A Duke Will Never Do, by Darcy Burke

u311082's review

Go to review page


Thanks to the publisher, author and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book is the first book I have read in the Spitfire Society series and centres around Jane, who has resigned herself to spinsterhood after a viscous rumour ruined any hope she has of marrying. Embracing her independence she has set up house on her own and has surrounded herself with true friends. Then she finds Anthony on her doorstep - bruised and beaten and with no memory of how he came to be there.

Helping him recover fills her with purpose and, as he reveals more of himself to her, she realises perhaps she doesn't want to remain a spinster any more.

Although this is the third book in the series, it's a good one to start with and I look forward to reading more.

ladyandscholar's review

Go to review page


Well written, engaging, romantic, suspenseful, with a HEA: I am a happy reader! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

litandknits's review

Go to review page


I have only one question about this book: Who is the duke referenced in the title? Because our hero is definitely a viscount.

That one question aside, I couldn't put this book down. Jane Pemberton is ruined, in a manner of speaking. She has chosen to leave her family's home and live a life of an unmarried spinster. One evening, she discovers a beaten and bruised Anthony, Viscount Colton on her doorstep, and impulsively brings the nobleman into her new home. She only asks for one thing in return for her care...for him to relieve her of her virginity.

Anthony has secrets, guilt, and a splitting ache in his side when he awakens in Jane's home. He has no time to play love tutor for an unmarried miss, even one so tempting as the passionate Jane. He's too busy fleeing his own demons. But when Jane learns his secrets, they have far reaching implications further than their burgeoning feelings for one another -- including a tie to the reason why Jane was unable to make a match during her past Season.

This is a masterpiece on the obligations one has to family and the memories of those we love. Anthony's grief and survivor's guilt is palpable, while Jane's determination to live her life on her own terms bristles off the page. All of that combined with a potent chemistry that had me reaching for a fan? Five star read, and I'll be adding Darcy Burke to my list of "one-click authors."

serenityfire's review

Go to review page


I enjoyed this third interlude with the Spitfire Society. Jane is a young woman who decides to move out fo her parents house after failing to marry though many seasons. She is a kind, strong woman who is a good match for Anthony, the hero who turns up wounded at her door.

I loved the first half of the novel when Jane helps Anthony he’s physically (with the help of two kittens). In the second half, she takes on the more daunting task to healing him emotionally, and that changed the pace of the novel, but led to a nice payoff at the end.

Friends from previous novels make appearances, and I look forward to seeing what comes next from the author.

I received an advanced readers copy of this book from the publisher and Net Galley in return for a fair review.

addieyoder's review

Go to review page


Oh Darcy Burke, I wasn't sure of this series when I started it several months ago, but you have done such a fantastic job of keeping the story between the three friends connected. This final of the Spitfire Society books was perfectly steamy. Anthony's tortured heart was wonderful to watch change as he learned to love himself and Jane. I am very excited that we got just a small peek at some other characters to glimpse into upcoming series, as well. I am rounding this up from 3.5 star.

bookswithjax's review

Go to review page


I find myself a little conflicted with this book. Overall it was an entertaining read and I rate it 3.5 stars. It just fell short of being wonderful for me.

Jane is a forward thinking, take control of her own life, kind of heroine. I love this about her, however I found her to be awfully flippant. She is utterly devastated when she finds out about the rumor and yet very early on in the story she’s offered her virginity as payment for taking care of it hero. That seems a bit off. I know a lot of people have complained about her and the concept of consent and I agree that she does rather pressure him. However someone mentioned that forced him because of course he was going to give into his attraction because he’s a man after all. That’s the most preposterous thing I’ve ever read and terribly problematic. He could have refused and being a man doesn’t make him a slave to his lust. What a disgustingly antiquated notion! All of that said I found Jane a bit flat sometimes.

Anthony is a man on the edge. He drinks to excess, fights, and basically drowns in the abyss. All rather for an understandable reason I think. He blames himself for his parents being murdered... that would be hard to live with!! I found him a more interesting character than Jane because he had more dimension to him. I liked their relationship together though very much! Although there’s a lot of steaminess to this book. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind steaminess, I just don’t like when it overtakes they story instead of enhancing the story.

