Vanessa Kelly
Vanessa Kelly


Jaunty Guests, Vanessa Kelly


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Please welcome Darcy Burke to the blog today. She writes wonderful historical romance and contemporary romance, too. She joins us with her Regency bonnet on to talk about her latest historical romance:

Thank you so much Vanessa for having me here at the Jaunty Quills today! I’m thrilled to share my newest historical release, the first in my new series, The Untouchables. Here’s the blurb for THE FORBIDDEN DUKE:

Spinster Miss Eleanor Lockhart is suddenly homeless and employment is her only option. Ruined after succumbing to a scoundrel’s excessive charm nearly a decade ago, she’s lucky to obtain a position as a paid companion and committed to behaving with the utmost propriety. She definitely shouldn’t be in the arms of a man capable of utterly destroying what little remains of her reputation…

Titus St. John, Duke of Kendal, is known as the Forbidden Duke, a mysterious, intimidating figure who enters Society just once each year at his stepmother’s ball. A decade ago, he was a devil-may-care rake until his idle roguery brought about the ruin of Eleanor Lockhart—and his resulting self-imposed isolation. Now she’s back, and she needs his help. But by “saving” her, he may just ruin her life all over again.

I love Titus and Nora so much. They’re grown-ups in that they’re long past their youthful indiscretions, even if they’re still sort of paying for them. They have (I think!) great chemistry and a lovely connection. Titus doesn’t have much interest or patience with Society. He attends just one event each Season—his stepmother’s ball.


Here’s an excerpt:

“We need to take our place,” he said, guiding her to the dance floor, where Lord and Lady Satterfield were already in place at the top of the line that was forming. Kendal positioned Nora to stand beside Lady Satterfield so that they were second in the line. The musicians, set in the far corner of the makeshift ballroom, began to play, and panic seized Nora’s chest. Would she remember the steps? Would she make a fool of herself, or worse, of him?

She felt like an imposter in a scenario she’d mistakenly stumbled into. Surely someone would point her out and tell her she needed to leave. She was a pariah, an outcast. She had no place being here, let alone dancing with a duke.

But it was far too late to run away. The dance had started, and the line traveled the length of the drawing room. This dance would last quite some time, during which Nora would be the center of everyone’s attention and the source of everyone’s gossip. She could hear the exchanges now, imagined them starting up and spreading like a freshly-ignited fire.

“Look at who he chose. Who is that Nobody?”

“Don’t you remember? She ruined herself nine years ago.”

“How dreadful.”

Lord and Lady Satterfield started, dancing their way between the lines. They were rather spry, given their age.

Nora nervously looked over at the duke. “Lady Satterfield is an excellent dancer.”

“Indeed.” The rich tone of his voice soothed her rioting nerves. “She always insists on calling the first, though it’s the only set she’ll dance.”

Nora nodded. Dancing was typically reserved for the young.

She tried not to stare at her partner, but it was difficult as he was situated directly across from her and she should look at him. Look, yes, but not gape. And he was gape-worthy. His reputation suited him for he seemed forbidden, otherworldly almost. Not in an ethereal way, but in a rustic, rough sort of manner, as if Society couldn’t possibly contain him.

Despite that or perhaps because of it, he wore his costume with ease. However, she suspected he was more comfortable in riding breeches and boots as he galloped his horse across the Lake District—she’d ascertained that was where his seat was located—his powerful thighs hugging the animal’s flanks as they moved as one.

Goodness, where had that astonishing image come from?

And then it was their turn to traverse the line. She prayed she would remember the steps and focused on the music as they moved toward each other.

“You look as if you’re headed to the guillotine,” he said just loud enough for her alone to hear.

“Do I?” She tried to laugh but was afraid she sounded like a wounded bird. She longed to ask why he’d chosen her and immediately wondered if Lady Satterfield had put him up to it. She decided she didn’t want to know.

“It’s just a dance.”

The superbly absurd comment coaxed a genuine smile to her lips and alleviated some of her discomfort. “With the ‘Forbidden Duke’ who only dances once each Season. Yes, you’re quite right to characterize it that way. Thank you for putting me at ease.”

He chuckled, and like his speaking voice, it sparked a tremor that seemed to start in her bones and move outward making her flesh tingle and her chest warm. “Don’t be nervous. And certainly don’t be nervous on my account.” He said the last with a tone so dry, she feared it might curl up and blow away in the breeze.

