‘The Duke of Daring’ by Darcy Burke

tdod dbSTORY:  Miss Lucinda Parnell is out of money, a dismal failure at the Marriage Mart, and she’d just as soon leave Society far behind. Desperate to earn funds to retire with her grandmother to the country, Lucy disguises herself as a man to gamble in London’s hells. But the Earl of Dartford, an Untouchable she never imagined speaking to let alone spending time with, is onto her in a trice. When he insists on joining her, Lucy fears her desire to remain an independent woman is destined to go up on flames.

As a boy, Andrew Wentworth, Earl of Dartford lost his family to illness, leaving him a hollow shell. Obsessed with conquering one adventure after another to fill the bitter holes inside of him, Andrew has set his sights on parachuting. Nothing will stop him from trying to achieve his goal—not the hazard of death and certainly not a woman who’s gotten far too close. Love is the one risk he doesn’t have the heart to dare.

REVIEW: London 1816

Andrew Wentworth, the fourth Earl of Dartford, is gambling with several of his friends and observing another player who seems to be playing well and winning. The new player identifies himself as Davis Smith. When Andrew realizes that the player is a woman disguised as a man, he plays along with the farce encouraging Smith to go with the group to a brothel. Not wanting to accompany the men, she tries to leave. But Andrew takes her aside and tells her that if she doesn’t go with them, she will be robbed of her winnings by some thugs waiting nearby. Still refusing to go with him, she pulls a pistol on him which he quickly takes away from her.

Lucinda (Lucy) Parnell is irritated that Andrew will not let her go. She recognizes him and her nickname for him is the Duke of Daring. Having never heard that nickname of himself, he is curious. In addition, Lucy and her friends call Andrew and his group The Untouchables. As they talk, he learns that she is a spinster who gambles to make money. She lives with her grandmother as her dowry money was spent on her unsuccessful seasons. Her grandmother is the widow of a baronet but can no longer afford to support her. Therefore, Lucy is trying to amass as much money as possible to settle them in Bath. In addition, Lucy realizes that after her failed seasons, she will end up a spinster.

Andrew lost all of his family to illness when he was a young boy at Eton. The loss devastated him and has left him with nightmares and the inability to maintain close relationships with people. Due to this problem, he has no desire to marry.

Andrew and Lucy continue to visit more gambling halls and he finds she is very talented. She learned from her father how to gamble and shoot and is quite good at both skills.

As they spend more time together, they become attracted to each other that leads to passion. But with both of them intent on remaining single, can their relationship have any future?

This is the first book I have read in this series. When I encountered the nicknames, I was a bit confused but not enough to deter me from enjoying this novel. The things that I didn’t necessarily enjoy were the numerous male-oriented activities in which they indulged.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

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