Book Releases

Blog Tour: The Duke of Kisses by Darcy Burke

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The Duke of Kisses, an all-new historical standalone from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke, is available now!

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Frances Snowden can hardly believe her good fortune when she’s whisked away from her boring life by her sister who is now a duchess. Instead of becoming the third wife of her parents’ stuffy neighbor, she can be anything she wants: a doting aunt to her newborn niece, a debutante in London, or even an independent spinster. But when she meets and kisses a mysterious man on a walk in the countryside, she knows exactly what she desires—him.

David Langley, Earl of St. Ives, is resigned to marrying the dull woman his parents chose when he was a child. His future is suddenly, and happily, diverted when he encounters a captivating young woman who shows him everything he’s been missing. Ready to embark on a blissful life together, a long-buried feud between their families makes their marriage impossible. Nothing is more important than duty and family, but can he turn his back on love?

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Excerpt:

“Why do you live with your sister? Is it because she’s sponsoring your Season?”

“Yes, and because my life in Yorkshire with my parents was unfathomably dull.” Particularly after her dearest—and really only—friend had married two years ago. Fanny suppressed a shudder when she thought of how she could be married to the odious Mr. Duckworth. “I hail from a small village called Pickering. It’s just north of Nowhere, right next to Nothing.”

His mouth ticked up in a slight smile. “Sounds heavenly.”

“It isn’t. Or at least, it isn’t with my family. With the right person, it might be. There is an astounding amount and variety of birds. I’ll return at some point. I wish to start a—never mind.” She was beginning to learn that she didn’t need to tell everyone everything, and doubted he’d care to hear about her workhouse idea.

“I shall make a point of visiting someday, especially if you’re going to be there. Were you going to say something else?”

He looked at her with such avid curiosity that she wondered why she would keep anything from him. “I plan to start a workhouse that will help unmarried mothers and orphans. We’ll train them to find positions outside the workhouse to give them the best possible life.”

His gaze swept over her face with warmth and admiration. “You’re still testing my resolve, Fanny.” The words came out soft but with a scalding heat.

She edged closer, scooting an inch or two along the bench. “I wasn’t trying just then, but I’ll take what I can get.”

“I really should resist.” He leaned closer. “But you make it blessed difficult.”

She tipped her head back as he loomed over her. “And I’m trying to be a proper young Society miss, but I’d much rather kiss you.”

“Then we are in agreement there.” He hesitated the barest moment before muttering something she couldn’t quite understand. Then his lips claimed hers and his arms came around her back, pulling her closer.

She’d dreamed of this moment so many times but had long ago given up hope. Until she’d seen him at the ball the other night. Then her imagination had taken flight once more, and now here they were. She put her hands on his chest and slid them up his coat as his lips opened over hers.

Sensation threatened to sweep her away when her tongue touched his. The memory of his kiss had filled her for four long months, but the reality was more intense than she imagined. There was wet heat and a surprising urge to thrust into his mouth and claim what she wanted. She felt brazen and seductive. Powerful. But also a willing recipient of his boldness, of his seductive power. He might not make a habit of kissing women, but he was certainly skilled.

One of his hands cupped the back of her neck as he tilted her head and slanted his mouth over hers, gaining deeper access and joining them more intimately. With his other hand, he pulled her flush against his chest so that her breasts tingled from the contact. Indeed, her entire body came alert with sexual curiosity and need. An image of herself throwing her leg over his lap and straddling him invaded her mind and set off a burst of heat between her thighs.

She clutched at his neck, returning his kiss with all the fervor bursting inside her. The hand on her neck moved to cup the side of her face as he drew away—not far, just enough to look into her eyes. His had darkened to flinty steel. “Fanny, this is dangerous territory.”

“It’s lovely territory. I’m keen to explore more of it.”

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 http://www.darcyburke.com/readerclub. 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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Connect with Darcy:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans

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Research · Travel

John Nash, Regency Architect

Blue Plaque indicating the building is John Nash’s first work

I’ve neglected posting the last few months due to life getting in the way but plan to start posting monthly again.

