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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Another fantastic addition to this series!

    Another fantastic addition to this series! I just love these books. This is the second standalone I've read, and I can't wait to go back and read them all!! In this story, I really enjoyed Jo. I felt she was realistic (for as much as I know about the time period, which isn't a lot, but I really liked her!), and I especially liked how she had a very unfortunate past and she actually told Bran about it. None of this "I'll just have to keep my secret until the end of the book for a big reveal" sort of thing. Bran was awesome! True to his nickname, he did as he pleased. Period. And boy, he did NOT mess around when it came to his daughter. She was his number one priority and it was really endearing to read how he made that principle his life's mission. For as sweet as this book was, HOLY SMOKES was there some hotness in there! Jo and Bran couldn't be together in the public eye, so they had to sneak in their alone time, and boy, was there some steam in those stolen moments! All in all, I love this series and can't wait to read more books by Darcy! (I received a copy of this book in consideration of an honest review)
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    Historical Romance

    What a wonderful way to spend the day! I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in 1817 London with Jo and Bran. This is not the typical historical romance with the silly ingénue and the rake but instead a story of two slightly more mature people embarking on a new phase of life. Both without spouses, one with a young daughter to take care of as he takes on responsibilities of being an Earl, one verbally abused for years by her vicious vicar husband before finding herself widowed and both so in need of a safe place to land. I loved all of the characters, the story, the issues dealt with and the love that grew in spite of expectations otherwise. A delightful book and the first one I have read by this author – it will not be my last. Thank you to the author and NetGalley for the ARC – This is my honest review.
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    Loved it

    'The Duke of Defiance" by Darcy Burke is book Five in "The Untouchables" series. This is the story of Bran and Joanna, "Jo". I have read the other books in this series but feel this can easily be a standalone book. Although Jo's sister story was covered in the first book in this series. Bran left home at an early age to get away from his abusive family. Bran made a life that included a wife and an young daughter. But now he is back with his young daughter after losing his wife and now inheriting a Title. Jo had to marry the first and only man to ask her after her sister caused a scandal that took her options away. Now after the abusive and loveless marriage she has sworn off doing so again. Jo is happy to just be around her sister's children. But when Jo meets little Evie who is Bran's daughter its hard not to fall for her. Ms. Burke has written some really heartfelt subjects and her Romance Books are ones that you just can't put down! "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
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    Fabulous

    The Duke of Defiance is the fifth book in The Untouchables series by Darcy Burke. Although part of a series it can easily be read as a stand alone book. But, if you are anything like me, you will want to read all the others as well after reading this one! Bran Crowther a third son to his parents, was brought up always being made to feel that his life was of little consequence. His brothers bullied him relentlessly, and his parents weren't much better. Eventually he had enough and he just bought passage on the nearest ship at dock not caring where he ended up, anywhere was better than England. He ended up in Barbados where he made his fortune owning a sugar plantation. He married and had a beautiful daughter, and despite losing his wife to the fever, he was content with his life. It was with horror that he is told that his brothers and father have all died and that he has to return to England and take up his place as the new Earl of Knighton. It's the very last thing he wants to do, but it's his duty, so he packs up his home and moves back to England with his young daughter. Joanna Shaw is a widow, her husband, a vicar, treated her abominably, and made her feel useless and a waste of his time when she couldn't fall pregnant over 8 years of marriage. It was no small relief when he died and she could escape to her sister Nora. Nora has 2 children and another on the way. Jo dotes on her niece and nephew and although she feels guilty living with her sister and her husband, feeling like she should be finding a place of her own, she's not too motivated because she loves being with the children. Nora's daughter Becky has made a new friend and they are as thick as thieves. Both little girls are 5 years old, the other little girl being Bran's daughter, Evie. He is so grateful that the girls get on because it is helping Evie settle into life in England. She's been terribly homesick, especially after having to leave her 'nanny' behind. On one occasion when Bran picks Evie up from Nora's, he meets Jo. At first sight he thinks her quite dull, especially as she is wearing drab mourning clothes. But the more he sees her, the more he realises that she is a very beautiful woman, both inside and out. Evie loves her, and for now he accepts that he very much lusts after her. He needs a new nanny, a new governess, and a new mother for Evie. All things point to him asking Jo to be the latter. After a passionate kiss, he does ask her to marry him and is upset when she turns him down. He needs an heir, and she knows she can't provide him with one and she tells him that. Eventually she decides she does need to be part of Evie's life, so she agrees to become her governess. There are some very passionate moments for Bran and Jo, and despite not wanting to, each of them find themselves falling in love. It can't go anywhere, Bran must do his duty, but oh the ecstasy they find in each others arms and beds. It's all so perfect, but Jo knows that one day Bran must find a Duchess, and her heart will be broken. Maybe she needs to cut and run before she has to witness that happening. Losing both him and Evie will be more than she can take. This story was so beautifully written, and it hooked me from page one. I couldn't put the book down and just had to read it in one sitting even though it meant reading into the wee hours of the morning. I loved how both Jo and Bran had such a hard time in their pasts, and how each helped the other overcome the bad memories. I loved reading about Evie and Becky and what great friends they are. I will admit that at times the children seemed much older than their 5 years, unbelievably so, but it didn't stop me loving reading about their antics. As for the best part of the book.....the way it ended, well I won't give spoilers, suffice to say, I put the book down with a big smile on my face. Now I have to read all the other books in the series because if they are all as good as this one then I will have many more late nights to come! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers' copy of this book.
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    Governesses have more fun

    Joanna Shaw, sister to one Duchess of Kendal, suffered through an abusive marriage and will not risk the chance of having another loveless marriage. She yearns for the only thing that her fruitless marriage has convinced her that she can never be; a mother. Joanna has been living with her sister and doting on her niece and nephew since the death of her husband. So when she meets Evie, a motherless girl who has returned with her father to England against their wishes, she can’t help but intervene. Bran Crowther, “Duke of Defiance”, returns to England as the Earl of Knighton. As the 3rd son, he’d left England for ports unknown never expecting to return. A series of unfortunate events leads him to inherit the title and he is duty bound to return to the strict society that found him lacking. Not only is he lost to the ways of the ton, he must raise his daughter to be a lady. He needs all the help he can get. The fifth Untouchables book was a delightful read. Bran’s peccadilloes were intriguing and how denizens of the ton reacted to them was vastly amusing. I love the wit and the humor and especially the ingenuity of 5 year old girls. This, and all the books in this series, are a must read. I eagerly await the Duke of Danger. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
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