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review 2018-08-10 18:37
The Duke of Seduction (The Untouchables, #10) by Darcy Burke
The Duke of Seduction - Darcy Burke

 

A reversal of roles paves the way for an intriguing opposites attract romance. The Duke of Seduction is my favorite Darcy Burke novel to date. In a world full of complications the answers can prove to be quite simple. He's a free spirit. William has a love them, then leave them reputation that hides a sensitive heart. He dreams of a forever love. A soulmate to own his heart and share his life. When his perfect woman turns out to be a cryptic puzzle. He's determined to learn more. Lavinia is a woman on a mission. She knows what she wants and will buck the odds to get it. Will her passion for science blind her to the acceptance she's always craved? The Duke of Seduction enchants because it's not just a romance. Lavinia and William are seeking their own place in a world of stereotypes. With charm and emotion, Burke uses humor and heart to deliver a powerful message about the benefits of being true to self, no matter what. Reality meets fiction.

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review 2018-08-04 16:10
mixed feelings
The Duke of Defiance (The Untouchables) (Volume 5) - Darcy Burke

Joanna/Jo ‘s sister Nora came to tell her she was again pregnant. Jo was proud of how she kept her tone free of any anguish or jealousy. Nora had overcome a scandal and was now married to a Duke who adored her they had a beautiful family. Jo was barren. Jo came to live with Nora and her family after her husband died. Jo had been married to a vicar for eight years-Matthias-  and had been a good wife until she learned what Matthias had been doing behind her back. Matthias had also treated Jo horribly and had made her feel useless and a waste of his time when Jo didn’t get pregnant. Now Jo refuses to think of Matthias and she doesn’t mean to think ill of the dead. Jo is living with Nora while she decides what to do with her life. Bran had been in Barbados on his sugar plantation for several years. He had a wife who had died of the fever. His daughter-Evie-  who was now five, had also got the fever but she had survived. He had been third in line for the title and never thought he would be called back but he had been. Bran had to uproot his life and take his daughter from the only home she had ever known and loved. Jo had come to know her niece- Becky and her nephew Christopher quiet well. Bran’s daughter Evie was at the house playing with Becky. Jo then meets Lord Knighton -Bran- who was Evie’s dad. Evie asked if she could come again and her father said if she was asked and Jo said she was definitely invited. Jo ends up becoming Evie’s teacher. Bran and Jo are attracted to each other but Jo refuses to get involved as Bran will need a male heir and she can’t give him that no matter the feelings she has for him or he for her.

I had mixed feelings about this book. I loved bran and Jo together and their hot chemistry and how they interacted with each other. I did get a little tired of hearing about Matthias and how bad he was. I think evie and Becky and Christopher added to this book. I advise you to read the book in this series in order for a smooth read. I do think both Evie and Brecky acted much older than five years old more like eight to ten. I like that Joe told Bran about her past marriage and what she has went through and that she was barren. This was a little predictable, I do like some surprises - at least a few. I liked that Joanne was practical and down to earth  especially after her marriage to Matthias. So as you can see I did have mixed feelings.

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review 2018-07-11 01:17
Family...can't live with them...can't live without them...but sometimes...
Family Man - Heidi Cullinan,Marie Sexton,Colin Darcy

the choice isn't always ours.I think we can all agree that in general stereo-types suck and while some are worse than others in terms of their implications, some can also have a basis in reality...like the fact that some cultures place a great deal of importance on things like family, which isn't to say that they're the only cultures that value family and honestly, try as I might I can't see this as a bad thing. But as much as a person can love their family sometimes, that same family can have expectations that aren't fair or may even have just been misinterpreted...hey, it could happen.

 

For Vincent Fierro family means everything and as an Italian man, he's sure that being gay isn't an expectation his family would have and certainly not something that they would accept from him but after 40 years and 3 divorces Vincent is starting to realize that he needs to find a way to live his life for himself and hopefully...maybe if the stars aligned he'll still get to keep his family. 

 

Trey on the other hand doesn't have a lot of family and maybe that's a good thing because all he's got is his gran and his mom...and mom...to say the least is sucking the life from him. Mom's got an addiction issue and we'll talk more about that later.

 

'Family Man' isn't a new story by any means it was released in e-book format back in 2013 and it's been on and off of my radar on a somewhat consistent basis every since but when I saw that it was out on audio I decided that this was a sign that it was time for me to check this one out.

 

Colin Darcy is the narrator and this was my first time listening to a book narrated by him and not my last. Mr. Darcy impressed the hell out of me. Overall I enjoyed his narration but I have to admit I quickly became a fan of Vince's voice. It was so perfectly the voice that I imagined Vince would have and I was simply delighted with Vince and while I hadn't really given as much consideration to Trey's voice once again things worked and in general the same can be said for the secondary character voices as well. It all just worked.

 

Ok, so without spoiling this for those of you who haven't read or listened to the audio on this one...overall I liked this story. I liked the way that Vince grew and developed as the story progressed seeing him come to terms with his sexuality and while it was a struggle for him at times and he didn't always do the right thing at first he still kept trying and it never felt like he was giving up on himself or on being with Trey in spite of what he thought he was risking and I loved that when Trey needed him the most he was there for him and while their relationship was definitely a work in progress neither of these men were afraid of a little hard work if it meant having what they wanted.

