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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Loved it !

    A Secret Surrender by Darcy Burke The Pretenders #1 What would you do to survive? Would you lie, cheat, steal, run cons, do whatever it took to save yourself and someone you cared for as deeply as a sister? Some would and some think they would not and yet…in a situation like that my guess is that a child might do what it took to keep body and soul together. Selina was lucky enough to have a slightly older brother by her side for the early years of her life on the streets and the skills she learned stood her in good stead when she and her friend Beatrix found themselves alone and in need of a way to make a living. We don’t hear much about those years as the book begins when the two women have already made it to London so Beatrix can have a season and make her mark. But will either Selina or Beatrix achieve what they set out to do? What I liked: * Selina: savvy, capable, intelligent, willing, and able to do what it took. She didn’t plan to fall in love with Harry but fall in love she did. * Harry: intelligent, loves to solve puzzles, knows the law, sees in black and white…until he meets Selina and shades of gray appear. He did not plan to fall in love with Selina but fall in love he did. * Beatrix: a woman with sticky fingers but a heart of gold. I really want to see what happens when her story is told in book two. * Rafe: Intriguing brother of Selina that I need to know more about – can’t wait to read his story! * Harry’s family: what a blessing they are and so much fun. I am wondering if perhaps Jeremy, Harry’s twin, might end up married in this series, too. * Maggie: a bit player but one that was key to the story. I hope she and her brother managed a better life. * The way Selina managed to make a life for herself and Beatrix – her strength of will was amazing. * The relationship between Harry and Selina was believable and real and I was hoping they would manage their HEA by the end of the story. What I did not like: * That Rafe and Selina had their future stolen from them – do want to know more about how that happened. * The evil men that were revealed at the end of the book – I was glad they were caught. * Having to say goodbye to the cast of characters knowing it will be awhile before book two is ready to read. Did I enjoy this book? Yes Would I read more in this series? Definitely! Thank you to NetGalley and Darcy Burke Publishing for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars

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  • "I'm just wild about Harry..."

    Wow! Darcy Burke’s A Secret Surrender is a bright, entertaining, first offering in her new series The Untouchables: The Pretenders. She provides two engaging, main characters that I loved. Harry Sheffield is a constable for Bow Street and also the son of an Earl. He has become my latest, new book boyfriend. His protagonist is Selina Blackwell, a woman with an unusual background and upbringing. Selina has a talent for adopting many personas. She has done so to survive. Harry is anxious to prove that Madame Sybila, the fortune teller, is a fraud. And, why is he drawn to Lady Selina Gresham? His regimented life, lived according to rules is upended. There are mysteries and murders to solve. The writing and dialogue flow well in this work with an interesting trope. The secondary characters were great and integral to the plot. I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it. I was gifted an ARC of A Secret Surrender which in no way affects my voluntary review. All opinions stated are my own. Book Rating: 4 ½ stars; Heat rating: 3 ½ - 4 stars.

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  • Great start to a new series!

    A Secret Surrender is the first in Darcy Burke's new series, The Pretenders. In it, we meet Selina. Selina had a very difficult childhood growing up. At the point we meet her in the book, she has almost no one. Her brother is presumed dead, she has no parents to speak of, and she must take care of herself and her "sister" Beatrix. She does so through deception and theft. Harry is a Bow Street runner and son of an earl. He begins to investigate a fortune teller that he believes is taking advantage of his mother and her money. Little does he know that the fortune teller he is investigating is none other than the woman he has recently found himself attracted to - Selina. If you are someone who enjoys a historical romance that takes place outside the ballrooms of Mayfair than this book is definitely for you. I enjoyed that aspect of it. You may also enjoy this book if you are someone who likes when two characters seem truly very wrong for each other and you can't wait to see how they figure it out and get past their differences to come together. This was a tough read for me. I liked Harry and his family. I just mostly felt so bad for him. Selina really is an unlikeable character. Not only is she lying to him and stealing from his friends and family she doesn't really seem to feel ashamed of what she is doing until the very last pages of the book and even then the remorse just didn't come across as very strong. There is a reason for the deception but it just never sat right with me and I couldn't get past how much I just really didn't like her and all her lies. It was just too much. That being said, Burke is a good writer. I like that she is not afraid to try something different than so many other books out there. This one just wasn't my favorite simply due to the story line. I will definitely be back for future books from her. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book. The opinions here are my own.

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  • unexpected couple

    I am voluntarily posting an honest review after reading an advance reader copy of this story. A Secret Surrender, by Darcy Burke, will be available at booksellers on 8-7-2020. This is book 1 in the new Pretenders series. I'd say it's off to a good start. We're given a straight laced Bow Street Runner, Harry Sheffield. He's a guy who is constantly looking for the next thing to catch his interest, keep him from being bored but also to be useful. He went from being a barrister to runner, that's a big cut in pay. He works and keeps to himself. Our heroine is Selina, with lots of identities, so what's her real last name, who is she really. Cons and deception and hustles are how to make money to survive. She needs a safe place to land. They seem like an impossible couple and it starts out that way. Attraction turns into admiration that turns into hot flirting. The next story, A Scandalous Bargain, is out in October 2020. It carries the story on from here with another family member. #DarcyBurke #Netgalley #historicalromance #romance #bowstreetrunners #ThePrentenders

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  • Great Story!

    Harry Sheffield is the younger son of an earl, a former barrister turned Bow Street Runner. He is very good at his job. He is currently investigating a fortune teller who he believes is fleecing his mother and some of her friends. Selina Blackwell, aka Madame Sybilia, aka Lady Gresham, has lived through a horrible childhood on the streets of London. Lucky enough, thanks to her brother, to attend school, she becomes a governess. What should have been a better life becomes another nightmare. Now she is Madame Sybilia, a fortune teller who is making her way by fleecing wealthy ladies. She is also Lady Gresham, a widow bringing her sister out in Society. Harry is having no luck talking to Madame Sybilia, but he meets Lady Gresham on one of his visits. They get along well and even agree to work together to find who started a fire four years ago where they each lost someone they cared about. The chemistry between this two is great. The problem? Selina’s fear and guilt. What will happen when he discovers who she really is? Is there any way they can move beyond her deception and her past? The first story in The Pretenders series is an action-packed, page-turning romantic ride. The characters deal with lies, betrayal, guilt, and pain. There are several surprises, including one real shocker. Harry and Selina are kind, good hearted people. There are definitely some problems, but with Harry’s large family, friends, and even the Spitfire Society to support them, they have a great chance at happily ever after. This is a good one! I recommend it. I received an ARC of this book from the author and publisher via NetGalley. My review is voluntary.

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