Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Duke of Dark Desires Book Tour: Review + Excerpt + Giveaway! @avonbooks @Miranda_Neville

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Welcome to my post for the Duke of Dark Desires tour! I have a review coming up, as well as an excerpt and a giveaway for copies of The Duke of Dark Desires. But, first, allow me to introduce the book:

The Duke of Dark Desires (The Wild Quartet, #4)
Release date: December 30, 2014
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance
Series: The Wild Quartet #4

Wanted: Governess able to keep all hours...

Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified—to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation . . . without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.

Desired: Duke skilled in the seductive art of conversation...

Lady Jeanne de Falleron didn't seek a position as a governess simply to fall into bed with the Duke of Denford. Under the alias of Jane Grey, she must learn which of the duke's relatives is responsible for the death of her family—and take her revenge. She certainly can't afford the distraction of her darkly irresistible employer, or the smoldering desire he ignites within her .

But as Jane discovers more clues about the villain she seeks, she's faced with a possibility more disturbing than her growing feelings for Julian: What will she do if the man she loves is also the man she's sworn to kill?

My Rating: 3 Roses

Started off slow, but turned out to be a lovely read, The Duke of Dark Desires was a great historical romance. Though it didn't engage me fully at first, it gained momentum as it went along and I ended up quite liking it.

Jane was a determined heroine, to say the least. After someone betrayed her family and sent them to the guillotine, she was determined to have her revenge. Even if it meant years of tracking down the mysterious Mr. Fortescue. I liked her. I appreciated that she wasn't prone to overdramatics and knew when to let go and move on. I thought she was a great character.

Julian, to be honest, came off as a complete ass at first. He earned my dislike in the previous book in the series, when he had to audacity to try to seduce his friend's wife. It didn't get better when, at the beginning of this book, he remembered his actions and felt not a bit of remorse over them. I nearly didn't continue the book because he was getting on my nerves. But, I continued on and I'm glad that I did because he changed over the course of the book, stretching out his concern beyond himself and showing that he could be a kind and sweet man when he wanted to be. By the end, I still didn't absolutely love him, but I liked him fine.

The romance was...okay. I didn't quite connect with it, probably because a spent the first chunk of the book annoyed with Julian. However, I thought it was nice how Jane was a positive influence on Julian and encouraged him to better himself. And they definitely had chemistry. So, I thought they were a good couple.

The pace was my other big problem with the book. As I mentioned, it started off really slow and I was only vaguely interested for about the first half of the book. In some places, I even started to skim. But, as more secrets and tangles came into light, the plot became much more interesting and the pace picked up. From then on, I was kept interested the rest of the way through. I enjoyed the story and the ending was great.

The Duke of Dark Desires was a lovely historical romance. Despite its slow start, it turned out to be a great read. Romance lovers, this is a book you might want to check out.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Bad news always came in threes, while the miserly gods of good fortune meted out their gifts one at a time at long intervals. Though the first to admit that he didn’t deserve much in the way of luck, Julian Fortescue, Duke of Denford, would have liked a little more time to savor his victory. A week maybe. Would that have been too much to ask? A week to enjoy the fact that two years after becoming a duke, he was now also a rich one?

Not that the arrival of his mother from Ireland was necessarily a bad thing. But he wondered what favor—or three—she was going to claim. Doubtless something vastly inconvenient.

She sailed into the faded grandeur of the first floor saloon at Fortescue House, trailing gauze scarves and a cloud of eau de cologne. “My darling boy! As handsome as ever. You haven’t changed a bit.”

He could say the same of her. Mrs. Osbourne, formerly Mrs. Fortescue, born Julia Hope Gore, had defied the passage of time. Her black hair contained barely a thread of gray and her pale skin, though the youthful glow had long faded, was a fine setting for blue eyes undulled by age. At almost fifty she still possessed the beauty and gaiety that used to provoke the Dublin gallants to poetry. Julian, her cynical son, attributed this eternal youth to always getting her own way and never worrying about anything.

“Neither have you, Mother.” He took her hands and kissed her on both cheeks.

“How are the girls?”

“They are well. But I’ve become an old lady in the years since you took the trouble to visit me,” she said, tilting her head coquettishly. One corner of his brain registered that her bonnet, new and adorned with ostrich plumes, had not come cheap.

“I beg your pardon. My affairs kept me from making the journey to Ireland, and now there is no need. As for the rest of your speech, it is too absurd to answer. You know you look ravishing. What are you doing in London?”

“Are you not going to offer your poor mother a seat and a little something to fortify her after her voyage all the way across the Irish Sea?”

“I beg your pardon, my dear. Your toilette is perfection itself so it didn’t occur to me that you were travel-soiled.”

“As it happens I arrived yesterday. I came only from the Pulteney Hotel this morning.”

“The arduous drive from Piccadilly must have worn you out.”

As he led her to the sofa and fetched a glass of madeira, her favorite wine, from the tray on the console table, he wondered at this additional sign of prosperity; the hotel was one of the best in London. No doubt she would, in her own good time, reveal why she hadn’t asked to stay with him at Fortescue House. Then again, given his home’s meager comforts and inadequate staff, perhaps, now that he was rich, he should move into the Pulteney himself.

He raised his glass. “To you, Mother.”

“To us,” she responded. “And the pursuit of happiness.” Julian felt a momentary pang at hearing the old toast again. His father had been impressed by the American Declaration of Independence, claiming to greatly admire a nation founded on such an admirable ambition. Osbourne, his mother’s second husband, hadn’t shared the sentiment.
Up for grabs are 3 print copies of The Duke of Dark Desires.
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About the Author:

MIRANDA NEVILLE grew up in England before moving to New York City to work in Sotheby’s rare books department. After many years as a journalist and editor, she decided writing fiction was more fun. She lives in Vermont. She loves hearing from readers and may be reached through her website.


  1. Hi Farrah. Thanks for the review and for featuring my book. Happy New Year :)

  2. Thank you for hosting today! Happy Happy New Year!!