Jen: Today we welcome Darcy Burke to Romancing the Book. Darcy, will you share a short bio with us?
Darcy: Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional 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.
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, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at http://www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her new releases newsletter, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/darcyburkefans.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Darcy: My latest release is THE FORBIDDEN DUKE, book one in my new Regency series, The Untouchables. Oddly enough, that name, “The Untouchables” popped into my head one day, and I thought it sounded like a cool series name. From there, it just sort of blossomed into this roadmap with these elite bachelors in Society who would be “untouchable” to a group of young woman who had failed on the marriage mart for one reason or another. They’re wallflowers and spinsters, and they joke about these untouchable men, giving them nicknames like the Duke of Daring, the Duke of Deception, and the Duke of Desire. THE FORBIDDEN DUKE kicks it all off with a not-so-young-anymore woman who, nine years after a scandal sent her back to the country, is given a second chance at entering Society finding a husband. She becomes the ward of the Forbidden Duke’s step-mother and when Titus, the duke, agrees to support Nora’s re-entry, sparks fly. Complicating matters is the role he played in the event that ruined her nine years ago. It’s a long novella and hopefully a charming story about righting past wrongs and embracing second chances.
“We need to take our place,” he said, guiding her to the dance floor, where Lord and Lady Satterfield were already in place at the top of the line that was forming. Kendal positioned Nora to stand beside Lady Satterfield so that they were second in the line. The musicians, set in the far corner of the makeshift ballroom, began to play, and panic seized Nora’s chest. Would she remember the steps? Would she make a fool of herself, or worse, of him?
She felt like an imposter in a scenario she’d mistakenly stumbled into. Surely someone would point her out and tell her she needed to leave. She was a pariah, an outcast. She had no place being here, let alone dancing with a duke.
But it was far too late to run away. The dance had started, and the line traveled the length of the drawing room. This dance would last quite some time, during which Nora would be the center of everyone’s attention and the source of everyone’s gossip. She could hear the exchanges now, imagined them starting up and spreading like a freshly-ignited fire.
“Look at who he chose. Who is that Nobody?”
“Don’t you remember? She ruined herself nine years ago.”
Lord and Lady Satterfield started, dancing their way between the lines. They were rather spry, given their age.
Nora nervously looked over at the duke. “Lady Satterfield is an excellent dancer.”
“Indeed.” The rich tone of his voice soothed her rioting nerves. “She always insists on calling the first, though it’s the only set she’ll dance.”
Nora nodded. Dancing was typically reserved for the young.
She tried not to stare at her partner, but it was difficult as he was situated directly across from her and she should look at him. Look, yes, but not gape. And he was gape-worthy. His reputation suited him for he seemed forbidden, otherworldly almost. Not in an ethereal way, but in a rustic, rough sort of manner, as if Society couldn’t possibly contain him.
Despite that or perhaps because of it, he wore his costume with ease. However, she suspected he was more comfortable in riding breeches and boots as he galloped his horse across the Lake District—she’d ascertained that was where his seat was located—his powerful thighs hugging the animal’s flanks as they moved as one.
Goodness, where had that astonishing image come from?
And then it was their turn to traverse the line. She prayed she would remember the steps and focused on the music as they moved toward each other.
“You look as if you’re headed to the guillotine,” he said just loud enough for her alone to hear.
“Do I?” She tried to laugh but was afraid she sounded like a wounded bird. She longed to ask why he’d chosen her and immediately wondered if Lady Satterfield had put him up to it. She decided she didn’t want to know.
“It’s just a dance.”
The superbly absurd comment coaxed a genuine smile to her lips and alleviated some of her discomfort. “With the ‘Forbidden Duke’ who only dances once each Season. Yes, you’re quite right to characterize it that way. Thank you for putting me at ease.”
He chuckled, and like his speaking voice, it sparked a tremor that seemed to start in her bones and move outward making her flesh tingle and her chest warm. “Don’t be nervous. And certainly don’t be nervous on my account.” He said the last with a tone so dry, she feared it might curl up and blow away in the breeze.
“That is easy for you, a duke, to say. I am just a simple girl who’s been away from London a long time.”
“I daresay you aren’t ‘just’ anything.”
Jen: What first attracts you to the opposite sex?
Darcy: Sense of humor
Jen: Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Darcy: I don’t have a regular favorite! We have an amazing ice creamery in Portland called Salt & Straw. I love, love their honey lavender and pear blue cheese. Plus, they have seasonal flavors that change often. The line is always out the door.
Jen: Favorite place to vacation?
Darcy: Disneyland! (Europe’s good too.)
Jen: Favorite flower?
Darcy: Miniature daffodils. Or miniature iris. Pretty much miniature anything (and no, I don’t own any bonsai, which is probably an oversight, lol).
Jen: Food that you refuse to eat.
Jen: How far from where you grew up do you live?
Darcy: About seven miles.
Jen: What is the perfect temperature?
Darcy: 75-80 with plenty of shade!
Jen: What TV family would you want to be a part of?
Darcy: Hmm, I don’t watch much TV and what I do watch doesn’t seem to have a family aspect. Wait! I would say the Starks on Game of Thrones, but they don’t have the best longevity or luck, lol.
Jen: Who is your book boyfriend (provide book title/series and author as well)?
Darcy: Wow, this is a hard question. Jamie Fraser from Outlander is probably an obvious choice (especially with the visual of Sam Heughan now). I also really love a lot of Elizabeth Hoyt’s heroes. Griffin Remmington, Lord Reading, from NOTORIOUS Pleasures (Maiden Lane book two) comes to mind.
Jen: If you could have dinner with any author living or dead, who would it be?
Darcy: JK Rowling. She seems super cool and I really want to know how she plotted those seven HP books!
Jen: Coffee or tea?
Darcy: Tea, but I can’t drink it on an empty stomach. Chai is my favorite. ☺
Jen: iPhone or android?
Darcy: iPhone 5S (tried a 6, but I thought it was too big so I returned it)
Jen: What’s next for you?
Darcy: I’m juggling a couple of projects right now. I’m working on a spin-off from my contemporary Ribbon Ridge series. It’s a small town family saga, and now that the family saga part is over, I’m veering off to tell the stories of three brothers who are related by marriage to the Archers. It’s sexy and fun. I’m also writing the next book in The Untouchables, THE DUKE OF DARING. It features a young woman facing bankruptcy or marriage, unless she can come up with a scheme to make money. Since her reprobate father taught her everything he knew about gambling, she dresses up as a man and tries her luck in the hells. This is where Andrew Wentworth, the Earl of Dartford, aka the Duke of Daring, finds her and, seeking to keep her safe, agrees to help her. After losing his entire family to illness almost twenty years ago, Andrew keeps relationships simple and casual and spends his time seeking thrills. Neither he nor Lucy want the attraction that springs up between them, but they also can’t seem to walk away. It’s shaping up as an almost friends to lovers story, and I just adore the chemistry between these two. It’s coming later this summer.