Book Tour & Review: The Forbidden Duke by Darcy Burke

Print Length: 156 pages
Publisher: Darcy Burke (March 15, 2016)
Author: Darcy Burke
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Tour Organized by: Tasty Tours

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own. 

Book Blurb : Spinster Miss Eleanor Lockhart is suddenly homeless and employment is her only option. Ruined after succumbing to a scoundrel’s excessive charm nearly a decade ago, she’s lucky to obtain a position as a paid companion and committed to behaving with the utmost propriety. She definitely shouldn’t be in the arms of a man capable of utterly destroying what little remains of her reputation...

Titus St. John, Duke of Kendal, is known as the Forbidden Duke, a mysterious, intimidating figure who enters Society just once each year at his stepmother’s ball. A decade ago, he was a devil-may-care rake until his idle roguery brought about the ruin of Eleanor Lockhart—and his resulting self-imposed isolation. Now she’s back, and she needs his help. But by “saving” her, he may just ruin her life all over again.

Book Excerpt:
 “We need to take our place,” he said, guiding her to the dance floor, where Lord and Lady Satterfield were already in place at the top of the line that was forming. Kendal positioned Nora to stand beside Lady Satterfield so that they were second in the line. The musicians, set in the far corner of the makeshift ballroom, began to play, and panic seized Nora’s chest. Would she remember the steps? Would she make a fool of herself, or worse, of him?
She felt like an imposter in a scenario she’d mistakenly stumbled into. Surely someone would point her out and tell her she needed to leave. She was a pariah, an outcast. She had no place being here, let alone dancing with a duke.
But it was far too late to run away. The dance had started, and the line traveled the length of the drawing room. This dance would last quite some time, during which Nora would be the center of everyone’s attention and the source of everyone’s gossip. She could hear the exchanges now, imagined them starting up and spreading like a freshly-ignited fire.
Look at who he chose. Who is that Nobody?”
Don’t you remember? She ruined herself nine years ago.”
 “How dreadful.”
Lord and Lady Satterfield started, dancing their way between the lines. They were rather spry, given their age.
Nora nervously looked over at the duke. “Lady Satterfield is an excellent dancer.”
Indeed.” The rich tone of his voice soothed her rioting nerves. “She always insists on calling the first, though it’s the only set she’ll dance.”
Nora nodded. Dancing was typically reserved for the young.
She tried not to stare at her partner, but it was difficult as he was situated directly across from her and she should look at him. Look, yes, but not gape. And he was gape-worthy. His reputation suited him for he seemed forbidden, otherworldly almost. Not in an ethereal way, but in a rustic, rough sort of manner, as if Society couldn’t possibly contain him.
Despite that or perhaps because of it, he wore his costume with ease. However, she suspected he was more comfortable in riding breeches and boots as he galloped his horse across the Lake District—she’d ascertained that was where his seat was located—his powerful thighs hugging the animal’s flanks as they moved as one.
Goodness, where had that astonishing image come from?
And then it was their turn to traverse the line. She prayed she would remember the steps and focused on the music as they moved toward each other.
You look as if you’re headed to the guillotine,” he said just loud enough for her alone to hear.
Do I?” She tried to laugh but was afraid she sounded like a wounded bird. She longed to ask why he’d chosen her and immediately wondered if Lady Satterfield had put him up to it. She decided she didn’t want to know.
It’s just a dance.”
The superbly absurd comment coaxed a genuine smile to her lips and alleviated some of her discomfort. “With the ‘Forbidden Duke’ who only dances once each Season. Yes, you’re quite right to characterize it that way. Thank you for putting me at ease.”
He chuckled, and like his speaking voice, it sparked a tremor that seemed to start in her bones and move outward making her flesh tingle and her chest warm. “Don’t be nervous. And certainly don’t be nervous on my account.” He said the last with a tone so dry, she feared it might curl up and blow away in the breeze.
 “That is easy for you, a duke, to say. I am just a simple girl who’s been away from London a long time.”
I daresay you aren’t ‘just’ anything.”

   The Forbidden Duke is available from AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo or ITunes 


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Let my begin this review by saying that I HATE the way young women were treated during the Regency Era. It's completely unfathomable that men were allowed to do whatever (and whomever) they pleased and no one would bat an eye. However, heaven forbid a woman be caught so much as kissing someone before marriage - and she is not only shunned by society, but considered "ruined" therefore losing any chance at making a good marriage. And just how is that fair? 

But alas, that is exactly what happened to Eleanor during her first season. She trusted someone who in the end - ruined her and left her to suffer the consequences. Now, she finds herself back in London about to take on another season - although admittedly not in the way she first expected. What she thought would be employment as a companion to a charming woman, turned into that woman wanting to right an old wrong - so she sponsors her for a season instead - an act of kindness that leads to unexpected results. 

For the most part I adored these characters. Titus' step-mother (Lady Satterfield) was a truly endearing character - not only because she was willing to give Eleanor a second chance, but also because it seemed she always had the best interest of others at heart. Even when she realized that Eleanor had attracted the attention of her wealthy step-son, she wasn't condescending about it like some other's would have been. It was sweet watching the romance bloom between Eleanor and Titus, even while he struggles to keep secret his part in her ruination years ago and she attracts the attention of several other potential suitors. I do have to say that watching Eleanor transform was probably one of the most refreshing things. She went from someone who allowed the "stain" of what had happened almost a decade ago to define her, to standing up for herself and allowing herself to fall in love. And the way she treated the young debutantes at the end of her story - just makes me want to read more from this author!   

The story flowed smoothly, with just enough romance and outside influences to keep things interesting. And I feel as though it perfectly set up this new series. Overall, I would definitely recommend this novel to those who enjoy sweet regency romances. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.



The author is giving away a Secrets and Scandals series six book bundle. (U.S. Residents can choose print or ebook/INTL ebook only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author:
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 can learn more about this author by visiting her websiteFacebook or Twitter

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  1. Thank you so much for hosting THE FORBIDDEN DUKE!

  2. Thank you for the lovely review and for hosting me today!!