New Release Review and Giveaway! SO IN LOVE by Darcy Burke (Ribbon Ridge: Love on the Vine #3)

 

About the Book:

After a hot hook-up on New Year’s Eve, Crystal Donovan plans to avoid Jamie Westcott, which could be difficult, given the size of Ribbon Ridge. But she’s only there a few days doing research on the town’s history then it’s back to her glam life in LA. When his family holds the key to unraveling a century-old mystery she has to seek him out—and the sparks are still flying.

Jamie Westcott works his ass off to repay his college loans, which doesn’t leave much time for other commitments. Crystal’s a perfect fling: she’s fun and sexy and, best of all, they have little in common and she lives somewhere else. Only, the more time they spend together the closer they get, despite their intent to keep things casual.

When everyone learns Crystal sold a screenplay exposing the dark secrets of Ribbon Ridge—and Jamie’s family—she becomes the town pariah. Jamie won’t leave and Crystal can’t stay—can love show them another way?

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Review:
So in Love had a really strong start–I loved the cutthroat pool game with the cursed cue (or is it???), the flirtiness, and their New Year’s Eve hookup. Jamie and Crystal were cute together, her fears about their age difference (she’s 5 years older) aside. From there, though, the story felt like it floundered a bit–much of the drama (relationship and otherwise) felt a bit contrived and overblown–would a mature, adult woman really literally run from a social event just because a few people there become confrontational? And then immediately grab a flight out of state, days earlier than she had planned on leaving? I’m not entirely convinced. Still, everything came together nicely at the end, and the epilogue was very sweet.

If you’ve read the others in the trilogy, you’ll undoubtedly want to read this one as well; if you’re new to the series there are some mild spoilers here to the historical mystery the heroines are trying to solve together. It’s a secondary plot, but if continuity is important to you, you’ll probably want to read the books in order ( So Good first, then So Right , and then this one). Final verdict: a cute story, but not on the same level as Ms. Burke’s The Untouchables (historical romance) series.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Check out the other books in the Love on the Vine series:

 

Meet the Author:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway:

  • $40 Amazon Gift Card

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New Release Review and Giveaway! THE DUKE OF DEFIANCE by Darcy Burke (The Untouchables #5)

About the Book:

Difficult and defiant as a child, Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton left England as a young man to pursue independence and adventure. He never expected to inherit the title and when duty calls him home, he still finds Society’s codes constricting and others’ expectations oppressive. Nevertheless, he needs a wife to be a mother to his young daughter, preferably a woman of intelligence and warmth who is, above all, immune to his idiosyncrasies—and to falling in love.
Widow Joanna Shaw isn’t interested in a second marriage, not after the loveless, passionless union she endured. She’d much rather dote on her young niece and nephew since they will likely be the only children in her life…until she meets a precocious girl, in desperate need of a mother. But her father, the so-called Duke of Defiance, is as peculiar as he is handsome, and Jo won’t take another risk with her heart. Their rules, however, are made to be broken, even when the consequences  could destroy them both.
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Excerpt:

Oh, he looked magnificent in evening wear, his dark charcoal-colored coat offset by his silver-threaded waistcoat and the snow-white of his cravat. Was he uncomfortable? She wondered how long he’d be able to endure the garments and pictured him stripping them off. The ballroom suddenly seemed overly warm.

He strode right to her and offered a bow, first to Nora as required by her rank, and another to Jo. “Good evening. You look lovely.” His gaze swept over her.

“Thank you.”

“I thought we could discuss the governess interviews,” he said. “My secretary has arranged them for Tuesday.”

Jo nodded. “Good.”

“Lord Knighton, why don’t you ask Jo to waltz? It’s just starting.”

Waltz? At Nora’s insistence, Jo had practiced the steps earlier today, but she’d never actually waltzed. “I’m not certain that’s necessary.”

Lord Knighton held out his arm. “Would you do me the honor?”

Now she was trapped. Although if she could refuse any man and predict that he wouldn’t take offense, it was Knighton. Once she explained her anxiety, she’d no doubt he would understand given his own foibles.

In the end, she simply put her hand on his arm and allowed him to escort her to the dance floor. It could be her only chance.

“I’ve never waltzed,” she said softly.

“Me neither.”

She turned her head sharply to look at him. “Oh dear.”

“How hard can it be?” he asked as they stepped onto the dance floor.

He rested his hand on her waist and clasped her hand. She placed her palm on his shoulder and, despite the layers of clothing, was certain she could feel his muscle.

“See, we’re experts,” he said.

Review:

Jo and Bram might be my favorite couple in this series 🙂

I loved Bram’s idiosyncrasies and his devotion to his daughter–they definitely helped to make him one of the more unique heroes out there. (Though I kept hoping we’d find out something more about why he was that way–even just an author’s note. I’m guessing with the anti-touch tendencies and the way he tensed up in social situations that he’s somewhere on the autism spectrum, maybe? Either way, his need to get out of restrictive clothing ASAP led to some–ahem–interesting moments for him…and Jo ;))

Jo just broke my heart with her awful first marriage and conviction that she couldn’t have children because she hadn’t yet, which was her main argument for why they couldn’t be together. Kudos to Bram for pointing out it wasn’t necessarily her “fault” that she hadn’t; it made for both a frustrating and heartbreaking reason for keeping them apart.

