The Duke of Defiance (Untouchables Series #5)

The Duke of Defiance (Untouchables Series #5)

by Darcy Burke

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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 intelligence and warmth who is, above all, immune to his idiosyncrasies--and to falling in love.

Widow Joanna Shaw isn't interested in a second marriage, not after the loveless, passionless union she endured. She'd much rather dote on her young niece and nephew since they will likely be the only children in her life...until she meets a precocious girl, in desperate need of a mother. But her father, the so-called Duke of Defiance, is as peculiar as he is handsome, and Jo won't take another risk with her heart. Their rules, however, are made to be broken, even when the consequences could destroy them both.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940157362843
Publisher: Darcy Burke
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Series: Darcy Burke's Untouchables Series , #5
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 195
Sales rank: 25,178
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

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 Very Important Reader Club at

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 two 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. Her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge. Visit Darcy online at and follow her social media: Facebook at Twitter @darcyburke at Instagram at and Pinterest at

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The Duke of Defiance 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Duke of Defiance was a very nice addition to the Untouchable series. I liked that Jo and Bran had unique quirks. They fit together. The pace of the storytelling was perfect. I h ad hoped for a better resolution between Bran and his mother. Evie, however was adorable, and Bran's relationship with his daughter made the book even more enjoyable. I can't wait for the next book!
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
I loved Jo and Bran's story!! We have two individuals that have had bad experiences in their past and know that they have issues from them. It was wonderful to watch Jo and Bran help each other to understand that those issues don't define them and that they can find their HEA. Added bonus was little Evie!! Loved her!!
sportochick More than 1 year ago
Excuse me while I fan myself..... Wow the heat between Widow Joanna Shaw and Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton is off the charts making this a very sensual romance book. It is much more than that though. It has a developed plot involving a rather picky Earl, a woman not willing to expose her heart and a most often shy but utterly charming little girl, Evie. This is an enjoyable read full of love, romance and historical detail. The author does a phenomenal job of keeping this book interesting with dialog and intense interaction between the two main characters. Additionally Evie adds a charming perk to the storyline keeping the reader involved in whether or not her father will marry again and who. Joanna's heartbreak and secret is portrayed in a believable manner and I actually wanted to cry for her. This twist to the story takes it up a notch giving the reader a book full of emotions and understanding for her plight. I give this 4 stars for making me cry, smile, cheer and fan myself. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
MSalmeron More than 1 year ago
Joanna Shaw, sister to one Duchess of Kendal, suffered through an abusive marriage and will not risk the chance of having another loveless marriage. She yearns for the only thing that her fruitless marriage has convinced her that she can never be; a mother. Joanna has been living with her sister and doting on her niece and nephew since the death of her husband. So when she meets Evie, a motherless girl who has returned with her father to England against their wishes, she can’t help but intervene. Bran Crowther, “Duke of Defiance”, returns to England as the Earl of Knighton. As the 3rd son, he’d left England for ports unknown never expecting to return. A series of unfortunate events leads him to inherit the title and he is duty bound to return to the strict society that found him lacking. Not only is he lost to the ways of the ton, he must raise his daughter to be a lady. He needs all the help he can get. The fifth Untouchables book was a delightful read. Bran’s peccadilloes were intriguing and how denizens of the ton reacted to them was vastly amusing. I love the wit and the humor and especially the ingenuity of 5 year old girls. This, and all the books in this series, are a must read. I eagerly await the Duke of Danger. 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.
TobiForgetHousework More than 1 year ago
I love the Duke of Defiance. Bran is unique and though he doesn't quite fit in with those in high society he essentially tells them to stuff it. Bran's care and protection for his daughter and JoAnna is enough to sweep you off your feet. Yet he has a few flaws make him even more dashing and I do believe he's taken over as my favorite "Untouchable Duke". Joanna has overcome the odds of her sister ruining her chance with a season in society and a horrible marriage. She's a survivor. She's loving, yet insecure which makes her totally likable. She doesn't want to look for love again so she becomes Bran's nanny for his daughter. The two are so adorable and their chemistry is off the charts. Darcy Burke writes amazing historical romances and each one gets better than the last! I highly recommend checking out the entire Untouchable Series!
Dragonrose More than 1 year ago
