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The Desire for Dearborne

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  964 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Leander Mayfield is the only surviving son of a poor farmer... or so he believes until the day he learns he is in fact the new Earl of Dearborne. Still recovering from a lingering illness, the sensitive young man travels to Great Britain to claim his estate and embarks upon a bewildering new life.

Julien Sutcliffe, the Earl of Blackstone, is suffering from ennui. He's tire
Paperback, 276 pages
Published June 15th 2009 by Dreamspinner Press
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  964 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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When I read Desire for Dearborne by V.B. Kildaire, several things struck me about this wonderful book. It reminded me how much I miss reading historical romances. It’s unfortunate that there aren’t more historically based homoerotic romances available. I know it’s harder for the heroes to end up with a happy ever after, so many authors avoid this theme, but this author was able to not only make this book very loving and romantic, it had a great ending as well.

Desire for Dearborne read like an ol
I admit, I am very new in historical/regency MM romance -- I was only converted last year. BUT, I discovered that there was different kind of joy coming from historical/regency MM that I could relish in (one of them is that none of these Lords or Earls or Duke will call their lover, "BABY" *haha*). So I have been looking for few historical MMs these days.

Well, The Desire for Dearborne is very lovely. I really appreciated the way the relationship progressed between Lord Julien Blackstone and Le
Elisa Rolle
Jul 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
2009 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, man-love
I'm torn between giving this book the strongest 3 ever vs. the weakest 4 ever. It's a tough call. The characters were very likable, and it was delicious to see jaded man-about-town Julien as he fell for wide-eyed, naive newcomer Leander.

What drags this story down a little for me, though, is the suspense plot. The bad guy was totally predictable, but even if I were to discount that element, I just thought that there was too much time when the two main characters were not interacting and instead
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This started out strong but kinda dragged in the middle, but it sure made up with the ending.

Leander was the kind of character I love. A little shy and naïve, but sweet and charming.

Julien was a bit more of a playboy, but in the good guy kinda way.

Watching their romance was enjoyable, but the whole sinister cousin part was what really gave this story an edge for me. I was actually fooled for a few paragraphs lol.

Very exciting climax and a sweet ending.

My niggle is a spoiler so beware. The ease w
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
If you ignore the dumb title and the hokey cover art, this is actually a really enjoyable book.

My only beefs: I felt like Blackstone should have been chastised and shunned more. He's open about his "preferences for the company of men" and there are whispers, but everyone kind of just shrugs about him. He justifies it by thinking that, because he's an earl, no one will hang him for sodomy. I worried that Dearborne also might be too feminine; he has a weak constitution and is ill most of the nove
Trisha Harrington
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was really good and the couple it was based on were really good together and I loved both Leander and Julien together. One of the problems was the book in parts was a bit boring and the evil character was not much of a shock. Nothing in this book was for me which is why I was disappointed with it and marked it down one star. The story was really good though and if there had been at least one shock in this book it would be five stars but it was predictable. I really loved Leander and ho ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, aaaaaawwww
Julio, look at what you've done to me.

I like it. Leander, first off, has a really cool name. In addition, he's naive, yes, but not altogether stupid. It's rather refreshing. He's not an ingenue. It's cool.

So, yeah. It was good; I quite liked it, but then it was plot, plot, plot, random intrigue that wasn't bad, deus ex machina Absolution of Responsibilities, stalking, pretty much a farcical chase scene, random stuff, more sex. Actually, the sex wasn't bad, I guess. It was..
Another really good Regency romance, I just can't get enough of them. Leander and Julien are perfect for each other, I liked that they are really open and didn't hold back on their attraction for one another. The pace really picked up in the last 25 percent or so, and we were treated to a nice little bit of angst, which was a surprise. I've knocked off one star as I thought the sex scenes were a little rushed and I was left wanting more (but that's probably just me!).
Kade Boehme
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Damn this cover! I havent read this book, skirted around it for YEARS. All because of that cover. But I wanted a good historical and a friend read it recently and gushed so I thought I'd give it a go. Damn but I loved it. I ADORED Leander. His naivete and watching him fumble around society was endearing and never felt forced or childish, just legit. I can't imagine being dropped in the scenario like that. And watching Julien really rise to the task of loving Leander.

