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The Duke of Defiance

(The Untouchables #5)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  917 ratings  ·  139 reviews
Difficult and defiant as a child, Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton left England as a young man to pursue independence and adventure. He never expected to inherit the title and when duty calls him home, he still finds Society’s codes constricting and others’ expectations oppressive. Nevertheless, he needs a wife to be a mother to his young daughter, preferably a woman of int ...more
Kindle Edition, 296 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by Darcy Burke
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Al George
Sigh. New to me author hits all four cylinders.

happy sigh

Series: Yes, and apparently I need to start collecting the rest!

Sexy times: Yes but tame so settle down.

Plan on reading more by the author: obvs

Joanna is a widow from a pretty terrible marriage. This is one of those cases where you can say "better off dead". Anyhoo, she's bound and determined to not enter into any relationship without seriously vetting her man. Then there's Bran who has spent the last 15 years in Barbados living the Carr
1.5 stars. This was so boring and long-winded- I slogged on to the end because many readers like this author, but I am afraid she is not for me. Wooden characters and unrealistic plot for an HR. Not an author I will seek out in the future.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Darcy Burke has claimed a spot on my favorite authors list. Her Untouchables series has been awesome and I eagerly await her next novel, book cover and blurb unseen. I just trust the book will be great because she wrote it.

The Duke of Defiance was a welcome escape. Within the first 20% of the novel, Burke had created layered characters with interesting quirks that I wanted to know more about. Jo carries some private pain where she blames her sister, husband, and herself for her failed marriage a
**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review**


The Duke of Defiance is the first book I read by Darcy Burke, but I have a feeling that it won't be my last. I liked it from start 'till finish, and the author did a great job in keeping me interested. I usually either love or DNF a historical romance taking place in England, because I get bored with unnecessary information that in my opinion don't add any value to the story. Development and the interaction between characters are what I find very
Barbara Rogers
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Series: The Untouchables #5
Publication Date: June 27, 2017

WOW!!! Just WOW!!! This is an awesome romance with a strong, loving father who wants only happiness for his small daughter and a wounded lady who knows she’ll never have the family she so desperately wants. Both are flawed, but both are also capable of great depths of love.

I was so engrossed with this book that I read it straight through – finishing at about four o’clock in the morning. I just couldn’t put it down. It sucked me into the l
May 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I haven’t read all the books in Darcy Burke’s The Untouchables series, but I’ve enjoyed those I have read and can confidently say that each book works as a standalone.  The Duke of Defiance features a new central couple and briefly re-introduces readers to the “Untouchables”, gentlemen so named by their heroines because their lofty positions in society meant they were well beyond their touch.  Although as things have turned out, they obviously weren’t 😉

Mrs. Joanna Shaw is the widowed sister
Tanya Sridhar
3.5/5 Stars.

After reading the 10th book for an ARC, I liked Burke's writing enough to read other's that interested me. This was one that stood out - probably because it had a hero who has a child. I'm a sucker for those, don't judge me.

Bran, our hero, has recently returned to England; widowed and father of 5 year old force of nature Evie. He spent over 15 years in Barbados doing whatever white men did in Barbados then, but then the two males that came before him decided to screw with their you
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
"Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review"
I enjoyed reading this book by Darcy Burke, my first by this author, particularly the originality of the Duke of Defiance. Having a peculiar, different hero, with such unusual issues and quirks, was refreshing.
I was expecting, though, that Bran’s uncommon traits would be somehow more thoroughly developed and explained. I would trade that for the sex scenes, which sounded formulaic and drawn-out.
For these reasons, I enjoyed more the
Isha Coleman
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
What fascinates me most is Ms. Burke's ability to always surprise her readers. Not allowing herself to be pigeonholed means the skies the limit for this talented author. No matter the genre, she keeps the romance fresh, the tales intriguing and hearts aflame with her creative mind and powerful stories. Bran and Joanna are only the latest in a long line of exciting heroes and captivating heroines. The Duke of Defiance is an adorable tale that speaks of hope, courage and second chances in the face ...more
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 stars

Review to follow
Three and a half stars.