 

Now I can't say this was the part of the story that I liked the best because that's not the case but I had a definite appreciation for how the author's dealt with Trey's mom's addiction issue. It wasn't glorified in that she magically got better and everyone thought she was wonderful for it and all of the damage that she caused with her addiction suddenly disappeared or was forgotten and without giving away specifics of the story I'm not going to go into this any deeper except to say that as someone who has had the experience of being involved with a person who had addiction issues as with most things in this world each person, each disease, every issue is unique and while there may be commonalities there are also things unique to that person and their situation and while I saw the commonalities in Trey's mom to the situation that I was in I also saw the things that were different and unique to this characters story and for me that was a a touch of realism that came naturally to the story. 

 

Ironically as much as I enjoyed this story I can't say that I"m sorry it took me so long to get around to this one because I thoroughly enjoyed Colin Darcy's narration and again...the voice of Vincent...it was so worth waiting for, but even if you're not a fan of audio...hey, it can happen the story is a worthwhile reading experience.

 

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An audio book of 'Family Man' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-06-24 17:10
Location, location, location...
Banded Together - K.C. Burn,Darcy Stark

While 'Banded Together' isn't part of K.C. Burns 'Toronto Tales' happily it's set in and around this city...Oakville!!! With a lot of events actually taking place in the city of Oakville which is one of several cities that share boundaries with the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and admittedly one of the most desirable ones to live in.Related imageOk, so much for geography class...sorry about this but Toronto is just under 2 hours from where I grew up and  just 2 hours from where I live now. While I love reading books that are set in places I've never been sometimes it's nice to read stories set in places that I know. So there's reason 1 why I liked this story and yes, it's very subjective. 

 

Now as for the story...if the location was something I like and part of what got me interested in this story...the story itself was what kept me reading. I liked the pacing in this one. It's a bit of slow burn but for so many reasons...slow burn was the perfect pace for this one. 

 

After a 20 year run as the lead singer for a rock band that ended with the unexpected death of Devlin's bandmate and best friend, it's time for Devlin to find a way to move on and returning to school and beginning again as a student studying archaeology now that he's lost the music in his life is the path that Devlin plants his feet on. Needless to say Devlin finds himself surrounded by a group of students who for the most part are young enough to be his kids but what truly surprises him is the hotter than hell Dr. Jack Johnson who catches his eye gives him more than an interest in archaeology that brings him to class.

 

When Jack realizes who Devlin is, he's determined to keep his distance but being in constant contact with the man who has fueled Jack's fantasies as well as inspiring him to be the lead singer in a cover band does nothing for his ability to resist the temptation that is Devlin Waters. 

 

There's a definite age gap between the MCs but because of where they each were in their lives, I didn't feel the power imbalance that can occur with age gap stories and I really liked the interaction between these two. 

 

While Devlin was at times a bit self absorbed it wasn't unrealistic to me as he was dealing with his grief over the loss of his friend and let's face it we all deal with grief in our own way and our own time so that Devlin struggled with it to the point of it being debilitating emotionally for him for me this only added a touch of realism to the story. 

 

I've been finding lately that I have a bit of a newfound appreciation for a 'slow burn' story, not that I want them all to be slow burns but once in a while it's nice to feel like there's a little more or at least as much development given to the emotional development of a story as the physical aspect.

 

'Banded Together' was a really enjoyable chance to revisit the writings of K. C. Burn and on audio it was also an opportunity to once again listen to the narration of Darcy Stark. This is only my second time listening to this narrator and like the first time I was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed the quality of the audio...my 'basic list' for audio books was easily ticked of and I'm going to try and explain this but one of my peeves about audio books is when voices don't sound appropriate to who the  person is. Thinks like younger children don't really sound like small children or they have a perpetually annoying, obnoxious or whiny sound to their voice or women's voices sound more like a man trying to do a woman's voice than simply a woman talking or sometimes when the voice doesn't match the physical image of a man...don't get me wrong I know these things can happen in real life but when it's an audio book the character representation is based strictly on the image created by the words in the story and the voice. 

 

Truthfully in real life I don't care how a person's voice sounds because in general I also get the physical representation of the person to create the image but in an audio book those voices need to work overtime to create a physical image as well as the vocal one so yeah, sorry to say but when it comes to an audio books sometimes a little stereo typing needs to occur unless a story tells me that the character looks one way and sounds another than I need my macho men to have macho voices, my children to have children's voices and my women to sound like women and while I'm not sure about the children (because there weren't any in either book that I've listened to)...Darcy Stark definitely nailed it for me with the voices in this one and I thoroughly enjoyed his narrations. I'm actually hoping to listen to a book narrated by him that has at least one child in it just to see how he does because so far I have not been disappointed by this narrator.

 

I'm not a big fan of 'rock star' MCs but the author's definitely created a character that I enjoyed in the form of Devlin Waters and while archaeology isn't really my thing I think I could enjoy watching Dr. Jack Johnson teach a class or two.

 

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An audio book of 'Banded Together' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-06-12 15:44
The Duke of Lies - Darcy Burke

This was a fun story.  Verity and Kit were great characters and they carried the plot really well.  I liked the concept; a man pretends to be a duke in order to steal funds to buy a new ship, meets his dead half-brother’s clearly abused widow and her son, and comes to realize that life on land can be home even more so than the sea if you have the right people in it.  Their adventure was enjoyable and entertaining, and I am glad Rufus ended up in fact being dead because, from all accounts, he was a horrible man, and I’m glad that Verity found true happiness with a man who could appreciate her. Beau, her son, was a priceless character, and I think it was definitely him who won Kit’s loyalty and love first. He was just too precious to resist and Kit was no match for him.  The villain and conflict were engaging and fit the story really well. Overall, I really liked this story.  I haven’t read a lot by this author but I definitely wasn’t disappointed.  It has passion, suspense, adventure, humor, and strong characters that all blend into a great love story.

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