The biggest reason I dropped
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jo by: Apilif
If you enjoy reading traditional romance books this is a very solid read. I myself enjoyed reading Desire for Dearborne, it takes me back to my early romance reading when I gorged myself on Regency Romances. The story pretty much follows the abcs of romances but the writing keeps you reading. Leander and Julian make a great couple, my only minor complaint is that when you are reading you could switch out the character of Leander for a woman and you really wouldn't need to change much. I really d ...more
Vivian ♪(┌・。・)┌
My liking of historical romance is growing by each book. I never really was a huge fan of historicals, but it seems that I'm slowing growing more tolerance for it nowadays.

This was a book of well written cliches. The plot was okay, the characters were likable, the romance had me rooting for them (though not with an excess of enthusiasm) but nothing really stands out when I reflect upon it.

It was a good, solid read that probably won't stay with me. The cover is gorgeous though..
Jess Candela
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, read-in-2012
I want to say something about this book but I'm not quite sure what. I struggled with what to rate it, finally settling on 4.5 rounded up to 5, but I'm not certain of that. I loved it, enjoyed the characters and story and was engrossed. It reminded me of the m/f historical romances I used to read so many of, the good ones. So why my hesitation?
Islam Nashrif
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: m-m-romance
Didn't sense any real intellect from the characters. They were boring and could actually be labelled as idiots in love. I found Leander to be super timid and useless. Julien gave me the impression of a male bimbo. The story just didn't work for me. No thrill or excitement. Bleh.
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m
"The Desire for Dearborne" was an entertaining read, it turned out to be more enjoyable than what I originally thought. What first attracted me was the cover of the book - in which where I thought the art was lovely. What really captured me though was the historical time setting this story was told in. Other things that interested me was how this just didn't focus on gay romance, but society and the ways of society back then and what was expected, and just how coping with society can be difficul ...more
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love romance; I love M/M romance and I love historicals. On all three counts V.B. Kildaire has written a winner. This is an amazing story, and the fact that this is Ms. Kildaire's first really excites me. There is so much promise and so much more to look forward to.

I love Leander and Julien; their openness is what really drew me to them along with the sizzling attraction. They're wonderfully wrought characters, full of life and personality that you can't help but find compelling.
And the second
I liked this book fine till the point when the author just took the romance out of the equation and turned the book into I don't know what. Instead of developing the relationship between the heroes, which was just at the starting point, the author brought in suspense, separation, long-lost family..all this was FRUSTRATING the hell out of me! I was feeling incredibly sorry for Leander - the people who were supposed to care about him were incredibly slow to take some action and find him. Then, whe ...more
Jan 27, 2011 rated it liked it
It was very sweet though honestly I've read better and got bored with the ending. If you want a stereotypical historical romance involving 2 guys, suspiciously and conveniently accepting friends and family, smut that's appropriate and not overdone, rescuing of the damsel in distress (as played by a bookish, sickly young man - though don't get me wrong, he thankfully still reads like a man) and a happy ending then you could do a lot worse than this book.
LD  Durham
Sep 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was a fun and sweet tale with all the hallmarks of a lovely historical romance. The fact that our heroes were nearly openly gay in a time in which it was a hanging offense was handled well, I thought, and I was relieved to find a happy ending.

Fun read all the way around. Only thing I could knock it for was for having a bad editor who didn't weed out the typos. Other than that, I enjoyed it heartily.
Oct 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Comfort food. Kind of like a box of macaroni and cheese with the little pouch of nuclear byproduct orange powder.

Rather remarkably like, come to think of it.

