Meet the Author:
Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. 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, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.
About the Book:
Difficult and defiant as a child, Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton left England as a young man to pursue independence and adventure. He never expected to inherit the title and when duty calls him home, he still finds Society’s codes constricting and others’ expectations oppressive. Nevertheless, he needs a wife to be a mother to his young daughter, preferably a woman of intelligence and warmth who is, above all, immune to his idiosyncrasies—and to falling in love.
Widow Joanna Shaw isn’t interested in a second marriage, not after the loveless, passionless union she endured. She’d much rather dote on her young niece and nephew since they will likely be the only children in her life…until she meets a precocious girl, in desperate need of a mother. But her father, the so-called Duke of Defiance, is as peculiar as he is handsome, and Jo won’t take another risk with her heart. Their rules, however, are made to be broken, even when the consequences could destroy them both.
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The Duke of Defiance
by Darcy Burke
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Release Date: 06/27/17
Series: The Untouchables, Book 6
This is the story of Joanna Shaw (sister of Nora aka the Forbidden Duchess) and Bran Crowther, the Earl of Knighton aka the Duke of Defiance.
Bran has lived the last 15 years in Barbados, ever since he left England and never looked back. As the third son of an earl, he never expected to inherit and had no desire to. He never really fit into his family and was dubbed defiant by his mother. He was happy in Barbados, he married, had a daughter, became widowed, made a fortune and never planned to return to England.
Joanna Shaw is now living with her sister Nora, Duchess of Kendal. She is widowed too, but her marriage was far different than Bran’s. Jo married her husband after Nora was ruined, he husband was very unkind and it only got worse over the years when it became obvious that Jo was barren. Now that he is dead, Jo is not sure what to do with her life. She meets Bran when he comes to the house to pick up his daughter Evie. He asks Nora for help choosing a nurse for Evie and she agrees to assist him. But when the day comes for the interviews, she is unable to make it and sends Jo in her place.
Bran is a very unusual man, I suspect that he suffers (and always has) from an Anxiety disorder, he can’t stand crowds, hates wearing clothes, is particular about what he eats and needs massages to control his anxiety. Jo is fascinated by him, he is unlike any man she has ever known. They form a friendship of sorts and when they meet again at a ball, they share a dance and a kiss. Bran has feelings for Jo that he never had for his late wife and he feels comfortable with her. After their kiss, he impulsively proposes. Jo is shocked by her reaction to Bran, but knowing she is barren, she declines his proposal.
Days later, Bran is in need of help again and seeks out Joanna. This time he asks her to be Evie’s governess. Jo tells him she will consider it, but when he returns with Evie, she agrees.
Jo really is the perfect woman for Bran, and as much as she loves Evie and is coming to love Bran, she cannot marry him because he needs an heir and she cannot give him one. When Bran approaches Jo about their attraction, she finally tells him the whole truth of her marriage. Bran is outraged on her behalf and asks her to consider an affair with him. Jo is skeptical, but she does embark on a very heated affair with him and has hope for the first time in years that she may actually be able to conceive.
When her hopes are dashed, she ends their affair, knowing that he will have to marry and she can’t bear to watch that happen. As usual, Bran does not handle the news correctly and lets Jo go.
This was an interesting tale, it touched on several painful issues, anxiety disorders and infertility. I could feel Joanna’s pain and anger and Bran’s anxiety was palpable. I applaud Ms. Burke for her handling and portrayal of these very delicate subjects. The writing was spot on, the story flowed well, there were some amusing moments, great secondary characters, very steamy love scenes and a very sweet ending.
While this book is part of the Untouchables series, it could easily be read as a stand alone title. I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to the next “Untouchable”!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC provided to me by the author for the purpose of review*