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 passage on the nearest ship at dock not caring where he ended up, anywhere was better than England. He ended up in Barbados where he made his fortune owning a sugar plantation. He married and had a beautiful daughter, and despite losing his wife to the fever, he was content with his life. It was with horror that he is told that his brothers and father have all died and that he has to return to England and take up his place as the new Earl of Knighton. It's the very last thing he wants to do, but it's his duty, so he packs up his home and moves back to England with his young daughter. Joanna Shaw is a widow, her husband, a vicar, treated her abominably, and made her feel useless and a waste of his time when she couldn't fall pregnant over 8 years of marriage. It was no small relief when he died and she could escape to her sister Nora. Nora has 2 children and another on the way. Jo dotes on her niece and nephew and although she feels guilty living with her sister and her husband, feeling like she should be finding a place of her own, she's not too motivated because she loves being with the children. Nora's daughter Becky has made a new friend and they are as thick as thieves. Both little girls are 5 years old, the other little girl being Bran's daughter, Evie. He is so grateful that the girls get on because it is helping Evie settle into life in England. She's been terribly homesick, especially after having to leave her 'nanny' behind. On one occasion when Bran picks Evie up from Nora's, he meets Jo. At first sight he thinks her quite dull, especially as she is wearing drab mourning clothes. But the more he sees her, the more he realises that she is a very beautiful woman, both inside and out. Evie loves her, and for now he accepts that he very much lusts after her. He needs a new nanny, a new governess, and a new mother for Evie. All things point to him asking Jo to be the latter. After a passionate kiss, he does ask her to marry him and is upset when she turns him down. He needs an heir, and she knows she can't provide him with one and she tells him that. Eventually she decides she does need to be part of Evie's life, so she agrees to become her governess. There are some very passionate moments for Bran and Jo, and despite not wanting to, each of them find themselves falling in love. It can't go anywhere, Bran must do his duty, but oh the ecstasy they find in each others arms and beds. It's all so perfect, but Jo knows that one day Bran must find a Duchess, and her heart will be broken. Maybe she needs to cut and run before she has to witness that happening. Losing both him and Evie will be more than she can take. This story was so beautifully written, and it hooked me from page one. I couldn't put the book down and just had to read it in one sitting even though it meant reading into the wee hours of the morning. I loved how both Jo and Bran had such a hard time in their pasts, and how each helped the other overcome the bad memories. I l
LoriP123 More than 1 year ago
I love this series by Darcy Burke! The Duke of Defiance is the fifth book in The Untouchables series and is about Joanna Shaw and Bran Crowther. Bran left England years ago, fleeing from his family and the strict rules of English society. For the last fifteen years he has been living in Barbados with his wife and daughter and running a successful business. With tragedy changing all of that he has just recently moved back to England taking his rightful place in society as Lord Knighton. Jo is finding herself unsettled and useless living in her sister's home after becoming a widow until Bran seeks her help finding staff for his home and a nurse and governess for his daughter, but their close proximity sparks an attraction that is soon overwhelming for the both of them and pushes them to admit their feelings for one another. I was given an ARC from the author/publisher. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
LasVegasNan More than 1 year ago
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. I really enjoyed reading The Duke of Defiance. The story and the characters were very good and you could relate to them.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
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 ASAP led to some--ahem--interesting moments for him...and Jo ;)) Jo just broke my heart with her awful first marriage and conviction that she couldn't have children because she hadn't yet, which was her main argument for why they couldn't be together. Kudos to Bram for pointing out it wasn't necessarily her "fault" that she hadn't; it made for both a frustrating and heartbreaking reason for keeping them apart. All while not keeping them apart, of course, because yeah. They were all kinds of together when they weren't supposed to be. ;) Evie was a fun character, even though towards the end she sometimes acted just a little bit too mature for her age, she was still all kinds of adorable. It was fun seeing what is going on with the rest of the Untouchables and their wives, though this book could also stand on its own if needed. Rating: 4 stars / A- I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Theardentreader More than 1 year ago
This was a beautiful story! I immediately loved Jo, Mrs. Shaw. She was so strong. And I felt like she had so much to give from the beginning. Being a widow gave her a certain air that I respected and enjoyed. Though her marriage was not a happy one. I think it made her a better, stronger person.  Brandon, The Earl of Knighton, was an unexpected hero. Quirky, with issues of his own, he made me want to help him. I'm a nurturer and his situation spoke to me. Nothing prepared him for his current life, but he faced it head on, with only a little help. He was delightful in his idiosyncrasies. The story itself unfolded at the perfect pace, I did not want to put this book down!  I'm reviewing when I should be sleeping, but I can't help that. Finishing in the wee hours means a great story! Darcy Burke has such a talent. She draws you in, no matter if it's Regency or contemporary, she knows what to write to make a miserable day much better or a good day shine. I envy that talent! She has definitely ruined me for real men! Lol I want a "Burke hero!" Lol I hope you read this book, and if you've not read any of her others, please do, you will love them all as I do! This one is a continuation of a serious, but I think you could read it as a Standalone, but then you will love it so much, you will want to read the others!
