Reviews

A Duke Will Never Do, by Darcy Burke

addieyoder's review against another edition

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4.0

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 against another edition

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4.0

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 against another edition

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4.0

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 against another edition

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3.0

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 against another edition

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3.0

GREAT MALE LEAD, BUT SADLY LACKING FEMALE LEAD

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 against another edition

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4.0

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 BUT...it'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.

jillmlong's review against another edition

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3.0

This is the third book in The Spitfire Society series. You do not need to read the other two books to enjoy this book but I would recommend reading A Duke is Never Enough, it is my favorite in the series. For me, this book was OK. Anthony was the highlight of this book. He had a lot of guilt and self destructive behavior but he was an honorable man that needed some help getting out of the hole of despair. Jane was not very memorable. She was manipulative and boring.

natasjalovesbooks's review against another edition

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2.0

Decently fun, but nothing I haven't read many times before.

The characters weren't particularly compelling, although I did appreciate the male lead having actual alcohol problems. It's so often brushed aside in other historical romances, where they can easily quit the drink when they fall in love or their vast intake of spirits is never really commented on. I didn't appreciate the female lead's persistence when faced with a lack of sexual consent, though. She continuously cornered Anthony and pressured him into sex, despite his many refusals. It made me dislike her.

The plot was rather weak, in my opinion, and the climax was a little too dramatic for my taste. I also found it disappointing that
Spoilerthe two culprits turned out to be characters we never met before, except for the one being mentioned a few times throughout the story.


I hadn't read the other books in the series or any other books from Burke, and although not necessary to do so in order to read A Duke Will Never Do, I think it might add to the experience if you have. There were so many references to characters I imagine have appeared in Burke's other novels, and because I didn't know them, it felt like they were just there as filler. They had very little influence on the actual story.

All in all, this was a decent enough read, but that's about it.

I received a copy from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

cakt1991's review against another edition

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4.0

I received an ARC from the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

A Duke Will Never Do is my second Darcy Burke, the first being the previous book in the Spitfire Society, and I enjoyed this one much more. That one lacked a lot of substance to the characters and plot that this one delivered on so much better.

I was skeptical of the arc with Anthony descending into rakishness to numb the pain in the aftermath of his parent’s’ murder, as I feel like reforming the rake can often be done poorly. But I enjoyed the way he was portrayed, being self loathing but also trying to be a good person. Him getting together with Jane isn’t a cure-all, and while it’s rushed a bit, I like that he acknowledges he needs time to work on himself.

The Spitfire Society ladies are fascinating in their living independently on the fringes of society, and Jane is no exception. I like how she decided to stop caring about what people thought about her after a rumor ruined all her prospects.

There’s a mystery element in this one, and the way it connects Anthony and Jane, amping up the stakes for those they care about was wonderful, and provided a nice secondary conflict that was really compelling.

I really enjoyed this one, and am excited to hear that there’s more stories coming soon for the supporting characters from this book, especially Jane’s sister. I recommend this for fans of steamy historical romance.

mom_reads_romance's review against another edition

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4.0

This was my first read by Darcy Burke, and I will definitely come back for more.

What I loved most about this story was the way the two main characters found strength in each other. Each were dealing with their past tragedies, and their relationship was built on an openness and trust. I love the sort of love story where it's "us against the world." And even though they had some really heavy things to deal with (particularly the hero, Anthony), I didn't find the story overwrought with angst. It was still full of humor and felt light and fun to read.

This was the final book of a trilogy, and I do think I would have enjoyed it more had I read the other two books first. This Spitfire Society seemed more like a side story, or at least relied upon a prior understanding of it to appreciate it's significance. And it seemed that Anthony's story was fleshed out more in prior books. So, at first it felt that I was suddenly at a party where everyone but me knew each other. Once I adjusted to the fast pace of the story, I rather enjoyed it. I finished the story in a single afternoon, which I find deeply satisfying and will definitely read more from this author in the future.