All while not keeping them apart, of course, because yeah. They were all kinds of together when they weren’t supposed to be. 😉

Evie was a fun character, even though towards the end she sometimes acted just a little bit too mature for her age, she was still all kinds of adorable.

It was fun seeing what is going on with the rest of the Untouchables and their wives, though this book could also stand on its own if needed.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 Check out the other books in  The Untouchables series:

 

Meet the Author:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

Giveaway:

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card, Signed copy of The Duke of Daring and Swag

*If the chosen winner resides outside of the US, an eBook will be sent instead of the print book.*

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway! THE DUKE OF DEFIANCE by Darcy Burke (The Untouchables #5)

We are so excited to bring you the cover reveal for Darcy Burke’s The Duke of Defiance, book 5 in The Untouchables series. We hope you love the cover as much as we do!

Release date: June 27, 2017

Difficult and defiant as a child, Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton left England as a young man to pursue independence and adventure. He never expected to inherit the title and when duty calls him home, he still finds Society’s codes constricting and others’ expectations oppressive. Nevertheless, he needs a wife to be a mother to his young daughter, preferably a woman of intelligence and warmth who is, above all, immune to his idiosyncrasies—and to falling in love.

Widow Joanna Shaw isn’t interested in a second marriage, not after the loveless, passionless union she endured. She’d much rather dote on her young niece and nephew since they will likely be the only children in her life…until she meets a precocious girl, in desperate need of a mother. But her father, the so-called Duke of Defiance, is as peculiar as he is handsome, and Jo won’t take another risk with her heart. Their rules, however, are made to be broken, even when the consequences could destroy them both.

Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

Connect with Darcy: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway:

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New Release Review and Giveaway! DUKE OF DESIRE by Darcy Burke (The Untouchables #4)

About the Book:

Ten years ago Ivy Breckenridge’s life was ruined. She had to reinvent herself, and now, after painstakingly making her own way in the world, she’s nearly forgotten the dreams of home and family she’d once nurtured. Until one man peers into her soul and awakens every one of her hidden desires. But no matter how good he makes her feel, she can’t trust him—alone by choice is better than alone by necessity.

With a notorious reputation for training married women in the art of passion, Sebastian Westgate, Duke of Clare, is reviled by some and celebrated by others. He doesn’t allow anyone close enough to see past his charming exterior. When Ivy uncovers the man beneath, the seducer is suddenly the seduced. Enraptured by her mind and spirit, he wants more but revealing his darkest secrets is a price he won’t pay.

Excerpt:

Ivy hurried downstairs and made her way across the hall to the drawing room, which was the center room at the back of the house. The group had started to thin—either to take part in some activity or rest before dinner.

But because Ivy had the luck of the devil, she found Lady Dunn’s cane in a most inopportune place: the clutches of the Duke of Clare.

He stood near the chair Lady Dunn had vacated, her cane in his hand. His dark gaze swept toward Ivy. “It’s you.”

She resisted the urge to snatch the cane from his grasp and flee. “Yes.” She flicked a glance at his fingers. They were long and rather slender. Almost elegant. “I came for Lady Dunn’s cane.”

“You are her companion, then.” It wasn’t a question. He’d deduced the answer, and they both knew it. There was a cool confidence about him that was just shy of arrogance. His gaze raked over her, and she decided he wasn’t shy of anything.

“Yes. May I have it, please?” She held out her gloved hand.

“How about I offer it in trade for your name?”

She scowled at him. “How about you just give it to me and cease this preposterousness?” She kept her voice low, and the end of that word rushed from her mouth in an angry hiss.

He exhaled but didn’t look perturbed in the slightest. “I don’t know why you find my amiability preposterous.”

Because you’re a degenerate scoundrel. Instead of voicing what was in her mind, she forced a smile. “I am merely in a hurry. I am Miss Breckenridge. The cane, please?”

He set it in her hand but made sure to brush his fingertips along the edge of her palm.

Ivy closed her fist around the cane and yanked her hand back.

He arched a dark brow at her. “You’re a bit touchy, aren’t you?”

“And you’re more than a bit unseemly. Good afternoon.” She turned and marched from the drawing room, paying no attention to anyone who might’ve witnessed their conversation. She hadn’t noticed if anyone was close enough to hear them. No, she’d been too intent on him.

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Review:
OMG, I knew I was going to love Ivy’s story–I’ve been dying to find out what her backstory was for three books now–but how much I loved it still managed to take me by surprise.

Because, Ivy. And West. Seriously, they’re right up there in my top ten favorite couples. Heck, they’re probably in the top five.

