The Duke of Daring by Darcy Burke
Genre: Historical Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“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.”
This is my first book by Darcy Burke, and I wasn’t disappointed. It has so many of the fun elements of a great historical romance, as well as interesting characters and good pacing. Lucy and Andrew had such good chemistry throughout and I really appreciated that their relationship grew at a reasonable pace. I’m also a sucker for wallflower/rake romances, and this really hit the target for me.
Lucy was probably my favorite character. She was a spirited wallflower throughout, and only a wallflower because she wasn’t all that ladylike. I enjoyed reading about her unconventional interests and skills and I was rooting for her to succeed in every venture. I did also enjoy Andrew’s character’s growth and his willingness to help Lucy rather than stopping her, as he so easily could have done. From the start I knew I wanted them to be together. They really seemed like a perfect match to me, and not just in a lust-at-first-sight kind of way.
I gave this book four stars because it was a very enjoyable historical romance, but I would have liked Lucy’s Smitty disguise to have fooled Andrew for a little longer.
*ARC provided by author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.