Meet the unforgettable men of London’s most notorious tavern, The Wicked Duke. Seductively handsome, with charm and wit to spare, one night with these rakes and rogues will never be enough…
One Night of Surrender, an all-new standalone in the historical romance series The Wicked Dukes Club from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke, is available now!
After one passionate night a decade ago, Valentine Fairfax, Duke of Eastleigh, never forgot Isabelle, the intelligent, witty and forbidden daughter of a head of college at Oxford. However, since suffering a disastrous marriage to an unfaithful wife, the duke has vowed never to succumb to temptation again. Until the day he discovers his friend’s governess is the one woman who still haunts his dreams.
Once penniless, Isabelle Cortland has finally saved enough money to finance a school for impoverished girls. But when a chance encounter rekindles buried desires, Isabelle knows she can’t be a duke’s mistress anda headmistress at the same time. No longer a naïve girl, Isabelle won’t repeat the past. Not even for one night of surrender…
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She opened the door and sucked in a breath. “Val.”
Garbed in the immaculately tailored suit of clothing he’d worn to dinner, he grinned, and her entire body heated in response. “You do remember my name.”
“You shouldn’t be here.” That was all she managed to get out before he pushed past her and strode into the room.
He frowned as he surveyed the chamber. “This is very small.”
“You act as though you’ve never been up here.”
“Not never, but not in some time.” He straightened and gave her a decisive nod. “I’ll move you downstairs.”
Closer to him. That was a terrible notion. “No, you won’t.”
He took a step toward her, the frown returning. “A governess isn’t a servant.”
“Nor is she a member of the family.” Footsteps on the stairs filled her with alarm. “You need to go. You can’t be in here.”
He rotated his head, presenting his ear toward the door and took another step forward. “Is someone coming?”
“Yes,” she hissed.
“Then I can’t very well leave. I’d walk right by whomever it is.” He sounded utterly unconcerned.
Isabelle closed the door with a firm click. Then she spun around to glare at him. “Are you trying to get me tossed out?”
“I would never toss you out. And no, I’m not trying to have your employment terminated. Though I will say I never imagined I’d see you as a governess.” His gaze dipped over her as if he were assessing what he had seen her as—and she didn’t want to know.
Too aware of his lingering attention and the fact that she wore only a night rail covered with a rather thin dressing gown, she crossed her arms across her chest and gave him a cool stare. “You need to go.”
“And I shall. Soon. After we…talk.” He looked around the room once more, and his gaze settled on the diminutive chair situated in the corner next to her miniscule nightstand.
“We have nothing to talk about,” Isabelle said.
He moved to the chair and sat down. “Come now, after a decade, there is plenty to discuss. I could sit here with you all night.”
All night. They’d done that once. But they hadn’t been sitting. Or talking. Well, there had been some talking. And some sitting…of sorts. She blushed at the memory.
He gave her a sly look. “What are you thinking about?”
Finally! We find out why Val is so moody! (Ok, it’s only been 1 book and 2 weeks of waiting, but still… ;))
One Night of Surrender is a relatively low angst second chance romance. Val and Isabelle knew each other ten years earlier and had a great deal of flirting then and one night of passion. Fast forward to the present and they’ve each had a disastrous marriage and are widowed; he’s a duke but she’s a rather unconventional governess with dreams of opening her own school. They’re thrown together when Val opens his home to the family that Isabelle happens to work for, and of course the sparks fly almost immediately.
I liked both the main characters and felt they had decent chemistry and were easy to root for. Their conflict was pretty low key and a relatively easy solve, though–not a ton of drama here. Still, this was a quick, entertaining read that has me looking forward to future series books. (I can’t wait for Viola’s book–loved her!) If you haven’t read the first book in the series yet ( One Night for Seduction ) you should still do fine here, but do yourself a favor and read them all–they’re a great group of characters, and fairly short reads.
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
About the author:
Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, emotional historical and 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. Join her reader club at http://www.darcyburke.com/readerclub. 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, two Bengal cats and a third cat named after a fruit.
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