I’m continuing with covering some highlights of my 2016 trip to the United Kingdom.

While walking along Great Russell Street in Bloomsbury, London, I happened to notice one of the blue plaques which indicates a location of historical significance. This particular plaque stated that the building was the first work of famed architect, John Nash. At the end of the building is another plaque that stated that not only did he design the building but had also lived in it.

Thrilled to have run across this historical treasure unexpectedly, I had to stop to take some pictures.

First building designed by John Nash

John Nash was a leading architect during the Regency and worked under the patronage of the Prince Regent. There are quite a few examples of his work still in existence today. He was involved in the development of Regent Street, Regent’s Park,  the expansion of Buckingham Palace and the Marble Arch among other structures.

One thing I find interesting is the simple lines of his first design when compared to some of his later works.

Buckingham Palace

Despite the personal and financial difficulties he faced in his life, John Nash left his mark in the United Kingdom.

Do you have any favorite architects whose work you admire?

Marble Arch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:
English Heritage Blue Plaque Information for John Nash

BBC Link about John Nash

Book Releases

How to Tempt an Earl Blog Tour

Meet the Author:

 

Tina Gabrielle, an Amazon best-selling author, is an attorney and former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. She often picked up a romance and let her fantasies of knights in shining armor and lords and ladies carry her away. She is the author of adventurous Regency historical romances: A Spy Unmasked, At The Spy’s Pleasure, In The Barrister’s Bed, In The Barrister’s Chambers, Lady Of Scandal, and A Perfect Scandal from Entangled Publishing and Kensington Books. Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and her first book, Lady Of Scandal, was nominated as best first historical romance by Romantic Times Book Reviews. Tina loves to hear from readers. Please visit her website to join her newsletter and enter her free monthly contests and giveaways.
Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About the Book:

 

London society is cruel for a young woman whose father is an avid gambler. Miss Grace Ashton is not one to stand idly by while her family becomes destitute. Donning a mask, she slips into the night and attends the infamous Raven Club to confront the proprietor. But nothing prepares her for the sinfully attractive and wealthy Ian Swift.

Ian is intrigued when Grace walks into his gambling club but refuses her offer of a few jewels to pay her father’s large debts. Unbeknownst to anyone, Ian has inherited the Earldom of Castleton, and he must reluctantly take his place in Society. But Ian’s manners as a gentleman have suffered. He needs a tutor, and he knows the exquisite lady standing before him is the answer.
But soon tutoring turns to flirting, which unfortunately lands both of them in…marriage?
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General

My Entry Finaled in the Virginia Romance Writers Fool For Love Contest

I was so excited to learn my entry The Earl’s Photographer finaled in the Virginia Romance Writers Fool for Love Contest.

Book Releases

The Duke of Ruin Blog Tour

DUKERUIN_BT_BANNERThe Duke of Ruin, an all-new historical standalone from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Burke, is LIVE!

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With her betrothal to a duke in tatters and scandal imminent, Diana Kingman has two choices: live in certain ignominy or flee into obscurity. Diana wants solitude. She never wished to wed in the first place. However, her father will stop at nothing to betroth her to one of the finest titles in the realm…no matter how loathsome the bearer. Escape is Diana’s only option, and she’ll pay any price to achieve freedom.

Universally blamed for the death of his wife and unborn child, Simon Hastings doesn’t dispute his guilt over an accident he cannot even remember. He hasn’t had a drink since, nor a moment’s peace. Determined to be a better man, Simon rescues a young woman in need—only to be accused of kidnapping. They must marry to save him from prison. But how can a man haunted by the love he lost and a woman afraid to get too close find happiness together?