Ivy’s been a mystery for the whole series–she was befriended by the other wallflowers at the start of book one (The Forbidden Duke ) but most of her life before and after that point remained a mystery, even to Nora, Lucy, and Aquilla. We knew there was something big and tragic there–everything about her screamed huge secrets–but it wasn’t until she got her own book that we found out what they were. And how appropriate is it that the Duke of Desire (though she lobbied hard for Debauchery or Depravity) become her hero?

So. Appropriate.

And whoa, Ms. Burke did a great job of making a guy who at first seemed like a total sleezeball (I would have been right there with Ivy once upon a time, casting my vote for Debauchery as well) into such an amazingly great guy. I mean, I am still shuddering when I think too hard about it, because no condoms (didn’t they have French letters yet? Because, scary…) but overall his reasons behind and for doing what he’d been doing up until Ivy were so much better than I ever could have come up with. But then he met Ivy, so…sigh.

I was a bit distressed when I realized that this book meant that all four of the original heroines had their HEAs, but was thrilled to hear that a book five (the hero is connected to a secondary character here) is in the works (and that West’s best friend also has a “Duke” moniker courtesy of the girls, so surely he’ll get a book too, soon?) because I am absolutely not ready to leave the world of the Untouchables behind!

The Duke of Desire would work fine as a standalone, though if you (like me!) have read the other series books and been dying for Ivy to get her HEA, this one will be all the more satisfying for you.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Check out the other books in The Untouchables series:

Meet the Author:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

Connect with Darcy: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway:

  • $35 Amazon Gift Card

 

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New Release Review! SO GOOD by Darcy Burke (Love on the Vine #1)

So Good
by Darcy Burke

Synopsis:

Cameron Westcott has spent eight years recovering from heartbreak by keeping romantic entanglements casual and simple. He’s never minded being called a manwhore, but after two years immersing himself in his new winery, he might be ready for the next chapter. Especially when he meets a sexy wine distributor—only she says she isn’t interested.

Following a bitter divorce, Brooke Ellis relocated to Ribbon Ridge to rebuild her life. Things will never be the same for her, and she’s coming to terms with that reality when she meets charming, persistent Cam. She can’t imagine a happy ever after given his reputation, but he makes her feel so good.

As the sparks between them intensify, they’re both hesitant to commit for very different reasons. Or are they really just sabotaging their own futures? If they can trust each other—and themselves—they may realize that what they share is too good to let slip away.

 

Review:

A highly satisfying contemporary romance!

Newly divorced, Brooke isn’t interested in a relationship, and especially not one with Cameron, who has a reputation for being a player. Cameron, however, has been trying to rebuild his life lately–and make his business venture with his brothers and best friend a success–and has no interest in his old, manwhorish ways. He does, however, have an intense interest in Brooke…now he just needs to convince her of it!

Fun characters, a nice romance, and the tidbits about wine and wineries made this an entertaining read. It’s the first in a new series, but connected to her Ribbon Ridge books (which I’ve only read a few of, but will remedy soon)–it’s a good place to start with this author’s contemporary series if you haven’t read any yet.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

 

 

View all my reviews

New Release Review and Giveaway! THE DUKE OF DECEPTION by Darcy Burke (The Untouchables #3)

About the Book:

After five years on the Marriage Mart, Miss Aquilla Knox is ready for spinsterhood until a benefactress steps in to help her secure a husband. Only Aquilla doesn’t actually want to marry—her failure is entirely on purpose. When the earl she’s nicknamed the Duke of Deception sets his sights on her, she refuses to be drawn in by her attraction to him. If there’s one thing she knows it’s that a gentleman is never what he seems.

Edward Bishop, Earl of Sutton, has a reputation for courting young misses and dropping them without a second thought. This has earned him a reputation for deceit, a description he can’t refute because he does in fact, harbor secrets and will do anything—deceive anyone—to ensure they don’t come to light. As he comes to know the charming Miss Knox, his resolve is tested. However, trust comes at a price and Ned won’t pay with his heart.

dod-teaser-4

 

Excerpt:

“Ahem.”

The soft utterance came from the door behind Ned. He pivoted and listened, wondering if he’d imagined the sound amidst the steady pit-pat of rain.

“Ahem.” The statement came more loudly. “Pardon me, but might I ask a favor?”

Ned turned fully toward the feminine voice coming from the dim veranda. He pulled the door wider. “Come in.”

“No.” She stood just outside. Ned could only make out her vague shape. “I can’t come into the ballroom. I need to enter another way and get to the retiring room. I’m afraid I was caught in this rain and…” Her voice trailed off.

Ned strained his eyes to try to see her features, but it was dark and she was standing too far away from the light of the ballroom. “I believe there’s another door along the terrace.” He gestured behind her. He’d visited Middlegrove House a few times and had been outside before.

“Yes, but it’s locked. That is why I need a favor. I don’t suppose you could find Lady Satterfield and ask her to unlock that door for me?”

