The Duke of Deception (Untouchables Series #3)

The Duke of Deception (Untouchables Series #3)

by Darcy Burke

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After five years on the Marriage Mart, Miss Aquilla Knox is ready for spinsterhood until a benefactress steps in to help her secure a husband. Only Aquilla doesn't actually want to marry--her failure is entirely on purpose. When the earl she's nicknamed the Duke of Deception sets his sights on her, she refuses to be drawn in by her attraction to him. If there's one thing she knows it's that a gentleman is never what he seems.

Edward Bishop, Earl of Sutton, has a reputation for courting young misses and dropping them without a second thought. This has earned him a reputation for deceit, a description he can't refute because he does in fact, harbor secrets and will do anything--deceive anyone--to ensure they don't come to light. As he comes to know the charming Miss Knox, his resolve is tested. However, trust comes at a price and Ned won't pay with his heart.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940157029333
Publisher: Darcy Burke
Publication date: 11/15/2016
Series: Darcy Burke's Untouchables Series , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 250
Sales rank: 50,197
File size: 946 KB

About the Author

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. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. She’s also a fair-weather runner, and her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge. Visit Darcy online at and sign up for her new releases newsletter, follow her on Twitter at or like her Facebook page,

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The Duke of Deception 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
ECD 27 days ago
I love the overall storyline. Philanthropic man looking for trustworthy likeminded miss for a wife. However, I found there was not much romance in the story. There was chemistry and passion but very little romance. Miss Aquilla Knox did not want an abusive marriage like her parents. Her mother advised her to never ever trust a man. So Aquilla spent five seasons behaving in a way to discourage all suitors. I liked Aguilla's character. She is creative and inventive. She is kindhearted, thoughtful and considerate. She is beautiful yet humble. Everyone believed she was looking for marriage, she was ashamed that she kept the truth from all who truly cared for her. Until she met Edward Bishop, the Ninth Earl of Sutton, she had never been interested in a man. But she was now. Edward was known as the Duke of Deception because he would spend time with young ladies who expected a proposal and never got one. Little did anyone know how he tested each candidate. They had to pass several tests to even be considered acceptable marriage material. Edward had a dark secret and need to be 100% sure he could trust the woman he married. After he met Aquilla, she was never far from his mind. He decided she would be his next candidate. He found when he was around Aquilla he felt things that he did not with the others. Edward was a good man. He was intelligent, decisive, confident and had a deep and profound philanthropic attitude. However, he was in competition for Aquilla's hand. He had to act quickly or he would lose her. Her father agreed to marry her to a man who wanted her beauty at his side and her body in his bed. But he cared not for her mind nor her soul and had decided to break her of the things he did not like about her. Edward knew this man was not right for her. Would he be able to test Aquilla quick enough? If she did pass, would she accept his offer of marriage and would her father permit it? If everything went well, how would he tell her about his darkest secret? Would she be accepting or would she reject him outright? Should he tell her before or after they were married? So many questions not many answers. A quick sweet read. I feel that expanding on the romantic relationship between Aquilla and Edward would have enhanced the reading experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great book by Darcy Burke!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was one of my favorite by far. Good story.
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
Started with a lady named Aquilla. Need I say more? Just the fact that you name your main regency character something other than Charlotte, Elizabeth, or Jane immediately reels me in. Of course, like with so many romance novels, it starts with an incredibly contrived meeting. From there, it gets better, and we have a very adorable romance between a lady who wants to be an unmarried, independent woman and a marriage minded man. Add a gothic element of a duke with secret and you have a fun novel. Look forward to reading more from Ms. Burke.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first read of Darcy Burke's work. What a wonderful read it was! Heartbreaking and exhilarating, romantic and sexy! It had everything I love in a period romance!
TobiForgetHousework More than 1 year ago
Aquilla has been throwing her potential courtships in the Ton of London by acting ditzy. After watching how her father and brother treat the women in their lives, she wants nothing to do with marriage. She didn't think she'd catch the eye of Edward Bishop. The Earl she end her friends named The Duke of Deception, due to the fact he courts women and lets them loose right when they expect a proposal. The two are thrown together and help each other out of their binds. Their attraction and chemistry leap off the pages. I love how protective Edward is. I was shocked when I learned more of Aquilla how much she was hiding especially her intelligence in the previous stories.\ Once again, Darcy Burke swept me away in this wonderful story she wove in her Regency romance! I highly recommend checking out the Duke of Deception and the rest of the Untouchables Series.
julieford More than 1 year ago
I won this book in a contest and am writing a fair and honest review. Although this book is the third in a series, it is definitely a stand alone story. Miss Aquilla Knox is trying to avoid marriage because of the abuse she sees her mother suffer. Edward Bishop, Earl of Sutton, is actively seeking a wife but has to choose wisely to conceal a family secret. A chance meeting in the rain leads to Aquilla and Ned meeting. They begin spending time together but when Aquilla's abusive father deems she is to marry another, Ned proposes because Aquilla is perfect for his family. They both have their secrets that may destroy the love they feel for each other. This is a truly engaging story that will keep you engrossed until the very end.