Excerpt

He turned from the fire and contemplated the bed. It was neither big nor small and would support a blanket between them. However, there was no dressing screen to allow for privacy.
He wasn’t entirely sure how to broach the sensitive topic of disrobing, but since they would be spending several nights together, it had to be done. He looked back at her over his shoulder. “You aren’t planning on sleeping in your clothes again, are you?”
She turned in front of the fire but didn’t come toward him. “I’d rather not. But I’m afraid I’m in need of assistance. Unfortunately, my wardrobe depends upon a maid.”
“I’d be happy to provide help. Just remember I’ve no experience as a ladies’ maid.”
“Did you never undress your wife?” She looked away, angling herself back toward the fire. “Forget I asked that.”
He went back toward her and spoke softly. “Don’t.” She turned her head, her blue eyes dark and vivid in the firelight. “We are going to get to know each other much better than we ought, and I don’t want you to regret things you might say. I assumed you would be curious about my wife. Yes, I undressed her. Many times. If I close my eyes, I can still feel her skin.” But he didn’t close his eyes. He couldn’t. She—Miss Diana Kingman—held him captive with her gaze.
Miss Kingman exhaled. “You must promise not to look. Aside from what you must do to unlace my gown.
“I promise.” He kept his voice and his gaze steady. “We must trust each other on this journey. Implicitly. That’s why I won’t shy away from your questions.”
She nodded, then presented her back. “Will you leave while I undress? I’ll need ten minutes or so. I’ll be in bed when you return and will close my eyes while you disrobe.”
It was a good plan, particularly since he thought a walk outside in the cold might do him some good. A beautiful woman’s back presented to him for the purpose of assistance with disrobing was too reminiscent of a time gone by and yet wholly new. Miss Kingman wasn’t Miriam, nor did he want her to be.
Simon quickly unlaced her gown and helped lift it over her head. He laid it across one of the chairs set at a small table and returned to help her remove her petticoat and unlace her corset. When he finished, he dropped his hands to his sides.
“I can finish,” she said, without looking back. “Thank you.”
He left without a word, closing the door firmly behind him. He inhaled sharply, taking perhaps the deepest breath he had in the last ten minutes.
Thankfully he didn’t encounter anyone on his walk. He wasn’t in the mood to made idle chatter. His thoughts were bad enough—railing at him for being attracted to someone who wasn’t his wife.
But how could he expect to go through life as he had the past two years? A self-hating, forlorn monk. Oh, he put on a good face for everyone else, but no one knew how acutely his pain cut.
Tomorrow, they would be on their way to Northampton, and hopefully, things would go as smoothly as they had so far. But first he had to spend the night in her bed. Again. Only with less clothing.
Thinking it had been well more than ten minutes, he made his way back upstairs. The lantern next to the bed had been extinguished, leaving just the light from the fire to illuminate the room.
Simon looked toward the bed. Miss Kingman lay near the edge of one side—as close as she could get without falling off, he noted—her back to the center of the bed, where it looked as though she’d rolled one of the blankets and placed it between them. He hoped there were enough coverings on the bed to keep them warm. Last night, they’d worn more clothing to bed.
Hell. He wore a nightshirt to sleep in or, most often, nothing at all. Tonight, he should probably keep his smallclothes on.
Shrugging out of his jacket, he hung it on a hook in the wall. He sat down to remove his boots, working as quietly and quickly as possible. When he’d removed everything but his shirt and smallclothes, he went to his side of the bed and crawled between the icy covers. He shuddered involuntarily and felt her jerk.
“Sorry,” he murmured. “Cold bed.”
“Very,” she responded, her low, feminine voice rustling over him like a fine silk.
He considered making an offer to warm them both up—body heat would be most beneficial. But that was likely a bad idea. For so many reasons.
He turned to his side, away from her, but snuggled his back against the rolled-up blanket. That would help with the cold. And the warmer he got, the more easily he would fall asleep. And the sooner he fell asleep, the sooner he could put the proximity of Miss Kingman out of his mind.
Too bad none of that happened very quickly at all.

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About Darcy

Darcy BurkeDarcy 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 http://www.darcyburke.com/readerclub. 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.

Connect with Darcy

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Stay up to date with Darcy by joining her Reader Club today