Lady Satterfield and not Lady Middlegrove? He glanced back at the crowded ballroom and doubted he could find either of them, especially quickly. “Are you out there unprotected in the rain?” She had to be freezing. It was a cool night amidst a particularly cold spring.

“Er…yes.” She sounded resigned. “It was not my best idea.” Her calm tone carried an edge of humor that Ned found intriguing. He would’ve expected most women to be far more agitated by such a predicament.

Clearly she was alone, and he wondered what she was doing out there by herself. However that hardly mattered while she was standing there likely shivering. “Go to the door, and I’ll ensure it’s unlocked posthaste.”

She exhaled sharply, and the sound carried a thrum of relief. “Thank y-you.”

Yes, she was shivering.

He considered handing her his coat through the open doorway, but that would invite unwanted attention and scandal—something Ned was always careful to avoid.

“I’ll hurry.” He left the doorway and cut around the edge of the ballroom, making his way to the card room next door. He wasn’t exactly sure which room the locked terrace door opened into, but suspected it was just on the other side of this one.

He ought to find Lady Middlegrove or a retainer or even Lady Satterfield, since the young woman had asked for her, but he was too concerned with getting her inside as quickly as possible. And since he didn’t see any of those people, he decided to help her himself.

He left the card room and looked around to discern if anyone was about to pay him any mind. Satisfied that he was alone and unobserved, he went into the next room, which appeared to be Lord Middlegrove’s office and closed the door firmly behind him. A low fire burned in the grate as he walked swiftly toward the exterior door. After unbolting it, he opened it wide.

Standing at the threshold looking little better than a drowned cat was a young woman, her face pale and her eyes wide. She hugged her arms around her waist and stepped inside.

He took her gently by the arm and pulled her farther into the room before closing the door sharply behind her. “Come to the fire.”

Her peach-colored dress was sodden and dark. Wet curls stuck to her temples and cheeks. A droplet of rain slid from her nose.

“Th-thank y-y-you.” The words trembled from her mouth like a newborn foal as she moved to stand in front of the fire. She stuck her hands out, warming her palms.

“Give me those.” He took her left hand and pulled off the damp glove then repeated the action with the right. Uncertain of what to do with them, he set them on the mantel.

She looked at him then scanned the room. “Wh-where is L-lady Satterfield?”

“I didn’t see her. I thought it prudent to get you inside as quickly as possible.”

Her eyes widened briefly before narrowing to scrutinize him. “W-we’re in here alone?”

“Regrettably, but no one saw me, and no one will learn we are here.” He crossed back to the door he’d used to enter and locked it. “Better?” he asked when he returned to her side.

“N-no, I’m not at all certain that’s better. N-now we’re l-locked in a room together.” She cast him an ambivalent glance before turning her attention to the fire. She edged closer and turned her hands to warm the backs.

“Just what were you doing on the terrace?”

She closed her eyes briefly before cocking her head to glance at him. “T-trying to be discreet? My gown has a tear and I wanted to find the retiring room without having to cross the ballroom. I thought I could take a shortcut via the terrace. Unfortunately it was raining—softly at first, so I hurried. B-but the door was locked, and the heavens decided to punish my foolishness by making it rain harder.”

“You weren’t being foolish.”

She cast him a glance heavy with doubt. “I appreciate your d-defense of my character, but I was.”

“You didn’t know the door would be locked or that it was going to rain like that. You were trying to be sensible.”

She laughed softly, but it quickly turned into a shiver. Her shoulders hunched.

Ned shrugged out of his coat and draped it about her shoulders. She turned her head sharply and gave him another wide-eyed look. “As long as we’re ignoring propriety…” he said. “Just wear my coat for a few minutes while I determine how to get you out of the house and on your way home.”

“Y-yes, that would be lovely.” She didn’t sound disappointed in the slightest. In fact, Ned would’ve said she sounded pleased. Enthusiastic even, particularly given the smile tugging at her mouth. Perhaps her attitude was simply due to her predicament. What young woman was happy to leave Lady Middlegrove’s ball? And wasn’t completely overcome when caught in a rainstorm in a ballgown?

The kind that piqued his interest.

dod-teaser3

Review:

Another “Untouchable” bites the dust!

The Duke of Deception is Aquilla and Ned’s story. It’s a bit ironic that the secret nickname Ned, the Earl of Sutton, was given by Aquilla, Ivy, and Lucy is the Duke of Deception when Aquilla and Ivy are hiding some pretty major secrets themselves. We learn Aquilla’s here–and Ned’s–but still have to wait for Ivy’s…I’m pretty sure Ms. Burke will make it worth the wait, though 😉

But really, girls. Pots, kettles, equal blackness…but I digress.

I liked Aquilla and Ned, both on their own and together. They made a great couple, even if their courtship did end up getting a bit fast tracked due to circumstances. I understood why they both felt the need to keep their secrets–even from each other–but wish that they had come to light earlier in the book than they did. Once the secrets were revealed, everything happened very, very quickly and then bam! the story was over. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of them together afterwards, watching them living their lives without so much coming between them. The drama of Aquilla’s former suitor and that of her parents didn’t quite feel finished either. Still, I did enjoy this one quite a bit.

