The Duke of Ice and the Duke of Ruin are untouchables. Simon (Duke of Ruin) requests his friend to a house party. At the party the Duke of Ice is once again face to face with a woman he loved 8 years ago. I loved this book! It is a slow burn romance, well developed plot featuring house party, loyal friends, interference of gossips, tragic backstories, matchmaking and a HEA. The story is well paced, readable and enjoyable!
Nicholas Bateman never wants to marry again, not when he seems to lose those he loves. But when he comes face-to-face with his first love -- the woman that ended up marrying a viscount instead -- Nicholas decides that his self-imposed solitude can't go on. Will he give Lady Violet Pendleton another chance, or will they lose their second chance at forever after because of Nicholas's fear of losing those he loves?
I am a huge fan of Ms. Burke's contemporary romances, but this is the first of her Historical romances that I have read, and I've got to say that this story was absolutely enthralling, fast-paced and was a total page turner because of the hero and the reason for him being known as The Duke of Ice. Really, he comes off as cold and aloof in the beginning, but definitely thaws throughout this story, as he interacts with Violet and the secondary characters. The way this story started drew me in immediately, as I loved Nick's good friend Simon; a man that has been through so much, and yet, still wants to find happiness again despite the way people talk about him. However, it was from the moment the hero and heroine come face-to-face for the first time that this story became very interesting, as Violet is determined to make things right between them, but Nicholas isn't about to make things easy for her. How long will it take for the hero to warm up to the heroine?
As for the dialogue, it was well-written, compelling and intense due to the main characters back stories, especially that of the hero as everything that's happened in his life has made him a man that no longer forms emotional attachments. However, in saying that, I loved the tight friendship he shares with Simon, the Duke of Romsey; and that Simon can manage to coax Nicholas out of his self-imposed solitude. Moreover, the hero has been through so much in his life and I could understand why he's The Duke of Ice because losing loved ones is hard to handle and sometimes it's easier to be alone. Yet, I liked how the hero goes from The Duke of Ice to seeing that life is worth living again and that second chances are possible, if he's willing to take the risk. Will Nicholas realize that being with Violet is better than being without?
While the heroine, she's been through a lot too, and I could understand why her relationship with her parents is so strained after what they did that saw her marry a horrible man. Furthermore, Violet is resilient and courageous in the way she approaches Nicholas and handles everything he throws at her, as he does his best to remain cold and aloof to her persistence to make things right between them. I also liked how kind and caring Violet was and that she would do anything for those she counts as friends, which is proven by what she does for Nicholas's friend Simon; a man that is shunned by society because of what they believe he did to someone he loved.
Overall, Ms. Burke has delivered a superb and worthwhile read in this book where the chemistry between Nicholas and Violet was off-the-charts and had me wondering when things would heat up between them; the romance was wonderful and convincing and had me hoping for the best for this couple; and the ending had me worried for one of the main characters, but had me liking how things worked out between the hero and heroine because no one deserves a chance at forever after more than Nicholas and Violet after everything they've been through. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up perfectly, as miracles do happen and I liked that Nicholas has found happiness after so much loss. I would recommend The Duke of Ice by Darcy Burke, if you enjoy Historical Romance, second chance romances, or books by authors Anna Campbell, Christi Caldwell, Jess Michaels and Eva Devon.
Nicholas Bateman, the Duke of Kilve, is a bit of a drama queen. To be fair, he has lost pretty much everyone he ever cared about, but to be convinced that he, personally, is cursed and the cause of death of everyone who might ever get close to him is, shall we say, a touch self-centred.
Fortunately, Lady Violet Pendleton is absolutely not standing for any of his nonsense. Forced by her parents to marry another man (long before Nick inherited his dukedom) and now widowed, she has no intention of letting a second chance of happiness slip through her fingers.
This is the seventh in Darcy Burke’s Untouchables series, and I haven’t read any of the others. Fortunately, this stands very well as a standalone story, though we are introduced to the main character from the next (the Duke of Ruin) so I think the two might be something of a pair. I really enjoyed Nicholas and Violet’s second-chance romance, even though Nick did occasionally need telling to get his head out from where the sun don’t shine!
Five stars for a lovely second-chance Regency romance.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.
I received this book as an ARC and am very happy to give it my review. I enjoy the way Ms Burke creates her characters. In this series The Untouchables, her men are all hurt and it is interesting the way she brings about their healing. In the Duke of Ice, it is all about second chances and that love, even after hurt and pain can win through. I only gave this book 4 stars because I prefer some mystery but I still found it a very enjoyable to read with those heart wrenching moments that keep you reading to see just how these two lonely people will end up together. I also liked how she has set the setting for her next book The Duke of Ruin which I am very much looking forward