Captivating the Scoundrel, an all-new historical standalone in the Legendary Rogues series from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke, is available now!
Daphne Foliot has always known she’ll be married off to a man who, like her, descended from one of King Arthur’s fabled knights. That doesn’t mean she wants to be, even if it is her beloved father’s wish. Raised without a mother, she owes everything to the man who encouraged and funded her education and supports her dream of becoming the first female member of the Order of the Round Table. But when she suspects her chosen husband is a traitor to the Order, she plans to expose his treachery, regardless of their extraordinary mutual attraction.
Heir to the thirteen treasures of Britain, Gideon Kersey vows to do anything to protect his family’s legacy from a secret society bent on exploiting the items for personal gain, including marry a woman he doesn’t love. Except she ignites a passion he was certain died with his first wife, and when the truth behind the Order’s objectives threatens everything Daphne knows, Gideon must fight to save her—and any future they hope to share.
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Daphne took the opportunity to peruse the bookshelves in case something spectacular leapt out at her—such as the name Anarawd. As if Bowen would keep such a valuable item out in the open or that it would be so clearly labeled.
Instead, what leapt at her was the stoic Earl of Stratton. Well, not leapt, precisely, but he did approach her. “You look as though you’d like to spend the next week in here with Rhys’s books.”
She pivoted toward him. “I would, in fact. I see your interest is similar.” She inclined her head toward the book in his hand. His forefinger was inserted between the pages to keep his place. “What are you reading?”
“Just an old poem.”
“Is that like Cate’s ‘old sword’?” The words fell out of her mouth before she could censor herself. “Pardon me,” she murmured, turning from him and edging away along the bookshelf.
“Are you suggesting this book and Cate’s artifact are more than what we say?”
She shrugged. “I find with antiquarians, you can never be quite certain they speak the truth.” She cast him a cautious look, thinking she should probably stop talking entirely. Better still, she should take her leave before she said something truly regretful.
He surprised her by chuckling. “You are, of course, correct. But this really is just an old poem.” He opened the tome and showed it to her. It was written in Middle English.
“‘Pierce the Ploughman’s Crede,’” she said, recognizing the lines.
“Very good. Tell me, if I pull a random text from the shelf and read a few lines, will you be able to guess what it is?”
That sounded like a terribly fun game. And she wanted to play it—with him. Her heart picked up speed. “Probably.”
“Astonishing,” he whispered.
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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Captivating the Scoundrel by Darcy Burke
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Legendary Rogues, #4
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Gideon Kersey, the Earl of Stratton (for now at least), direct descendant of Sir Gareth and sort of villain in the previous books, has turned over a new leaf, he no longer blindly follows Timothy Foliot, his former mentor and leader of the Camelot Sect with in the “Order”. His sole mission now is to find the 13 treasures and hide them away – from everyone. He goes to see Foliot and gives him Dyrnwyn, the Sword of Rhydderch Hael. He needs a dagger that is in Foliot’s possession to give to his half-brother Penn, so Penn can retrieve the Heart of Llanwllch, another one of the treasures. He promises to give Foliot the Heart to gain his trust. He has a plan, he just needs to find one more item – the Cloak of Morgan, which will render him invisible and enable him to reclaim the sword and the heart. Then he plans to find Sir Gareth’s resting place (which is said to contain the other treasures) and return the cloak, heart and sword to him and protect them from ever being used. Foliot agrees to give him the dagger, but wants more, he wants Gideon to marry his daughter Daphne and orders him to return for his house party.
Daphne Foliot is searching for the Cloak of Morgan to prove that Morgan Le Fay is not the evil witch she is portrayed as in Arthurian lore. She believes Morgan made the cloak and gave it to King Arthur to protect him. She wants to find the cloak before her father’s house party and use it as a bargaining chip to further her research. Currently, she is at the home of Rhys Bowen under an assumed name, hoping to find a clue to the cloak’s whereabouts in his library. Gideon arrives while she is studying a poem, which ends up being a dead end. They chat, she doesn’t understand the odd effect he has on her and Gideon flirts with her (shocking himself). When she leaves shortly after, he wonders who she is and what she is looking for, so he reads the poem she was studying – the cloak! Later Rhys and Penn discuss the ongoing search for the vicar who wants to testify that Penn, not Gideon is the Earl of Stratton and Rhys remembers that he has something for Gideon, a chest left to him by his Grandfather. Is it possible that the cloak is there? They check out the contents, no cloak, but there is a list of items that his mother brought with her to Stratton Hall, he would love to investigate, but cannot afford to upset Foliot by missing his party.
When Daphne arrives at her father’s home, he tells her he has found her a husband, she has no desire to marry, but is willing to at least meet the man. Gideon on the other hand has zero desire to marry, he was married before and the grief of losing Rose almost crushed him, and he will not marry again until he has to – which may be never if Penn is declared the earl. He brings Foliot the heart and is disgusted when Foliot orders him to use the heart to make Daphne fall in love with him. He pretends to do so, but hopes it doesn’t work. Later it seems like Daphne is enamored with him and he is horrified, but then learns she was just trying to make her father happy, they talk and he tells her what her father did, she is shocked and a little hurt, they decide to work together to find the cloak, but to do so, they have to appear to be betrothed. He pretends to leave to obtain a license for them to marry, but in reality goes to visit Lord Septon and his mother. Lord Septon provides him with some valuable information and he doesn’t plan on including Daphne in his quest, but when she shows up at Lord Septon’s and refuses to be put off, he has no choice but to take her along.
What follows is a well written story that is the adventure of a lifetime, complete with a hasty marriage, secret societies, life and death moments, steamy love scenes, secrets, lies, betrayal, heartache, treasure and true love. This is the last book in the series and can be read as a stand-alone, but do yourself a favor and read the books in order (they are all fantastic) so you will really learn about the “Order” and Gideon’s transformation.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me.*