- File Size: 1282 KB
- Print Length: 222 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Darcy Burke (November 15, 2016)
- Publication Date: November 15, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01KL6L0BA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,016 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$8.99|
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The Duke of Deception (The Untouchables Book 3) Kindle Edition
|Length: 222 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
The Duke of Deception stars Edward (Ned) and Aquilla. Ned is searching for a wife, but has never offered marriage to any of the young women he has considered. Aquilla has purposefully sabotaged all attempts by interested men because she does not want to be trapped in marriage like her mother. But both of these good plans go awry. Aquilla’s father wants to marry her off to a neighboring baron for a parcel of land and Ned steps in to save the day, but he still has a BIG secret that almost ruins their marriage. [If I tell you any more, I’ll wreck the entire storyline, so…]
This was a wonderful journey into the Regency era where appearance was everything and substance was something only to hope for. Family wins the day at the end of this couple’s story. A definite winner.
It in no way distracted from this perfect pairing of two lonesome and damaged souls. I thought Ned and Aquilla (what an unusual and lovely name!) were a well matched and charming pair. Their frank discussion on their wedding night was quite the departure from the typical historical approach to sex...and so real and current, it could have been a contemporary romance conversation. Maybe, as a mostly-contemporary reader, that's why it appealed so much to me. And that made Ned and Aquilla much more modern in their thinking and dealing with all the things going on in their lives.
I haven't read a Darcy Burke book I haven't liked!! She's an auto-read for me, historical or contemporary. I think you'll enjoy this one to, whether you're new to her books or an established fan!
In this story, I finally got to learn more about Aquilla Knox. She was always a bubbly character and I enjoyed her sly humor and sunny disposition in the other books of this series. Of all the wallflowers, she seemed to be the only one who actually wanted to get married! In this book, I found out that was not the case. Aquilla had secrets of her own that I did not expect. The hero, Ned, the Earl of Sutton, has a reputation for courting ladies and then moving on before making a proposal. This lack of commitment is why the wallflowers dubbed him the Duke of Deception. There is a reason for this reticence and it was a powerful one that made me instantly empathize with Ned. In this book, both characters are keeping painful secrets and I enjoyed reading their story as the layers were revealed. For such a short novel, there were a lot of layers!
Ned meets Aquilla when circumstances force her to request his assistance after she is locked out of a ball and caught in a rainstorm, ruining her gown. From their first meeting, there is a spark, and Ned finds himself irresistibly drawn to Aquilla in a way he's never been drawn to another woman. Their conversations are funny and I enjoyed the easy camaraderie the two had, despite the dark spots in their lives. It was like they were two puzzle pieces that belonged together and they were happier together (my favorite match-up). Even during the intimate scenes, there was talking and laughter. It wasn't very "hot," but it felt more real because of the humor and the constancy of the characters' personalities even once they were alone. I appreciated this. Nowadays, many sex scenes could be cut and pasted into any novel and that would work. Not the case here--the scene clearly belonged to Aquilla and Ned, which made it sweet and memorable.
This story dives into some interesting domestic issues, including mental illness and domestic abuse. I did not expect this going in, but I appreciated the surprising depth. Ned and Aquilla both have deep wells of compassion and kindness and the dark issues they faced allowed me as a reader to see that. Burke doesn't dwell on the issues endlessly though and the story remains light--I liked how the experiences of Aquilla and Ned tell the story instead of Burke using the narration to preach about an issue. It made for a richer story and characters that were fully developed.
There is some misunderstanding in this story, but I thought it made sense and it wasn't dragged out. I felt that each secret was revealed naturally and I didn't get frustrated. There is only one instance 3/4 of the way through that didn't quite feel right to me. It didn't fit with what I had seen throughout the story and it seemed forced to propel the story along more quickly. I am not an expert though in the intricacies of the issue that Burke tackled so I can't be sure. This was just my opinion.
In a nutshell, aside from one quibble 3/4 of the way through the book, this was delightful and well-paced story with layered, likable characters and a sweet love story that I'd highly recommend. 4.5 stars. I am definitely looking forward to the next one, The Duke of Desire.
Complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.