“That is easy for you, a duke, to say. I am just a simple girl who’s been away from London a long time.”

“I daresay you aren’t ‘just’ anything.”

THE FORBIDDEN DUKE is a long novella and kicks off The Untouchables series—you’ll read about the upcoming heroines in the epilogue.

I hope you’ll find me on Facebook—I give away a backlist book each week to one random commenter. http://www.facebook/com/DarcyBurkeFans

And be sure to sign up for my newsletter where I have monthly giveaways.

One random commenter will win a signed copy of the first book in my Secrets and Scandals series, HER WICKED WAYS and a swag pack! (Contest is open to North America). My question for you today is what’s one event you’d like to do in Regency England—attend a ball, visit Almack’s, stroll in Hyde Park, or something else?

And or more info and buy links for THE FORBIDDEN DUKE, please visit Darcy’s website!

31 thoughts on “Please welcome Darcy Burke!

  1. Amy says:

    I would love to go to a ball! Getting all dressed up would be so much fun. I enjoy duke-centered stories and your excerpt sounds like a good one!

    1. Darcy Burke says:

      Thank you Amy! I agree, a ball is a must-see!!

  2. Welcome, Darcy! Thanks for being here today.

    If I were plunked into Regency England for a while, I’d like to people-watch. There would be no better research for a new book.

    1. Darcy Burke says:

      Hi Theresa! Wouldn’t that be fabulous? Just imagine all the things we could use–and the things we couldn’t because modern day people wouldn’t believe them, lol.

  3. Welcome, Darcy! So happy you could join us today. I think I’d visit Hatchard’s and see what a Regency bookstore was really like. And look for handsome dukes in need of a heroine.

    1. Darcy Burke says:

      Ooh yes, Hatchard’s! Thanks again for inviting me today!!

  4. Dawn A says:

    I’d love to go to a ball. Getting dressed up and dancing all night sounds like a fun party, to me.

    1. Darcy Burke says:

      I’d be sure to pack some caffeine, lol. You aren’t kidding when you say, “all night!” Thanks for stopping by today!

  5. Kathy N says:

    Attending a ball is first on the list but I also want to go to Gunther’s for ices and ride in a curicle.

    1. Darcy Burke says:

      Ices sound fab! And I’d love to ride in a phaeton…depending on the driver, lol.

    1. Darcy Burke says:

      Thanks for having me Shana!

  6. Sheryl says:

    I think I would like to go to Rotten Row and see everyone that is to be seen and hit up a ball that night

    1. Darcy Burke says:

      Yes to Rotten Row! So much happening, I’m sure!!!

  7. Great post, Darcy! I love Regency era romances and this looks fantastic. Best of luck with the new series!

    1. Darcy Burke says:

      Thank you Margaret!!

  8. Aleen Davis says:

    I would love to visit Vauxhall Gardens and then go to Gunters for some ices 🙂

  9. says:

    I can’t pick just one – I would love to try a bit of everything 🙂

  10. Kate Sparks says:

    I would love to visit Hyde Park!!

  11. Michelle F. says:

    Maybe stroll in the park or taste the waters in Bath.

  12. Quilt Lady says:

    I think I would love to go to a ball, sounds like a lot of fun that is in my younger days.

  13. Julie-ann Ford says:

    Welcome and thank you for the chance. I would love to attend an evening at Vauxhall. The descriptions is so many books sounds like a blast.

  14. Eileen A-W says:

    I would love to go toa Ball. I didn’t even go to my high school prom, so I love to dream about those events when I read historicals. I also want to walk through Hyde Park.

    Your book sounds awesome!!

  15. Glenda says:

    If I can only choose one, I’d choose strolling through Hyde Park. However, I’d love to attend a ball as well.

  16. bn100 says:

    attend a ball

  17. girlfromwva says:

    definitely attend a ball!

  18. Laurie Gommermann says:

    I’d like to visit the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park.

    I’d also like to attend a concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

  19. eap says:

    a houseparty

  20. Becky Moe says:

    I’d love to go shopping–lots of shopping, preferably with someone else’s money–and finish the day with an ice from Gunther’s.

    BTW–I just finished The Forbidden Duke this morning, and loved it! Can’t wait for book 2 🙂

  21. It sounds so good, Darcy! Welcome to the Quills!

  22. Welcome to the JQs, Darcy! Your book sounds wonderful.

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