Both Aquilla and Ned have had a whole lot to deal with in their lives and they really deserved to find not only their HEAs, but also to finally find the person that they could each be themselves around. At the same time their story gives you a glimpse into how the 19th century dealt with issues like mental illness and domestic abuse (hint: the answer is, not well) and really makes you appreciate how far we’ve come in dealing with the former, at least. George’s portion of the story is heartbreaking (though I really, really want to know what his diagnosis would be today–we don’t learn enough about what happened to him, likely because the characters don’t know either), and Aquilla’s mother and sister-in-law are even worse off. Fingers crossed that Aquilla’s finally able to make a difference for them eventually as well…

But Aquilla and Ned. Soooo good together. 🙂

Deception is book three in the series but should function well as a standalone. The couples from books one and two ( The Forbidden Duke and The Duke of Daring ) do play parts in this one, but if you haven’t read their stories (yet!) you should still do just fine with this one.

Bring on Ivy and the Duke of Desire–I’m ready for them!

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Purchase:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo
Add to Goodreads

 

Meet Darcy:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.
Connect with Darcy: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Check out the other books in The Untouchable series:

Giveaway:

  • Duke of Deception Prize Pack filled with the following:
    • Signed copy of The Forbidden Duke and The Duke of Daring
    • Jane Austen jigsaw puzzle
    • Jane Austen inspired candle
    • Pride & Prejudice board book
    • Bath salts from author Wendy LaCapra
    • Darcy Burke trading cards, bookmark, and cleaning cloth
**International shipping Available**

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A Conversation with Darcy Burke, Author of THE DUKE OF DARING (The Untouchables #2–with a New Release Review and Giveaway!)

 Love is the one risk he doesn’t have the heart to dare.

Welcome, Darcy! What 5 things should readers know about you?

1) I believe in happy ever after, but also that you have to work for it.

2) My family is the most important thing in the world to me.

3) Live music often makes me cry.

4) I belong to a sorority and am currently an active volunteer.

5) I’m far more introverted than I used to be, but I love forming connections and making new friends.

Great!

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

The Untouchables series was an idea that just sort of formed. I love wallflower heroines and wanted to write a series about them. There’s a bit of a Cinderella quality to these stories in that these women have given up on love, on finding their happy ever after school, and of course they find them when and where they least expect to.

It’s a great idea—and I’m loving them so far! Can’t wait for the next two 🙂

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I’ve been writing toward publication for about ten years. Before that, I wrote, but didn’t try to publish anything. I didn’t even finish anything! Finishing that first book is hard. Knowing you can do it is half the battle. It’s a bit like running, which is as much mental as it is physical. I’ve been writing since I was young–faux news reports to amuse my grandparents, stories, screenplays of my favorite romance novels (it’s true!), and finally romance novels. I started reading romance thanks to my mom, but the writing is maybe something I inherited from my paternal grandmother. Several years after she died, we found some things she’d written, including a wonderful narrative account of their family’s move to Oregon. It’s great stuff.

Finishing IS hard! That’s wonderful about your grandmother—it’s a shame no one knew about it before.

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m currently working on a contemporary romance, the first in the Love on the Vine sub series (I’m coining that word, lol), which is an offshoot from Ribbon Ridge. SO GOOD will be out later this summer. After that, I’ll go back to historical, with the next book in The Untouchables. THE DUKE OF DECEPTION features Aquilla and the Earl of Sutton. I’m excited about their story! That will be out in the fall. I may or may not get one other book out before the end of 2016–we’ll see! Within the next year, you can expect to see all three Love on the Vine novels, as well as the next two books in The Untouchables. After that, I have a couple of projects (one historical and one contemporary) that I’m percolating. I may also do another book in The Untouchables. There’s at least one other story in that world that I’d like to tell beyond the three wallflowers readers met in THE FORBIDDEN DUKE.

Another Untouchable story beyond the first four? Awesome! Looking forward to the contemporaries too 🙂

 

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

An intrepid wallflower gets unsolicited help from a dashing earl & sparks fly! Falling in love may be their greatest adventure…

Perfect! Thanks so much, Darcy!

Darcy Burke is the USA Today bestselling author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily-ever-after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations.

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids-who each seem to have inherited the writing gene in some form-and two Bengal cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. Her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge.

