Guest Author: Darcy Burke & Giveaway!!

Darcy Burke

I’m so please to be hosting award-winning author Darcy Burke on the blog today.  Darcy is a lovely person, and she writes wonderful historical romance (and contemporary romance, too).  She’s here to tell us about her latest series and book, Scoundrel Ever After.

Thank you for having me here today, Vanessa! Now that my Secrets and Scandals series is finished (sniff!), I’m reflecting on the characters and stories. I really loved the multi-book redemption arc of Ethan Jagger. Reformed bad boys are one of my favorite tropes and I especially love a series that introduces a character as a villain (or as seemingly irredeemable) and lets you see the transformation from “hell no!” to “ hell yes, please!” What surprised me, though, is that I had not one, but two, female characters who traveled a redemption arc.

The first book in this series, Her Wicked Ways, features a spoiled London debutante who’s banished to the country to reform herself. Instead of multiple books to transform her, she (hopefully!) went from immature and selfish to independent and selfless. That book took place over several months, so her evolution and that of the love story definitely had time to percolate and grow. Still, reformed heroines are harder than heroes!


So why’d I do it again? head/desk. In the second book, His Wicked Heart, I introduced two secondary characters to befriend the heroine (Olivia). They were Lydia and Audrey, who ended up being heroines of their own books. But I didn’t introduce them with that in mind. Lydia, in fact, was more of a frenemy. She was a gossip and a bit condescending to Olivia, who was new to Society. Audrey was much softer and I knew earlier with her that she needed her own book. Lydia, on the other hand, was a tough sell. She’d been introduced as a foil and to make her into heroine material, I had to figure out why she was the way she was. I surprised myself when I paired her with Jason Lockwood, but I’m so happy with how their story turned out. It seemed natural—and exciting—that the socially vilified Jason would find love with the gossip-mongering Lydia.

I’m sure there’ll be reformation of some kind in my next series, Regency Treasure Hunters. One of the heroes, Lord Kersey, appeared very briefly in Her Wicked Ways. He had a somewhat notorious reputation he was trying to live down. We’ll find out how successful he was! I’m planning for the first book in that series (a prequel novella) to be out this summer.


Redemption is definitely one of my favorite themes and as I said, reformed bad boys is one of my favorite romance tropes. What are your favorite themes and tropes? What do you think of reformed heroines and what are some of your favorite books that feature them? One lucky commenter will get a copy of Secrets and Scandals Volume 1, which includes the first three books in the series!

Wow!  That’s a very generous giveaway, Darcy – thank you!  Personally, I’m very fond of the reformed heroine, since my third book, My Favorite Countess, featured a heroine who had to follow a pretty steep course of redemption.  What about you, readers?  What are some of your favorite themes and tropes.  Does it include redemption?  Let us know, and I’ll also throw in a copy of My Favorite Countess for Darcy’s winner!

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her devoted husband, their two great kids, and two Bengal cats. Darcy writes hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Visit Darcy online at and sign up for her new releases newsletter, follow her on Twitter at, or like her Facebook page,


Guest Author: Darcy Burke & Giveaway!

I’m so happy that the lovely and talented Darcy Burke is back on the blog today.  Darcy writes sexy and very romantic Regency-set historical romance, and she’s here to talk about her new book, To Seduce A Scoundrel.  Specifically, she’s going to introduce us to her latest hero – a hero with an intriguing twist!

The Celibate Hero and Why He’s Sexy

When I first conceived of the character of Lord Sevrin (he didn’t have a first name for a very long time), he was simply a rake with a truly horrendous reputation. However, I knew almost right away that I didn’t want him to be a typical rake. So I wondered, what if everyone assumed he was a womanizer but, in fact, he was celibate? That’s when Sevrin became incredibly interesting to me…and sexy.

Celibacy is sexy because it means the hero’s been holding out for some reason. That takes a lot of control (especially for a romance hero!) and control is sexy. Put that together with the heroine that will bring him to his knees and end his celibacy (because it’s, yanno, a romance), and you have (I hope!) an irresistible love story.

The whys of Sevrin’s celibacy were a bit difficult to unravel, and hopefully it works in the context of his character. He’s a hero with strong beliefs and holds himself to the highest possible standards. His celibacy is a means of functioning after some rather disreputable deeds.

I’ve read virgin heroes before and have a couple I’m excited to read in the very near future, but I couldn’t think of a celibate hero off the top of my head. I checked out Goodreads and found six pages of them! Have you read any celibate heroes? If so, is there one you recommend? Do you think celibate heroes are sexy? One commenter will receive an ebook copy of His Wicked Heart in the format of their choice!

Vanessa, here.  Doesn’t Sevrin sound intriguing?  Darcy is a wonderful writer, and I can’t wait to read her latest book.  She’s gotten great reviews for her first two books, and I know this one will be equally delicious.