MSalmeron More than 1 year ago
The Duke of Deception was an interesting read. Aquilla Knox is an intelligent girl who is too smart to get caught in the marriage trap. Behind her scatterbrained facade, she hides the pain and fear of a shameful family secret. She's close to the freedom she desperately desires when her domineering father makes a decision regarding her future that she cannot abide. Fortunately for her, a chance meeting with Edward Bishop, Earl of Sutton, provides an acceptable solution with a possible escape. Though her wallflower friends dubbed him the Duke of Deception, the moniker is closer to the truth than they realize. He is in search of a bride who will be discreet and accepting of a family secret. Will Aquilla and Edward admit that they are perfect for each other? Or will they let their past and secrets tear them apart? I have loved the Untouchables thus far. This book is no exception. It does touch on some topics that many historical romances do not discuss, but this is what makes this story unique. Darcy Burke handles the topics well and narrates a compelling story. I look forward with what surprises she has in store for The Duke of Desire. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
CMDeOliveira More than 1 year ago
The Duke of Deception A wonderfully written book filled with passion, love, dedication, compassion, and deceptions. These characters jump off the pages and you just can not help but fall in love with them. Aquilla is going through another seasons to find a husband even though she does not intend to marry. She has her families marriages as examples and she is not interested. On a chance encounter she meets The duke of Deception and he helps her from an embarrassing situation. Edward Bishop, The ninth Earl of Sutton also known as the Duke of Deception for the way he courts young ladies. The deception he is doing no one can ever find out because he needs to protect the ones he loves. Ned helps Aquilla from an embarrassing situation and finds her intriguing. As Ned spends more time with Aquilla the more he thinks she might be what he is looking for in a wife. When his secret puts a strain between himself and Aquilla can he choose between her and his deception? I received an ARC from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was provided a free copy of this book by Net Galley for a fair and honest review. I enjoyed this well-written book and liked the twist of the hero's secret. I actually would have liked more development along those lines toward the end of the book (I cannot say more without divulging the secrets). Nevertheless, I think Regency lovers will like this offering.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
London - 1816 Edward (Ned) Bishop, ninth Earl of Sutton, is working with his aunt, Mrs. Susannah Greville, in a test of sorts to find the perfect young lady suitable for Ned to marry and make her the next Countess of Sutton. Currently, Miss Forth-Hodges is leading even though her impatience occasionally shows through her demeanor. Having just danced with the young lady, Ned is preparing to leave for his club when a young woman who has been caught in the rain on the balcony, whispers to him to open a door further along the balcony. She says she has torn her dress and does not want anyone to see it. Now, they are alone in their host’s office as she warms herself before the fire. She introduces herself as Miss Aquilla Knox. Of course, she knows who he is. Doesn’t everyone? He thinks her ploy is just a ruse to put he two of them in a room alone together. As they talk, she confesses that she and her friends call him the Duke of Deception. It appears that while he is not a Duke, he is someone who courts women then discards them if they do not measure up to his standards of a wife. Taken aback by her name for him, he realizes the people with whom she is connected makes her quite eligible to be considered as a possible woman he could court. As they chat, he finds she doesn’t think she will marry. Ned feels that she is just expressing a low opinion of herself. The next day, Ned heads to his home, Sutton Park outside London, to check on his brother, George, who suffers from mental instability. Ned loves his brother who became ill some years back. His parents had put him in a mental hospital but Ned was finally able to get his out and bring him home after his parents passed away. Sadly, during his time in the hospital, he was badly mistreated which has worsened his symptoms. George requires constant supervision and Ned is searching for a wife who would be able to accept George in their lives and to give Ned an heir. On his journey, he can’t stop thinking about Miss Aquilla Knox. Lord and Lady Satterfield, Aquilla’s sponsors, have been so kind in presenting her for the Season. However, after five years and no marriage offers, Aquilla is quite happy because she simply does not want to get married. Even her two best friends don’t know the truth. Having witnessed her parents’ miserable marriage, she wants no part of it for herself. As Aquilla and Ned meet at soirees, he realizes she is quite intriguing even though she tries to hide her true personality to throw him off. He soon realizes she is the one for him. However, her evil father is determined to marry her off to another man in exchange for a plot of land. Is there some way, Aquilla and Ned can open up to one another and share the truth about their backgrounds and their fears in life? This is an interesting story. I enjoyed the first part of the book but the plot seemed to drag somewhat as it went along. However, I’m sure readers will enjoy this book. Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley and the blog, Author’s Pal, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
LoriP123 More than 1 year ago
I loved The Duke of Deception by Darcy Burke! It is the third book in her The Untouchables series and in my opinion they get better with each new book. Ned is Edward Bishop the ninth Earl of Sutton and for everyone looking, he looks like he goes in to relationships with women with only deception in mind, but that is far from the truth. He has a family secret that he must keep hidden and that includes the woman that he plans to court until he knows he can fully trust her. The whole charade is getting tedious and he longs for the time when he can finally stop with all of these games. Aquilla Knox is in London for her fifth season and while she's going through the motions the furthest thing from her mind is finding a husband. Aquilla doesn't want to marry or have anything to do with marriage since she discovered the horrific secret involving her parents' and brother's marriage three years ago. Ned and Aquilla soon develop a friendship that might become something more and circumstances push them together sooner than they wanted, but they soon realize that their attraction for one another is quite promising in making their marriage grow. I was given an ARC from the author/publisher. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
