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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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