Thursday, January 4, 2018



Burke, Darcy- The Duke of Ice (final) 800 px @ 72 dpi low resEveryone Nicholas Bateman ever loved has died. Except Violet Caulfield, which must mean he never loved her. Eight years after she threw him over to marry a viscount, Nick is a widowed duke who prefers isolation. When a friend convinces him to leave his lair of self-imposed solitude, he considers taking another wife, provided she agrees to his terms: no emotional attachment of any kind.

Now widowed, Lady Violet Pendleton hopes for a second chance with the man she’s always loved. But she isn’t prepared for the desolation in his soul or the animosity he still bears toward her. Despite those obstacles, it’s clear their passion hasn’t dimmed. However, the heat between them isn’t enough to melt the Duke of Ice, and this time Violet may find herself the jilted party. Can love, once so tragically lost, finally be found?

Historical romances are difficult. You have to not only build a believable romance, but you have to do it in such a way that the reader remains interested in the story and the characters, while not being bogged down by the historical portion or left bored due to the lack of sexual encounters...yes, they happen, but it is more often a slow burn for the historical romance trope.

Nicholas and Violet had a past, and a relationship that was broken up by things out of their control. So, seeing one another again after years was both painful and enjoyable in the way that seeing those people you thought were totally gone from your life can be...joyous and heart-wrenching.

I loved the emotion of the book, the push and pull with Nick and Violet, the idea that both of them had reasons not to think that they should be together, but that they wanted to be with one another and figuring out how to make that work.

I loved the house party and the Bath setting, as so often books in England are set in London, so this was a refreshing change.

At the end, events that seem maybe a little far-fetched are what leads them to admitting that they want to be together and I was hoping for more of a character driven rather than plot driven reconciliation, but it worked for me overall.

I enjoyed this title.

Historical romance is a genre I've been neglecting for some time but this blurb really caught my eye.  I'm a sucker for second chance romances and I wanted to see if the Duke of Ice would really have a heart of ice so I took a chance.  Overall, I'm glad I did.  This is part of a series of books but can be enjoyed as a standalone.

The blurb doesn't sugarcoat that this book has its share of sad moments.  It was definitely a read that pulled at my emotions at times.  The events causing those emotions were perfectly plausible, too.  The storyline felt believable to me.

Nick and Violet's time apart was due to circumstances initially beyond their control.  Moments of missed opportunity that they make up for later.  I understood the change in Nick from the young man Violet knew, and I understood him.  I didn't always love him, but I understood him.  I just wanted him to find some happiness and I mostly enjoyed his journey to get there.

I will say that one of the supporting characters in the book almost stole the show for me-I almost wanted him to end up with Violet.  But the rest of the supporting characters added to this book well in my opinion.  The views they held were completely plausible for the period this was set in.

The writing here was solid and again, I thought the plot was plausible.  This was a nice dip back into historical romance for me and I will definitely try this author again.  I recommend this book. 


“Looks like it’s you and Lady Pendleton,” Simon said. His voice carried a hint of something. Nick snapped his head toward his friend and detected the glimmer of a smile in his gaze. He was enjoying this. He was playing matchmaker. And he had his sights set on Nick and Violet. Bloody hell. Nick wanted to be angry, but his pull toward Violet was too strong. He’d felt it last night and again today when Simon had asked if it would be odd for him to pursue her. Nick had been jealous. Shockingly, blood-boilingly, desperately jealous. The realization shook him to the core. “Who’s to be the crier?” Simon asked. “Why not Mr. Adair since he won Kiss the Nun?” Seaver suggested. With everyone in agreement, Violet and Nick moved to the center of the room. “Is this awkward?” she whispered. “No.” His pulse quickened. Should he kiss her or should he fail? His mind screamed the latter. And really, that was for the best. Jealousy aside, he and Violet had no future, not when their past was so painful. And yet when they knelt with their backs to each other, he caught her scent of rose and an earthy spice. It was wholly feminine yet slightly wild. He hadn’t smelled a rose in the past eight years without thinking of her. His body reacted, heating at her proximity. “Make ready,” Adair said. Nick looked over his right shoulder and felt the air move as she looked over her left. “Present.” Nick leaned close to her cheek. He could feel her warmth, and his skin tingled. “Fire.” He moved closer, but she sprang up. Instinctively, he reached for her, his arm curling about her waist. He pulled her back down. To stop her from hitting the floor, he spun to his back and sprawled, bringing her down on top of him. He cupped the side of her face and kissed her, his lips sliding over hers for a brief but delicious moment. “The cheek,” she murmured, her gaze locked with his. He leaned up and brushed his mouth against the soft flesh of her cheek. His lips lingered perhaps a second too long, but he didn’t care. Desire coursed through him, and for the first time in years, he felt alive.

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About Darcy:

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 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.

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