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THE DUKE OF DARING
The Untouchables #2
Darcy Burke
Releasing July 5th, 2016
Miss Lucinda Parnell is out of money. A dismal failure at the Marriage Mart, she’d just as soon leave Society far behind. Desperate to earn funds to retire with her grandmother to the country, Lucy disguises herself as a man to gamble in London’s hells. But the Earl of Dartford, an Untouchable she never imagined speaking to let alone spending time with, is onto her in a trice. When he insists on acting as her protector, Lucy fears her chance to remain an independent woman is destined to go up in flames.
After losing his entire family, Andrew Wentworth, Earl of Dartford built a wall to keep attachments at bay. He believed he could keep Miss Parnell safe without compromising his defenses, but she’s exciting and irresistible. Their deepening relationship makes him even more determined to push her away. Nothing will stop him from trying to avoid reliving the anguish of loss. Love is the one risk he
doesn’t have the heart to dare.
 
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Excerpt-Banner

He led Miss Parnell toward the dance floor. “Why didn’t you want to dance with me?”

“Don’t take it personally. I don’t like to dance with anyone.”

He glanced down at her. “Not a very good dancer?”

She sucked in a breath and then laughed. He liked that sound. Almost as much as he liked watching her animated face. “I’m an excellent dancer.”

He arched a brow at her. “I’ll be the judge of that.”

She rolled her eyes. “I suppose you’re superior on the dance floor. You don’t seem to have any deficiencies.”

He grinned, enormously pleased with her observation. “I’m so glad you noticed.”

The set finished, and the music started for the next dance. A waltz. Andrew couldn’t believe his good luck.

Miss Parnell’s nostrils flared. It was a slight reaction, but Andrew caught it.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

“I haven’t waltzed very much. I wasn’t paying attention to the sets, otherwise I would’ve told you I couldn’t dance this one.”

He lightly clasped her waist and took her hand. “I thought you said you were an excellent dancer.”

She scowled at him as she curled her fingers around his and placed her hand on his shoulder. “You are most ungracious.”

He laughed again, enjoying her immensely. “Come now, surely if you can shoot a gun with deadly accuracy, you can’t let a waltz defeat you?”

She squared her shoulders, which drew his attention to her chest. Though she wasn’t well-endowed, she was nicely formed for her frame, and the bodice of her raspberry silk ball gown fit her to perfection.

“No, I shan’t. I’m invincible, don’t you know?” She gave him a saucy look, and he was completely enchanted.

They moved with the music, and he was glad he remembered how to waltz. “I have a confession to make. My waltzing experience is rather limited as well.”

“Charlatan.”

He laughed again. “That’s ironic coming from you.”

She lifted a shoulder. “One might say I’m uniquely qualified to recognize deception.”

Review-Banner

 Definitely my favorite of the series–so far!

I adored Lucy and Andrew 🙂

She’s determined to be independent, to make up for the dire straits that her wastrel father (and grandfather, apparently) have left her and her grandmother in and refuses to take any nonsense from anyone. She’s going to do what she needs to do, and that’s that, gosh darn it.

He’s been nicknamed “the Duke of Daring” (even though he’s just an earl; obviously they know the power of a quality piece of alliteration) by Lucy and her friends, because he seems bound and determined to fulfill every possible dare out there–from diving naked into the Thames to parachuting from a hot air balloon. What Lucy and her cohorts don’t know–yet–is that his daring is hiding a deep hurt, and Andrew is living his life too afraid to let anyone get close to him ever again.

Until he encounters a mysterious “man” in a London gambling hell who he just can’t help but taking under his wing. At first he’s just going to keep Lucy safe, and assist her toward reaching her goal of making enough blunt to afford a small cottage in Bath for her and her grandmother to retire to. He’s not going to get more involved than that, though, because relationships are something he just doesn’t do–not anymore. Except there’s something about Lucy that draws him in…

I loved that Andrew was only bossy when he really needed to be, when it was absolutely necessary to keep Lucy and/or her secret safe. He was completely willing to let her do all kinds of things that women “just didn’t do”–besides gambling, he let her ride along on a curricle race, supplied the pistol for her to compete in a shooting exhibition, and even contemplated taking her on his balloon ride. Maybe his attitude wasn’t 100% authentic for the time period, but it certainly endeared him to this reader! Surely there were some women who wanted more than society offered, and some men who were willing to help them get it?

If not, oh well–that’s why we call it historical fiction. It still makes for some darn good reading.

Lucy does her part for him as well, not only by distracting him from his grief with all of the work involved in keeping her safe, but also by drawing him closer to all those people he’d been trying to keep his distance from for so many years. I loved, loved, loved what these two were able to do for each other. So many feels!

The Duke of Daring worked just fine as a standalone, though it’s the second in the series. It takes place about five years after the first book ( The Forbidden Duke ) and though Nora (and Titus) play a small part in this one, it’s not necessary to have read their story to enjoy this one. (But do yourself a favor and read it anyway, because Nora and Titus.) We get some hints about the other two wallflowers’ (AKA “Untouchables”) upcoming stories in this one–I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Ivy (who obviously is going to fall for the “Duke of Debauchery”–perfect!) and Aquilla. Plus, I hear there may be a fifth book in the works as well–whooo hoooooo!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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New Release Box Set and Giveaway! THE HERO LEAST LIKELY (7 Authors, 7 Heroes!)