The latest in the Untouchables series.

Bran Crowther was the third son, never expected to inherit and moved to Barbados to get away from his (frankly) vile family. When his two older brothers died, followed swiftly by his father he became the Earl of Knighton and was forced to return to England along with his six year old daughter Evie. Bran has some social issues which are never fully articulated but he feels awkward with strangers and finds clothing constrictive. As the n
Trish R.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it

So, book 5, The Duke of Defiance, and I really enjoyed. I liked that Bran not only didn’t like being touched all that much but he absolutely hated his coat, waistcoat and cravat and took them off as often as he could. One gets so used to gentlemen being dressed so stuffily all the time it was nice reading about someone who undressed as much as Bran did.

It was also about Joanna (Jo) who was married to a vicar for 8 years and he blamed everything that was wrong with their sex life on her, even whe
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A pleasing read!-__4 1/2 stars

Quite a beautiful story about a man who doesn't fit into the role thrust upon him and a woman betrayed by choices thrust upon her.
Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton can't stand to be back in England. Indeed he figuratively and literally is chafed by the burden. He fled the constrictions and oppressiveness of England and his family at a young age. He found himself in Barbados. Now duty has called him back. Dubbed a defiant child by his mother, Bran is touted as the Defi
After the passing of her cruel and uncaring husband, widow Joanna Shaw is not looking for a new husband, but finds herself envious of her sister having children. Her sister's daughter is friends with the daughter of the Earl of Knighton, Bran Crowther, and when Bran gets to know Joanna, decides she would make a wonderful governess. But when the two begin to fall passionately in love, it is Joanna's infertility that makes her believe she could not make him happy.

This story was pretty sweet. Obvi
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another great read in this series.
Tracy Emro
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-review
4.5 stars

This is the story of Joanna Shaw (sister of Nora aka the Forbidden Duchess) and Bran Crowther, the Earl of Knighton aka the Duke of Defiance.

Bran has lived the last 15 years in Barbados, ever since he left England and never looked back. As the third son of an earl, he never expected to inherit and had no desire to. He never really fit into his family and was dubbed defiant by his mother. He was happy in Barbados, he married, had a daughter, became widowed, made a fortune and never plann
Sissy's Romance Book Review
'The Duke of Defiance" by Darcy Burke is book Five in "The Untouchables" series. This is the story of Bran and Joanna, "Jo". I have read the other books in this series but feel this can easily be a standalone book. Although Jo's sister story was covered in the first book in this series.
Bran left home at an early age to get away from his abusive family. Bran made a life that included a wife and an young daughter. But now he is back with his young daughter after losing his wife and now inheriting
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, historical
Jo and Bram might be my favorite couple in this series :)

I loved Bram's idiosyncrasies and his devotion to his daughter--they definitely helped to make him one of the more unique heroes out there. (Though I kept hoping we'd find out something more about why he was that way--even just an author's note. I'm guessing with the anti-touch tendencies and the way he tensed up in social situations that he's somewhere on the autism spectrum, maybe? Either way, his need to get out of restrictive clothing
Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb"
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely Love The Duke of Defiance. It was the story of the Bran the New Earl of Knighton and Joanna Shaw widow of a reprobate Vicar and sister to The Duchess of Kendal.

Bran and his 5 year old daughter Evie have left there home in Barbados to come and live in England because his two eldest brothers have died in a boating accident and his father has also died. Living on a island is nothing like living as a Titled Lord In England. Bran and Evie must learn to live by the strict standards of th
Lauren Seiberling
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another fantastic addition to this series!

I just love these books. This is the second standalone I've read, and I can't wait to go back and read them all!!

In this story, I really enjoyed Jo. I felt she was realistic (for as much as I know about the time period, which isn't a lot, but I really liked her!), and I especially liked how she had a very unfortunate past and she actually told Bran about it. None of this "I'll just have to keep my secret until the end of the book for a big reveal" sort o
Anna Swedenmom
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the things I have come to expect from this author is the unexpected!. I must say I adore the way she writes her characters and plot lines. They are indescribably unique in some aspects of the story. Now for the review of this wonderful book. Having read the others in this series, I was and am continually surprised that the series just gets better. It seems that there is always a new element and the overall outcome is fantastic. I sincerely liked this story and did not s
4.0 stars!

