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I enjoyed these books, each being quite different from the other although I would have to say that the first was, perhaps, a little bit weak. I will, however make allowances for that as it did a good job of introducing us to the characters who appeared in leading roles in the following stories. In the second book, I found I really liked Andrew because of the way he took such care of Lucinda, despite the fact that he went along with her rather daft schemes. Yet as the tale unfolded it became clear that his daring attitude hid a much more complicated personality. Again, the hero of the third book was a deeply caring man. Ned is determined to find the perfect woman to marry, as he has not only himself to think of. He has courted so many women whilst looking for her that his reputation is that he is deceitful to lead them on and then drop them just to move to the next. He sets his sights on Aquilla, and she, seemingly, is quite deceitful herself. This book tackles both mental health issues and domestic abuse without being dark and depressing and is my favourite of the three. I look forward to the rest in this series.
These books have flaws, but I enjoyed reading them.
Forbidden Duke. 4 stars. I enjoyed the story, but I thought it was too much of a coincidence that a ruined woman from the country with no connections found the perfect position as a companion as soon as she tried. Her new employer in London is not only kind and generous (almost immediately offering to sponsor a season for her) but also the stepmother of one of the most eligible bachelors in the ton.
Duke of Daring. 3 stars. I normally don't buy books with a woman-pretending-to-be-a-man theme, whether it's as a duelist, highwayman, knight, or gambler. I prefer women who are strong as women. That's just me; besides, that pretense usually lasts only until the heroine meets the hero and if I like the author I'll try it. But Lucy pretends to be a man throughout this book even though the hero sees she's a woman immediately. (Funny--no one else ever does.) The gender bending gets creepy for me when the heroine thinks a couple of times "I wish I'd been born a man" (which would be fine in a book about a transgender man, but that's not what this is). It's even creepier when the hero makes love to her while she's wearing her fake beard. Ew. Again, OK for those who like that, but it's not what I expected and not what I would normally to choose to read.
Side comment: Heroes in historical novels featuring women dressing as men always think the heroines look hot in their pants. Is that an effort to make contemporary women think they would be sexy to historical heroes in what they're wearing while reading the book?
Duke of Deception. 5 stars. I found this really interesting. We learn Sutton's secret early--he has a mentally ill brother. I don't know enough about mental illness to know how accurately it's portrayed, but it seems plausible and sympathetic. We gradually learn the heroine's secret and reason for fearing marriage--an abusive father.
All three books have extensive sex scenes, most of which I skimmed through.
You will have to suspend your belief on many things in story in how they played out. This was at least 4 stars for me until the h does something I felt was out of character.
She is ruined 9 years previously because she was caught in a kiss with a man she thought would marry her. Which was normal for this time period. Thank goodness I didn't live in this time period! The h says several times she wouldn't be caught in that position again. Well, she ends up initiating the kiss several times and more. WHAT!!!! So much for learning from your mistakes!
I did enjoy the stepmother and her caring attitude. I thought the the h found a job too easily though. It would have been more plausible if the stepmother knew how her stepson was responsible for the h 9 years ago. That would have made more sense in her hiring her.
There is one steamy scene outside of marriage, heat level 4.5 out of 5. I also, wanted more drama when the h learns the part the H had in her being ruined.
No cheating, no cliffhanger, HEA, steam and little on romance.
2. THE DUKE OF DARING - 3.50 STARS
I did enjoy this story, but it would work better if shorter and not repetitive. Seems like when the h was Smitty, it was the same story but in a different setting. Plus, the anguish of the H was over done.
There is a friend/villain and I couldn't get over that he confessed so soon. Was like it was an afterthought to put it into the story.
I did feel a connection to the H/h and when they make love (outside of marriage), it was sensual and filled with passion. Heat level 4.5 out of 5.
I enjoyed the h's friends and can't wait to read their stories. No cheating, no cliffhanger, HEA, some romance and steam.
3. THE DUKE OF DECEPTION - 4.25 STARS
I felt more of a connection to this couple than I did with books 1 and 2. Even though I can't stand stories with secrets, this one I understood and agreed why the H kept his. His family was very important and he wanted what was best for them. The h had her own secrets, and as it is today verbal and physical abuse are hidden. People are reluctant to admit what is going on behind closed doors.
