Series: The Untouchables
Published by Self on 02/26/2019
Genres: Historical Romance
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After witnessing how love embittered his uncle and broke his father, Felix Havers, Earl of Ware vows never to love. He conceals his emotions behind a wall of wit and charm, and is celebrated as the master of entertainments—parties, picnics, races. When his best friend’s wallflower sister needs to find a husband, he promises to make her the toast of London... without losing his heart.
Miss Sarah Colton has given up on the pursuit of marriage. When her parents learn she intends to open a millinery shop, they give her an ultimatum: choose a husband or they’ll do it for her. She accepts Felix’s help, never imagining their scheme will ignite a mutual attraction neither of them dare indulge. But when tragedy strikes, can they heal each other or will the demons of Felix’s past consume them both?
The Duke of Distraction, an all-new historical standalone from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke, is available now!
This year I promised myself to try a few different genres and romance tropes. This is how I found myself reading historical romances. Which is how I found myself reading The Duke of Distraction by Darby Burke. When researching writers, Darcy came up repeatedly and I am glad I decided to read this book.
We meet Felix Havers, Earl of Ware and Sarah Colton in this book. I should mention that though this is a series, this is the first I read and enjoyed it without feeling lost. Felix has vowed to never marry. He has seen what love has done to the men in his family and he declares it will never happen to him. Even so, Felix was a good man and very likable.
Sarah Colton decides to open a shop, since she does not believe she will marry. She wants to be able to support herself, but her parents have a very different idea. So when they give her no other choice, she decides to take Felix’s help to find her suitable husband. As Felix is her brother’s friend, they have known each other for a long time and enjoy a good friendship.
What I loved about The Duke of Distraction is the slow burn build-up for Felix and Sarah. They already shared a good, strong friendship and we see them slowly advance to more. They were great characters and their story was so sweet. This was a good foray into historical romances and look forward to reading more from this author.
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“It’s time for you to marry,” Father said, surprising no one. Or so Sarah assumed. Anthony knew how desperately they wanted her to marry, and she had to think Felix did too. Of course he did. Sarah was the first person to complain about the pressure they applied.
“Past time, one might say,” Sarah murmured and tried not to send an exasperated look toward her mother.
“There’s no need to be saucy,” Mother said tartly.
“Why must Felix and I be privy to Sarah’s humiliation?” Anthony asked.
Humiliation? Sarah had been annoyed, mildly embarrassed even, but not humiliated. At least not until now. She tossed a withering stare at her brother. He had the grace to wince and look away.
“There is a reason,” Mother said before inclining her head toward Sarah’s father.
Father coughed. “Er, yes. We wondered if it might make sense for you, Felix, to wed Sarah.”
Humiliation didn’t begin to describe the emotion swirling inside Sarah and erupting in her cheeks. Surely they were about to catch fire.
She would have snapped at her father or mother or both, but words simply wouldn’t come.
Anthony stood. “You can’t ambush Felix like that!” At Sarah’s intake of breath, he added, “Or Sarah.”
Sarah didn’t bother sending him another acid glare.
Their mother pursed her lips at Anthony. “We’re not ambushing him. Felix is like family. He’s well aware of Sarah’s sad state.”
Oh, this was just getting better and better. Now she was in a sad state?
“Furthermore, Felix is in need of a wife. Your father and I discussed it, and we think this is an excellent match.”
Sarah couldn’t bear to meet Felix’s gaze, so she stared at the floor. Had the patterned carpet always had that odd mushroom shape next to the leg of the settee?
“I’m glad you discussed it,” Anthony said with a great deal of sarcasm. “You might have discussed it with Felix, however.” He looked toward Felix. “Did they?”
Now Sarah chanced a look at him. Felix shook his head. To his credit, he didn’t look surprised or annoyed or pale or anything other than what he’d appeared since she’d arrived: uncomfortable.
Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, emotional historical and contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. Join her reader club at http://www.darcyburke.com/readerclub. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, two Bengal cats and a third cat named after a fruit.