He was an aberration, a gentleman who refused to adhere to Society's rules and requirements, and he made no apologies. All that just made him more attractive to her.

Re-read 08/2020 (because I forgot to write my review the first time!)

Again... another lovely gem from Darcy!

Bran and Joanna were the perfect imperfect pair in this historical romance novel.

Bran Crowther returns to his native home of England after reluctantly inheriting the earldom and now having the title Earl of Knighton.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Untouchable. Just wow! The story is so romantic and the characters are vulnerable and courageous and march to the beat of their own drummer. A very refreshing tale in the romance genre. Loved Bran and Joanna (and Evie). If you want a feel good read, definitely pick up this book.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Duke of Defiance is the fifth book in The Untouchables series by Darcy Burke. Although part of a series it can easily be read as a stand alone book. But, if you are anything like me, you will want to read all the others as well after reading this one!

Bran Crowther a third son to his parents, was brought up always being made to feel that his life was of little consequence. His brothers bullied him relentlessly, and his parents weren't much better. Eventually he had enough and he just bought p
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my first introduction to the writing of Darcy Burke and I greatly enjoyed it! I found it very easy to relate to the characters and the story had great passion, angst, and a sweet ending.

Joanna Shaw is a widow currently residing with the family of her sister, after having endured an extremely unhappy marriage. Bran is a widower recently returned from Barbados with his 5 year old daughter in tow, after learning that he has inherited his family title following the death of his two older b
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
These untouchable books could have been called Lord of ... instead of duke of... when half the characters aren't even dukes!
that fact kept bothering me throughout the whole book.
I wish the writer would get a better understanding of how Society worked in those days.... because her romance is developed quite nicely.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not my cup of tea...

Think I have read most of the good HRs and currently struggling to find decent reads. This was a miss for me. Don’t think I will be reading any more of this author.
Heather C
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Besides the fact that I had enjoyed prior entries in The Untouchables series, the cover of this one drew me right in – regardless of what the book was about. It is STUNNING! With that out of the way, let’s dig into the actual story.

One thing that I have always liked are the characters that Burke creates. Jo is the sister of one of the heroines from an earlier installment in the series, The Forbidden Duke. I didn’t know this character well because I haven’t yet read her story, but she figures pro
Book Gannet
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this latest addition to the Untouchables series – which can be read as a standalone perfectly well – and it’s less-than-usual take on a few things. Such as a devoted father and his child, the reasons behind Bran’s defiance and even the truth behind Jo’s marriage. Throw in a bit of household drama and some family troubles and the whole thing made for a great read.

I loved Bran. He had a horrible childhood, constantly tormented by his awful older brothers who used his hypersensitiv
Angel Hatfield
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Joanna/Jo ‘s sister Nora came to tell her she was again pregnant. Jo was proud of how she kept her tone free of any anguish or jealousy. Nora had overcome a scandal and was now married to a Duke who adored her they had a beautiful family. Jo was barren. Jo came to live with Nora and her family after her husband died. Jo had been married to a vicar for eight years-Matthias- and had been a good wife until she learned what Matthias had been doing behind her back. Matthias had also treated Jo horrib ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 May 21, 2017 08:42AM  

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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

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guit

Other books in the series

The Untouchables (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Forbidden Duke (The Untouchables, #1)
  • The Duke of Daring (The Untouchables, #2)
  • The Duke of Deception (The Untouchables, #3)
  • The Duke of Desire (The Untouchables, #4)
  • The Duke of Danger (The Untouchables, #6)
  • The Duke of Ice (The Untouchables, #7)
  • The Duke of Ruin (The Untouchables, #8)
  • The Duke of Lies (The Untouchables, #9)
  • The Duke of Seduction (The Untouchables, #10)
  • The Duke of Kisses (The Untouchables, #11)

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