My biggest gripe is the plot seems ill defined. In parts it meanders and in others it’s rushed and forced. I would have enjoyed fewer pages of intimacy and more pages explaining the plot and the side characters introduced. Overall it was good, and I’d love to read more in the series, but I doubt I’d read this one again. Also side note (and maybe this is because I haven’t read any others in the series) but I don’t get the title he’s definitely not a Duke??

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC copy! All opinions are my own*

laurasalwaysreading's review

Go to review page


This book opens up with a handsome man unconscious on Jane Pemberton's doorstep. From there, you know it has to be good. Jane quickly comes to realize she recognizes him as her friend, Sarah's, brother Anthony. Anthony has had a difficult year after the death of his parents and some other personal issues. Jane, herself, has not had it easy having recently declared herself a spinster and moving out of her parents house to live out her days on her own. The two come together and find they have more in common than they might think.

Burke writes a fun, sexy tale about two people who are feeling lost and alone. It is a joy to see them come together and reconcile their pasts in their own ways. While this book is part of a larger series, it reads well as a standalone. I would definitely recommend.

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of this book. The opinions here are my own.

katelynne's review

Go to review page


Thank you to NetGalley for providing this in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to like this one more than I did. I enjoyed the story a lot - I thought it was fun and the friendships between the women were wonderful to read. The characters were interesting enough and I found their stories to be touching in their own ways. I found Anthony's story in particular to be compelling to read.

However, I never really liked Jane. I found Anthony compelling and incredibly interesting (tragic episode in his past! learnt from his mistakes! bad relationship with alcohol!) and I was really rooting for him. But Jane.......Jane was only ever okay to me. I just never connected to her.

I was also very uncomfortable with their first time having sex. It started very steamy, but
Spoiler I didn't think Anthony fully consented to it happening at that moment and that was never addressed. He did not seem comfortable with the fact that it had taken place at that time and I was not comfortable with that. Consent should apply to BOTH parties and it didn't here.
That scene aside, it was a very enjoyable, fun read.

bibliophiliadk's review

Go to review page



When I was first introduced to the Spitfire Society, I was intrigued by the mission, these women had of making their own futures and controlling their own lives. However, I didn't feel like that mission or the Society was given the credit it was due in this book. It fell short of the intended goal, I think. Still, this was not a bad book, it had some great, steamy scenes as well as a great male lead.

"The purpose of the Spitfire Society is to celebrate womanhood and whatever independence we can claim."
- Jane

beckymmoe's review

Go to review page


Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 5/20/2020.

Anthony's book!

I've been wanting to find out his story since the book where he left a house party because of his parents' attack (I honestly don't remember which one it was--I feel like I've been waiting ages, even though Ms Burke really does write fairly quickly ;) ); watching him try to destroy himself on the sidelines of the past few books was heartbreaking, and I was rooting for him to find his way out (and get an HEA, of course!)

Jane too was intriguing in previous books...and that setup? Near dead viscount shows up on spinster's doorstep, and she proceeds to nurse him back to health? Yes, please!

There was some excellent banter here, and the scenes between Anthony and Jane were smoking hot. Plus, there are kittens--kittens who prefer the hero (they sleep on his legs at night! He is constantly "trapped" by little furry bundles taking naps on his lap during the day!) and spend their days being adorably kittenish. All good things, and so much fun to read.

Anthony gets his HEA, conveniently joined by Jane :)

But...I feel like Anthony doesn't quite do all of the work he really needs to to resolve his bigger issues. Yes, the villains of the piece are caught, the correct people are made aware of secrets that have been kept from them, and (some) families begin healing. BUT is it all enough to fix his self-medication/substance abuse problem? My heart wants to say, "Of course! Love fixes all!" but really, Anthony has to do it for himself...and IDK if that's all in there. He made it seem awfully easy if he did.

Another's fiction, so I'm going with the of course it's that easy option here. The tiny little coming soon blurbs at the end of this one have me all excited about the next three(!) books Ms Burke has planned, and I look forward to seeing Anthony prove my worries wrong in every single one...

As usual, though this isn't the first book in the series, it should work just fine as a standalone for new readers. You won't "get" who all the side characters are who weave in and out of the story, but you don't need to--honestly, after so many books in this universe, half the time I don't remember who they are either! ;)

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.