7 Heroes you least expect….7 Heroes you’ll never forget.

SCOUNDREL EVER AFTER by Darcy Burke
When wallflower Audrey Cheswick runs away with England’s most wanted criminal, she learns adventure comes with a price—not just her reputation or her virtue, but her heart. If Ethan Jagger can escape the hangman’s noose and start anew, will she consent to love a scoundrel ever after?

FOREVER BETROTHED, NEVER THE BRIDE ~ Christi Caldwell
War-torn veteran, Lord Drake devotes himself to forgetting his days on the Peninsula through an endless round of meaningless associations. He no longer wants to feel anything, but Lady Emmaline is making it hard to maintain a state of numbness. With her zest for life, she awakens his passion and desire for love.

DESIRES OF A BARON ~ Rose Gordon
Giles Goddard, Lord Norcourt is odd. Odder still, he has suddenly taken a fancy to his brother’s love interest, the fallen Lucy Whitaker. Lucy was once thrown over by a lord and she has little desire to let it happen again, but she’s about to learn that his desires just might be enough for the both of them.

ATHENA’S ORDEAL ~ Sue London
Quincy Telford, Duke of Beloin, has hated Viscount Bittlesworth as long as he can remember. Now the man’s daughter is constantly in his path. Can he escape her temptation and avoid peril in the increasingly dangerous game of cat and mouse he is playing with his blackmailer?

THE EARL’S SCANDALOUS WIFE ~ Ruth Ann Nordin
Season after Season of not being able to secure a wife, Lord Clement’s life changes for the better when a beautiful stranger kisses him. Now he has a wife who has it all: beauty, passion, and excitement. But it’s not over. Thanks to her tainted past, her newfound love with Perry is threatened when her brother comes back into her life. Can she protect Perry from finding out the truth or will her brother get the upper hand?

THE MAJOR’S FAUX FIANCEE ~ Erica Ridley
When Major Bartholomew Blackpool learns the girl-next-door from his childhood will be forced into an unwanted marriage, he returns home to play her pretend beau. He figures now that he’s missing a leg, a faux fiancée is the best an ex-soldier can get. He admires her pluck, but the lady deserves a whole man–and he’ll ensure she gets one.

CORINNA ~ Lauren & Devon Royal
What’s a colorblind Irishman to do when he’s blackmailed into impersonating a renowned landscape artist, lying to all of London society, and risking the TON’s collective wrath if he’s found out? Why, fall for the lovely and unattainable marquess’s daughter next door, of course. But his fetching neighbor is no simpleton and an artist in her own right. When she realizes his ruse, will she expose his misdeeds…or find herself drawn into the hoax?

 

Meet the Authors:

DARCY BURKE is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats.

Connect with Darcy: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

USA TODAY Bestselling author CHRISTI CALDWELL blames Judith McNaught’s “Whitney, My Love!” for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and pick up her laptop to try her hand at romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections, and she rather enjoys torturing them before crafting them a well deserved happily ever after!
Christi makes her home in southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing her own enchanting historical romances, chasing around her feisty seven-year-old son and caring for her twin princesses in training!

Connect with Christi: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

ROSE GORDON is the USA Today Bestselling and Award Winning Author of more than a dozen unusually unusual historical romances that have been known to include scarred heroes, feisty heroines, marriage-producing scandals, far too much scheming, naughty literature and always a sweet happily-ever-after.
When not escaping to another world via reading or writing a book, she spends her time chasing two young boys around the house, being hunted by wild animals, or sitting on the swing in the backyard where she has to use her arms as shields to deflect projectiles AKA: balls, water balloons, sticks, pinecones, and anything else one of them picks up to hurl at his brother who just happens to be hiding behind her.

Connect with Rose: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Best selling author SUE LONDON created the beloved Regency romance series The Haberdashers. If you like your historical romance with a little action, a little humor, and a lot of strong-minded women, then this is the series for you!
Sue London began writing short stories about horses and teen sleuths when she was seven years old. After that she traveled to distant worlds, fought with swords and sorcerers, and played with a few undead things. As you might have expected, this means she went into accountancy. Well, maybe that was an odd plot twist, but that’s the difference between real life and fiction – fiction has to make sense.
In her twenties she developed a deep affection for romance, especially enjoying the work of Nora Roberts, Mary Balogh and, most recently, Lauren Royal, Rose Gordon, Danelle Harmon, and Diane Farr. You can thank those authors for leading a sci-fi tomboy into writing historical romances set in the Regency period.

Connect with Sue: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

RUTH ANN NORDIN is a stay-at-home mom of four school-aged boys and the proud wife of a veteran of the US Air Force. She lives in Montana where she is blessed to spend her days creating new worlds with her characters. To date, she’s written over fifty romances and has plans to write many more in the years to come.

Connect with Ruth Ann: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

ERICA RIDLEY learned to read when she was three, which was about the same time she decided to be a writer when she grew up.
Now, Erica is a New York Times best-selling author of historical romance novels. Her latest series, The Dukes of War, features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.
When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.