So, readers, what do you think about celibate heroes?  Have you read any before?  Tell us about it for a chance to win His Wicked Heart.  And be sure to drop by Darcy’s lovely website to get the details on all her books and to read an excerpt of To Seduce A Scoundrel.

Guest Author: Darcy Burke & Giveaway!

I love hosting debut authors on the blog, especially historical romance authors.  And I have an exciting new writer blogging with me today – she’s Darcy Burke, and her first book has been getting great buzz.  Here’s a quote from New York Times bestselling author Courtney Milan, on Her Wicked Ways:

“A bad girl heroine steals both the show and a highwayman’s heart in Darcy Burke’s deliciously wicked debut.”

I’ll turn the blog over to Darcy now, so she can tell you all about her wonderful books.  And don’t forget to the read the exclusive excerpt at the end of her post!

Series, Linked Books, and Recurring Characters, Oh My!

First, let me thank Vanessa for having me here today. I’m delighted to partake of her generous hospitality! And now, about books! In recent years, most historical romances are part of a linked series of books. Each book stands alone (usually) and offers a happily ever after for the hero and heroine of that story, while introducing the reader to a cast of secondary characters who may get their own story, or who may appear in other stories. I know I love reading books where I “know” characters from previous stories. It’s like being in on things with the author, which every reader loves, no?

With that in mind, I tend to write stories that have continuing characters. My debut, Her Wicked Ways, features Lady Miranda Sinclair and her brother, Jasper, who is the “star” of his own book, His Wicked Heart, in which Jasper befriends a scoundrel, Lord Sevrin, who in turn gets his own book, To Seduce a Scoundrel. In that book, readers will meet both the heroes and heroines of the next two books. It’s partly intentional and partly not, at least for me. As a writer, I find myself looking ahead to future projects. It’s hard not to think of what you might write next. Plus, by the time you’re actually writing words (especially as you near The End), you’re excited and ready for new blood, so to speak. In addition, sometimes you introduce a character who just leaps off the page, and you can’t wait to write about them.

I was very excited to write Jasper’s story as I finished up Her Wicked Ways. In an earlier version, Jasper was a lot more uptight (and there was a third brother, but he wound up on the cutting room floor—never fear, that character is alive and well in another book I hope to get back to next year!). Miranda and Jasper’s father plays a larger role in His Wicked Heart, so while you may not be salivating for more of his character (um, he’s a pompous jerk), I think readers will really enjoy the part he plays in Jasper’s story.

As the Duke of Holborn’s heir, Jasper is expected to live completely above reproach and marry exceedingly well. Aside from one major misstep a decade ago, he’s been the model heir. Until he meets Olivia West, a seamstress and sometimes actress he’d like to make his mistress. But Olivia balks at his offer; she refuses to sell her body as her mother did before her. She’ll make her way in the world by working hard and keeping her virtue intact. However, when her financial circumstances hit rock bottom she allows a friend to talk her into a scheme that will seemingly satisfy everyone: Jasper’s desire to bed her, the friend’s desire to bed Jasper, and Olivia’s need for money. Naturally, things don’t work out at all as they planned. Here’s a snippet when Jasper realizes what’s happened, that Olivia and Tilly have traded places:

“Go out and tell her you’re done.” He gave Tilly a dark look. “Don’t warn her.”

She nodded jerkily. He moved to stand behind the door.

She went into the hallway. Jasper leaned close to the wall.

Olivia’s voice drifted through the crack near the hinges. “Did he suspect anything?”

“No,” Tilly answered

“Thank you, Tilly. I’ll bring your share down later.” There was a pause, then, “Was he, that is…”

“Worth it? ‘Course. I told you you’d regret not doing him yourself.”

There was a loud exhalation then feet scraping across the floorboards. Olivia stepped through the doorway.

Jasper slammed the portal and flattened his back against it. He glared at her with the weight of his wrath. “If you don’t yet regret deceiving me, I promise you will.”

His Wicked Heart will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords next week! In the meantime, pick up Her Wicked Ways now! Kindle | Nook | Smashwords

What series or linked books are your favorites? Any current series where you’re dying for the next installment? I can’t wait for Elizabeth Hoyt’s Thief of Shadows, she teed that up perfectly! One lucky commenter will receive the book they’re dying to read next (now, or when it’s available if it’s not out yet) and an ebook of my debut, Her Wicked Ways.

Darcy Burke 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. An RWA Golden Heart® Finalist, Darcy loves all things British (except tomatoes for breakfast, or any other time of day, actually) and happy ever afters.

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her devoted husband, their two great kids, and three 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, follow her on Twitter at, or like her Facebook page,

Vanessa, here.  Darcy, thanks for that tantalizing excerpt!  And what a generous offer!  So, readers, tell us what book in a current series you’re dying to read, for a chance to win that book and Darcy’s wonderful debut.

P.S.  I’m blogging over at Romancing Rakes today, talking about my VK Sykes contemporary romances and doing a giveaway.  After you’ve read and commented on Darcy’s guest blog, come on over and visit me at Romancing Rakes!