Gay British-American aristocratic regency (well Georgian if you really want to get technical which I don’t) romance – flirtations plots porn misunderstandings kidnappings more plots pistols resolutions more porn I feel better now.
Heather C
I ♥ this story. I thought it was different than the usual m/m Regency: here the MCs weren't too concerned what society thought of them and I loved the slow burn romance between Leander and Julien. I thought the twists at the end was a bit predictable...but I still loved it! Such a sweet ending!!!!
Apr 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, historical
Julien and Leander make a sweet pair. I enjoyed their personalities and time together, their connection really worked for me.

Because of that connection I was perplexed by how long Julien took to respond to the situation that came about. Overall, I was always feeling that the story needed a "little something" more for me to truly get into it.

Still an enjoyable read.
Sep 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: various-romance
Leander Mayfield, the Earl of Dearbourne, is a total Mary Sue. I found him too polite and kind and slightly boring. The story is far-fetched and choppy but it's sweet and I like historicals so it still gets 3 stars from me.
I love historical romance but you so rarely find a good mm one. This just worked for me on all levels, bad boy falls for a sweet innocent, romantic and smexy, a little drama, and an HEA. Loved it.
Aden Wilke
May 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crappy, own
This started out as a really good premise for a book, I am always in love with the whole 'country mouse, city mouse' tale, especially if it includes an American protagonist. However, it felt too much like Leander was a novelty for most people which kind of made it bittersweet and sad as the story progressed. You got to see a lot of the Society treat him like some silly country bumpkin with weird habits that was just too cute and fun for the Earl, (view spoiler) ...more
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The type of Regency romance I longed for growing up

Warning: This review might contain what some people consider SPOILERS.

Rating: 9/10

- The idea of a naïve American farm boy being introduced to the London ton is carried out well: Leander comes off as innocent without being childish or annoying.
- There are numerous mentions of texts concerning the Arthurian legends, which several of the characters spend a lot of time studying, and I was pretty impressed at the research Kildaire must have do
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: slashreaders, okay
SlashReader: 'The Desire for Dearborne', first off was a well written historical romance. It contained a number the cliche elements dashing earl, a poor but educated and attractive man comes into money, and an evil villain. For the most part I enjoyed this book, I liked watching the two main characters interact with each other. The book was not over polluted with sex scenes, which added to its charm. However, the sex scenes that were included in the book were fairly simple and straight forward. ...more
PUB. INFO: Dreamspinner Press June 2009
GENRE: Male/Male Historical Romance
SETTING: England, 1800s
HEROES: Leander Mayfield, 22
Julien Sutcliffe, 31
GRADE: A/4.5 stars

This was an enjoyable read. It held my interest with no problem. Both lead characters are very likable. Leander seemed so sweet and innocent. Julian is a confident man who lives his life as he chooses. He isn’t worried about what society thinks of him. Julian was instantly attracted to Leander from the start and Leander was intrigued b
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Two-and-a-half stars. I think both Julien and Leander are interesting characters, the latter perhaps more so than the former. Julien is an archetype I've seen before--a self-possessed aristocrat, tired of society until an ingenue dispels his ennui, etc. He charmed me, but didn't surprise me. Leander, on the other hand, came close. after a lifelong struggle with chronic illness and an overprotective family, he's stronger than most people appreciate. I don't know that his courage and perseverance ...more
Lilia Ford
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable M/M historical fiction with two winning leads. Leander is especially adorable as the wide-eyed American, trying to deal with his new title. Though there isn't a huge amount of sex, I really liked his relationship with Julien, and found most of the stuff about his entry into society, his earnest love of all things Arthurian, and the discovery that he's gay really well done. I also thought Kildaire did a great job with Julien's various friends and relatives and the glimpses of gay cultur ...more
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V.B. Kildaire is a Canadian prairie girl from Manitoba who has worked at a national park, a radio station, and a family-owned store. She has an unhealthy obsession with mad monarchs and unexplained history. She is also servant to a very spoiled cat.

Visit her blog at