Book Review: The Duke of Desire

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Title: The Duke of Desire
Author: Darcy Burke
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Synopsis: Ten years ago Ivy Breckenridge’s life was ruined. She had to reinvent herself, and now, after painstakingly making her own way in the world, she’s nearly forgotten the dreams of home and family she’d once nurtured. Until one man peers into her soul and awakens every one of her hidden desires. But no matter how good he makes her feel, she can’t trust him—alone by choice is better than alone by necessity.

With a notorious reputation for training married women in the art of passion, Sebastian Westgate, Duke of Clare, is reviled by some and celebrated by others. He doesn’t allow anyone close enough to see past his charming exterior. When Ivy uncovers the man beneath, the seducer is suddenly the seduced. Enraptured by her mind and spirit, he wants more but revealing his darkest secrets is a price he won’t pay.

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 11.11.09 AMReview: I have an affinity for historical romance books, but it does occasionally leave a distasteful lingering feeling of offense. Historically speaking, you can’t expect to find feminism in regency romances, but that’s exactly what some of today’s historical romance writers are doing, and I’m pleased to discover that Darcy Burke is among that list. Part of the appeal is character outrage when the dainty female who was raised to find a husband and have his heirs turns out to be a witty, intelligent, and independent. Ivy Breckinridge embodies all of those qualities and more.

Sebastian Westgate, the Duke of Clare, is every rake lover’s dream. If his good looks and reputation isn’t swoon-worthy enough, he’s also an avid reader and hell-bent on discovering just what makes Ivy smile. Of course, Sebastian’s layers continue to peel, and I was delighted to discover that my new book boyfriend has some dark depths.
Ivy Breckinridge, a lady’s companion, has risen from the ashes of social ruin by re-imagining herself and moving on with her life. Her strength is admirable, and the reader is left wondering if anyone should be enough to reach her heart again. Together, their chemistry practically melted my Kindle, but it’s more than just lust. It’s a friendship and a need to discover how they can support each other.

The Duke of Desire includes the best parts of regency romance. With bluestockings, aristocracy gossip, dances, and more, the characters are steamy, the dialogue is hilarious, and the climax is sure to make your heart skip a beat.

Four and a half stars

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