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
'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 a Title. Jo had to marry the first and only man to ask her after her sister caused a scandal that took her options away. Now after the abusive and loveless marriage she has sworn off doing so again. Jo is happy to just be around her sister's children. But when Jo meets little Evie who is Bran's daughter its hard not to fall for her. Ms. Burke has written some really heartfelt subjects and her Romance Books are ones that you just can't put down! "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful way to spend the day! I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in 1817 London with Jo and Bran. This is not the typical historical romance with the silly ingénue and the rake but instead a story of two slightly more mature people embarking on a new phase of life. Both without spouses, one with a young daughter to take care of as he takes on responsibilities of being an Earl, one verbally abused for years by her vicious vicar husband before finding herself widowed and both so in need of a safe place to land. I loved all of the characters, the story, the issues dealt with and the love that grew in spite of expectations otherwise. A delightful book and the first one I have read by this author – it will not be my last. Thank you to the author and NetGalley for the ARC – This is my honest review.
FaeScot More than 1 year ago
This is the first historical I have read of Darcy's. I fell in love with her Willamette Valley Oregon set Ribbon Ridge series as I live here and know the country. It was so fun to read stories set in my beloved Oregon. This was a delightful tale set in England about a reluctant, third son, Earl and a widow who is relieved to be rid of her two-faced hypocritical vicor husband. Bran was an unwanted 3rd son who never seemed to be able to do anything right. He also suffers some kind of contact issue that my ARC did not explain. Darcy's characters always seem to have something different about them and enjoy reading about them and how they come to grips with these issues. Bran escaped the family, made a life for himself in Barbados, got married and widowed with a young daughter. The then find himself moving half-way across the world with his daughter, saddled with the responsibilities of a title and struggling to fit into the stuffy rules of English society. He's lost. Through the friendship of his daughter with a duke's daughter, our heroine's sister & husband. Nora gets busy with duchess duties so Joanna steps in to help this lost newly minted Earl and his very lonely daughter. My heart was tugged over and over again as Joanna falls for this awkward man and his delightful daughter, both so in need of love. She understands she's unable to have children after her fruitless 8 year marriage and knows that Bran must marry again to have an heir to his title. I loved this journey and now I've got to read the previous books in the series to find out their stories as well! Thank you Darcy for the privilege of being in your ARC group!
PegC51 More than 1 year ago
After what could only be described as an unhappy childhood, Bran Crowther left England and settled in Barbados where her married, had a daughter, and was happy. Bran does not want to be in England, and he does not want to be the Earl of Knighton, but he is. Following her sister’s scandal, Joanna Shaw accepted the first proposal she received and found herself in a miserable, loveless marriage. She dotes on her niece and nephew, but wants a family of her own and a purpose for her life. These two meet as a result of a friendship between her niece and his daughter. They are drawn to each other, but here are a few problems. Will it be possible to move past these hurdles and find love and a happy life? Two very smart and precocious five-year-old girls think so. They see a spark between Bran and Jo, and do their best to fan the flames. Will it work? The Untouchables is a wonderful series, and The Duke of Defiance is the best book yet. This simple and straightforward story proves once again that our heroes are not untouchable, just in need of the right touch. The new characters are great. Bran is quirky and Evie is intelligent and adorable. Joanna is just what they need, and they are just what she needs
Rhondaz More than 1 year ago
Another fantastic book by the wonderful Darcy Burke. She always pulls the readers into the story and you feel like the characters are talking to us. I loved seeing the story play out for Bran and Joanna, as always amazing. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
RomanceNovelGiveaways More than 1 year ago
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 of thing. Bran was awesome! True to his nickname, he did as he pleased. Period. And boy, he did NOT mess around when it came to his daughter. She was his number one priority and it was really endearing to read how he made that principle his life's mission. For as sweet as this book was, HOLY SMOKES was there some hotness in there! Jo and Bran couldn't be together in the public eye, so they had to sneak in their alone time, and boy, was there some steam in those stolen moments! All in all, I love this series and can't wait to read more books by Darcy! (I received a copy of this book in consideration of an honest review)
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
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 of some heartbreaking obstacles. It took the innocence of a child to help these wanderers find their way home.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago