I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!

Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Book Review: The Duke of Defiance by Darcy Burke

The Duke of Defiance Cover

The Duke of Defiance by Darcy Burke
Book 5 in The Untouchables series
ARC, e-Book, 265 pages
Darcy Burke
June 27, 2017
goodreads button

Heat Rating

3 flames

Genre: Historical Romance

Source: Received from publicist for review

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.

Besides the fact that I had enjoyed prior entries in The Untouchables series, the cover of this one drew me right in – regardless of what the book was about. It is STUNNING! With that out of the way, let’s dig into the actual story.

One thing that I have always liked are the characters that Burke creates. Jo is the sister of one of the heroines from an earlier installment in the series, The Forbidden Duke. I didn’t know this character well because I haven’t yet read her story, but she figures prominently into the plot here. Jo comes to live with her sister after her husband dies to determine what to do with her life. While the two sisters have a very warm relationship, there is some resentment that simmers as the story progresses from their earlier days. We get to see how Nora’s actions that resulted in her fairytale romance have affected her sister. I honestly think this was one of the strongest relationships in this book. Typically we see the heroines of the series traipse through the pages of all the subsequent novels, and while we hear of Ivy, Lucy, and Aquilla, it is only Nora who figures prominently for the women. However the men on the other hand get their due here! Most of the Untouchables make an appearance in a hilarious scene welcoming Bran back to England. While this scene served to familiarize the reader with each of the relationships, I thought it gave WAY too much away where you really don’t have to go back and read the other books because you know what happens. I think authors do themselves a disservice when they do this because instead of intriguing readers to go pick up their other books they have essentially taken that need away from them. Maybe explain a little less next time! I loved that Bran had his idiosyncrasies which made him very unique among his set, but I kept wanting to know a little bit more about what was the root of them. He is compassionate for his daughter above all else, which I have yet to read in any historical romance to date, it is usually the woman that happens to have a child from a prior relationship or out of wedlock, not the man. It is something needed in this genre for sure from time to time as it would have certainly been an issue at the time: a widowed father needs to find someone to be a mother to his children. Jo spends most of the novel wrapped up in the events of her past, both with her sister and late husband, which didn’t really allow for much growth of character but I found her likable anyway.

One element that I picked up on early in this story is how the author explores the concept of how a bad prior relationship can taint the ability to move on and have strong positive relationship. Whether the cause is physical, sexual, or emotional those mind games can effect how you related to other people and that happens here with Jo. She struggles throughout the novel with the lasting effects of her first marriage and constantly undermines herself, until she is finally able to get out of her own way. I thought that this was very well done.

During the experience of reading I thought that the plot was entertaining, but looking back on it, it was a little less exciting than other installments in this series. For the most part Jo doesn’t go anywhere other than her sisters home and Bran’s home. It honestly felt like there were only two scenes where the plot actually moved forward – one at the very beginning and one very nearly at the end. There is a lot of exploration of character (I won’t say it’s quite character development exactly), but nothing really happens. In The Duke of Deception the plot continually barreled forward, but it was a little lackluster here. The point of contention between the two love interests didn’t lend itself to a plot with action, it was just something for the two of them to trip over and ultimately find their way into each other’s beds. I would have liked the plot to be bulked up more which would have added to my overall enjoyment.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also by Darcy Burke:

The other titles in this series include:

The Forbidden Duke - BK 1
The Forbidden Duke
(Book 1)

The Duke of Daring - BK 2
The Duke of Daring
(Book 2)

The Duke of Deception - BK 3
The Duke of Deception
(Book 3)
[My Review]

duke of despire
The Duke of Desire
(Book 4)
[My Review]

Find Darcy Burke:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

1 comment:

Thanks for leaving your comments! I love reading them and try to reply to all!