There is lovemaking, within marriage described several times - heat level 4.5 out of 5. I felt the passion and love with this couple so it wasn't vulgar. Described several times.
No cheating, no cliffhanger, HEA, romance and spice. Some parts are heart breaking and some heart warming. I recommend this story. (ljb)
THE FORBIDDEN DUKE - I loved Titus St. John, The Duke of Kendal also know as The Forbidden Duke who lives a secluded/private life. He has redeemed his youthful, rakish ways for the last 9 years after he helped ruin a young lady her London Season & caused disappointment to his father. He now only attends his stepmother's ball once a year & dances the first dance with a young lady needing a boost in society. When he meets his stepmother's new companion, Miss Eleanor Lockhart, he recognizes who she is & also, starts having feelings he never had before. Will she remember him, before he became a Duke? Will the secret he is keeping ruin his chances with Eleanor?
This is a great book about the Regency Ton & its rules & also, the misguided, careless youth & their second chance to right a wrong & fall in love. I highly recommend this book & all the books in this series - you won't be disappointed!
THE DUKE OF DARING - Lucinda Parnell is being overcome by poverty & she risks everything by dressing as a man & gambles for money. She is an independent lady that will be ruined if anyone in the Ton discovers what she is doing but it is her last hope. However; Andrew Wentworth, Earl of Danforth or as society calls him "The Duke of Daring" has been watching her. He easily discovers her disguise & chooses to assist her in her endeavor to win some money. She does not want or need his help & insists on doing it the way she has planned but refuses her wishes. Both of them have experienced a broken heart & neither want to let their guard down but the attraction can only be denied for so long. I wanted both of them to experience real happiness & I am so happy they found theirs.
I highly recommend this book - the characters are wonderful & the story will keep you turning pages.
THE DUKE OF DECEPTION - Miss Aquilla Knox wants nothing more than to live independently & she has her reasons for never wanting to marry. This is her fifth season in the Ton's marriage mart & she has vowed it will be her last. Because she doesn't have any desire to find a husband, she has plans to find employment as a lady's companion.
Edward Bishop, Earl of Sutton, nicknamed Duke of Deception by Aquilla & her friends has earned his name because of the many ladies is has led on. He needs to find a wife & due to his family circumstances, not just any lady would measure up for his requirements of a bride. Aquilla and he accidentally encounter each other & he is intrigued by her & she is convinced he is just looking for another bridal applicant.
I highly recommend this humorous journey with a couple trying to navigate the social demands & how to be honest about their feelings.
I truly enjoy reading Books by Darcy Burke. These 3 books of The Untouchables was entertaining. "The Forbidden Duke" Tituss & Eleanor Story is Wonderful & Adorable. Their Journey was so Sweet. "The Duke of Daring" Lucinda & Andrew was Adorable. I Love how Lucinda dresses up as a Man & had the courage to not only go into a Gaming Hell but won. I enjoyed how Andrew got involved even though he didn't let anyone stay close to him until Lucinda in his life.
"The Duke of Deception" Edward & Aquilla's Story was Absolutely Wonderful. Their Story was blissful. I Love how Edward chose Aquilla. No one knew why he was interested in a Woman & then became uninterested & not offer for the Lady's hand in marriage. When we find out his secrets are we find out that Aquilla's Father has sprung a marriage to a Disgusting man who is doing whatever he can to secure her into marriage with him at any & all counts.
Sensuality, romances with deep emotional need reaches out like tentacles to bind each of 3 separate Lords to 3 young ladies who have definitely seen many years since their 1st season. In this excellent example of the Historical Regency Era stories that have some common characters that wonderfully link some the need to have a small group of intimates as to be a family, shows Ton entertainment of both men & women and goes into spousal abuse. Furthermore, Darcy Burke with amazing understanding & empathy also has one of the Earl's dealing secretly with mental illness at that time, a very serious case. Surely you are downloading this while finishing reading reviews! Recommend