he's enough for the heroine. Something in his past or his present preventing him from taking what he wants.-AJ ajsc14@yahoo.com

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  32. That is such a great story line Grace, definitely need to get my hands on David!

    The dark, guilt ridden hero with a questionable past, who also happens to be a gentle and loving man has always been a favorite of mine. The heroine comes along to reveal his long forgotten heart and ease his mind. **Swoon!**
    azdeiter@yahoo.com

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  33. Wow, that sounds like it's going to be such a fantastic read! I enjoy reading about the conflicts the hero faces between his own tastes and that of those who do it for survival. Makes the hero all the more heroic and worthy. Can't wait to read David's book!

    thebigbluewall77 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  34. I like a wounded warrior who has to deal with past decisions and choices that effect his life today. It doesn't matter whether it be physical or mental wounds, it effects his life and those around him including, family , friends and love interests.

    It makes the hero more believable. Life isn't fair so deal with what you're dealt and make the best of it.

    I love your heroes. I can't wait to read David's story!

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  35. Your brother is brilliant. That is the trick, the hero has to choose. Love it. Of course, often, the heroine has to choose as well. Love your books. Love this cover. Already bought. Thank you for your stories!!

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  36. You know how to torture them, that's for sure. I think the only way I can READ their torture is knowing that you always bring them through the ordeal to their HEA. You know, you've kept me up WAY past my bedtime a number of times! GO YOU! lol This was a joyful week, TWO lovely GB books to enjoy. Thank you!

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  37. The MacGregor's Lady came in the mail yesterday from Tantor Audio. Can't wait to get in the car and listen!
    And yes, I'll have to ask my brothers about torturing the hero. But I'm afraid the boys will be a little more literal...being ex-military. I'm impressed with your brother though.

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  38. I like to watch the hero and heroine to go from the thought of something being unattainable to the hope that they can achieve it. Take care with the weather and thank you for the giveaway!

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  39. Just finished The MacGregor's Lady, Jonathan and Amy and David: Lord of Honor and loved all three of them. David: Lord of Honor actually made me cry. I can't get enough of your stories.

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