Connect with Erica: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

LAUREN ROYAL decided to become a writer in the third grade, after winning a “Why My Mother is the Greatest” essay contest. Now she’s a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of humorous historical romance novels. Lauren lives in Southern California with her family and their constantly shedding cat. She still thinks her mother is the greatest.

Connect with Lauren: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

DEVON ROYAL is the daughter of romance novelist Lauren Royal. After attending film school, she wrote an award-winning TV comedy pilot and spent several years working in digital video production before turning her focus to fiction writing. Devon lives in Southern California with her fiancé. She also thinks her mother is the greatest.

Connect with Lauren: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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Series Spotlight and Giveaway! LEAGUE OF ROGUES series by Darcy Burke

Meet Darcy:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

Darcy Burke, Author of YOU’RE STILL THE ONE (Ribbon Ridge #6), Talks About Emotional Writing (with a giveaway!)

Don’t miss my review of YOU’RE STILL THE ONE here!

Emotional Writing

You’ll have to pardon me in advance because this has turned out to be a rather personal post! Thanks for letting me share it with you.

For those of you that have read the Ribbon Ridge series, you know that along with some funny scenes and, of course, romance, there’s a healthy dose of emotion, too. When I first thought of this series, I knew that one of the sextuplets would die. That he committed suicide came a bit later in the plotting (and you can thank my friend Elisabeth Naughton for that, lol). Writing a romance series about a family struggling to deal with the after-effects of the death of a loved one was tricky. It was sometimes hard to balance that giddy sensation of falling in love with the weight of their brother’s death. I think this was never more true than in book three, WHEN LOVE HAPPENS. The heroine of that book, Tori Archer, was so broken up that she just had a hard time feeling anything—like she was numb. I related to that so much. Sometimes we just have to power through the day, and in my case, sometimes I just had to power through writing these emotional scenes!

True confession: I’m a crier. I wasn’t always, and it’s not just when I’m sad. Live music typically makes me tear up if not outright cry (which can be ultra embarrassing!). Unsurprisingly, sappy commercials can trigger tears. But for me, just a happy hug from my children can make my eyes leak with joy. It’s not something I’m proud of, lol. Conversely, as I’m writing, I don’t cry often. I might tear up during an especially emotional scene near the end—usually on a read-through—but generally speaking, I keep myself together. This book (YOU’RE STILL THE ONE), however, really got to me. And there are a lot of reasons for that.

First, it’s the last book in the Archer family saga. I’ve come to love these characters a great deal and I truly enjoy writing them (never fear—there will be more Ribbon Ridge books and they will make appearances!). Still, I’m sure there was a natural sadness to be finishing this particular story regarding Alex Archer, who passed away at the start of book one. Complicating matters was a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer for a very close friend of mine. We’ve been friends for a decade—volunteering together, mothering together, being there for each other in times of great joy and laughter and moments of deep struggle. I had a difficult time translating my wild emotions during this time onto the page. I think I finally found what I was searching for when I wrote one of the scenes toward the end. When you read it, know that I wrote every word with my friend Dominique in mind. She’s already gone, but her impact on my life and on this world will be forever felt.

I (and Dominique—it was one of the many things we bonded over) used to act in high school and college. Tapping into your life experiences to find the emotion for a scene is just something you learn to do and hone. It’s very much the same for writing. Good and bad, I reach into my emotional stockpile, if you will, and hopefully find the right tone for a scene or a character. Sometimes it’s draining and other times (more often that not actually), it’s exhilarating. I’ve adored writing the Archers and am grateful for the new well of emotions they’ve given me. Thank you for coming along on the ride. I hope you’ve enjoyed it!

 

Darcy Burke is the USA Today bestselling author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily-ever-after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations.
A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids-who each seem to have inherited the writing gene in some form-and two Bengal cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. Her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge.

 

YOU’RE STILL THE ONE
Ribbon Ridge #6
Darcy Burke
Releasing on April 5th, 2016.
Avon Impulse
USA Today bestseller Darcy Burke concludes her Archer family saga with a second chance at first love…
 
Everyone thought college sweethearts Bex Holmgren and Hayden Archer were headed for the altar… until a tragic accident sent young Bex running from a future she wasn’t ready to claim. But when she’s offered her dream job at Archer Brewing, Bex can’t pass up the chance to reconnect with the big, crazy family that once welcomed her with open arms—and the one man she’s never stopped loving.
When he returns home after a year in France, Hayden is less than thrilled to find his ex-girlfriend working for his family’s company. He’s finally moved on, and being around her rekindles long-buried feelings he’d rather ignore. But Bex isn’t the same girl he knew—she’s more mature, more beautiful, more tempting than ever—and he can’t resist the pull of the intense passion he’s only ever shared with her.
Have five years changed them enough, or are they doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past? The only thing Bex knows for sure is that for her, Hayden is still the one.


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