“Darcy Burke is synonymous with passionate, emotional romance. Her heroines are intelligent and strong, and her unforgettable heroes melt my heart. Darcy never fails to deliver hot, keeper-shelf historical romance.” – Erica Ridley, New York Times Bestselling Author
The Duke of Lies, an all-new historical standalone from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke, is coming May 29th!
Verity Beaumont has suffered domineering men most of her life, first with her father and then with her husband. Free from both men, she has finally found peace. Even meeting a kind and hard-working gentleman who just might be the perfect father her young son so desperately needs. But as she dares look to the future, her carefully ordered world is shattered when her dead husband returns.
Imprisoned in America during the war, Rufus Beaumont, Duke of Blackburn, wants nothing more than to return to his native England. He longs for comfort and safety away from the horrors of battle, only the life he returns to is not the life he left. He must convince his wife that their marriage is worth fighting for, that he’s not the man he was. But when the truth about what happened to him leaks out, he must prove that not everything about him, especially his love for her, is a lie.
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The day was warm and bright, and she was looking forward to being outside. The door she’d come through suddenly burst open. Beau dashed out, his laughter immediately filling the courtyard.
He was quickly followed by Rufus, who chased him along the edge of the garden to the center path. Beau didn’t slow as he rounded the corner, and his feet slipped on the cobblestones. He fell down, landing on his side.
Verity dropped the blanket and ran toward him, but Rufus beat her by quite a bit. It was then that she realized he hadn’t been using his top speed to chase the boy. She’d seen that when he’d caught Racer that day at Mr. Maynard’s farm.
Rufus picked Beau up and set him on his feet and squatted down in front of him.“All right?”
Verity had expected Beau to cry, and his face had gone slightly pale. She lowered herself next to Rufus.“Did that scare you?” she asked, stroking Beau’s arm from shoulder to elbow and back again.
Beau nodded. Then a moment later, he ran to the top of the stairs leading to the courtyard.“Come on, Papa, catch me!”
Rufus stood and offered his hand to Verity to help her rise. She wasn’t wearing gloves, and neither was he. It was the first time their flesh had touched, and it was like grabbing lightning. Or how she imagined it to be—electrifying and hot, and it left a lasting impression.
“Please don’t chase him down the stairs. He already fell once.” She turned to Beau and called,“Please be careful.”
“I am being careful, Mama. And don’t worry about the stairs. I ran down them to the kitchen passage and didn’t fall.”
She looked over at Rufus.“Is that right?”
His gaze drifted to the side, and he hesitated a moment.“Er, yes. We were playing knights and villains.”
“Which one were you?”
“It was my turn to be the knight.”
Verity frowned and shifted a glance toward Beau.“I don’t like thinking of my boy as a villain.”
“It’s pretend,” Rufus said.“But if it makes you feel better, he only chooses to be the villain because he likes to be chased.”
“Can’t the villain chase the knight?”
His mouth tipped into a crooked smile, and her stomach did a flip. It was as if lightning had struck again.“It’s pretend. We can do whatever we like.” He looked back toward the basket and the blanket on the ground.“I’ll get the things for the picnic.” He turned and started along the path.
“I can grab the blanket,” she offered.
He waved a hand.“I’ve got it.”
Verity went to Beau instead. She took his hand, and they descended into the courtyard, then veered right toward the gateway to the stable yard.“Perhaps I should play knights and villains.” She wondered why they hadn’t done that before and felt bad. It was a stark reminder of how much he’d missed not having a father.
“But you’re a girl.” Beau sounded scandalized.
Rufus met them as they approached the gate.“Whats wrong with your mother being a girl?”
“She wants to play knights and villains.” He made a face that clearly showed what he thought of that idea.
Verity was caught between laughter and disappointment.
“It would be better if she joined us,” Rufus said, drawing Beau’s sharp attention.“A knight needs a fair maiden to rescue.”
“Then I am definitely going to be the villain. I don’t wanna rescue a girl.” He frowned, then sent his mother an apologetic glance. “Except I do want to save you, Mama.”
Verity surrendered to the laughter. “Thank you.”
“But Papa should be the one to save you. That’s what dukes do, right?”
“That’s what husbands do,” Rufus corrected,“whether they are a duke or not.”
Lies! Lies! Lies! There are enough lies to build a ladder to the moon. It seems everyone, except our lovely heroine, Verity, and her delightful son, Beau, are filled with lies, betrayals, and secrets. Can you build a life together when the relationship is filled with lies and deceit? Well – You’ll just have to read this finely crafted book to find your answer. This is a marvelously written roller-coaster ride of a book filled with more twists and turns than a Smoky Mountain highway. Just when you think you have one thing figure out – you discover yet another unexpected twist and turn.
Verity Beaumont, Duchess of Blackburn, suffered more in her short time with Rufus Beaumont, Duke of Blackburn, than most people suffer in a lifetime. Then, about three months into their marriage, he just disappeared from the face of the earth. Nobody had any clue what happened to him, where he went or if he’d return. Verity learned she was expecting soon after Rufus disappeared and she lived in fear for herself and her child. After a few years, her fear lessened and she began to relax and build a life for herself and her son.
One lovely afternoon, Verity caught the sound of hoof beats on the drive and looked up to see her worst nightmare. Her husband had returned. How could she protect herself and her son from him? Then he spoke to her in a kind manner. What kind of tricks was he playing on her? He soon told her how he had changed and how he had been kidnapped/conscripted to serve on a ship and how he was a better man. Verity couldn’t believe it – and she certainly didn’t trust him. If he could change from bad to good, then he could also change from good to bad.
You’ll just have to read this tale to see all of the twists for yourself. Also, you should know that you will get a nice visit with Diana and Simon and some of the other Untouchables from the series. Then, there is Beau – you’ll just fall in love with that delightful six-year-old who loves animals and wants to be a good duke someday.
I absolutely loved reading this book, but it is a nightmare to review because you can’t really say much without spoiling things for the reader. Just know that the book is well written, the plot is sensational and you won’t be able to put it down once you start with the first word. I’d say Ms. Burke has outdone herself this time.
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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