Wednesday, February 7, 2024

If the Duke Dares Excerpt Tour #GoddessFish



by Darcy Burke


GENRE: Regency Historical Romance



Incorrigible flirt Acton Loxley, Duke of Wellesbourne is in need of a duchess. En route to greet a potential bride, he encounters a most intriguing and captivating widow who completely distracts him from his task. However, she disappears before he can deepen their acquaintance. Acton begrudgingly goes to meet his bride, unaware she and the widow are one and the same.

When Persephone Barclay’s younger sister is compromised, Persephone must wed before the scandal spreads. Her parents scramble to present her to the Duke of Wellesbourne; except he’s precisely the kind of rogue she has now vowed to avoid. Taking flight to avoid a match, Persephone runs straight into her would-be betrothed and pretends to be someone else. But dash it all, the duke proves to be irresistibly charming! If she remains in his company, she’ll end up in the wicked scoundrel’s clutches.

Even worse, her second attempt at escape lands her in increasingly poor circumstances. With nowhere to turn and her safety at risk, she may have to accept help from the one man who threatens her resolve—and her reputation.



I should like to deepen our acquaintance.” Acton was torn between wanting to be done with his dinner so he could focus entirely on her and prolonging the meal to ensure she stayed.

Her brow arched in that saucy fashion once more. He liked it. “Deepen it how?”

Was she using a seductive tone? Or was he just hoping she had?

However we like,” he said casually, despite the increased speed of his heartbeat.

She batted her lashes. “I see.” Now she sounded demure. But perhaps she really was flirting with him. God, he hoped so. He had a sudden image of whiling away what could have been a perfectly boring evening with this thoroughly tempting widow.

You should finish eating,” she murmured, jolting him from his lurid waking dream.

Acton took a large bite of the beef while glancing at the door to ensure it was closed. Too bad he couldn’t lock it.

He watched as she finished her wine. “Would you care for Madeira?”

I would, thank you. Why don’t you tell me what qualities you hope your potential bride will possess?”

Filling her glass, he refilled his own while he had the bottle. “My father always said the perfect duchess would be clever, well-spoken, dutiful, and, above all, beautiful.”

She put her hand around the wineglass, her fingers stroking the stem. It was most distracting. In a thoroughly erotic way. Was she doing that on purpose? “What an interesting list. Which of those are most important to you?”

Er—” His mind was arresting on the movement of her fingers. He nearly said, “Sexual prowess,” but that was not something he’d mentioned. It was also not something he ought to say to someone he’d just met. “I don’t think I would enjoy being married to someone who wasn’t clever.”

She licked her lips, and now he had to think she was arousing him on purpose. She’d been a widow for a year. It was not unrealistic for him to think she might be interested in the same thing he was—a night to remember.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of over sixty captivating, compelling 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. Her novels have been translated into five languages and are also available as audio books. Join her Reader Club at

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming, teacher husband, artist daughter, and writer (yes!) son. They’re a crazy cat family with two Bengal cats, a small, fame-seeking cat named after a fruit, a rescue Maine Coon with attitude to spare, an adorable former stray who wandered onto their deck and into their hearts, and two bonded boys who used to belong to (separate) neighbors but chose them instead. You can find Darcy in her comfy writing chair, folding laundry (which she loves), or enjoying game night with the family. Visit Darcy online at and follow her social media: Facebook at, Instagram at http://www.instagram/darcyburkeauthor, and Pinterest at

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  1. Thank you for featuring this book and excerpt today.

  2. If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you chose?

  3. Replying to TracieM: I would love to spend the day with Deborah Harkness who wrote A Discovery of Witches. Her research astounds me and I just love the world she built.


I try to get comments published as quickly as possible. I don't always reply to comments on my blog, but I do try to visit as many people as possible when I participate in blog hops and I share links where possible to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and such so others can discover your work. I do read and appreciate your comments.