Rhondaz More than 1 year ago
The Duke of Deception by Darcy Burke.....Another great book in this series, Darcy Burke's writing style makes you feel like you are in the story. I really enjoyed the storyline and characters. I loved watching the story unfold between Ned and Aquilla. I am pretty new to historical romance and Darcy Burke has made me love these books. I highly recommend this book. I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
'The Duke of Deception' by Darcy Burke is the third book in "The Untouchables" series. I have read and loved all the book in this series but I do feel this can be a standalone book. This is the story of Miss Aquilla Knox and Edward Bishop, Earl of Sutton. This might just be my favorite book in the series. Ned & Aquilla both have things that have happened in their lives that make them who they are today...and what they both are trying to to. Ned does want to get married but is finding the wife he needs is not so easy when he puts them to the test. Aquilla doesn't want to be married due to her history and thinks this can be the last time she has to go through 'The Marriage Mart'. But things end up changing for both of them...and they find that maybe their is someone for them. "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
dfosterbooks More than 1 year ago
Two people. Two secrets. Both desperately trying to keep their own secret hidden. Can a relationship work with these secrets between them? Edward Bishop’s, Earl of Sutton, life is built on a secret; a secret that he must learn to share when he takes a wife; which makes his wife hunt a carefully planned hunt. The stages of this hunt have him courting young women but they all have ultimately failed at some stage where Edward dumps them, earning him a reputation as a deceiver. Until he meets the one woman who may be his ideal wife. As per his usual plan he sets about the stages of getting to know this woman when circumstances change and he needs to speed things along will he make the worst mistake of his life or will it be the best thing that ever happened? Miss Aquilla Knox is a fraud. After several seasons she has decided she’d rather remain a spinster; of course her family situation plays a huge part in that decision. Both these facts she has kept hidden even from her closest friends. When an unfortunate encounter brings her into the sight of The Duke of Deception will her ruse of running suitors off work on him? Or, even knowing that men are not what they present, will she fall under his spell? Can she overlook the atmosphere of her upbringing and learn to trust? A heartbreaking tale, written by the very talented Darcy Burke, of two people who have to basically make their own way while harboring secrets. One whose secret could destroy everything he’s worked to accomplish and one who is ashamed of hers. Ms. Burke’s tale had my heartbreaking for both Edward (for the heart wrenching secret he’s had to carry for most of his life) and Aquilla (for the hard lessons she’s learned and how it has shaped her outlook on love). This story is one of those that will stick with you long after you have finished reading.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
With a stroke of the pen Darcy Burke sets the stage for an intricate tale of duplicity. Everyone has an agenda, the lure of the story is figuring them out. Aquilla is her own woman, or so she hopes to be. Wanting a chance to be more than someone's wife or mother, she sets in motion plans that will forever ruin her chances at finding a suitable match. Too bad doing so is proving more complicated than she thought. Aquilla has more personality than previous heroines I have come across in historical romances. She tries to hide her true self but has trouble extinguishing the spark. Complex characters are what I live for, so the contradictions that Edward and Aquilla presented made for an intriguing past time. Duke of Deception reads like a puzzle waiting to be solved. The pieces are all there waiting to reveal the big picture. You just have to know how to put them together.
KimHeniadis More than 1 year ago
Another fantastic read in The Untouchables series! In the first two books The Forbidden Duke and The Duke of Daring, I was happy to read a Regency Era Romance where the heroine wasn’t a vapid woman, constantly falling in and out of love with the same man. And Darcy Burke has written yet another romance without an insipid heroine. When Aquilla first meets Edward, she is very frank with him, and even tells him that she and her friends call him the Duke of Deception. While this make him a little leary, since he really does have a big secret he is hiding, he also finds her refreshing and intriguing. While Aquilla also enjoyed the exchange, she doesn’t want to get married because of the horrible relationship her parents have, so she puts Edward out of her mind. But they keep running into each other. Although their courtship is very brief, and Aquilla had not wanted to get married, she readily accepts her new life, including his love for her, and sex for the first time. This is one of the reasons I really enjoy this series. There is no constant wishy-washy, does he love me/do I love him, that can get very tedious if played out too long. As I have come to expect from Burke’s books, the sex scenes are very hot. And their first time together was very sweet, with a wonderful touch of humor. As for the secret that Edward is keeping, it’s a good one, that I don’t want to spoil here. But I will say that it shows a part of Regency life that was very real, and that I haven’t often seen in other romance books. I highly recommend this one, and while it can be read as a stand alone, you really should start with the first book since the same characters appear across the books. And make sure to check out Burke’s other series; Secrets and Scandals, The Ribbon Ridge Series, and the shoot off of that series, Love on the Vine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait for the next book in the series.